â€œChicken sandwich, anyone?â€
And thus, began well-known Revere attorney Gerry Dâ€™Ambrosioâ€™s presentation about a new fast-food restaurant being proposed at 304 Squire Road.
â€œIâ€™m here tonight on behalf of Popeyeâ€™s Louisiana Kitchen, the applicant in this matter,â€ said Dâ€™Ambrosio. â€œWeâ€™re here to convert 304 Squire Road, which is currently a defunct Honey Dew Donuts facility. The petitioner is requesting that the current property be redeveloped into a modern, state-of-the-art Popeyeâ€™s facility.â€
Dâ€™Ambosio noted that restaurant use is already permitted on the site, and the implementation of a drive-thru lane and window is â€œthe special permit request.â€
Dâ€™Ambrosio said the Popeyeâ€™s building will be brand new, state-of-the-art, and fully code compliant. There will be a new landscaping beautification project on the property complete with new sidewalks as well.
Former Councillor-at-Large Anthony Zambuto called Popeyeâ€™s plans â€œa great proposal.â€
Augustus Street resident Gennaro Cataldo expressed his support for the Popeyeâ€™s project. â€œIâ€™ve been working with Revere Dev in good faith over the past week since I found out about the project to make sure it worked with our neighborhood, and so far, thatâ€™s all Iâ€™ve seen,â€ said Cataldo.
A resident of Derby Road asked the Council why she wasnâ€™t notified in advance about the projectâ€™s presentation at Mondayâ€™s Council meeting. Council President Gerry Visconti responded that the notice went out to abutters who reside within 300 feet of the property.
The resident said there have been problems with littering in the area â€œfrom drive-thru restaurants that are on Squire Road,â€ indicating that Derby Road is often used as a cut-through roadway.
â€œThis is only going to exacerbate this problem,â€ the resident said. â€œItâ€™s going to increase litter. Everyone I spoke to is extremely opposed to this.â€
Visconti said the Popeyeâ€™s restaurant proposal is being referred to the Councilâ€™s Zoning Subcommittee, â€œand if there are any people that have some concerns, I would ask them to come to the Zoning meeting and voice their concerns.â€
Visconti announced that the next Zoning Subcommittee meeting will be held on Monday, May 9 at 5:30 p.m.
Ward 6 Councillor Richard Serino asked Dâ€™Ambrosio what would happen if the Council denied Popeyeâ€™s a drive-thru window.
â€œBy right, this is what people donâ€™t understand and they need to understand this,â€ responded Dâ€™Ambrosio. â€œThis City Council approved the special permit in 2011. Not only did you approve it, but itâ€™s on record. The use is already approved. It is the drive-thru that the previous owner didnâ€™t put in. As far as Popeyeâ€™s goes, theyâ€™re more than willing to sit and talk to folks about trash issues and litter issues, because theyâ€™re concerned about that as well. But the project thatâ€™s before the City Council is way better than what you currently have there.
â€œIâ€™m very confident that when people see what this project is, theyâ€™re going to say, â€˜Wow, it is significantly better that whatâ€™s there now, and itâ€™s an upgrade to the community, not a downgradeâ€™, especially when you factor in the sidewalks, the signs, the new fencing along the side, the landscaping beds, and the traffic flow, stopping the traffic flow from going into Sigourney or Derby.
â€œAnd on top of it, theyâ€™re going to have a corporate neighbor that really cares about their image,â€ said Dâ€™Ambrosio.