Robinson Objects to Warren Ave. Proposal

Most of the items on the agenda for last week’s Zoning Board of Appeals meeting were continued until the board’s June 13 meeting.

Citing there being only four members present at the May 9 meeting, several applicants stated they wanted the opportunity to present in front of the full ZBA before moving forward with their projects. A request in front of a four-member requires a unanimous vote, while if there is a full five-member board, a project can still receive a special permit or variance with one no vote.

One of the hearings that was continued, to the concern of City Council President Leo Robinson, was a project at 122 Warren Ave.

The proposal requires a special permit and variances to build a two-family dwelling within the existing lot and keep the existing three-family dwelling on the property as well. By subdividing the lot, the two buildings would not meet minimum requirements for frontage, setbacks, and open space.

Richard Lynds, the attorney representing the developer, requested the continuance so his client could speak to abutting property owners about the presentation on the project.

Robinson, who is also an abutter to the project on Warren Street, urged the ZBA to take action at its May 9 meeting.

“This is now going into year three,” said Robinson. “We wasted a lot of people’s time in regard to the back and forth on this property. It’s an insult for them to come tonight with a letter, and in the letter it states that there has been communication with me.”

Robinson stated that one of the development partners did reach out to him to see if they could reach any common ground with the abutters on the project.

“There is no common ground,” said Robinson. “We’re not opposed to development, but it has to be the right kind of development for our neighborhood.”

Lynds noted that many public hearings have been continued in the past when there have only been four ZBA members present.

“I respectfully request that my client be entitled to a full board for this hearing,” said Lynds.

The board voted 4-0 to continue the hearing to June 13.

In other business, the ZBA did open the public hearing on a commercial and office space at 157 Crescent Ave.

The 20,000-square-foot lot is currently used for equipment storage for Rapid Flow Sewer and Drain Cleaning.

Project engineer Peter Blaisdell said the project was before the ZBA in 2018, but due to Covid and other issues, the permit lapsed.

He said the proposed project for office space and an area for the company’s equipment is the same as that previously approved by the ZBA.

The project will go before the Planning Board for a recommendation later this month before the ZBA takes a final vote on June 13.

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