ZBA Votes to Conduct Future Meetings in Person

With COVID-19 restrictions now lifted across the state, Zoom meetings for the Zoning Board of Appeals may become a thing of the past. Commissioners unanimously voted at their May 26 meeting to hold their June 23 meeting in the City Council Chambers.

In other matters before the commissioners:

A new fire station at the Point of Pines may have cleared its last obstacle. The commission  unanimously voted to approve several variances to allow the project to move forward.

Dana Weeder, the architect for the project, noted that in addition to housing a full fire station, the building also will offer about 800 square feet for the community that would include a community room with a capacity of 40 to 50 people, three bathrooms, and a public lobby.

Commission chairman Michael Tucker said the motion speaks for itself and noted that Ward 5 Councilor John Powers sent an email in support of the project.

The full motion that the ZBA approved is as follows:

The City of Revere, Massachusetts, 281 Broadway, is requesting the following variances of the Revised Ordinances of the City of Revere to enable the appellant to raze the existing fire station and construct a new fire station at 140 Lynnway, Revere, MA 02151:

Section 17.24.010 with respect to minimum front yard setback requirement of 20 feet within the RA District;

Section 17.24.010 with respect to minimum rear yard setback requirement of 30 feet within the RA District;

Section 17.24.010 with respect to minimum side yard setback requirement of 10 feet within the RA District;

Section 17.24.010 with respect to minimum usable open space requirement of 35% within the RA District;

Section 17.28.220 with respect to minimum setback of 10 feet for dumpsters;

Section 17.28.020 with respect to minimum parking of 1 space/4 seats for meeting hall.

The commissioners also unanimously approved a request from Bouchra Saouab to add a second floor to his house at 20 Hasey St. Saouab noted that his family has five members and he needs to add more bedrooms to his house.

In another matter before the board, minor changes to an already-approved project at 191 Shirley Ave. unanimously were approved. Some of the new modifications include adding more than four feet in height to the building to accommodate keeping a significant architectural detail of a brick wall of the building on North Shore Road.

“The owner needs the additional height to keep part of the old building,” said Ward 2 Councilor Ira Novoselsky.

Other changes to the original plan approved by the board included reducing the number of parking spaces for trash and transformer use, as well as a handicapped use. Atty. Kari Ann Greene, who represented the owner, Craig Halijian, said that the modifications would not include any additional rental units in the project.

The commissioners unanimously approved the requests, but also reaffirmed the restrictions in the existing site plan findings, including the provision that since this is a transit-oriented project, no on-street parking permits may be granted to tenants living at this address.

In the final matter before the board, after a lengthy hearing that took up more than half of the meeting, the commissioners voted to continue the hearing on the appeal by JEK Enterprises, 7 Franklin Street, from the decision of the Building Inspector regarding the determination as to the current use of 7 Franklin Street, as set forth in the Order to Correct issued by the Building Inspector on January 19, 2021.

The order states in pertinent part: “Neither the NB (Neighborhood Business) zone nor any asserted grandfathered-use of the property supports any of the structures or premises being utilized for a 24/7 business operation, particularly with the movement of, and noise generated from, large vehicles and construction material.”

During the hearing, it was noted that JEK has been operating at this address for more than three years.

Council President Anthony Zambuto spoke in favor of continuing the hearing because of the arrival of numerous documents that the board recently had received. He urged the board “to let the process finish out.”

Ward 6 Councilor Richard Serino wanted a vote “tonight,” noting that this issue has been on-going for three months.

Chairman Tucker acknowledged that a lot of new evidence has been received by the board in the last 32 hours and that one commissioner had yet to receive all of the material.

“I hope things can be ironed-out between the lawyers and the city before the next meeting.” Tucker said in support of the motion to continue the hearing.

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