The Licensing Board will hold a hearing next week about a recent wedding event at the Proprietor's Lodge that city health officials say violated COVID-19 occupancy limits while attendees defied mask and social distancing rules.

The Berkshire Eagle reports that a July 31 event at the Waubeek Road establishment generated concern among neighbors as the pandemic stretched into August.

A Board of Health notice dated Aug. 6 claims the Proprietor's Lodge violated four coronavirus workplace safety standards by hosting the event "with attendance over 100 attendees. Also attendees were not wearing masks and not social distancing. Attendees were also observed creating a dance floor outside."

The city also said patrons were not properly socially distancing and cited the Lodge for allowing entertainment at the wedding.

Ward 7 City Councilor Anthony Maffuccio said he's had "nothing but complaints" from constituents about the Proprietor's Lodge since it reopened in the wake of the coronavirus shutdowns. "They can't just be slapped on the hand by the Licensing Board," he said via The Eagle, "penalties have to be made."

Owner Eric Taylor said he had interpreted the then-current COVID-19 regulations as to allow 100 people outdoors and another 25 people indoors, and learned after the event that staff was supposed to be factored into the headcount, calling that "unclear" at the time. Manager Candace Lyon said employees "did their best" to enforce the mask rule.

A "show cause" hearing is scheduled for the board's Monday, Aug. 24 meeting, when the parties involved will have the chance to weigh in. The Licensing Board could choose to sanction the Lodge if it concludes there was indeed one or more violations. Sanctions could range from modifying, suspending or revoking the businesses' liquor license.

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