Councillor Seeks Short Term Rental Ordinance; Project Gets Support

The Zoning Subcommittee of the City Council met Monday night to discuss everything from short-term rentals to changes in a hotel project leading to a special permit.

Ward 4 Councillor Patrick Keefe would like to have the mayor and the city solicitor revise Boston’s short-term rental ordinance and make it applicable to Revere.

Boston’s plan was approved a few months ago, addressing short-term rentals like Airbnb.

As a new global industry that has a strong presence in Boston, short-term rentals provide both economic opportunities for residents and alternative temporary accommodation options for visitors.

It was noted that similar motion was made by Ward 3 Councillor Arthur Guinasso weeks ago.

“I think it’s appropriate to combine the two. All we’re doing now is playing footsy with it,” said Ward 2 Councillor Ira Novoselsky.

The subcommittee then took up a request for a special permit from  RBP Hotel

Even those who voted against the initial project offered up a ‘yes’ vote in favor of adjustments made to the development at 205 Revere Beach Parkway, the former Shaw’s Site. Ward 1 Councillor Joanne McKenna, Ward 6 Councillor Charlie Patch and Councillor George Rotondo

changed their minds, supporting the idea of the hotel. The project will keep the same footprint and now have 80 hotel rooms and 72-extended stay rooms.

“I respect you for coming back. The money that the city will make is a plus,” Patch said.

Councillor Dan Rizzo, who was opposed at first added an amendment that would prohibit the property from being used as a “park and fly” operation. Developer Christine Thomas of RBP Hotel said her company does not operate a “park and fly” business.

Ward 5 Councillor John Powers said if the hotel was to get $200 a night that would give the city of Revere an extra $88,000 a year from room excise tax alone.

“I was against this from the beginning, I thought it was too big for the area. I heard from my constituents and they didn’t want it,” McKenna said. “After sitting and talking to you and you coming back to the table and I have to thank you for listening to us and complying to what we are recommending.”

Thomas will return to the next City Council meeting for a special permit.

The City Council’s Zoning Subcommittee also considered a request to construct four townhouse units on lot 14 Bellevue Ave. Townhouses may only be allowed within the RB district by a special permit from the City Council. No decision was made until the order of conditions is submitted from the city planner.

The subcommittee did give a resounding ‘no’ for a request to increase the number of units from six to eight at 542 Beach St. Parking, or lack there of, was the biggest issue. Ward 5 Councillor John Powers said although it’s not legally an eight unit building it has been a preexisting condition.

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