Everything was going smoothly last night at the Fairmont Battery Wharf during the July NEWNC (North End/Waterfront Neighborhood Council) meeting, until the last agenda item regarding 113 Salem Street. Owner Arthur Caras, his attorney, and contractor Michael Dello Russo presented plans to expand the existing barber shop and nail salon in the rear of the building, including a roof deck. Abutting residents from 44 Prince Street and adjoining streets objected to the variance being 1 foot closer to the property line than allowed and the roof deck. After failing to table the issue for the parties to work it out, the Council supported the variance in a split vote 6-3.
Ironically, the expected controversy regarding Joe Bono’s proposed patios was a dud because Mr. Bono withdrew the request for outdoor seating at the request of neighborhood residents. The Council approved just the license transfer to a new restaurant to be named, Spazzo, in the old Trani space. Three other residential zoning variances were also unanimously approved by the council.
Committee updates were also given by Bob DeCristoforo for Public Safety and Matt Conti for the Greenway. Bob reported on the increase in car break-ins. I reported on the comment period for the Greenway Guidelines and my opposition to large events on the North End/Waterfront parks. Nancy Brennan, Executive Director of the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy briefly responded that they will look to incorporate comments, distributed a brochure and introduced herself to the neighborhood.
Full details can be found in the minutes at NEWNC’s website www.NEWNCBoston.org.