Storage facility heads to zoning committee

A proposal to build a four-story, self-storage facility at 727 Revere Beach Parkway is heading to the Council’s zoning sub-committee for further review.
Attorney Cory D. Rhoades of D’Ambrosio Brown Counselors at Law, Revere, presented the plan on behalf of developer Robert Inello at Monday night’s City Council meeting.
According to Rhoades, the structure would be 39.5 feet tall. He said after discussions with Ward 1 Councillor Joanne McKenna, the original plans were changed to create a more aesthetically pleasing building for the neighborhood. The new configuration would allow more sunlight to shine on nearby Taft Street and there would be more greenery at the site.
Bob O’Brien, director of economic development for the city, spoke in favor of the project. “We think it is a good project that is worthy of your support,” O’Brien told the Council. “The developer has been responsive, responsible, and patient throughout this and has attempted to be responsive to the community’s concerns.”
Niko Kostopoulos began a march of residents who voiced their opposition to the project. He said city officials did not attempt to get feedback from neighbors about the proposal.
Kostopoulos said Mr. Inello originally wanted to build 36 residential units on the site and withdrew the request.
“We agreed upon self-storage at 30 feet,” continued Kostopoulos. “For whatever reason, that project stalled. The next thing we know, that building got knocked down and we were never notified. Now he wants to put another 10 feet on the building. I don’t understand this. A 40-foot building does not fit down there. There’s single-family homes and two-family homes. This isn’t fair to us.”
Taft Street resident Jim Derrico said Inello has changed his plans for the site on multiple occasions.
“It’s embarrassing that we’re back here again,” said Derrico. “It’s a lot for this whole neighborhood. I pay taxes here and I don’t think it’s fair at all.”
Taft Street resident Stacy Hittinger said, “I’m definitely against this new height requirement [for the proposed building]. The building is just too large for our neighborhood. We have a great neighborhood with a lot of families there. There are single families and two-families and It’s just an eyesore.”
A resident of 140 Taft St. implored to the Council: “Give us a break. For the simple reason [this plan] is not right. It’s up to you [the City Council] to help us. This is the only way we’re going to get it.”
Other residents also expressed their concerns about the height of the building.
Eric Lampedecchio suggested a meeting be held between the developer and the neighbors to discuss the project and its potential effect on the area.
Ward 1 Councillor Joanne McKenna gave a history of the proposal over the past five years, saying that residents had met several times with Mr. Inello.
“At first, Mr. Inello wanted to put up apartments against the residents’ wishes, and there was an agreement for a self-storage building. The residents are not happy with the change [to 39 feet].”
McKenna said he held a community meeting, but there was sparse attendance, a turnout that might have been affected by snowy weather that night.
“I really do believe that he [Inello] has complied with everything we have asked him to as residents,” said McKenna. I believe it will be non-invasive to the residents. Yes, the building is high – maybe we can come to agreement for [a lower height of the building.]”
McKenna told the residents that she said would like meet with them and try to come up with an agreement for the site.
Councillor-at-Large George Rotondo said Mr. Inello actually has the legal right to extend the building to 50 feet in height.
“That is the confines of the law – this process gives the ability for the community to work with him and
try to find a happy medium. That’s the hard part when two opposing beliefs don’t meet in the middle.”
Ward 5 Councillor John Powers suggested that Councillor McKenna, the developers and neighbors meet to further discuss the proposal “and come to some sort of agreement.”
Councillor-at-Large Anthony Zambuto said the matter will come before the Council’s zoning sub-committee (that he chairs) on Feb. 10. He said he will give residents considerable time to air their concerns at the sub-committee meeting.
“I think the apartment unit would have been a disaster,” said Zambuto. It would have been very offensive to the neighborhood. You had an option of an apartment unit or something different You got something different. It might not be exactly what you want, but it’s better than what you could have had. If there are fine-tuning points to be done, it will be done at the zoning sub-committee meeting.”

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