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Neighborhood Council Supports Proposals for Urban Cantina, 106 Prince St. and Acqua; Hears from RUFF

The North End / Waterfront Neighborhood Council (NEWNC) met on April 14, 2014 to discuss and consider several community initiatives. A summary of the issues discussed and the results for voting items are shown below. (The numbers in parenthesis refer to times in the above video so you can jump to areas of interest.)

(00:00) Welcome and introductions by NEWNC President, Philip Frattaroli

  • (00:25) Roll Call: Philip Frattaroli, John Pregmon, Toni Gilardi, Ryan Kenny, Maria Lanza, David Marx, Jorge Mendoza, Marie Simboli, Anne Devlin Tagliaferro (Not present: Gennaro Riccio, Ralph Verrocchi)
  • (03:00) NEWNC’s new website allows for comments to be submitted on individual applications.
  • (03:30) NEWNC’s effort toward a unification with NEWRA has been rejected. No further discussions are scheduled at this time.

(04:30) Traffic and Parking Committee report by Ryan Kenny – Street sweeping and enforcement has started

(05:00) Public Safety Committee report by David Marx (05:00)

(09:10) Greenway Committee report by John Pregmon

(14:05) Election Committee report by Maria Lanza

  • Residents interesed in running in the May 17, 2014 NEWNC election can pickup nomination papers starting April 25th at the Nazzaro Community Center front desk. Six seats on NEWNC will be determined at the May 17th election.

(15:15) Taste of the North End announcement to support North End non-profits, May 2nd, tickets available

(16:10) Eliot School update by Jorge Mendoza – Extending the school day by one hour each day (More information)

(21:00) Ferrara’s/ Urban Cantina, 76 Salem St: Change of ownership from Vincent Ferrara to Urban Cantina/Frank Scire.  Intention is to keep the layout and hours of the restaurant the same, but change the menu to Mexican cuisine. (Licensing Board hearing date 04/16, Atty. Daniel Toscano)
NEWNC Vote: 8-0 in support.

(27:00) 106 Prince Street, LLC: Owner of the property at 106 Prince Street has applied to the Inspectional Services Department to change the occupancy from 7 residential units to 8 residential units. (ZBA hearing date 04/22, Atty. William Ferullo)
NEWNC Vote: 8-0 in support.

(31:50) Ida’s Restaurant/Acqua, 1-4 Mechanic Court:  Frank DePasquale is seeking zoning relief to allow for changing the residential use of the existing first floor apartment to restaurant use. The addition to the restaurant space will allow for bathrooms and handicap accessibility to the bathrooms and an additional 22 indoor seats.  His application asks to “ change the occupancy of 1-4 Mechanic Court from 7 apartments and a restaurant, use #37 to 6 apartments and a restaurant use #37 with an outdoor patio.” (ZBA hearing date 04/22, William Ferullo)
NEWNC Vote: 8-0 in support

(38:35) R.U.F.F., Parcel 12:  Responsible Urbanites for Fido presented to the council seeking neighborhood support to designate Parcel 12 of the Greenway into a dog park. (pro se)

Visit for more information about the North End / Waterfront Neighborhood Council (NEWNC).

32 Replies to “Neighborhood Council Supports Proposals for Urban Cantina, 106 Prince St. and Acqua; Hears from RUFF

  1. Regarding the dogs, I love dogs but still go back to the fact that dogs and living in the city simply do not mix. One of the women admitted herself that dogs need to run. There just isn’t enough room in the city (at least this part of the city) for a dog to get the appropriate amount of exercise. And I’d bet the majority of people’s dogs are just sitting in these tiny apts for 8+ hours a day.

    1. John – While you are certainly entitled to your opinion regarding dogs in the city, the reality is that you are in the minority. There are already hundreds of licensed dogs residing in the North End alone that need a safe place where they can exercise off-leash legally. Dogs are beloved companions to many of our neighbors and are deserving of a designated area where they can congregate and relieve themselves away from the playgrounds, ball fields and parks where our children play. The North End is one of the few remaining Boston neighborhoods that does not have an official dog park. Our elected officials need to know that this is an important issue for our community that needs to be resolved before the situation becomes dire.

      1. DG, I agree with you about the NE needing a safe place where dogs can be off leash and exercise but John does make a good point about dogs sitting in tiny apartments. all day.I lived across the hallway from a nice guy who left for work at 7 or 8 AM and did not return home until sometimes 9 or 10 at night at least 5 nights a week.He had a two or 3 year old boxer. A beautiful muscular dog that he kept in a crate from the time he left until the time he returned home.So nice guy or not I don’t think that its fair or healthy to keep a dog under those conditions

        1. Michael. You might want to inquire about whether or not he has a dog walker. I hope so. The situation you are speaking about is on the cusp of animal cruelty. Gads, that makes me sad. In a crate?

        2. My neighbor is in health care…she works long hours and her dog only gets out twice a day…and it’s not a small dog. No dog walker.

    2. You are correct. Living in the North End is a choice. There are simply better places to own a dog in the city, and it’s not reasonable to assume that every neighborhood can make the changes to accommodate everything. There simply isn’t a lot of room. One would think people would make the decision to live in an area that can provide these animals with more exercise, rather than one of the most crowded neighborhoods with the least amount of open space.

    3. I agree with John. A city is a hard place for a dog or any animal. If you kept a person locked up in a room alone for 8 or more hours everyday, they call that prison. If they are are put in a cage because the owner values furniture more than the dog, that is just plain cruelty. I would love to have an animal because I love them. However, won’t have one while I live in the city. It is one of those self sacrifices that one has to make to live here.

  2. I’m glad that I took the time to watch the RUFF proposal to the NEWNC board regarding making parcel 12 a designated dog park. It’s quite obvious that this board is more in favor of smaller more convenient areas to be designated as a place for dogs to be exercised such such as a part of Stillman Park or the Gassy Flights. RUFF should be commended for their hard work, but I think that they should be focusing on that vs. trying to convert Parcel 12 which is a less convenient location that is less likely to get used. The city already owns both of these locations and such a use would help to convert those eyesores into something much more useful.

  3. I don’t understand why anyone would oppose a dog park in the North End. To me it seems like a win/win for everybody. Dog owners get a place where they can go and exercise their pets without breaking the leash laws, while the rest of the neighborhood benefits from no more dogs in the playgrounds and ball fields, and cleaner streets to boot. The argument that the NE is too small and that there isn’t any room doesn’t really hold water. All of the spaces that RUFF has proposed for a possible dog park (Parcel 12, Gassy flights, behind the rink) are areas that are readily available with no immediate abutters and aren’t being used by anybody. What am I missing???

    1. The neighborhood should try to accommodate families that might want to move and not just transient dog owners. The argument about parks making the neighborhood cleaner ignores the responsibility that dog owners have clean up after their pets in the first place.

    2. The one thing people are missing is…adding a dog park will not magically make dog waste disappear from our streets. A lazy dog owner will continue to be a lazy dog owner and will allow them to crap anywhere they want. I think a dog park is a reasonable idea and it will help but…only to a point. We are still going to have dogs roaming and pooping where they don’t belong.

    3. I agree with Dan. After all of RUFF’s hard work, it is discouraging to see the conversation get side-tracked the way it did at the meeting. They are not trying to build a dog bathroom. They are trying to build a dog park. There is a big difference. A dog park will not solve the problem of people who don’t pick up after their dogs but the planners never said it would. It will provide a place for dogs to exercise and it will lessen the impact on restricted park areas. Why pick apart a positive effort just because it won’t resolve every single dog problem in the neighborhood?

      1. Timothy’ I agree as well you cant stop something that would benefit many dog owners and dogs simply because some people will still refuse to pick up after their dog. A dog park and irresponsible owners are two different issues.

  4. Marissa, this was a few years ago and i could not take an oath but I never seen a dog walker. The dog was in a large cage/crate and has enough room to lay down and from what I’ve heard it.s not that unusual in apartments where the dog is going to be left alone for long periods of time. The reason I guess is some dogs suffer anxiety separation and will chew anything from expensive furniture to shoes and a dog is prevented from doing it’s business in the apt….They sell these crates and cages in Petco and Persmart and I agree that keeping a dog in them for hours on hours is a form of animal abuse especially a young athletic dog like a boxer or larger dogs.hen we travel [fly]we take our dog and it’s mandatory for the dog to be in a crate that will fit under the seat in front of you it’s a big hassle but I feel that it’s better then putting her in a kennel although I don’t like crating the dog even for a few hour flight.

  5. I hope you dog owners have a park for your dogs, but the people that live in the North End
    have been crying out to the City for very serious issues, and it is like crying on deaf ears.

    I too, think it is pitiful for a dog to be in a crate for hours at a time even if the dog has a dog
    walker twice a day.

    They say dogs are man’s best friend. Do you think we can train them to work up City Hall?

  6. Regarding Parcel 12 — I had the thought months ago that it may not be put to good use. Will It be convenient for dog owners to walk there, especially after a long day at work? There must be spaces that are closer in proximity to the
    neighborhood, such as behind the rink. M-m-m-m- perhaps RUFF is barking up the wrong tree!

    1. The skating rink and the land behind it belong to the state DCR and that space is probably a second egress for the rink. Perhaps you are the one barking up the wrong tree Marisa.
      The space behind the rink would be a long walk for lots of people in the North End just like you think the Greenway is too far away.

    2. This is the problem…what is the dog doing when these owners have “a long day at work”…the answer is…nothing!

  7. Hi Marisa, I hope this is of some value to you. Are you familiar with the Strada Apt. Bldg?

    The Building is located at 234 Causeway Street and there are a lot of dog owners in the
    that building. On the side of the building, where there Coffee Shop is people walk their dogs
    down there, and if you continue to the very end you will come into the Charlestown Dog
    park, which you don’t have to go to, if you don’t want. It is kind of nice down there and
    peaceful. Good Luck and I hope you check this place out.

  8. When a person decides to buy a dog their making a commitment and if they have to walk a few blocks so be it.The location may not be ideal for everyone but it’s better then no dog park.Not having a dog park in an area that has many dog owners as residents is as outrageous as promoting tourism and not providing restroom facilities for them to use.

  9. Michaeld, I feel bad for all these dog owners because a Dog Park will not bring in Revenue,
    I wouldn’t be surprised if they put another apt. building or commercial building which brings
    in revenue and therefore, is taxed and city can take in even more money. I know the city isn’t
    really a great place for a dog, but if you already own one, you don’t want to give it up, it is like
    giving up a child. The reality is they don’t care about the people, do you really think they are
    going to care about the dogs?

  10. Michaeld, I am finding out what happened to the West End, more now, than I have in my life.

    The West End Residents didn’t stand a chance, there were so many big money people involved in this project, and some
    of those people have their names on the wall or the wings of the M.G.H.

    I am slowly watching what they are doing to the North End. Faneuil Hall, the Waterfront, and part of No.Washington St
    were taken away from the No. End and there wasn’t anyone who objected.

    The main reason for the big did was to eliminate traffic, so we thought; they knew they were going to build above it and
    put the Rose Kennedy Green Way, and all these other buildings that are going to go up.

    The Indians ended up with Tax Free Casinos, it was rightfully their land, do you think we can get in on that.

  11. NE. Landlord the swindle of the land in the WE was one of the most disgraceful chapters in our history and a lot of people don’t know anything about it. There was a family named the Rappaport’s who were involved.The residents were promised low-middle income housing before they were evicted and watched their neighborhood demolished and replaced with the Charles River Park apt. complex[hardly low income] and who owned the Complex?You guessed it the Rappaport family. One bldg. owner fought the project and refused to sell out and his bldg. still stands today and is affectionately called “the last tenement”As for the Casino if Elizabeth Warren can claim to be a Cherokee you and I should give it a shot.

  12. Michaeld,

    Rappaport was the fall guy for what happened to the West End, there were big money people behind this who were
    affiliated with the M.G.H. & others. Watch what happens in the N.E. they are looking to make it like Williamsburg, Va.

  13. Truth Seeker, i agree that a lot of people shared in carving up the West End pie and the same thing would have happened to the N.E.if not for the historic sites like the Old North Church, Paul Revere House and Mike’s Pastry[just kidding].

      1. I don’t know about that, but I will be in contact with someone who knows more than most people about this subject.

    1. Mike Nazzaro pushed through legislation protecting the neighborhood from the BRA’s eminent domain and redevelopment policies.

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