The bull on Broadway has certainly bucked the trend, but City officials donned the toreador’s red cape and denied the owner the right to keep it displayed in front of his restaurant – though prior to that vote the owner volunteered to take it down anyway.
A big trend of the night – outside of the bull – was the fact that the ZBA is starting to bar new developments from participating in the residential parking sticker program. It’s a new condition they can include, but it’s one that many on the Board said was their last resort to easing horrendous parking issues citywide.
The bull has grown on a number of residents, with many wanting to take pictures of it in front of Wilton Rangel’s Broadway restaurant. However, it has grown into a problem for several others – including Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) officials who had decided that the six-foot tall bull constituted an illegal advertising sign.
It was for that reason Rangel was called before the ZBA on Monday night, to debate the merits of the bull and to make it official as an accessory sign.
However, Rangel didn’t show up, and ZBA Secretary Kim Rauseo said a man named Felipe had called to inform the Board that Rangel wouldn’t come. Instead, Felipe said Rangel had volunteered to take it down.
“Felipe said Wilton is not pursuing the application and the bull will be taken down,” she told members.
Still, the Board decided they wanted to vote on the matter in case it were to come up again.
The Board voted 0-5 to deny the application for the sign.
“Does this mean the petitioner will get a letter saying no more bull?” asked member Mike Dantone.
“There’s no bull,” laughed Chair Joe DeSisto.
Six unit townhouse developed ok’d on Main Street
The ZBA approved by a unanimous vote the petition by Amandeep Dillon, of Everett, to demolish a home at 108-112 Main St. and build a six-unit townhouse development there.
The development would be connected, but each unit would be separated by entrance and by water/sewer/electrical service. There would be 11 parking space, with 12 required.
Dillon plans to live in one of the units, his attorney, Anthony Rossi, said.
Councilor Wayne Matewsky said he supported the project and spoke in favor of the character of the developer.
“He plans to live here and that makes a big difference,” he said. “He like Everett. His family and friends are here and he’s a gentleman. He also owns a property in the Village three blocks away. He’s a good man and a family man and I support him.”
However, the Yebba family said they had concerns about the project, including parking problems and construction management issues.
“My parents have been bothered by another project on Carter Street that has been going on for a year now,” said Dennis Yebba. “This one will probably go on for a year and we’ll have more problems.”
Rossi said they planned to have construction workers park on site, and he also said they would likely build with modular construction – which can cut down the construction timeline by three months.
Chair DeSisto said he had concerns about the three-bedroom units – as they are likely to have more cars. There are currently four three-bedrooms and two, two bedroom units.
“There is a significant chance with three-bedrooms you’re going to have multiple cars,” he said. “I don’t want to hear about Millennials and they don’t have cars and take Ubers. With a three-bedroom, there is a strong possibility of multiple cars.”
That led to a discussion about the residential parking sticker program, and Dillon agreed to prohibit residents of his development from participating in that program – meaning they cannot park on the street. That is a relatively new condition, and those that agree to it are put on a list, and the addresses are excluded from getting a sticker to park in resident parking areas – thus preserving parking for those already in the neighborhood.
The Board then voted unanimously, 5-0, to approve the development.
Cedar Street, Tough Call
The ZBA members were faced with a tough decision when a family on Cedar Street petitioned to include a driveway on the side of their home in order to access a large parking area in the back. That area is currently unavailable, and Gesler Volquez said parking issues on the street are incredibly difficult. In fact, he and his wife said they had run out of solutions and were desperate for a place to park their car.
However, long-time neighbors and abutters came out in force to oppose the driveway – which is similar to many already-existing driveways on the street. However, the driveway is very narrow in some places, going down to just over six-feet wide.
The Griffin family, who are next door, indicated there was no way to build the driveway without infringing on their property – particularly important to them was a flower bed to the side of the home.
However, the Volquez family said the flowers and side of the house are only accessible to the Griffins if they walk on the Volquez property.
“We never say anything about it, but she walks on our property all the time to get to her flowers because there is no fence,” said Mrs. Volquez. “If we put up a fence, that part of her property wouldn’t even be accessible to her.”
Many of the other neighbors showed up as a show of solidarity in the neighborhood, noting they had been there for 50 years and this could alter what has been constant for so long.
“If they can park in the backyard, then another person will get the same idea and then we’ll have everyone parking in the backyards,” said Tony Scrima. “That’s an eyesore.”
Said Mrs. Volquez, “They keep saying they’ve been here 50 years and I’m sorry I haven’t been around 50 years. I’m only 32. However, it doesn’t make us any less of a homeowner on the street than they are.”
Said Member Dantone, “I sympathize with the petitioner, but I also understand that is a really tight driveway.”
The matter was denied by a vote of 2-3, with Roger Thistle, Mary Gerasi and DeSisto voting against.
Limiting Residential Parking
One of the more common sights now at the ZBA is that the members are starting to press developers of new units to exempt their tenants from the residential parking sticker program. That program allows anyone with an Everett address to apply for, and get, a sticker that allows them to park in resident zones. With parking at a premium on the street in nearly every neighborhood and the city growing at breakneck speed, the Board has felt pressure to deny good projects on the basis that they will make the parking situation “substantially worse.”
Recently, however, the ZBA learned from City attorneys that they have the ability to request developers exempt their tenants/addresses from the parking program. That means those tenants would have to park off-street or risk getting ticketed or towed.
Surprisingly, many developers are agreeing to the stipulation, as they don’t want to risk losing the project.
“This is the only solution we’ve had lately to address this issue,” said Dantone. “The mayor wants everyone to commute and take the us…That’s our only alternative now because everything is always parking at this Board…This exemption is the only thing we have left except to say ‘no.’”
A project at 11 Mason St. agreed to have only one sticker per unit, a project at 227 Hancock agreed to have no stickers at the address, and the 108-112 Main Street agreed to have no stickers.
The Board also approved the following:
•Audames Nelson was approved 5-0 at 10 Plumer St. to add a sunroom addition to the back of the home, and to also replace a crumbling fence at the rear of the property.
•Andrew Matias was approved for an addition to convert a one-family to a two-family at 149 Vernal St. The matter had overwhelming support from neighbors such as Patty Cheever and Brian McCarthy.