The Revere License Commission held its regular monthly meeting in an usual morning session last Friday morning, September 23, in the City Council Chamber.
Chairman Robert Selevitch and fellow members Daniel Occena and Linda Guinasso were on hand for the meeting.
The commissioners took up a wide range of matters in a lengthy session that lasted almost two hours, but the application that consumed most of the meeting pertained to a request for a Class 2 Motor Vehicle Dealer License for 50 cars by Raymond Desamours, the President & Manager of Noah Autobody Repair & Sales, Inc., at the property listed at 1087R Broadway.
After Commissioner Guinasso recused herself because of a conflict of interest, Atty. Don MacDonald presented the application to the commission. Mr. Desamours also was on hand.
Mr. Desamours presently has an existing auto dealer business in East Boston, but has been renting his building there. He has purchased the premises at 1087R Broadway, which previously had been the site of Kevin’s Auto Sales for 22 years and which also had a 50-car license.
However, Mr. Desamours only purchased the real estate, not the existing car dealership business, which is why he had to come before the commission seeking a new license.
Speaking in strong opposition to the application was Michael Zaccaria, the owner of Action Emergency Management, an abutting business whose property is located in the front of 1087R.
Mr. Zaccaria initially objected to the hearing going forward because he said he had not been notified of the hearing beforehand. However, at the urging of the commissioners, Mr. Zaccaria briefly outlined his objections to the granting of the license.
He told the commission that the present building at 1087R Broadway actually is sitting on his property. Mr. Zaccaria highlighted many other problems with the real estate, including a lack of working water and sewer utilities and even the lack of a proper address. He said that without water and sewer services, the previous owner had been using an outhouse that emitted noxious odors.
Mr. Zaccaria also noted that the police have been called on a few occasions to the premises because of a dispute between Mr. Zaccaria and Mr. Desamours over the installation of a fence by Mr. Desamours and the use of a right-of-way to 1087R from the street.
Mr. Desamours had informed the commission that he has had his property surveyed and that the fence was placed according to the survey, while Mr. Zaccaria relied on a plot plan from 20 years ago for his assertion that the fence was erected on his property.
Occena noted that the sorts of issues being raised by Mr. Zaccaria ultimately must be decided in Land Court. Occena expressly asked Mr. Zaccaria about his specific objection to the license, to which Mr. Zaccaria responded that the site is too small for 50 cars and that the previous car dealership had cars overflowing onto his property.
MacDonald essentially responded by stating that his client has the right to use the property based on its prior use. He also said that the disputes with Mr. Zaccaria belong in court and are not relevant to the issuance of a license by the Licensing Commission.
“From what I can see, there are several issues that need to be addressed,” said Selevitch, after hearing from both sides. “I think we need opinions from the City Solicitor, the Board of Health, and the City Assessor and that we should continue this application until we do so.” Selevitch also cited the issue of the lack of notice to the abutters.
Occena concurred with Selevitch’s assessment of the situation.
Atty. MacDonald agreed with the commissioners’ suggestion of a continuance. Selevitch and Occena then voted to continue the matter until the commission’s October meeting.
Earlier in the morning, the commission approved an application submitted by Claudia Gallego, the principal of Capri LLC, d/b/a Capri, for an All Alcohol Restaurant License for her new restaurant at 1559 North Shore Road with requested hours of operation from Sunday–Saturday, 10 a.m. – 2 a.m.
Attorney Justin Kissell of D’Ambrosio LLC presented the application to the commission with Ms. Gallego present.
Kissell told the commission that the restaurant, which will be located on No. Shore Rd. at the intersection Dehon St., will offer an infusion of Colombian and American cuisine and that the beer, liquors, and wine to be offered will serve as accents to that type of cuisine. He also said that Ms. Gallego has previous experience serving alcohol.
The premises previously had been a restaurant (Algiers Place) for about 10 years.
An initial matter raised by Guinasso was that the revised plans for the restaurant call for seating of 50 patrons, but the application was advertised for only 19 patrons.
Guinasso said that she had received numerous calls from residents in the area, but she had assured them that the restaurant would seat only 19 patrons. Given the substantial increase in seating in the revised application — for which there was no notice to the public — she said that the matter should be continued.
Guinasso further expressed her concern about a restaurant with an all-alcohol license coming into that neighborhood. The commission received an email from the owner of a building in the neighborhood with tenants, who stated similar concerns about the serving of alcohol and the noise from patrons in the parking lot, which is behind the restaurant and adjacent to residences.
“Their complaints are legitimate and this is a highly-residential area,” said Guinasso. “This will be in operation from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. I’m very concerned and have received several calls about this. This location is en route for children walking home from school.”
Guinasso said she would be inclined to deny the license application.
“I assume you’ll not be over-serving your customers,” said Selevitch, who suggested reducing the seating to 30 patrons and establishing a 1 a.m. closing. He also said that noise issues will have to be addressed if any should arise.
“The emphasis will be on food,” said Kissell. “We’re not expecting to have a rowdy crowd.” He also said there will be no live music.
Selevitch and Occena voted to approve an amended license for 30 seats, with hours from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Guinasso voted no.