ZBA Grants Variances for Popeye’s on Squire Rd. | Revere Journal

2022-09-10 01:38:48 By : Mr. Allen Seng

In addition to hearing requests for variances for major apartment buildings throughout the city, the Zoning Board of Appeals heard a number of other requests for variances for smaller-scale projects at its meeting last week.

Chief among them was a request for two variances from Revere Dev., LLC, 304 Squire Rd., to enable it to raze the existing structure and build a new fast food restaurant with a drive-through window at 304 Squire Road.

Those variance requests were as follows:

1. Noncompliance with Section 17.28.040 with respect to minimum aisle dimension of 22 feet for two way traffic where the parking angle is between 61-90 degrees;

2. Noncompliance with Section 17.28.030 with respect to minimum parking requirements of 1 space/150 GSF for a fast food restaurant.

Atty. Chris Kridler of D’Ambrosio, LLC presented the application on behalf of the applicant, which already has obtained a Special Permit from the City Council for the project, which will be a Popeye’s Restaurant where a defunct Honeydew Donuts now stands.

He noted that the request for fewer parking spaces came at the behest of the residents of adjacent Derby Rd., who preferred that the area contain plantings of shrubs to act as a buffer for their homes.

There were no opponents to the proposal and the board unanimously approved the variance.

Among the other minor matters was a request by Soumia Elanbi of 26 Rumney Road, for a variance seeking relief from Section 17.28.020, minimum parking requirements, to enable him to convert a single-family dwelling to a two-family dwelling on Lot 325C at 26 Rumney Road, Revere.

The hearing had been continued from the June 22 meeting.

Ward 3 City Councilor Anthony Cogliandro suggested that the board should deny the variance because the owners, he said, now are seeking to proceed under the accessory dwelling ordinance, rather than converting their property into a two-family home.

Marsha Rivera Ragusa, a resident of Rumney Rd., also spoke in opposition to the application. “I continue to be opposed,” she said. “There are other avenues they can take to accomplish their objective.”

Nobody spoke in favor of the application and the board unanimously voted to deny it.

The board next took up the application by Cavallo Corporation, 70 Victoria St., Somerville, which was requesting two variances to enable Cavallo to construct a two-family duplex dwelling on vacant Lot 17, True Street:

1. Noncompliance with Section 17.16.040 footnote 1\/\ with respect to the requirement that duplex dwellings within the RB District must have a minimum lot size of 6,000 square feet and shall have an offset of at least five (5) feet in depth between each unit.

2. Noncompliance with Section 17.24.010 with respect to maximum of 2 and 1/2 stories allowed within the RB District.

Atty. Lawrence A. Simeone Jr. presented the application to the board on behalf of Cavallo Corp. Simeone explained that the ordinance requires a lot size of 6000 sq. ft., but that Lot 17 consists of only 5315 sq. ft. The second request, relating to the maximum stories allowable, is necessary because even though the height of the building is only 26 feet, vs. an allowable height of 35 feet, the foundation is deemed a separate story, thereby exceeding the 2 and 1/2 story limitation.

Simeone said the proposed structure will be a modular duplex, with one bedroom in each of the two units. 

“My client is building this structure so that two of his employees can have their first home in the United States,” said Simeone.

Ward 5 Councilor John Powers spoke in favor of the proposal.

“I looked at the area and the land,” said Powers, who also asked some questions of the builder, specifically ensuring that there will be a firewall  between the duplex units. “This will bring more tax revenue into the city because this is only a vacant lot now.”

Angela Ortiz, the owner of 9 True St., spoke against the application. 

“My concern with this is that this is not a huge lot and this house will be close to my house and in an area where parking already is tight. I at least would request that there be no resident parking permits allowed.”

The board approved the application on a vote of 4-1, with Chairman Michael Tucker voting no.

Nixon Jimenez, 114 Augustus Street, came before the board seeking a variance from the requirement of Section 17.24.070(2), which states that no more than two parking spaces shall be allowed in tandem for a two-family use, in order to enable Jimenez to sub-divide two existing lots, Lot 718 and Lot 719 at 114 Augustus Street, into new lots, Lot A and Lot B, and convert a single family dwelling into a two-family dwelling on proposed Lot A and construct a new, two-family residence on proposed Lot B.

There presently is a single-family home on the property that was built in 1910. 

Atty. Lawrence Simeone presented the application on behalf of Mr. Jimenez. 

Michael Recchia of 115 Augustus St., who lives directly across from the property in question, said he questioned whether the land area was big enough for two, two-family homes.

Tucker pointed out that recent changes in the zoning laws make clear that the land area is sufficient, but Recchia still opposed the plan.

“This is going to be an absolute disaster on Augustus St.,” said Recchia. “This is adding four families to a property that has had just one person living there for many years. “

However, the board did not take any action on the application because a revised plot plan with the proposed changes had not been submitted within seven days of the hearing.

The matter was continued to the board’s next meeting on September 21.

Dione Krueger of 453A Broadway, Everett, came before the board seeking a variance of RRO Section 17.28.030, minimum parking space dimensions, to enable him to convert the existing single-family dwelling into a two-family dwelling at 70 Ridge.

Mr. Krueger represented the new owner of the property, Wagner Mendez, who is undertaking a renovation of the property. 

“We will be able to fit four cars into the parking area, so it will not be a detriment to the neighborhood,” said Mr. Krueger, “but the dimensions of the parking spaces will be a bit less than what the ordinance requires.”

Krueger noted that the property is on a slope and that the existing retaining wall could be replaced with a much larger retaining wall in order to achieve the required space for parking, but that to do so would be very expensive.

A resident of the area submitted an email in favor of the variance. There were no opponents to the application.

Tucker asked what the extra cost would be for a new retaining wall and Krueger said it would be $30,000. 

Board member John Lopes suggested that he would be in favor of the application, but on the condition that there be no residential parking permits allowable for the property.

However, Tucker stated that he felt that the $30,000 price tag for the new retaining wall was a small price to pay for obtaining an additional unit on the property.

Mendez then spoke, telling the board that there had been an illegal apartment in the basement when he bought the property. 

“I am doing this so that my family can have a nice place with a kitchen in the basement,” he said. “The only thing that doesn’t meet the code is that we are three feet short for the parking. But we will not even be having four cars.”

The board then voted 4-1 to approve the variance, but with the condition that the property is not eligible for on-street resident parking stickers, a stipulation that normally is reserved for larger-scale developments.

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