ConsComm Approves High-Rise on Revere Beach Blvd; Takes First Step on Gibson Park

The Revere Conservation Commission (ConsComm) held its regular monthly meeting last Wednesday evening (September 6) in the City Council Chambers.

Vice-chair Nicholas Rudolph presided over the meeting with fellow commissioners Joseph LaValle, Robert Cassidy, Samantha Woodson, and Brian Averbach.

The principal business of the session involved a request for a Notice of Intent (NOI) for the  construction of a mixed-use development with two levels of parking under six levels of retail, amenity, and residential spaces at 49-64 Revere Beach Boulevard by Revere Residential, LLC.

The site presently is occupied by three businesses, Nick’s Place, Sammy’s Patio, and La Metapaneca Grill and also includes an adjacent, empty lot.

Katie Cruz, an LEED AP-certified civil engineer with the firm Hancock Associates, Inc., presented the application to the ConsComm. Cruz said the property lies within an area subject to coastal storm flowage and that the lower level of the garage will be the only part of the building that will be affected by a storm. Cruz also noted that the building will include a new stormwater management system to handle runoff from the roof,  consisting of underground concrete chambers that will disperse rainwater and promote infiltration into the ground. Any overflow from the system will drain into the city’s sewer line on Ocean Ave.

“We also will be replacing the water main with a larger pipe size at the request of the Revere DPW,” said Cruz.

The commissioners, after asking a few questions, unanimously approved issuing the NOI that will allow the project to go forward.

The commission next took up the request for an NOI from R&S Realty Trust for construction of a 3,900 sf storage building at 320 Charger Street. The structure originally had been part of a larger project (involving a larger self-storage facility) that was approved by the ConsComm in 2017, but the 3,900 sq. ft. structure never was completed.

Ward 6 City Councillor Richard Serino sent in a letter opposing the application, noting that the building will be very close to the marsh. He also raised concerns about additional traffic. 

Rick Salvo from the firm of Engineering Alliance, Inc., said he subsequently spoke with Serino and made him aware of the scope of the project. Salvo noted that the project originally had been permitted in 2017 and that while the five-story, drive-through storage facility was constructed at that time, the separate, 3,900 square foot building with garage bays that was part of the original plan never was constructed.

“This is not a new storage building, it’s just the second phase of the original project that never was built,” said Salvo. “This is the identical proposal that was presented and approved in 2017.”

Salvo noted that the site was fully prepped in 2017, so there will be no additional changes in the topography on the site.

In response to a question from commissioner LaValle, Salvo replied that hazardous waste will not be allowed to be stored and that the bays, which are designed for automobiles, will have traps for any oil or gasoline leakage.

There were no opponents and the commission unanimously approved issuing the NOI.

The ConsComm next took up a request from Joshua Recycling for a Determination of Applicability regarding the above-grade demolition and removal of an existing, fire-damaged, two-family structure at 23 Blake Street.

The commissioners were told by the builder that the foundation will remain intact and the soil will not be disturbed. They then unanimously approved a negative request for determination, which means that the project will not come within the purview of the ConsComm.

The final item addressed by the commission was an Abbreviated Notice of Resource Area Delineation from the city for its project at Gibson Park (where the city just a few years ago installed new tennis courts) and the adjacent property at 29 Thayer Ave., a former boat yard and storage facility, and along the marshland on Mills Ave.

Mark Manganello from LEC Environmental Consultants, Inc. said the purpose of the application is to confirm the boundaries of wetlands resources on the three lots where the city eventually intends to undertake a major renovation project of the park and the adjoining properties.

The site sits on the western part of the Point of Pines peninsula and is part of the barrier beach along the Pines River, which is a tidal stream. Manganello said there is a coastal beach and a coastal dune on all three properties and that all three fall within the floodplain.

The commissioners agreed to take a walk through the area, which they acknowledged will be an extensive undertaking.

“This project has a high priority for the city and our goal is to help get this done as soon as possible,” noted Averbach.

In response to a question from Arcadia St. resident Anthony Parziale, Manganello stated that the project involves the restoration and improvement of Gibson Park and also will include measures to enhance coastal resiliency.

Manganello also took the time to explain to another resident that the delineation of the resource area only is intended to mark the boundaries of the wetlands, which is a necessary first step that is a prerequisite before any work can be undertaken.

The commission then adjourned until its next meeting in October.

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