The Revere Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) met on Sept. 23 and approved two new projects that will comprise 130 residential units. The board also allowed a modification on a previously-approved project on Shirley Avenue.
The first project approved is to be located on nine vacant lots on Bennington St. The development will contain 114 residential units and an equal number of parking spaces. The developer, Gansett Ventures LLC of Boston, came before the board seeking a variance regarding the requirements for minimum front and rear yard, maximum floor area ratio, maximum height and stories, and minimum parking spaces.
Attorney Kari-Ann Greene of D’Ambrosio and Brown, representing the developer, told the Commissioners that the building will have a modern look and will be in harmony with the Bennington St. neighborhood. She noted that the Beachmont MBTA Station is a short walk from the project and that the sidewalk in front of 77 Bennington St. will be repaired and a new set of traffic lights will be placed nearby.
Both Ward Councillor Ira Novoselsky and Revere Director of Economic Development Bob O’Brien spoke in favor of the project, which will generate permit fees and monies for the Community Improvement Trust Fund.
The project was approved by the commissioners.
After the vote Greene said, “This is a great, transit-oriented project for the city and represents an opportunity to clean up three vacant lots along Bennington Street and bring a modern, thoughtfully-designed, five-story, 114-unit building to the neighborhood to complete the Bennington St. string of residential housing.
“The building will be a centerpiece for Bennington St. and will have important financial implications for the city,” Greene continued, “particularly relative to contributions to the community trust fund and the increased tax value of the property.”
The ZBA also approved a project of 16 units consisting of both one-bedroom and studio apartments at 1510 North Shore Road. The developer, 596 Brothers II, LLC of Revere was seeking a variance regarding minimum lot frontage, lot area, front yard, side yard, and rear yard setbacks, maximum floor area ratio, and minimum parking requirements to enable the developer to renovate and convert an existing, three-story, three-family dwelling into a 16-unit apartment building.
Both Novoselsky and O’Brien spoke in favor of the project.
“This property has been an eyesore in the neighborhood,” said Novoselsky. “The only question is that there should be some handicapped-accessibility to enter the building.”
After the meeting Greene, who also represented this developer, noted, “This project represents an opportunity to revitalize a run-down, derelict multi-family in the North Shore Road/Shirley Avenue area by replacing it with a modern, 16-unit residential building. The project is particularly transit-oriented, given its close proximity to the Revere Beach T station, and additionally will boast dedicated bike storage space.”
A project on Shirley Ave. on the site of the Bagel Bin that was approved by the ZBA in June had a new change that needed additional approval by the board. The developer, Eastern Equity Partners of Revere, has purchased an abutting property — Cinco de Mayo — and has made minor changes to the original plans. Specifically, the developer is going to tear down the building and add several additional parking spaces for its previously-approved project.
Novoselsky, speaking in support, added, “This is a great design and the Cinco de Mayo property will be all parking.”
The change in the project was approved by the board.
In other matters before the ZBA:
The Board granted the owners of 61 Gage Street the right to use their front yard to park their handicapped van. Ralph DeCiccio of the Disability Commission spoke in favor of the applicant noting, “They need special material and clearance to unload the child with disabilities.”
The Board denied Peter DeCarlo of 40 Bateman Ave. his request to overturn a decision by the Inspector of Buildings to have his property classified as a two-family.
Attorney James Cippoletta represented the applicant and noted that the house at 38 Bateman Ave. was built by the same builder and is listed as a two-family. He also mentioned that since 1989, the house at 40 Bateman Ave. has been used as a two-family and taxed as such.
Ward 5 Councilor John Powers spoke against the request, noting that he had passed an ordinance 10 years ago against two-family zoning in this neighborhood.
ZBA member Michael Tucker noted that a certificate of occupancy does not automatically validate the property’s status as a two-family residence.
The board took two votes, one to uphold the ruling of the Building Inspector. The second vote came after ZBA Chairman Michael Tucker pointed out that the board does not have the authority to grant a variance to allow a two-family home within a single-family district. The members voted unanimously to deny the applicant’s request.