Zoning Board of Appeals addresses neighbors’ complaints at two businesses

By Journal Staff

The Revere Zoning Board of Appeals held a busy and productive meeting last Wednesday, December 21, in the City Council Chamber. Chairman Robert Selevitch and colleagues Daniel Occena and Linda Guinasso were on hand for the meeting.

In addition to voting on a plethora of the usual agenda items, the board held hearings into complaints from neighbors regarding two local businesses.

The first involved the Taqueria Eucalipto II Corp., d/b/a Las Vegas Restaurant, at 107 Shirley Avenue, “concerning multiple complaints of disruptive patrons received from neighboring residents.”

“We’re holding this hearing today because of complaints we’ve received about noise on the street,” said Selevitch at the outset of the hearing.

Ward 2 City Councilor Ira Novoselsky told the board that he had received emails and several phone calls from his constituents detailing a litany of activities that are occurring from 1:30-2:30 AM by patrons leaving the premises that include yelling, speeding away in vehicles, smashing bottles, and urinating on the sidewalks.

Novoselsky said he was “looking for better security and better coverage outside when they are closing, so that people are not hanging around and screaming,” and noted that one resident had reported that bottles were smashed in the street on one occasion.

Selevitch read an email from a neighbor who described shouting, racing cars, and other disturbances at 2:00 in the morning.

“What would your client propose to do to alleviate the neighborhood’s concerns?” asked Selevitch of Everett attorney Rebecca Edmondson-Korom, who was on hand for the hearing alongside the manager of the restaurant.

“They have been good neighbors for 14 years and want to continue to be good neighbors,” said Edmondson-Korom, noting that there are other nearby businesses that serve alcohol and that also are open until late at night. She said her client adheres strictly to the closing hours and has security personnel on-site. She also pointed out that the hearing itself was the first time the business had been made aware of these complaints from the neighbors, though Selevitch noted that the bar itself has called the police on occasion because of unruly patrons.

“This a highly-sensitive, residential area,” noted Occena. “But it seems like you’re doing what you can.”

“It’s not our wish to hurt businesses, but by the same token you have to live within the neighborhood and if it requires hiring another security person, that may be something you have to do,” said Selevitch.

The board then voted to place the matter “on file” on the condition that the management resolves the situation, but if the problems persist, the matter will be revisited.

“Hopefully we won’t see you back here,” Selevitch added.

The board took a similar tack regarding neighbors’ complaints about a different kind of business altogether. That agenda item read as follows: “Sena Motors, Inc., 120 Squire Road, Claudio Pontes, Manager. Hearing concerning multiple complaints of too many cars for sale on the lot; cars driving dangerously on residential streets; blocking public roads and neighborhood access.”

Mr. Pontes appeared before the board to address the issues.

“There are too many cars on the lots, people are bombing up and down Patriot Parkway when they test drive, and car delivery trucks block the street,” said Selevitch.

Ward 3 City Councilor Anthony Cogliandro spoke to the board.

“The last thing I want to do is hurt anyone’s business, but I want to help the business be a better neighbor,” Cogliandro said. “I have monitored the number of cars the past month and I know they are trying to appease the rules of their license. We need to have a discussion about the speeding of the cars and the delivery of the vehicles. 

“The neighbors have complained but have been laughed at. I want to work together to come up with a solution that makes everybody happy,” Cogliandro added.

Mr. Sena told the board that his business has been there for eight years and pointed out that there have not been any complaints about how he does business in terms of the quality of the vehicles he sells to the public. He acknowledged that although his lot often exceeds 22 vehicles, he is not in violation of his license (which permits him to keep 22 vehicles for sale on the premises) because many of these are vehicles already are registered and ready to be delivered to customers.

“I’ve known this lot for many, many years and you’ve done a wonderful job cleaning it up,” noted Guinasso, who also pointed out that the excess parking spots beyond the 22 allotted for cars for sale were meant to provide parking for the employees, who presently park on the street.

“Your employees should be parking in those spots,” Guinasso continued. “I think you keep it clean and you’ve come a long way from what it had been in the past, but you have to be respectful of the neighbors.”

“Whenever you have a ward councilor presenting these issues, you have an obligation to afford him a level of cooperation and respect when he brings these concerns to your establishment,” said Occena. “I can appreciate that you are trying your best, but you have to do a little better.”

“The best thing that comes out of this is that you have a dialogue with the neighbors and the city councilor so that these things don’t fester and become bigger problems,” said Selevitch.

After Cogliandro recommended that there be another meeting in 90 days “to address the issues of speeding and the deliveries in the middle of the street,” the board voted to place the matter “on file” for 90 days and will revisit the matter at its March meeting.

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