Conservation Commission Approves New Building at 37 Revere Beach Blvd.

The Revere Conservation Commission (ConsComm) held its regular monthly meeting on Wednesday evening, May 3, in the City Council Chamber.

Chairman John Shue and fellow commissioners Joseph LaValle, Robert Cassidy, Samantha Woodson, and Nicholas Rudolph were on hand for the meeting.

The commission first took up two enforcement actions regarding the installation of paved surfaces at 25 Bickford Ave. and 35 Arcadia St. by the property owners who had not obtained prior permission to do so from the ConsComm.

Atty. Joseph Franzese represented the owners of 25 Bickford Ave., Edward and Regina Bomarsi, who had obtained a building permit to install a basketball court that was within the 100-year flood plain, but who did not go through the required process with the Conservation Commission.

Franzese told the commission that the Bomarsis proposed installing a drip edge along the sides of the paved area that would drain stormwater into the street and away from the neighbors.

The commissioners voted to allow the mitigation measure, which is to be completed by June 30.

As for 35 Arcadia St., in which the owners had installed an asphalt driveway without obtaining permission from the ConsComm, the owners likewise proposed installing a similar edge along their driveway that would be filled with stones to capture the run-off from rainstorms. Their proposal also was approved.

The commission next heard a request for a Notice of Intent (NOI) for the project at 37 Revere Beach Blvd in which the owner, Jamie Russo, is proposing to construct a mixed-use, commercial/residential building within land that is subject to coastal storm flowage. The property sits at the corner of Ocean Ave., Revere Beach Blvd. and West St. and had been the site of a small, two-family home (which already has been demolished) for many years.

The lot consists of about 4585 sq. ft. and will consist of flood-proof construction and will allow for flow-through of storm surge. Russo plans to construct a seven-story, multi-use, commercial/residential building within the entirety of the lot lines. There will be a garage for four spaces beneath the building at grade.

LaValle asked the engineer who presented the proposal about the drainage from the roof and was informed that it will flow out into the DCR sewers on Ocean Ave.

There were no opponents and the commission unanimously approved the issuance of the NOI.

The commission then heard a request from Rick Salvo of Engineering Alliance for an NOI at 84 Arcadia St. for the construction of two multi-family buildings, one being a two-family and the other a three-family.

The lot had been the subject of controversy previously because of a previous proposal for a large, multi-dwelling building that had drawn the opposition of residents on the street. However, that proposal has been withdrawn by the developer in favor of the new proposal.

Salvo explained that the property is within the 100 year floodplain and the lot line intrudes 20 feet onto the barrier beach line, though there will be no construction there. He said the developer plans to demolish the existing structure and construct two new structures that will be built so as to allow potential flood waters to flow underneath them. Nine trees will be taken down, many of which are dead, but nine new trees will be planted.

Salvo said there will be a reservoir underneath the open space area with a pervious surface on top that will be large enough to hold the water from a 100-year rainstorm. He said this  will be a benefit to the drainage for the entire neighborhood.

Anthony Parziale of 51 Arcadia St. spoke in favor of the project, noting the installation of the trees and the water storage on-site.

“I think it’s a great project and I thank you for ensuring there is no vernal pool. This project will be great for our community,” said Parziale.

Another resident, who has lived at 916 No. Shore Rd. for over 40 years, also thanked the owner for changing the plans and for removing a “vacant, blighted property that has been nothing but a headache there for 30 years. I favor this 100 percent.”

There were no opponents and the commission unanimously approved the issuance of the NOI with the usual Order of Conditions (OOC).

The commission next took up the request for an NOI from the McClellan Highway Development Company for off-site roadway improvements on the Revere Beach Parkway, Winthrop Avenue, and Lee Burbank Highway (at Railroad St.) in connection with the first phase of the Suffolk Downs construction project.

Mike Barowsky from the HYM Development Group, which is the Suffolk Downs developer, and Robert Messenger from Howard Stein Hudson, a traffic consultant firm, presented the proposal to the commission.

Messenger outlined that a number of the locations slated for improvements are within a flood zone, particularly those in proximity to Sales Creek. He said there will be a total of 116,000 sq. ft. of disturbance within flood zone areas.  Among the improvements are a new driveway at the fire station, new sidewalks with ADA ramps along the roadways, bike lanes and promenades, reconfigurations of intersections (particularly at Bennington St. and Crescent Ave.), and new signalizations at various locations.

Barowsky said work will begin this summer and will extend for about 12 months in anticipation of the first residential building opening at Suffolk Downs in the summer of 2024.

There were no opponents and the commission unanimously approved the NOI with the usual OOC.

The commission also took up a request from Mass. Electric (National Grid) for a Determination of Applicability regarding the replacement and installation of utility poles along the Revere Beach Parkway.

The work is within buffer zones and areas subject to storm flow. However, the holes that will be dug for the new poles will be of dimensions large enough (one square foot) only for the poles. There will be seven new poles in the affected areas for a total of seven square feet of land that will be impacted.

The commissioners determined that the de minimis nature of the work did not require an NOI and therefore cast a negative vote as to a Determination of Applicability, thereby exempting the project from the ConsComm’s jurisdiction.

The commission then took up a request regarding an Order of Conditions Scope Inquiry from Edward Almeida, the owner of the property at 40 Arcadia St. Almeida said he is seeking to build a 12’ x 32’ gazebo in his backyard with 10 points of contact with the ground.

However, Shue said that the construction of the gazebo appears to be beyond the scope of the original project. “There should be an NOI because this is a fairly large structure,” said Shue. “This is more than just expanding the patio by a few feet. There should be a plan regarding the runoff of rainwater that will be subject to an Order of Conditions enforceable by the commission.”

The commissioners voted that the gazebo was outside of the scope of the original project and told Almeida that he will need to obtain a Notice of Intent.

The commissioners then adjourned until their next meeting in June.

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