Ward 6 City Council Richard Serino elaborated on his reasons for voting against the establishment of the Riverfront Overlay District during an interview after Monday’s subcommittee meeting on the matter.
Following are Councilor Serino’s remarks:
“Although this project is not in my ward, this is my first time as a Councillor that I will indirectly be voting on a large-scale residential development project. If the Council enacts the overlay district for the riverfront area, we are essentially giving our blessing for a 290-unit apartment complex, and I simply was not comfortable with supporting that without flushing out all of the details. Revere residents have made it clear that they want to see more commercial development instead of filling every developable parcel with residential apartments. “The Riverfront Master Plan is a great document, and if the vision is realized, the entire area – including the Thayer Avenue Boat Yard, GIbson Park, the G/J site, and the old Jacob’s Ladder site – will be revitalized into something spectacular. I am just not sure I subscribe to the idea that the first step must be to approve a zoning change to allow a 290 unit residential complex, and further, I am disappointed that there was not a real deep dive into looking at possible other uses for the G/J site, which will be the centerpiece of the redevelopment of the Riverfront area. I think a hotel or marina with restaurants on that site really could have kick-started the revitalization of that area without bringing the concerns of another major large-scale residential development. On the question of creating the overlay district, it really is a question of what came first – the chicken or the egg? Sadly, when it comes to hastily approving large-scale development, Revere has been left with egg on its face in the past. The devil is in the details, and before taking a final vote on this, the Council really needs to do its homework and create conditions to protect the neighborhood residents and the City as a whole.”