By Sue Ellen Woodcock
The outcry from residents against turning the former Shaw’s site on 205 Revere Beach Blvd. into a 300-unit apartment complex was heard loud and clear, prompting Mayor Dan Rizzo and one city council candidate to call for a moratorium on any building projects with more than two units.
Monday night Rizzo appeared before the City Council to discuss a proposed moratorium on all large scale residential apartment buildings for a period of two years. It would impose a moratorium on any development over two units.
Currently, there are four apartment building projects going on in Revere, causing concern for public officials, schools, police and fire services.
“I saw the obvious outcry,” Rizzo said. “Part of my job is to listen to people and I listened.”
“There have been significant concerns over residential development,” Rizzo said, who wants to put the moratorium in place while the city works though the Plan Revere visioning process, Metropolitan Area Planning Council.
“In January we started Plan Revere to guide us through the two-year vision process,” Rizzo said. “This is a chance to slow down development and we want input from the entire community.”
City Council candidate George Rotondo said that the city officials need to study the issues of how development will have an impact on schools and the municipal infrastructure.
“The city can’t take on anymore construction,” Rotondo said.
Council President John Powers said he’d like input from the city solicitor, which Rizzo said he has gotten. Powers also would like the recommendation of the Planning Board.
Councillor and Mayoral candidate Brian Arrigo questioned Rizzo on the Plan Revere process that was a visionary process compiled by a group of local residents on community development. He added that the process was based on the idea that the city could handle 7,000 units.
“In May 2015 Mayor Rizzo said (the city) could handle 7,000 units,” Arrigo said, quoting from the newspaper that the “mayor was excited to show sites.”
Arrigo said the timing was “interesting” and a “knee jerk reaction” and added “we need to be thoughtful. We haven’t been for several decades.
“I didn’t realize this was going to become a political discussion,” Rizzo said. “This is going to a public hearing.
“Let’s take the politics out,” said Powers.
“This is not a knee jerk reaction. Plan Revere is a vision process,” Rizzo said. “We’re all interested in the well-being and future of the city.”
The council voted to send the issue to a public hearing which will be held on Monday, Oct. 26.
In other council business:
The council approved a bond order for $50,000 for a feasibility study to be conducted for the replacement of the Garfield Elementary School Roof. The cost of the roof may be eligible for a grant through the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA).
The following council motions were sent to committee for further review:
- That the mayor request the MBTA to add Furlong Drive Stop and Shop to bus route #119. The motion was presented by Councillor Joanne McKenna.
- That the mayor request the Traffic Commission to extend the timing of the traffic light on Malden Street at the intersection of Broadway. The motion was presented by Councillor Robert Haas.
- That the mayor request Inspectional Services to clean the lot at 25 Whitten Avenue. Motion presented by Council President John Powers.
- That the mayor make arrangements to install a center handrail on the stairways of City Hall in the interest of public safety. Motion presented by Council President John Powers.