ZBA Takes up Variance for “Special Delivery” on Christmas Eve

Special to the Journal

The Revere Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) held its regular monthly meeting last  Wednesday evening in the Joseph A. DelGrosso City Council Chamber at which the board considered six applications for variances.

Chairman Michael Tucker and members Aklog Limeneh, Arthur Pelton, John Lopes, and Hazem Hamdan were present for the meeting.

The biggest news of the evening was the last application (see below) in which the petitioner, a Mr. S. Claus, sought to make deliveries, by means of a reindeer-powered vehicle, throughout the city during the nighttime hours on Christmas Eve.

The board’s discussion and vote on that application, as well as the other five matters that came before the board, are as follows:

Application # A-21-36: Beth Mcdougall, 214 Arlington Street, Chelsea, MA 02150, requesting a variance of Section 17.16.260(F)(1) of the Revised Ordinances of the City of Revere with respect to the requirement that no accessory structure shall occupy more than 10% of the rear yard to enable the appellant to construct a 1,080 square foot accessory garage at the rear of the existing structure on Lot 4 at 22 Central Avenue, Revere, MA.

Discussion and vote:

The attorney for the applicant asked for this matter to be continued to the ZBA’s next meeting in January. 

However, an abutter opposed both the application.

The abutter’s attorney argued that the application does not demonstrate the sort of hardship to the applicant that is a prerequisite to the granting of relief from the zoning ordinances. He further argued that granting the variance would be contrary to the intent of the zoning ordinances. 

The abutter’s attorney also suggested that the “accessory structure” stated in the application will consist of a garage that will house commercial equipment unrelated to the needs of the residential apartments. 

The abutter’s daughter, who lives next door to the 22 Central Ave.locus, told the board that commercial trucks already park on the property and said she believes that the garage will be used to store construction materials and equipment for the property owner’s business, rather than for use by the tenants of 22 Central Ave.

Ward 4 Councilor Patrick Keefe also spoke against the application, telling the board there is “no doubt” that the property owner is using the property for commercial use, which is contrary to the zoning for that area.

The board voted unanimously.to continue the hearing on the application to the next ZBA meeting on January 26,

Application #A-21-37: Wbeimar Cano, 303 Vane St., Revere, MA 02151 seeking a variance of Section 17.16.260(F) of the Revised Ordinances of the City of Revere with respect to accessory structures exceeding 10% of the rear yard and located within the required side yard setback to enable the appellant to confirm the existing pool and shed which were constructed approximately two years ago at 303 Vane St., Revere, MA 02151.

Discussion and vote:

Mr. Cario appeared on behalf of himself. The issue concerned the construction of a deck as an accessory to an above-ground pool. The applicant already has completed the deck, but had been unaware of the need to get a building permit, which in turn triggered the need to obtain a variance.

Ward 4 Councilor Patrick Keefe spoke in support of the applicant and urged the board to approve the application. In addition, neighbors of the applicant voiced their support for the applicant, noting that the work done by Mr. Cario has improved the property and enhanced the neighborhood.

There were no opponents. The board voted 4-1 to approve the application, with Mr. Hamdan the lone dissenting vote.

Application #A-21-38: Kristopher Grahame and Kathryn Schultz Grahame, 126 Bradstreet Ave., Revere, MA 02151 seeking a variance of Section 17.24.010(A) of the Revised Ordinances of the City of Revere, minimum rear yard setback requirement for decks in the RB District, to enable the appellant to construct a 12’ x 20’ deck at 126 Bradstreet Ave., Revere, MA 02151.

Discussion and vote:

Kristopher Grahame appeared on behalf of himself. Grahame told the board that the outdoor deck has provided a space for his family and friends to gather safely during the pandemic.

A neighbor supported the application, stating, “The Grahames are doing a great job with the property.”

The sticking point for the application was that the Grahames’ contractor had started the work without having obtained a building permit. Mr. Grahame explained that he now was trying to make things right by coming before the board.

The board voted 5-0 to approve the application.

Application #A-21-39: Arrowhead Builders, LLC, 35 Birchbrook Ave., Saugus, MA 01906 seeking a variance of Section 17.24.010 of the Revised Ordinances of the City of Revere, minimum front yard setback requirement, to enable the appellant to construct single family dwelling with an attached garage on Lots 32, 35, 38, 41, and 44 Liberty Ave., Revere, MA 02151.

Discussion and vote:

Atty. Lawrence Simeone appeared for the applicant, who is seeking to construct a one-family home on the premises. Simeone told the board that the hardship to the applicant consists of the odd shape of the property, which precludes strict compliance with the setback requirements. He also noted that there would be no detriment to the neighborhood, which is a one-family neighborhood.

There were no opponents to the application.

The board voted 5-0 to approve the application.

Application #A-21-40: Esmetaldino da Cruz Santos, 74 Sigourney Street, Revere, MA 02151 seeking a variance of Section 17.24.070(A)(3) of the Revised Ordinances of the City of Revere with respect to parking prohibited in the rear yard within the RB District, to enable the appellant the satisfy the off-street parking requirements for converting a single-family dwelling to two-family dwelling on Lots 853 and 854 at 74 Sigourney Street, Revere, MA 02151.

Discussion and vote: 

Atty. James Cipoletta appeared on behalf of the applicant. Cipoletta told the board that a two-family home is allowed as of right in this neighborhood, even though it has been used only as a one-family home since its construction.

He also pointed out that access to the premises can be gained from another street — the property is a corner lot — without affecting the existing on-street parking in the neighborhood.

An abutting property owner questioned whether there will be a water run-off issue that will affect his property when the backyard is paved for the additional parking spaces. 

Cipoletta said the parking area will consist of permeable pavers that will allow for drainage. 

The board voted 5-0 to approve the application, but with the conditions that permeable pavers be used for the new parking spaces; that there be a site plan review; that the applicant obtain a curb-cut permit; and that the applicant present a new plot plan that meets the ZBA’s requirements. 

Application #A-21-41: S. Claus, 1000 North Pole, requesting various temporary variances on December 24, 2021, to enable the appellant to conduct a one night, not for profit, delivery service within the City of Revere to facilitate the delivery of toys and gifts to various resident locations within the community. To reduce the carbon emissions the appellant proposes to use non-domesticated animals to conduct the delivery services. The non- domesticated animals respond to the names: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and Rudolph.

Discussion and vote: The board’s clerk, City Clerk Ashley Melnyk, read the application aloud into the record. Although there was no discussion or vote taken by the board,  chairman Tucker concluded the meeting by wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.

The ZBA’s next meeting is set for Wednesday evening, January 26, 2022, at 5:00.

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