By Leah Dearborn
The Chelsea Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) approved a new apartment building project at 25 Eleanor St. on what is currently an industrial building with parking lot.
The approval came during the Nov. 14 meeting and the project is championed by Eleanor Street Associates LLC – headed up by Michael Massamino.
Currently the building houses 12 offices and two conference rooms and a parking lot. The new project will be a three-story building with 20 units and 28 ground floor parking spaces – 14 of them covered spaces. The building will house 10 units on the second floor and 10 units on the third floor. There will be no open space.
It was approved with standard conditions.
In other matters before the board.
- 24 Tudor Street: A neighbor spoke in opposition to the conversion into three units. The Board will continue the hearing on December 12.
- 145 Cottage Street: continued discussion on December 12.
- 67 Jefferson Ave: Approved.
- 73 Broadway: The owner wants to keep it two units and maximize the space. A neighbor from 62 Beacon St. spoke in favor of the work as good for the neighborhood.
- 94 Fourth Street: Patricia Simboli spoke on the project, calling it “highly challenged” because it’s a direct abutter of Dunkin Donuts. She referenced parking issues, and suggested renting spaces elsewhere. It was continued.
Current Chelsea City Councilor at Large Roy Avellaneda has announced he will seek re-election to the City Council in the November 7th election.
Said Avellaneda, “It would be my privilege to continue to represent the people of Chelsea as Councilor at Large. I’ve never stopped fighting for Chelsea residents and stakeholders. But after a brief hiatus, two years ago, I decided to run again, and you gave me the honor of putting me back on the City Council.”
Roy is a lifelong Chelsea resident. His family moved here from Argentina in the 1970s and opened Tito’s Bakery on Broadway. He attended St Rose, Dom Savio High School, and Babson College.
“I was brought up in Chelsea, and I’ve lived here all of my life. So I not only understand its history, but also keenly aware of its challenges, and most pressing needs,” he said.
He has served Chelsea as a member of the Planning Board, and on the City Council for a total of 12 years, the first time beginning in 1998. He returned to the Council 2 years ago, and served on the Licensing Board in between.
Along the way, Roy has also worked as Legislative Assistant to State Senator Jarrett Barrios, and worked in the MA Department of Transportation during the administration of former Governor Deval Patrick.
“Twenty years in both local and state government, have given me a unique, and valuable experience. I know how the wheels of government turn, often slowly and painfully. So you have to get in there, roll up your sleeves, and keep pushing it along. You have to have patience, but always maintain a sense of urgency.”
Roy is also a successful real estate broker, and the top producing agent with Weichert, Realtors-Metropolitan Boston Real Estate. Roy also currently also owns and operates his own cafe, Pan y Cafe in Cary Square, which he opened about a year ago.
“From a very early age,” he said, “my parents taught me the importance of public service — of being involved in one’s community. But their story and their example also includes the business they founded. I’ve always been involved in this community, but at the same time, whether it’s the bakery, a cafe, being a real estate broker, I’ve also been in my own business here in different ways for a long time now. So I have the perspective, not only of someone who has worked in government, but also of a small business person. And in that sense, I’m doubling down on Chelsea because I believe in our bright future, and I always have. I’m doing everything I can to help bring it about and to make the lives of everyone in this community better. But I’ve also made my life here, and I think it’s important to be personally invested in your community, and have a stake in that future.”
Since re-joining the City Council in 2016, Roy has focused on a number issues confronting Chelsea residents and business owners, including tax relief, jobs and economic development, affordable housing, and environmental protection.
“Two years ago,” he said, “I made a commitment to do everything I could to make sure our homeowners and local businesses were not overburdened, to address the affordable housing crisis, to lobby for smart development that reduced negative impacts while increasing green space and support our youth. Today, I can point to achievements that improved those issues facing Chelsea.”
Specifically Roy sponsored, and along with with City Manager Tom Ambrosino, successfully lobbied for state legislative passage of the Home Rule Petition to Increase the Homeowner Residential Exemption from 20% to 35%, saving homeowners hundreds of dollars per year.
He also worked hard to get legislation passed to help small businesses with equipment or inventory of less than $10,000 in value pay less in taxes, resulting in an increase in investment and jobs by local Chelsea merchants.
Roy co-sponsored the Community Preservation Act ballot initiative and campaigned for its approval by voters. Chelsea approved it overwhelmingly (70%) creating a funding mechanism for affordable housing, green space and historic preservation.
Roy also supported and lobbied for the adoption of two key affordable housing measures. The first, The Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance, now requires 15% of housing built by developers to be affordable. The second, The Condo Conversion Ordinance, limits multi-family owners from evicting tenants without just cause pursuant to condominium conversion.
Roy introduced and successfully lobbied for the passage Anti-Wage Theft Ordinance which now protects workers in Chelsea from unscrupulous employers who attempt to withhold rightfully earned wages and overtime.
Roy’s advocacy was also instrumental in obtaining more funding for Chelsea’s Summer Jobs Employment program, which provides summer jobs and the opportunity for for Chelsea teens to gain work experience and life skills.
“I am particularly proud to have the endorsements of the Greater Boston Labor Council, SEIU 888, SEIU 32BJ, Ironworkers Local 7 and New England Region of Carpenters,” he said, “because I have worked and fought hard for working people of all ages in Chelsea.”
“Two years ago, he said, “I asked Chelsea voters then to give me the opportunity to be their voice and to work for them. They did, and for that, I’m very grateful. We’ve accomplished a lot since. But, we have so much more work to do in Chelsea. We need improved access to affordable transportation. We need a permanent bike sharing program. We need to keep pressure on MassPort to mitigate Logan Airport’s impact on our community. We need more balanced and smart new development that doesn’t negatively impact our quality of life. We need to focus on and properly mitigate the impact of the Wynn Casino. We have to increase economic opportunities for working families so they can afford to take care of themselves and their children and not be priced out of Chelsea. There’s so much to do. So I am once again asking for your vote on Nov 7th to continue to be your Councilor At Large. Please support me on Tuesday, November 7th. Thank you and God bless.”