NEWRA Hosts Three Guest Speakers

By Phil Orlandella

Councilor Lydia Edwards.

Councilor Lydia Edwards.

There were no voting items on the December North End/Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA) monthly community meeting.

            However, NEWRA arranged to have three guest speakers including, Boston City Councilor Lydia Edwards, Fire Marshall and Deputy Chief Jack Dempsey, Boston Fire Department and Peter Shelley, Conservation Law Foundation.

            Councilor Edwards kicked off her listening tour of the districts to hear about the North End/Waterfront District initiatives and issues and answered questions.

            Most of the questions related to construction, especially the North Washington Street Bridge and the noise and traffic the project will generate.

            The Councilor agreed to ask the developer to hold periodic public meetings and to have them submit updates to the local media on a regular basis. Several other subjects and issues were raised that the Counselor said she would look into.

            Fire Marshall Jack Dempsey, discussed fire safety and the recent fire on Hanover Street which he said the response by fire apparatus was quick and there were no access problems.

            He also noted that residents need to develop an escape plan and practice it. Know the building’s access route and when an alarm rings don’t hesitate to evacuate immediately. Don’t try to put the fire out or attempt to save anything including pets unless they are near you.

            He said if the usual access routes are not available make sure the door is closed and wait for the fire department, which in the community is two to three minutes away.

            The Fire Department along with Inspectional Services check out all new construction, however, other dwellings and businesses are reviewed every five years, unless there is a request.

            Peter Shelley of the Conservation Law Foundation discussed the role the public trust doctrine plays in waterfront development in the state.

            Shelley spelled out the public rights and the procedures necessary to develop on the waterfront that the community needs to know.

At the last meeting, NEWRA voted to support two requests relating to Snelling Place and Hanover Street.

            Rochelle Longo, for Snelling Place Family Trust has received NEWRA’s support to confirm 3 Snelling Place occupancy change as a three-family building and to construct a fourth-floor addition including two roof decks for exclusive use of Unit 3 and to expand the living space of Unit 1 into the basement. Unit 1 and 3 would become duplex units.

            Frank and Karen Pellino new owners of the former Pinkberry, 283-285 Hanover Street have applied to the Board of Appeal to change the occupancy from a three-family dwelling and take-out restaurant to a three-family dwelling and restaurant with seating. They are also seeking a beer, wine and cordials license. NEWRA supported the request.