The North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association, NEWRA, heard three zoning and licensing requests on Thursday; overwhelmingly supporting one, decidedly opposing another and taking a pass on the third. All three applications were previously supported by the Neighborhood Council, NEWNC.
7 Baldwin Place, Anthony Bova has filed an appeal for zoning relief to change the legal occupancy of the building from 5 residential apartments to 6 residential apartments, adding a one-story addition to the building, not to exceed 55 feet. Maryann DiMato, 13 Noyes Place, is concerned the project will restrict sunlight into her abutting building. Attorney Daniel Toscano said that applicant’s architect is working on a plan to use reflecting materials and a possible design change to alleviate Ms. DiMato’s concerns. NEWRA’s vote was 21-7 in support of the application.
67 Prince Street, Trattoria di Monica, Mendoza Family has applied to the Licensing Board to add cordials to the existing Malt and Wine License and to extend the hours of operation from 11:00 PM to midnight on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. This application has already been approved by the Boston Licensing Board. At the request of NEWRA’s ZLC Committee, Frank Mendoza attended the NEWRA meeting with Attorney William Ferrullo to present the change and answer any questions. Despite a motion to support, NEWRA executives decided not to take a vote because the matter had already been approved by the Licensing Board without NEWRA’s input.
Attorney Ferrullo and ZLC Committee co-chair David Kubiak raised a related policy issue to the membership. NEWRA’s policy is not to support the extension of hours by existing businesses but new applicants can apply for later hours up to midnight. NEWRA executives will consider that inconsistency at a future time.
536 Commercial Street, Dr. Akhy Kahn has filed an appeal for zoning relief to construct a larger head house and a 27-foot by 21-foot roof deck. The building was recently converted to a single family home. This application saw an extended discussion with several abutters opposing the application due largely to a loss of privacy from the proposed new roof deck being so close to their building at 540 Commercial Street. Comments by the abutters were similar to those made at Monday’s NEWNC meeting … see the video. Unlike NEWNC however, NEWRA members sided with the abutters in this case and opposed the change. The NEWRA vote was first announced 23-1 in opposition, but an outcry regarding the vote resulted in a recount. The post-recount vote was announced as 25-4, opposing the application. The matter goes to the Zoning Board of Appeal on August 7, 2012.
At the conclusion of the zoning and licensing matters, Tom Schiavoni and Sanjoy Mahajan, gave a short presentation about the Long Wharf Park litigation that is scheduled for oral argument before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court this fall. The plaintiffs, known as the North End Ten, include several NEWRA members and officers. The group has a website at SaveLongWharfPark.org. For Mr. Schiavoni’s commentary on the case, see Long Wharf Park: Just a Footnote?