Monday night’s Revere City Council got off to a rocky start as the councillors roundly criticized DCM Realty of Wakefield and D and M Development of Wakefield for their plans to add residential units to Dehon Street and North Shore Road properties respectively.
DCM Realty is seeking permission to change the use from an existing mixed-use structure at 7-9 Dehon St. comprising of four residential units and two commercial units to a six-unit residential structure.
D and M Development is seeking permission to change the use from an existing eight-unit residential structure at 1540 North Shore Road to a 15-unit residential structure.
Attorney Kari-Ann Greene represented both petitioners, DCM Realty, and D and M Development.
“I look forward to discussing this project further at subcommittee and to working collaboratively on any issues that come up in the interim,” Greene told the Council.
Once Zambuto opened the floor to opponents of the project, the avalanche began.
A neighbor at 11 Dehon St. stated his opposition to both requests, citing parking concerns on Dehon Street, especially at night, and the submission “of different blueprint plans” from what had been constructed at 1540 North Shore Rd., among other concerns.
City Clerk Ashley Melnik also read another email from a neighbor who cited “the non-stop noise since the project started and the the fence is still not up and the property is exposed.”
“Who is overseeing this? There seems to be a common trend where things are not discussed at the hearings but they are being done secretly,” the neighbor wrote in the email.
Ward 2 Councilor Ira Novoselsky said there have been numerous complaints and “we’re hoping to go into real detail when we have our zoning subcommittee meeting.”
Ward 6 Councilor Richard Serino said, “I am disgusted that it seems like the City Council approved a special permit for 7-9 Dehon St. less than four years ago and now we’re reverting to just six residential units and taking those two commercial units out.
“And I have to say, this is what our residents talk about when they get upset about residential units – I don’t what to call him a shifty developer because I don’t know him, but this definitely doesn’t pass the sniff test,” said Serino. “I don’t get a good vibe off of this.”
Ward 4 Councilor Patrick Keefe said, “It’s really strange to have this. They were already granted zoning relief and I don’t even think they attempted to rent the first floor of this unit.”
Ward 3 Councilor Arthur Guinasso was clear and to the point. “I am dead set against this. I can’t say it in any other words. We gave this individual an opportunity to enjoy our community and prosper and now this is almost adding insult to injury, to be honest with you. This is absolutely what our city is not looking forward to doing.”
Ward 1 Councilor Joanne McKenna asked that the developer put a fence immediately around the Dehon Street property and clean up each abutters’ property. McKenna also pointed out that construction is starting too early (before 7 a.m.) and continuing beyond “4 and 5 p.m and it’s disturbing people.”
“We should hold them accountable now before they go into subcommittee,” said McKenna.
Councilor-at-Large Gerry Viscontin termed the developer’s actions “egregious.”
Ward 4 Councilor John Powers said he is “100 percent opposed” to the change-of-use request.
Council President Anthony Zambuto said he “doesn’t look kindly on this kind of approach. In fact, I’m a bit insulted by this type of movement. This is not the message we want to send when we grant relief to these projects.”
The Council expressed its extreme dissatisfaction with the change-of-use plans for 1540 North Shore Road as well.
“I think we have to talk about this in committee,” said Novoselsky. “At this point, we have to discuss it further and come up with something that is reasonable and that we can deal with.”
But Guinasso was unrelenting in his denunciation of the plans for 1540 North Shore Road.
“This is an egregious type of action,” said Guinasso. “This is the most bold type of presentation that I’ve seen in many, many years, doubling the size of the units under the pretense that everybody else is doing it and everybody else is getting it.”