Council Votes to Oppose Smoke Shop

July 28, 2018
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For the second community monthly meeting, North End/Waterfront Neighborhood Council (NEWNC), residents

A large crowd turned out for the NEWNC meeting.

flocked to the Nazzaro Community Center, to oppose Charter Realty’s proposal to open a Starbucks at 198 Hanover Street only to learn both the Starbucks and Citizens Bank have been taken off the agenda by the applicant.

However, residents made it clear that they will continue to oppose the Starbucks plan should it ever become an issue again.

Also, the second agenda item was clearly opposed by residents, abutters and the Council by a unanimous vote.

Nilkant 87 Inc., presented a proposal to open and establish a retail store-City Smoke Shop and glassblowing studio for tobacco and tobacco related products at 87 Salem Street, the site of the old True Value Store.

The applicant said the shop is not a chain but a series of family-owned businesses and will only sell vapor products.

Abutters were especially worried about the concept and expressed numerous reasons why City Smoke Shop should not be allowed in the community. Many other residents were of the same opinion and obviously the Council clearly opposed the proposal.

Stephen Passacantilli opposed the concept. “It doesn’t belong in the community. We are just trying to keep our community intact,” he said. “He asked the property owner to try and find another tenant.”

Council member Marie Simboli was totally opposed to the proposal. “It doesn’t fit into this community,” she said. She actually submitted her no vote before NEWNC took an official vote.

Abutter Darlene Romano of Salem Street said, “it’s not the right place for a business like this. I’m worried about the effects it could have on the neighborhood and the children who live and go to school here. The neighborhood should have a say as to what is allowed in this community.”

The applicant, at this time, is not on the NEWRA agenda according to Victor Brogna chair of the Zoning, Licensing and Construction Committee but they could be on the August meeting. He also doesn’t believe the Starbucks and citizens Bank, based on the appalling outcry at the NEWNC meeting will also not be on the agenda.

NEWNC will not conduct a meeting in August according to President John Pregmon.