Cold weather didn’t stop residents from attending last week’s North End/Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA) monthly meeting in the Nazzaro Community Center as the hall was filled to capacity.
While the agenda included only one voting items, there were three speakers, Councilor Sal LaMattina, Parks Commissioner Christopher Cook and Leah Bamberger of Greenovate Boston.
Victor Brogna, chair of the NEWRA Zoning, licensing and Construction Committee updated members and others regarding the Zoning Board of Appeals December 18, action on several requests that were addressed by the association, including 102-104 Prince Street and 16-18 Battery Street.
He also spoke on the consequences of the ZBAs approach to its obligations under the Zoning Code.
A time limitation prevented Brogna from addressing the emergent Airbnb issue for the North End, a Parcel 9 update and the Chiofaro Towers.
Councilor LaMattina spoke at length about the Airbnb issue as well. He plans to meet with Mayor Martin J. Walsh to create a public hearing to clarify conditions related to this controversial issue and to suggest regulations to govern this business.
NEWRA, by the narrowest number 16 to 15, voted to support a request by the Mendoza Brothers LLC, d/b/a Monica’s Mercato, 130-130B Salem Street to require conditional use relief for takeout of prepared foods and drinks.
Several abutters opposed the request based on noise, customer traffic and people sitting and eating on their doorsteps leaving debris.
“The Mendoza family all live in the North End, support many community endeavors and clean the entire area in front of the business on a daily basis,” said Attorney William Ferullo who represented the family.
“Their children all attend the Eliot School and they raised over $20,00 a year to help the public school purchase all kinds of supplies, including computers,” Ferullo said.
NEWRA supported the opening of this business at a prior meeting.
New Parks Commissioner Christopher Cook discussed his vision for North End parks, including the Paul Revere Mall, DiFilippo Park and general issues associated with his department.
He spoke highly of the soon to be coming dog park pilot program on the flights in the Gassy.
Leah Bamberger and her staff at Greenovate Boston talked about the new community compositing initiative in the North End which appears to be off to a good start. One of the places is located in Polcari Playground near the Nazzaro Center.
The next NEWRA monthly meeting will be held on Thursday, February 12 at 7pm in the Nazzaro Community Center.