Board of Health Condemns Home at 71 Pitcairn Street

The Revere Board of Health held its regular monthly meeting last Thursday evening in the City Council Chambers at Revere City Hall. On hand for the session were Chair Dr. Drew Bunker and fellow members Kathy Savage and new member Viviana Catano, for whom this was her first meeting.

Also on hand were Michael Wells, the city’s Health Agent/Director of Inspectional Services, and Paula Sepulveda, the Board of Health Clerk.

Wells presented the monthly report from his department, which included issuing 37 certificates of fitness, responding to 12 interior complaints, and performing three pool inspections. In the food department, there were 38 routine inspections, 13 reinspections, three complaint inspections, and two pre-opening inspections.

Agents issued 321 citations for exterior sanitation (trash) violations, 30 citations for improper/bulky items, 27 citations for accumulation of trash, and one for working without a permit.

The board then conducted a hearing to determine whether to issue a condemnation order for the home at 71 Pitcairn St.  Attorney Anthony Brunco, outside counsel for Revere with respect to public health and safety issues, informed the board of the situation with the property.

“This is a property that the city had believed to be vacant, but then there were complaints from area residents about a vehicle that had been parked in the driveway, uncut grass, and a rat infestation,” said Brunco.

Brunco said the city had made numerous requests for inspections and issued a number of fines, to which there was no response. Brunco’s office then obtained a warrant from the court to inspect the premises.

“What we found was that there were a number of issues that made the property unfit for human habitation, for which the city issued a notice to correct. There was an occupant of the premises, but who no longer is living there, which is what the city wants,” Brunco said. “However, we can’t unsee what we saw — there is no running water, portions of the home are without heat or electricity, and there is a rodent infestation.”

Brunco said he wanted the board to issue a condemnation order in order to ensure that no one returns to the property and to allow the city to secure the premises. He said the city will be seeking to have the court appoint a receiver who would have the power to borrow money in order to make improvements. He also noted that the owner passed away in 2021 and his estate is “fractured in six different pieces. There has to be a consensus either to sell the property or to make repairs.”

The former occupant of the property explained to the board that he had been living there for the past 25 years with his parents and that he had nowhere else to go. When Bunker asked whether he would be amenable to working with various city and social service agencies to make repairs to bring the building up to code, he said, “I’ll take whatever help I can get,” noting that a plumber had given him an estimate of $16,000-$20,000 in order to restore water service to the home.

Wells added that the building does not need to be torn down, but can be repaired to make it habitable. Brunco noted that the receiver will be a person who typically is a contractor who will be able to borrow money, which is possible in this case because there is equity in the property, and to ensure that the repairs are performed up to code.

The board then voted 3-0 to condemn the property and signed two orders, one of which declares that the structure is unfit for human habitation and the other being the actual condemnation order.

In other business, the board voted to approve the renewal of a number of body art licenses. Wells noted that all of the establishments and individuals had met the requirements for the licenses:

— Body Art Establishment License — Brows By Camila;

— Body Art Individual License — Maria Nieto;

— Body Art Establishment License — Face Lip Brow Bar;

— Body Art Individual Practitioner License — Andrea Medina;

— One Day Temporary Body Art License – Let Er Rip, LLC & Boston Harley-Davidson; and

— One Day Temporary Individual Body Art License at Harley Davidson – David Martinelli.

The board also voted to approve heating variance requests from six older buildings that have only one HVAC unit for both air conditioning and heating. State law requires that residential properties must provide heat from October 15-May 15.

Wells pointed out that thanks to climate change, air conditioning needs to be extended beyond the state-mandated time frame and the condos came before the board seeking a modification of the statutory dates.The board routinely has done so in the past and voted unanimously to do so again. The six buildings are:

— Breakers Condominium, 437 Revere Beach Blvd.;

— Friendly Garden Co-op, 235 Revere St.;

— SeaviewTowers, 510–515 Revere Beach Blvd.;

— Seawatch Tower Condominium, 376 Ocean Ave.;

— St. George Condominium, 350 Revere Beach Blvd.; and

— Ocean Gate Tower Condominium, 382 Ocean Ave.

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