By John Lynds
The Lynn City Council approved several projects and petitions at Tuesday night’s council meeting.
First up the council voted unanimously in favor of the Lynn Downtown Cultural District’s (DCD) petition for a special permit to host open air stands and linseed food trucks for community events.
“We applied for the special permit at the site were the annual Farmers Market is held next door to the Lynn Arts building,” said Director of the DCD Carolyn Cole. “Having this permitting will help us pursue our goals of community engagement and making art culture and programming accessible to everyone.”
Local artists Calvin Anderson said he endorsed the idea because downtown Lynn is becoming a local hotspot and is on the move.
“It’s a bout time we took it to the next step,” said Anderson. “It’s a very special site and a perfect placeholder to create activity.”
Next the Council voted in favor of the petition at 138-144 Union LLC for permission to convert the 4th floor office space into a residential unit.
Architect Peter Gearhart said the 4th floor of the building currently houses Social Security Administration offices. Gearhart said there is plenty of onsite parking for the conversion from office space to residential space.
Owner of the Walnut Street Cafe, Jim Chalmers received permission from the Council to change out his old electric sign with a video sign.
The vote in favor came with a few stipulation from Ward 7 Councilor John Walsh. Walsh added that the new sign should be approved if Chalmers agreed to only use the sign during normal business hours, display advertising for the Walnut Street Cafe only and run a 10 second delay on the sign as to not create a driving distraction in the intersection.
The Council then voted in favor of Thomas Demakes’s proposal for a mixed use development with a garage on the street level and an apartment on the second floor at 86R Centre Street. Demakes needed a vote from the Council because the apartment is a forbidden use in a Lynn zoned Business District.
Ward 10 Councilor Peter Capano said he spoke with the owner and there was plenty of parking for the proposal.
“He has renovated a bunch of apartments in the area and he does a good job,” said Capano.
There was a second petition filed by Demakes to demolish an existing structure and build a mixed use development with a medical office on the first floor and apartments on the second and third floors at 34-38 Spencer St. Attorney for the project, John Mooradian said the hours for the medical office will be 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
The project was approved by the council with a stipulation put forth by Councilor Walsh that construction should begin within six months. If construction did not begin in that time frame Demakes would have to come back before the Council.
The reason for the stipulation came after residents like Linda Thorton and Bill Morella voiced concerns of the state of disrepair the current build is in.
“I’m not totally opposed (to the project) but when is this going to happen?”, asked Thorton. “We’ve been looking a graffiti, its all all boarded up and there’re rats running in and out.”
Morella echoed Thorton’s concerns and wanted a definite time frame.
Mooradian agreed with the six month stipulation but added that the entire project should take about a year to complete.