By Sue Ellen Woodcock
A Broadway business owner is trying again to get the city to approve one non-conforming use, a commercial garage to another non-confirming use, a special garage, which will include a spray room and residents have made it clear that they don’t want either.
Monday night the City Council heard from attorney Lawrence Simeone, who represents James Stvil, of 95 Lincoln Ave., Saugus, owner of the auto body shop at 851-855 Broadway, Revere.
In November 2012, Stvil filed a request with the City Council for a special permit for an auto body shop at 851-855 Broadway. Another request sought to alter an existing non-conforming use for the purpose of operating a special garage auto body. The council denied the request and consequently, Stvil challenge the decision in court. The judge in the case determined in May 2015 that the case should go back to the city council for a decision.
Simeone said $1.1 million in improvements are proposed for the property, including a controvercial spray booth. He said the spray booth, worth $100,000, is the same kind used by Essex Aggie.
“There is no noise and little to no odor,” Simeone said.
He added that there would be no cars parked outside during operations. There would be new windows, new exterior, two technicians, one personnel staff. Simeone said the shop would be open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for car pickup.
“He wants to be a good neighbor,” Simeone said.
But Stephanie Beatrice, representing the neighbors, said Stvil has been operating without an occupancy permit, outside normal business hours, and playing loud music at night.
“He also has a dishonest character and an arrest record,” Beatrice said, before submitting a petition from 52 residents asking the council to deny the application.
According to old issues of the Revere Journal and Chelsea Record, James Stvil was arrested in December of 2010 in Revere, on charges of entering without breaking with intent to commit a felony and possession of burglarious tools. In May of 2010, Stvil was also arrested in Chelsea and charged with sexual conduct for a fee in a sting operation.
Folsom Street resident Lenny Amerault asked the council to deny the requests. He said they are open until 10 p.m. and all day Sunday.
“Since 1978 it’s been a horror story,” he told the council.
“The only reason they’re here is because his back is against the wall,” said Paul McSweeney, of Folsom Street.
Attorney Ira Zelesnic, who has represented the city and the council in this case, said the principal use of the building was the storage of busses. The prior use was commercial auto storage. “There needs to be a certificate of occupancy,” he said.
Chief Fire Inspector Dan Maniff said there has been a total disregard for rules and regulations that need to be followed. He noted no fire protection (which Maniff said had been ripped out), obstructed egresses, questionable waste oil storage and a lack of permits. He noted that his property at Furlong was cited in 2006, 2009, 2011 and 2013.
Maniff said the property at 851-855 Broadway is hazardous and in dangerous condition.
Councillors stated their own concerns about the property. Councillor Arthur Guinasso said there are a couple of businesses in the area that seem to inundate the neighborhood. Councillor Robert Haas Jr. said he would like the building inspector the come in front of the council. Councillor Joanne McKenna voiced concerns about the spray booth, fumes and toxicity. Councillor John Powers said he supports the neighbors, while Councillor Anthony Zambuto said the spray booth is the least offensive part of the request.
The council voted to send the issue to the council’s Zoning Subcommittee which will meet again on May 9 at 5 p.m. in the city council chambers.