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Despite city approval, neighbors still oppose Salem Street restaurant expansion

Posted by Christina Jedra  May 2, 2013 12:15 PM

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Despite winning approval from the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals to add a second floor to the Salem Street restaurant Pulcinella Bar e Ristorante, owner Giovanni Oliva has his work cut out for him. 

A petition with more than two hundred signatures of North End residents will be brought to the ZBA at its next meeting in hopes the board will reconsider its decision approving the restaurant’s expansion.

Many residents of the North End are upset by the news that the Zoning Board of Appeals approved the zoning change for the restaurant at 78-80A Salem St.

 “This means that any restaurant on Salem Street can now add a second floor to their establishment,” said Salem Street resident Darlene Romano. “This street is narrow, and sound is already a burden to us with the college kids and the current restaurant noise. With the option for all restaurants to expand, the noise problem is going to get worse for those who live here.”

Kim Silvano of Salem Street opposes the expansion.

“We here enough noise from Bacco and Goody Glovers,” she said. “Now you’re telling me every restaurant on this busy street has the right to expand? This is absolutely absurd. It’s awful that the resident’s voices are being ignored. We are the people being affected by this extra noise. We need to be heard.”

The North End/Waterfront Neighborhood Councilbacked the proposed expansion, but the North End Waterfront Association opposed the zoning change.

With the North End Waterfront Associationin opposition of the expansion, Oliva hopes to gain support of residents by presenting the idea that this is a unique space and therefore residents won’t face similar noise issues that result from other bars and restaurants located on Salem Street.The North End/Waterfront Neighborhood Councilis putting together a petition of its own, with signatures in favor of the expansion.

North End resident Tom Riccisaid, “I don’t really see the problem in the expansion. If you don’t approve of the loud noise and commotion, don’t live in the city. It’s loud here, but we’re a restaurant-driven community.”

Romano said the petition opposing the zoning change will be brought to the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals at its next meeting.

“The North End Waterfront Association speaks on behalf of the residents, and we firmly believe that lifting the zoning will cause distress,” said Romano. “We hope to appeal this and help the board understand our position. Restaurant owners who don’t live on the street don’t understand the commotion. It’s a quality of life issue for the families that live here.”

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