Airport District Might Soon Be Home for New Business

Car renting and leasing has long been absent from the Airport Overlay District in Chelsea, but an approval from the Planning Board Tuesday night on a plan by Enterprise Rent-A-Car brought such business a bit closer to coming back to the area.

The Planning Board voted unanimously at their meeting this week to give a positive recommendation to both the Site Plan and the Special Permit application of Enterprise – paving their way to apply to the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) this coming January.

Earlier this year, City Manager Jay Ash had requested that the City Council revisit a restriction on car rental companies in the district that had been imposed many years ago under fears that the city would be inundated with airport car rental uses.

That never materialized, but Enterprise was interested in expanded their existing business on Marginal Street to serve businesses in Boston.

The Council agreed and made the change early last fall.

That paved the way for Enterprise’s proposal, which will most likely just allow them to rent and lease cars on a property where they already store and repair rental cars.

For the City, the new business is encouraging because it is seen as a sector that could grow in that area of Chelsea, providing in another matter before the Planning Board, that of a plan by Chelsea Neighborhood Developers (CND) to build two affordable homes on Marlborough Street, there weren’t enough Board members in attendance to make a recommendation.

One member had to recuse himself from the discussion due to a potential conflict of interest, and so the matter couldn’t even be opened for discussion, as there wasn’t a quorum present.

The proposal does have support though, and CND will move on with an application to the ZBA in January.

The ZBA will most likely consider both matters on Jan. 10th.

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