The first Chelsea Night Market is being deemed a success, bringing a good crowd to Luther Place for the music, vendors and excitement in the downtown.
“It was great,” said Downtown Coordinator Mimi Graney. “We had a decent, manageable crowd. The attendees and vendors were all really pleased. We had lots of neighbors attend, which was great. There were no major technical snags and the fire performance was a hit.”
The Night Market blocked off the City
parking lot behind the main business district, using the refurbished Chelsea
Walk as an entry point. On the lot were vendors with all kinds of wares, food
servers and a stage. Musical acts were popular, but the hit of the night was
the Boston Circus Guild’s fire-breathing and juggling performance.
The next Night Market will be on July 13,
and coordinators said to look for some new and different things to be on the
The next event for the downtown, however, is the Fiesta Verano – a great Latin music themed event that was cancelled last year three times due to rain. This year they hope to find some better luck.
They will have the Fiesta on Second Street
and in collaboration with the Chelsea Cooperative.
Look for a cowboy them, Graney said.
a rodeo theme this year with pony rides and a bounce house for little ones,”
said Graney. “A ‘bike rodeo,’ presented by the Chelsea Bike and Ped Committee
and MassBike, is an obstacle course and games for all ages so bring your bike
or trike. Over on the big lawn a mechanical bull will be bucking and kicking
all riders for your merriment.”
On June 4, Chelsea Police reunited a missing
10-year-old Chelsea girl with her parents on after the Kelly school student
told officers she fell asleep on the MBTA bus she takes home from school.
The juvenile told officers she ended up at the Maverick Square MBTA station
where she became confused and proceeded onto another MBTA bus that she was
unfamiliar with. At some point, she left the bus in the area of North Shore
Road in Revere where she began to walk on the busy road. During this time,
the parents responded to the police station to report their daughter missing.
Officers used the young girl’s cell phone to “ping” her location in Revere.
While Chelsea, Transit and Revere Police were searching the area the young girl
was located by an MBTA bus driver who transported her to the Wonderland “T”
Station in Revere. She was then reunited back with her parents at Chelsea
Police Headquarters. Chelsea officers are working with the parents and the
school in addressing future transportation options for the young girl who was
unharmed in the incident.
Struggle Without a Shirt
On May 27, at 1:20 a.m., officers responded
to the area 176 Clark Ave. for a report of a disturbance. The report to
officers was that witnesses were reporting they saw a male who appeared drunk,
with no t-shirt on, fighting with a female who was preventing him from getting
into the home. Officers struggled with the male in attempting to calm him
down. After a struggle to restrain him, he was placed into custody. The
male was transported to CHA Everett for evaluation prior to being booked at
Eber Orantes, 33, of 176 Clark Ave., was
charged with disorderly conduct, assault with a dangerous weapon and resisting
Threated With Strange Weapon
On May 30, at 9:20 p.m., officers responded
in the area of Normandy Road at Garfield Avenue for a report of a road rage incident
involving a firearm. Officers were given the description of the vehicle in
question. It was said to be a black Honda Accord operating on Normandy Road.
CPD officers located the vehicle and found the subject to have a modified
instrument that resembled a firearm. The victim in the other vehicle provided
other information that led to the male being arrested.
Tanvir Zahir, 21, of Stoneham, was charged
with violating the motor vehicle ordinance, violating the dangerous weapons
ordinance, and two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon.
Swallowed Bag of Crack
On May 31, at 9:30 a.m., Officers
observed a male party known to them from previous drug offenses walking with an
unknown male on Chestnut Street near Fourth Street. The officers believed they
then witnessed a drug transaction between the two. The subject admitted he
swallowed a bag of “crack “ when he was approached by the officers. A search of
his person uncovered more drugs and he was placed under arrest. The second male
was identified and placed under arrest on the scene. The subject who ingested
the narcotics was transported to CHA Everett for evaluation.
Argenis Felipe, 33, of East Boston, was
charged with possession to distribute a Class B drug (crack), conspiracy, and
distribution of a Class B drug.
On May 31, at 11 a.m., officers were
dispatched to the parking lot of 260 Clark Ave. for a fight in progress.
Officers observed two tenants of the building in an argument. One tenant
accused the second of threatening him with a box cutter. That item was
retrieved and that male was taken into custody.
Jody Robinson, 59, of 260 Clark Ave., was
charged with assault with a dangerous weapon.
Swerved at Pedestrian
On June 1, at 9:10 a.m., an off-duty CPD
officer was traveling on Hawthorne Street towards Chester Avenue when he saw a
male party crossing the street. The officer noticed a Toyota Corolla
laying on his horn and then began to intentionally drive towards the male party
that was crossing the road. The victim had to jump four to six feet to
his rear to avoid being struck by the vehicle.
The officer believed the operator swerved in
his direction deliberately trying to strike the victim, which could have
resulted in serious injuries. CPD officers responded to assist and the male
operator was placed in custody for assault with a dangerous weapon.
35, of East Boston, was charged with failing to slow, reckless operation, and
assault with a dangerous weapon (car).
MS-13 Member Sentenced for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm
An MS-13 member was sentenced last week for
being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Nery Rodriguez Diaz, 19, a Salvadoran
national who resided in Chelsea, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge F.
Dennis Saylor IV to 14 months in prison and three years of supervised release.
Diaz will also be subject to deportation proceedings upon completion of his
On May 22, 2018, Diaz and another MS-13
member, Elmer Alfaro Hercules, were arrested in possession of loaded firearms
in Bremen Street Park in East Boston, a location where numerous MS-13 gang
members have been observed and where gang-on-gang violence frequently
The investigation revealed that Diaz and
Hercules each separately and unlawfully entered the United States in 2014 as
unaccompanied minors. Both Diaz and Hercules were charged federally for being
aliens in possession of a firearm and ammunition.
previously pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 13 months in prison and three
years of supervised release. Hercules will also be subject to deportation
proceedings after the completion of his sentence.
Chelsea Gang Leader Sentenced to Over 15 years in Prison
A leader of the East Side Money Gang (ESMG)
was sentenced last week in federal court in Boston on racketeering, drug
trafficking and firearms trafficking charges.
Angel “Stackz” Mejia Zelaya, 24, of Chelsea,
was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns to 188 months in
prison and five years of supervised release. In January 2019, Mejia
pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through
a pattern of racketeering activity, commonly known as RICO, one count of
conspiracy to distribute cocaine and cocaine base, and one count of engaging in
the business of dealing in firearms without a license.
Mejia was a leader in the ESMG, a violent,
Chelsea-based street gang, which was responsible for various violent crimes,
including multiple shootings, and drug distribution in Chelsea and surrounding
communities. Mejia, as well as other members and associates of the gang, were
also actively involved in illegally selling firearms, including handguns and
shotguns, in and around Chelsea.
Mejia participated in multiple, gang-related
On July 5, 2015, Mejia was involved in a
shooting targeting a rival gang member on a public street in Chelsea, which did
not result in the rival gang member being injured. On March 29, 2016, Mejia and
his lieutenant, Josue “Superbad” Rodriguez, agreed to provide a .22 caliber
revolver to a third ESMG member, Brandon “Big Baby” Baez, so that Baez could
“spank” with it – meaning that he could use it against rivals of ESMG. On April
3, 2016, in Revere, Baez used the revolver to attempt to murder two men believed
to be members/associates of a rival gang as they sat in a vehicle. Both men
were wounded, but not killed. Baez called Mejia immediately after the shooting
to inform Mejia that Baez had just shot two men. Mejia further admitted to
supplying other ESMG gang members with firearms, including a juvenile who then
accidently shot another person.
While Mejia was the leader of the ESMG, the
gang dealt substantial quantities of drugs, including cocaine and cocaine base
(crack), in Chelsea and surrounding communities. Mejia was responsible for the
distribution of at least a kilogram of cocaine base. Mejia and his gang
subordinates stored drugs at and distributed drugs from a residence on Tudor
Street in Chelsea and another residence in the Chelsea area. The gang kept
handguns at both locations to protect their drug operations, as well as for
other gang activities.
of Mejia arose out of an investigation of various street gangs, including the
18th Street Gang, ESMG and the Boylston Street Gang, which were responsible for
fueling a gun and drug pipeline across a number of cities and towns in eastern
Massachusetts. During the course of the investigation, more than 70 firearms
By: Julia Blatt, Executive
Director, Massachusetts Rivers Alliance
At long last, a recent
weekend presented one of those pristine days that remind us here in
Massachusetts why we endure those winters.
With warm spring weather finally here, many of us hit the water for the
first time this year, visiting local rivers. With more than 10,000 miles of
rivers traversing the state, we had many choices. Sail boats blossomed on the Charles. Rowers huffed and puffed on the Mystic. Fishing rods sprouted along the Swift. Bikers and kayakers explored the
Sudbury. For many people, the beautiful
day meant a chance to spend on, in and around the rivers of Massachusetts.
Fittingly, June is National
Rivers Month, a 30-day gala celebrating our waterways. Whether you kayak past important
Revolutionary War sites on the Concord River, hike over the Bridge of Flowers
on the Deerfield, draw water for local crops from the Connecticut, or depend on
drinking water from the Merrimack, National Rivers Month is a time to celebrate
the gains we have made in protecting these important public recreational,
economic and historic assets.
National Rivers Month,
however, is also a time to reflect on what remains to be accomplished. The Massachusetts
Rivers Alliance, the voice for Massachusetts rivers, is a statewide
environmental advocacy non-profit that helps those whose lives are touched by
these Massachusetts waterways (and we would argue, that’s all of us). Consider, for example, pending legislation
regarding sewage overflows around the state.
Very old stormwater and wastewater systems serving municipalities in the
state have what are called “combined sewage overflow” (CSO) systems. Through these CSOs, stormwater and wastewater
systems are physically interconnected. At times of high precipitation,
stormwater run-off goes into the wastewater system and overwhelms the water
treatment plants. To prevent these
backups, wastewater – the sewage from your homes and businesses – is dumped directly
into Massachusetts rivers. Approximately
200 of these CSO connections exist throughout the state. In Massachusetts, an estimated three billion
gallons of raw sewage gets dumped into the state’s rivers each year. Swimmers,
canoeists, and pets exposed to CSO contaminants are vulnerable to
gastroenteritis, respiratory infections, eye or ear infections, skin rashes,
hepatitis and other diseases. Children,
the elderly, and people with suppressed immune systems are especially
vulnerable. Wildlife are also adversely affected by CSO pollutants which lead
to higher water temperatures, increased turbidity, toxins and reduced oxygen
levels in the water.
Everyone recognizes the
problem. But it takes money to fix it,
more money than is now available. Over the
past two decades, Massachusetts communities have spent more than $1 billion to
eliminate CSOs. The federal
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates, however, that an additional
$4.2 billion is needed to finish the job.
In addition to supporting
efforts to increase state and federal funding to eliminate CSOs, Mass Rivers is
championing a simple sewage notification bill now pending before the
Massachusetts legislature. Disturbingly,
there is currently no state requirement to notify the public about the presence
of sewage in the water when these discharges occur.
The legislation supported by
Mass Rivers would require the operator of a CSO to notify local boards of
health, in addition to the state Department of Public Health, within two hours
after a sewage spill begins. In
addition, the public could sign up to receive these notifications, by text,
e-mail, phone call or tweet. The state Department of Environmental Protection
would be required to centralize all sewage spill data and make it available on
the internet. Signage would be required
at all public access points (for boating, fishing, beaches) near CSO outfalls
National Rivers Month is a
time to shake off those indoor blues and enjoy Massachusetts’
bounty of rivers. Whether you go to look for
great blue herons, to fish for trout, to take your family and the dog on an
afternoon paddling adventure, or simply to seek calm and quiet, our state’s
rivers are there for you. To preserve
these friends, and to ensure the safety of those who use our rivers, National
Rivers Month should also be a time for towns and cities to insist that our
legislators enact a requirement that when the waters are despoiled with sewage
spills, we know about it.
Julia Blatt is Executive Director of the
Massachusetts Rivers Alliance, the voice of Massachusetts rivers. The Alliance is a statewide organization of
77 environmental organizations in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
How much awesomeness can be contained within
The people of Chelsea will soon find out as
the first of a series of five monthly events takes place downtown on Saturday,
June 8, with the launch of the Chelsea Night Market.
Presented by the City of Chelsea through its
downtown initiative called Chelsea Prospers and local events production company
Jukebox, the Chelsea Night Market is an ambitious undertaking for a hidden
corner of the downtown that’s beginning to awaken.
Last year, GreenRoots took the lead in the
block’s transformation by creating a colorful mural with Chelsea artist and one
of the state’s top muralists Silvia López Chavez on the Chelsea Walk.
That pedestrian walkway provides the
entrance to the next phase of the effort with activation of the space through
the Chelsea Night Market.
Edwardo Chacon of Jukebox said, “Vendors are
still being accepted for future markets and there’s always room for more
artists and performers to join in. Our priority is to engage as much local
talent as possible. We’re excited by all the energy growing around the market
and the new connections we’re making. This is going to be epic.”
Here, in the large parking lot on Cherry
Street behind the businesses on Broadway between Fourth and Fifth Streets,
event visitors every month will find the area transformed with activity and
something new to discover on each visit.
More than a dozen booths will feature local
businesses, artists, merchants and community groups. Merchandise includes both new, vintage,
thrift and handcrafted items.
Jack’s Men’s Shop will highlight emerging
brands for men’s fashion, while Allen’s Cut Rate features a selection of
high-quality fragrances. You’ll find hand-crafted jewelry by Beaded Inspiration
and Sacred Soul Fire. Over at the booths for Dandelion District and High Energy
Vintage there’s a variety of vintage items including old school video games,
nicnacks and clothing.
At Jukebox’s booth, show off your local
pride with swag that shouts your love of all things 02150. Among the offerings
are T-shirts and totes emblazoned with Chelsea. All proceeds are dedicated to
supporting the next projects to improve Luther Place.
A variety of other tents will feature
community groups and artists.
Test your aim with Archery Games Boston,
show off what you’re proud of with the Chelsea LGBTQ Coalition, and play around
with the team from the Phoenix Charter Academy Chelsea.
Several local restaurants are on board with
menus of street food as well.
Get a sandwich hot off the grill from the
chefs of Broadway House of Pizza, nibble savory Chinese food from Chung Wah, or
sink your teeth into an empanada from Pan y Café.
On the main stage a variety of performers
will entertain the crowd.
MC for the night is comedian and actor Chase
Abel. Host of the podcast “Ready Set Blow” with Randy V, he’s a
regular at Boston’s top clubs.
Among them is a band headed by Bengisu and
It’s impossible to describe their mix of
Turkish-funk-rock, but it will definitely get a groove going.
DJ Tempo Sauve’s upbeat house electronica is
gathering a strong following, and he’ll keep the energy going throughout the
night. There’s a rumor some comedians from the recent show at Tu Casa may stop
The performance highlight, however,
undoubtedly will be the crew from the Boston Circus Guild. They’ll be roaming
among the crowd to show off their amazing skills and costumes and then at 9:30
p.m., will take the stage for a 20-minute fire performance that will top off
Serving as a backdrop to the main stage and
to provide a tangible reminder of the market through the summer, the wall of
456 Broadway will serve as space for temporary mini murals with new designs
appearing each month by local artists.
The Chelsea Night Market team is grateful
for the support of the Chelsea Record as a media sponsor helping them to spread
the word about the upcoming event and to highlight the new happenings of
For additional information check out the
Chelsea Night Market’s website at www.chelseanightmarket.com, the facebook
event at https://www.facebook.com/events/529915294079626/ or contact at Mimi Graney, at email@example.com
Future dates include:
•July 13 (raindate 7/20)
•August 10 (raindate 8/17)
•September 21 (raindate 9/28)
•October 5 (raindate 10/12)
CITY OF CHELSEA, MA
Department of Planning and Development
City Hall, 500 Broadway, Room 301 · Chelsea,
Monday marked the biggest day to date for
Encore Boston Harbor and its crew of 4,800 employees as they reported to work
at the resort site for the first time, and existing employees and the executive
team moved into offices at the Encore tower.
After many job fairs, interviews,
discussions and trainings, approximately 4,800 active employees were brought on
board at the new Encore Boston Harbor resort casino site on Monday, June 3 –
the first day that work began in earnest at the $2.2 billion resort, which
opens June 23.
It also marked the first day for existing
workers and the executive to move out of their long-time offices at Station
Landing and into offices at the resort tower.
From shuttle drivers to blackjack dealers to
employee cafeteria chefs to Encore President Bob DeSalvio, most everyone with a
job to do at Encore was on site Monday.
“On Monday, we were able to move into the
resort,” said President Bob DeSalvio. “We now have 4,800 incredibly
excited and enthusiastic employees preparing to receive our guests. This
is truly a magical time in the building, as employees embark on new careers
that positively impact not only their lives but also their families. I’m seeing
a lot of smiling faces this week.”
Employees have been busy getting acclimated
to their jobs for the past few weeks, training in massive conferences off-site
in local venues and in Boston function halls. Monday marked the first day they
could begin training onsite, getting their uniforms from the state-of-the-art
clothing check system.
To date, Encore representatives said they
have brought on 4,800 employees, but they are not yet finished.
They still have
offers out to another 700 employees, and are looking to employee another 300
employees. That number includes dealers and others throughout the organization.
For the eighth year, the Girl Scouts of
Chelsea will kick off the Memorial Day Commemoration with a Parade up Broadway
to City Hall, where an official ceremony will take place at 9 a.m.
The Girl Scouts will kick off their parade
at 8:15 a.m. on May 27 from Welsh Funeral Home parking lot, 718 Broadway.
The Ceremony will take place on the front
lawn of City Hall, with the laying of the wreaths, several numbers by the
award-winning Chelsea High Concert Band, and essays from students in the
The Parade is to
recognize all who served and sacrificed for the country, but it is also open to
community organizations that wish to march. If anyone has any questions or
would like to participate in the Parade, the can call (617) 466-4250.
On May 11, at 6:50 p.m., a CPD officer
observed a vehicle speeding on Eastern Avenue. The vehicle was pulled over and
the operator refused to provide his identification to the officer. He was placed into custody after his repeated
refusal to identify himself. He was later Identified and learned to not be
Bryan Nunez, 30, of 63 Shawmut St., was
charged with refusing to identify himself, negligent operation, and unlicensed
Breaking and Entering
On May 18, at 1 p.m., officers responded to
an apartment at 77 Library St. for a report of a past breaking and entering to
the residence. Upon arrival, Officers spoke with the reporting party who stated
that an unknown male party had broken into their apartment and fled after her
younger brother confronted the male and chased him out of the residence.
The victim was able to utilize her find my
iPhone app that led the victim, and police, to a Shurtleff Street address. The
victim identified the suspect, and he was placed under arrest.
Ariel Melendez, 42, of 61 Shurtleff St., was
charged with breaking and entering in the day, and larceny from a building.
Driving under the Influence
On May 18, at 8:44 p.m., a CPD officer was
dispatched to 92 Clinton St. for a report of a motor vehicle accident with no
reported injuries. The officer observed two motor vehicles involved in a minor
crash. As both were exchanging information, the officer detected a strong odor
of alcohol from one of the drivers. The officer formed the opinion that the
operator was driving under the influence of alcohol and the driver was arrested
on the scene.
Marvin Mancia, 39, of 109 Clinton St., was
charged with OUI Liquor.
The Memorial Day weekend is
upon us, a three-day weekend that for most Americans marks the start of the
summer season. Many will celebrate appropriately with barbecues and outdoor
activities with family and friends.
However, amidst our
festivities, we should not forget that Memorial Day is America’s most solemn
national holiday, marking our nation’s tribute to those who made the Supreme
Sacrifice for our country.
Memorial Day initially was
observed on May 30 and was known as Decoration Day, in an era before the turn
of the 20th century, when the Northern states paid tribute to the Union
soldiers — who gave their lives to preserve America as we know it — by
decorating their graves that were a part of the landscape of every Northern
community whose sons died to preserve the Union and free the slaves.
That tradition continues to
this day, with the graves of those who gave their lives for their country being
decorated with American flags and flowers around the country, whether by
veterans organizations or family members.
The new century soon brought
with it wars, seemingly every generation, that would give new meaning to the
words Supreme Sacrifice. Starting with the Spanish-American War in 1898,
American blood was shed on foreign soil in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf
War, and then Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention in other far-off places
around the world that are known only to our government.
Although history has been
less than kind in judging the wisdom of our policy-makers who involved us in
many of these conflicts, what is beyond dispute is that in every war to which
we have sent our young men and women, they have performed with courage and
patriotism in the belief that they were serving the best interests of our
For those of us who have
been spared the horrors of war, it is difficult, if not impossible, to
appreciate the sacrifices that have been made on our behalf by those who served
— and died — while wearing the uniform.
It is these brave Americans,
who gave “the last full measure,” whom we honor on Memorial Day. Without their
heroic efforts, we would not be writing this editorial — nor would you be
So as we enjoy the long
holiday weekend with friends and family, let each of us resolve to take a
moment — if not longer — to thank those who gave their lives in order that we
might be able to enjoy the freedoms that make America the greatest nation on
Abraham Lincoln’s words in
his Gettysburg address ring as true today as they in 1864:
Four score and seven years
ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in
Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a
great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so
dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We
have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for
those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether
fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we
can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground.
The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far
above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long
remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is
for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which
they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be
here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored
dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full
measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not
have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of
freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people,
shall not perish from the earth.
The Chelsea Night Market plans is smoking,
and that’s because the first installment on June 8 will have fire jugglers,
amongst musicians, comedians and a full slate of food and craft vendors.
Unveiled earlier this year, the Night Market
is part of the City’s Chelsea Prospers campaign and looks to add activity to
the downtown area on summer evenings with a creative and exciting market in the
Luther Place municipal parking lot once a month.
As the plans come together for the first
Market, Downtown Coordinator Mimi Graney said she couldn’t be happier with the
way things have come together.
“It’s going amazingly,” she said. “We’ve got
this really cool Turkish band that’s playing on the first day. We will also
have the Boston Circus Guild coming and they will have two performances. There
will be folks on stilts, jugglers, people juggling fire and close interactive
magicians. They will have a 20-minute fire performance during the evening.
Think juggling things on fire with incredible music behind it.”
Graney said she couldn’t yet reveal the
vendors, but they have 13 signed up so far that will be a great mix of exciting
items and food.
“I’m really excited so many local businesses
and food businesses are looking to take part,” she said. “We’re not doing food
trucks because we want an intimate atmosphere with open BBQs and food service.”
All of that will be flanked with creative
lighting that is meant to ‘wow’ visitors as they come via the newly-refurbished
“Our plan is to encourage people to come
into the Market using the Chelsea Walk and it will be like ‘kapow,’” she said.
“They’ll be hit with the lights and music and circus acts and vendors.”
There will also be community entries into
the Market, with a group of comedians participating and the Chelsea Pride
Committee having a booth.
“The Pride Committee will be having their
flag raising the day afterward, but they will have a booth at the Market too,”
she said. “They plan to use grease body paint to have people write things on
themselves that they are proud of. I love a lot of the community vendors are
trying to do new and different things instead of just standing behind a table.”
The first Night
Market will be on June 8 from 7-10 p.m. with a rain date of June 15.
A 38-unit affordable housing project at the
former Midas site on Broadway can move forward after the Zoning Board of
Appeals (ZBA) unanimously granted a special permit for the project Tuesday
The $15 million project is a partnership
between the Traggorth Companies and The Neighborhood Developers (TND). The
developers initially came before City officials last year with plans for a
42-unit housing development with some market rate units included.
In addition to cutting the project down to
38 units and making all the units affordable, a planned fifth floor of a
building along the Broadway side was eliminated.
“This project cannot do everything for
everyone, but it can achieve many things for Chelsea by creating 38 units of
affordable housing,” said Dave Traggorth of the Traggorth Companies. “This
blighted site pays very little in taxes. This will change that and bring
revenue to the city.”
In addition to providing affordable housing,
Traggorth said there will be public access to Mill Creek for all Chelsea
As has been the case during past public
hearings on the project, a number of community members touted the need for
affordable housing in Chelsea and TND’s past successes in bringing affordable
units to the city.
City Council President Damali Vidot said she
has never supported a TND project in the city until this one.
“There is a huge problem with affordability
in this city and we are displacing residents at a rapid rate,” said Vidot.
Resident Sandy Maynard supported the
creation of affordable units and the improvement of a blighted site in the
“I can’t think of a better project than this
one to meet that (affordable housing) need and to beautify Chelsea,” said
Maynard. “That lot is an ugly, ugly place.”
Several residents who have been homeless
also spoke in favor of the project and of the need of affordable housing.”
A letter from District 3 City Councillor Joe
Perlatonda cited his objections to the project, including the welfare of
neighboring residents due to traffic and parking concerns.
City Councillor-At-Large Roy Avellaneda, who
has spoken against approval of the 1001-1005 Broadway project in the past, said
his overreaching concern has been TND’s lack of a vision to bring affordable
home ownership, as opposed to rental units, to the city.
“Teachers and city employees are not able to
bid on homes (in Chelsea) and they are pushed out,” said Avellaneda. “I
understand the need for affordable housing, but there is no balance here …
There is a broader discussion that is needed in this community.”
The special permit granted by the ZBA was
required because the project did not meet minimum zoning requirements for rear
yard setbacks, number of off-street parking spaces, and maximum lot coverage
A housing lottery will be held for all of
those units, with 30 offered at 60 percent of the Average Median Income (AMI)
for the area (about $64,000 for a family of four) and eight at 30 percent AMI
(about $32,000 for a family of four). The maximum preference allowable under
state law will be given to Chelsea residents for the units.
There will be 42 parking spaces for the 38
units (the majority of which will be two-bedroom apartments). And because of
state law regulating public access to public waterways, 31 of those parking
spaces will be available as public parking from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to provide
access to Mill Creek for everyone.
•In other business, the ZBA held a public
hearing for a retail marijuana shop at the site of the former King Arthur’s
strip club at 200 Beacham St. GreenStar Herbals, Inc. is seeking to tear down
the existing two-story building and replace it with a one-story retail
Representatives from GreenStar said the
building will feature state-of-the-art security and 34 parking spots on site.
Representatives of several of the neighboring local produce businesses came to
express concerns about traffic and parking affecting their businesses.
The GreenStar proposal still needs to go
before the Planning Board later this month before coming back to the ZBA for
special permit and variance approvals.
•The ZBA also
denied a special permit for a church to operate out of the second and third
floors of 307 Broadway because the plan did not include any parking spaces.