The Revere Zoning Board of Appeals held a brief but productive session at its regular monthly meeting this past Wednesday, November 17, in the City Councillor Joseph A. DelGrosso City Council Chamber.
Chairman Michael G. Tucker and fellow members Arthur Pelton, John Lopes, Hazem Hamdan, and Aklog Limeneh were on hand for the meeting.
All four of the matters before the board pertained to requests for variances to permit the applicants either to construct new two-family dwellings or to deem an existing structure as a legal two-family.
The requests initially came before the board at its October meeting, but were continued for a month to allow the applicants to gather more information and, if necessary, to modify their plans.
The board approved all of the variance requests. The agenda items and the board’s discussions and votes on each item were as follows;
1) Applicant: Mario Zepaj, 78 Mill St., Middleton, MA 01949 seeking a variance of Section 17.24.030(D)(1) of the Revised Ordinances of the City of Revere with respect to a qualified pre-existing lot, that a “qualified lot” means a lot that was vacant as of January 1, 1994 to enable the appellant to construct a two-family dwelling on Lot 763 Reservoir Avenue, Revere, MA 02151.
Discussion and vote:
Mr. Zepaj appeared on behalf of himself. At the October meeting, the board pointed out to Mr. Zepaj that the parking spaces on his plans were too small because they did not conform to the requirement that a legal, off-street parking space must measure 9 x 18 feet.
Mr. Zepaj returned with an amended plan that showed that all of the four parking spaces (two spaces per unit) will meet the 9 x 18 requirement.
The board then voted 5-0 to approve the variance.
2) Samuel C. Rubeiro, 61 Geneva Street, Revere, MA 02151 seeking a variance of Section 17.28.020 of the Revised Ordinances of the City of Revere with respect to the requirement of four (4) parking spaces to enable the appellant to convert a single-family dwelling to a two-family dwelling on Lots 244 & 255 at 61 Geneva Street, Revere, MA 02151.
Discussion and vote:
Attorney Joseph V. Catoggio Jr. appeared on behalf of the applicant, who was seeking to have his property declared a legal two-family dwelling.
“The house was purchased in 2004 as you see it today, with kitchens and baths on both floors,” said Catoggio. “It always had been used as a two-family in the past, but now my clients are seeking to have it done legally.
“The area is zoned for two-family,” continued Catoggio, who then described for the board why his client needed the parking variance.
“There are two hardships with this lot,” said Catoggio. “The first is that the lot is only 40 feet wide, but there was no consideration given for parking when the home was built. There could have been two spaces on either side, but the original owner didn’t take that into account at that time.
“The other issue is that nearby land on Italia Ave. is not available to the owner to be purchased because of a pipe in the ground on Italia Ave., which is a paper street that has been abandoned by the city. However, the city has an easement to maintain the pipe.” said Catoggio.
“However, that road is available for parking without taking it away from anybody else,” Catoggio continued. “There is no detriment to the neighborhood and I hope that you will help out this family financially.”
There was no opposition to the variance and the board voted 4-1 in favor of the request. Hamden was the lone dissenter.
3) Robert Mahoney, 2 Paul Street, Revere, MA 02151 seeking a variance of Section 17.28.020 minimum parking requirements of the Revised Ordinances of the City of Revere to enable the appellant to reconstruct a two-family family dwelling at 924 Winthrop Avenue, Revere, MA 02151.
Discussion and vote:
Mr. Mahoney appeared for himself. There formerly had been a two-family dwelling, which burned to the ground, on the property for which there never had been any off-street parking,
When Mahoney started to rebuild on the site, with the intention of providing the necessary four parking spaces, he discovered that there is a stream running underground though the property, which is common throughout the Beachmont area.
Neighbors were concerned that a disruption of the existing topography and installing asphalt parking spaces would lead to flooding on their properties, an assessment that Mahoney said he agreed with.
In addition, the creation of parking spaces to conform to the zoning ordinance would result in the destruction of an historic stone wall on the property,
Ward 1 Councillor Joanne McKenna appeared before the board to outline the issues pertaining to the variance request.
“Frank Stringi (the chairman of the Site Plan Review Committee) said he was in favor of on-street parking,” said McKenna. “However, Winthrop Ave. is congested. We have 24/7 permit parking because the people who use the T would park their cars there all day and walk to the train station.
“There is a problem with a stream in the Beachmont area and the historical wall is at least 200 years old,” McKenna stated.
“But this decision is up to you,” she added.
“We sent this back to get an opinion from Site Plan Review,” said chairman Tucker. “This home burned down and always had zero parking. There is a concern by the neighbor to the right about a water issue if the wall is changed. Site Plan also expressed these issues. They would rather have it retained with the retaining wall in place.”
With no opposition, the board voted 5-0 to approve the variance.
4) Mario Zepaj, 78 Mill St., Middleton, MA 01949 seeking a variance of Section 17.24.030(D)(1) of the Revised Ordinances of the City of Revere with respect to a qualified pre-existing lot, that a “qualified lot” means a lot that was vacant as of January 1, 1994 to enable the appellant to construct a two-family dwelling on Lots 670 and 671 Keayne Street, Revere, MA 02151.
Discussion and vote:
Mr. Zepaj once again appeared on behalf of himself. His plan showed that the lot, which is 4300 sq. ft., will have four parking spaces, 9 x 18, of which one will be in a garage.
He also noted that the Site Plan Review Committee had given its okay for his proposal.
One neighbor stepped forward to ask questions about the parking. Mr. Zepaj showed him the plans and answered his questions.
The board then voted 5-0 to grant the variance.
With its business for the evening completed, the board adjourned until its next meeting on Wednesday, December 22.