Councillors, Abutters at Extreme Odds over New Gas Station on Squire Road

October 24, 2012
By

Councillors and Sigourney Street neighbors squared off in a contentious public hearing on Monday night regarding a proposed 24-hour gas station on Squire Road.

The proposal comes from Joe Prizio and will sit on the site of the former 338 Pub. It is also right next to another large gas station, the Mobile, which Prizio owned and operated for the past eight years. Now, he is looking to re-start a similar business across the street.

Revere Attorney Larry Simeone represented the Prizios and indicated that they are upstanding businessmen who plan to build a brand new facility on the corner. He said they plan to install nice landscaping and build a vinyl stockade fence at the back of the property. He also said they would end up developing a two-family home at the rear of the site.

Several residents stood up in support of the matter, initially, but none seemed to be abutters to the project.

One was from Goldie Street, another from Oakwood Avenue and another from Malden Street.

All were very much in favor of the matter.

However, several abutters from near the proposed station were very vocally opposed to the matter – at times shouting down councillors who voiced their support of the station.

“We don’t need – and I stress this – we don’t need another 24-hour gas station with a mini mart attached to it in our neighborhood,” said Adeline Rotondo of Sigourney Street. “This should not be about money. There was never a gas station there when we bought our property and there shouldn’t be one now. Say no to this proposal. People’s health and family are first, not money.”

Said Cathy Rossi of Sigourney Street, “There’s one already there now. I don’t know why we need another. You have to look at this carefully…Traffic will be constant. It was bad before and now it’s unbelievably bad.”

“I am 93 years old and I paid my taxes all the time and I still pay my taxes,” said Corinne DiLuigi. “There’s no peace now. It’s just money now…I don’t think it’s fair. I don’t think so.”

Added Joe Carbone of Sigourney Street, “I don’t know why we need another gas station, a 24-hour station with a mini-mart at that. It certainly will do nothing for my quality of life.”

Meanwhile, Ward 6 Councillor Charlie Patch and several other councillors were favorable to the idea in the midst of the neighborhood disapproval.

“You all dealt with the bar for years and maybe with the new gas station coming in you can give the guy a chance and see what he does,” said Patch. “I think you’ll be happy in the long run. There are a lot of rules he has to follow. A gas station today is not like a gas station used to be…Unfortunately, you live near a commercial area. They’re not going to put a park there. You’re talking about an investment here that’s going to give the City a lot more in taxes.”

Yelled Rotondo from the audience, “You talk like you work for him.”

Added another neighbor, “Yea, you sound like you had the plan already made up.”

Councillor Jessica Giannino also spoke in favor of the proposal, and took a measure of heat as well due to the fact she lives on the far end of Sigourney Street.

“You will never have heavy trucks going down that street,” she said. “It’s not permitted and it’s enforced…I want everyone to know nothing before the City Council is a done deal and that comment earlier irked me a bit because there are so many factors that go into this. I don’t want any resident to think that.”

Councillor Tony Zambuto said Prizo’s spotless record at the Mobile should speak to how he will run the new station.

“We’ve go a businessman whose ran a store perfectly next door for seven or eight years,” he said. “I’ve never had a complaint. I don’t know these people from anyone. I do know they’re a good business or a good neighbor and I expect that to stay the same…I think some of the fears here are being blown out of proportion.”

Council President Richard Penta said that the matter is not decided and will go to committee. He added that the tax assessment on the property will go from $460,000 to $4 million.

Officially, the matter before the Council is whether or not to grant a flammable storage license to the new station in the form of two underground gas tanks that contain a total of 40,000 gallons of fuel. Already, Fire Chief Gene Doherty has given his approval to the plan.

Penta sent the matter to a joint committee of Economic Development and Zoning.

As an aside, last May Attorney Simeone successfully changed the zoning throughout the City to allow the Squire Road station to be built by right. Previously, they would have needed other approvals to built the station. At that time, there were no abutters who opposed the zoning change that eventually cleared the way for this station.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nicholas.p.corey Nicholas P Corey

    If they are planning on getting rid of the old gas station im all for it but having two gas stations right next to each other is stupid.

  • drensber

    “Meanwhile, Ward 6 Councillor Charlie Patch and several other councillors were favorable to the idea in the midst of the neighborhood disapproval.”

    When I read stuff like this, I almost have to assume that the majority of voters in Revere are simply mentally disabled. One would think the fact that people like Charlie Patch and John Correggio sound like they have an IQ of 50 and never finished the 7th grade would be enough to make them unelectable, but when they completely disrespect the wishes of their constituents, it seems like that should seal the deal. Yet again and again, these guys end up in positions of power. Why? Sorry, I just don’t get it.

  • drensber

    And I have to mention that this is yet another example of Revere being stuck in 1953-era “automobile is king” oriented planning. Being so close to Boston and on the T, Revere has a brilliant opportunity to become a very desirable almost-but-not-quite-urban area like Somerville, JP, or Arlington, but the “leadership” here seems to be too stupid to let it happen.

  • Jack

    What a terrible idea. Hasn’t this neighborhood been degraded enough by inappropriate commercial development? I think the area could use a chain restaurant like Friendly’s or perhaps a multi tenant site with a decent sandwich shop, laundry/dry cleaner/tailor shop and a convenience store together with some attractive landscaping. No more gas stations, please!

  • Ben Alba

    record me as against this proposal the added station here im an abutter live on sigourney st for over 50 yrs lets see a subway shop or some kind of a small
    grocery store there

  • Italod

    Wait–this is in addition to the other underway 24/7 gas station construction project that I just realized this article was not talking about? Why is Squire Road being turned into an interrupted annex of the stretch of road lined with oil tanks and gas lines at the side of Chelsea that joins up with Broadway Chelsea/Revere? I guess Revere is too dumb and unattractive, still even today, for businesses other or better than utilities to want to move in and build their projects on vacant properties–you know, businesses that have to do with ideas, creativity or intelligence instead.

  • Italod

    Your posts couldn’t have summed up it–and them!–any better!!

  • redrock 156

    its the good old boy thing in Revere, their friends and family here in ginny gulch are like the mafia of sorts, you dont see this crap in the surronding towns of us, they wouldnt put up with it !!

  • drensber

    Well, most of them are definitely “old” (figuratively, if not literally), but I don’t get the “good” part.

  • drensber

    I’d have to imagine that the discussion in the council chamber was quite similar when deciding to approve the chop-shops (er “collision specialists”), rental car lots, and other nasty businesses that have been allowed to set up shop here. Yes, these generate tax revenue, but they create an environment where no one wants to live (and just to remind the completely delusional, that IS currently the situation in Revere… a stark contrast to almost every other place that is within 10 miles of Boston and has T access).

  • ConcernedCitizen

    I also don’t understand how these people keep getting elected. I have a feeling it’s because the majority of people who vote in the city elections are old school Italians from Revere (I mean no offense to Italians, as I am one myself) who keep their friends in power. It’s sad to witness such little progress over the decades made in a city with such great potential.

  • ConcernedCitizen

    I like your idea. It’s too bad something like that seems impossible in this town.

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