A Joint Public Hearing of the City Council and the Planning Board was held in the Council Chamber on Thursday, December 16, 2004 at 6:00 P.M. for the purpose of discussing a proposed zoning amendment to consider that the
R-2 district be rezoned to an R-1 district to include the real property on Chestnut Street located between Flint Street and Summer Street, as shown on the City of Salem Assessors Parcel Map 25. Notice of this hearing was posted on December 9, 2004 at 5:39 P.M. and advertised in the Salem Evening News on December 2nd and 9th, 2004.
Councillor O’Keefe was recorded as absent.
President Leonard F. O’Leary presided.
Councillor Pelletier explained he brought in the order for rezoning for the neighbors.
Councillor O’Leary asked if there was anyone appearing in favor.
Attorney Joseph Correnti representative for the Chestnut Street Association explained that the Chestnut Street association has been in existence for 60 years. He stated the association is asking for the R-2 to be changed to R-1 for 42 different lots which is 8.8 acres. There have been quotes from Historians from around the country to the Association to preserve this street.
Annie Harris – 28 Chestnut Street and president of the Chestnut Street Association stated that Chestnut Street was laid out in 1796 and widened in 1804. The houses were built in a period of fifteen years and during a period when Salem was prosperous. Chestnut street has the same feel as it did 200 years ago. Tour buses go down the street and the street is on the National Register. The Chestnut Street Association was formed in 1939 because of fear of a formal school moving to that street. The Association bought several of the houses and refurbished them and then sold them to keep the neighborhood intact. This petition is for 39 residential structures, 30 owners signed the petition.
Attorney Correnti stated that the neighborhood is comprised of single and two family homes on Chestnut Street. This petition will not change any two family homes or condos. They will be grandfathered.
Patricia Horihan – is in favor of the rezoning.
Ann Busteed – 8 Chestnut Street, stated she has lived there her whole life.
Abby Burns – is in favor of preserving the street.
Janice Lebel - Chestnut Street supports petition to preserve the street.
Warren Shreve – 17 ½ Chestnut Street in support of preserving street.
Tom Vander Salm – stated he would be unhappy to see any changes to the street.
Cathy & John Randall – 46 Chestnut Street are in support of the zoning.
Sean O’Connor – 24–26 Chestnut Street in favor of the rezoning but asked how many are grandfathered and how many are two families?
Attorney Correnti stated there are 20 single family homes – non conforming some may be able to file for condos and 12 two family homes. The Association is for preserving the status quo. Two family homes now will still be two family. It will protect the 20 single family.
Donald Cutler – 38 Chestnut Street stated it was my house that was going to be a school which started the Association. He stated he is in favor of the rezoning.
Richard Wyke – 12 Chestnut Street stated he is in favor.
Claire Hayes – 21 Chestnut Street believes the rezoning doesn’t go far enough.
Oscar Padgent – 23 Chestnut Street stated that Chestnut Street is a way of life. If condos were allowed we could get four or five condos out of one house. We need to preserve the street.
Bill Cosak – 31 Chestnut Street believes in historic preservation .
Natalie Binney - 19 Chestnut Street in favor of preserving the street.
Blake Anderson - 5 Chestnut Street in favor of preserving the street
Johanna Ingham - 4 Chestnut Street supports petition.
Richard Jagolta – 41 Chestnut Street is in favor of preserving the street.
Craig Barrows – 22 Chestnut Street stated there is a special thing about the street. It is predominantly single family the feel is the same.
Jonathan Reardon - 35 Chestnut Street in support of the zoning.
Janice Lebel – 1 Chestnut Street in support.
Attorney Correnti stated the petition submitted.
Mr. Powers chairman of the Planning Board stated that he understands why the need to change this zoning. The neighborhood will have to be vigilant if there was a fire and 50% was lost then grandfathering doesn’t exist. Several years ago 23 Chestnut Street has a carriage house in disrepair this was to help preserve it. The Planning board would like to go over this.
Councillor Pelletier stated a lot of cities would love to have what Salem has.
Councillor O’Keefe stated he is in favor but how does this impact Hamilton Hall?
Attorney Correnti stated it doesn’t impact Hamilton Hall.
Councillor O’Keefe asked what about the houses that front Chestnut Street like a carriage house on the lot what about in back.
Attorney Correnti stated those are Chestnut Street lots.
Councillor O’Keefe asked if there was anyone opposed?
Councillor Harvey stated the he believes the zoning doesn’t go far enough.
A resident stated that it takes rights away it needs to be looked at totally.
Councillor Harvey stated Massachusetts Historic Commission held in Salem, the response was great. It puts best light on Salem. Asked for support, this is what Salem is about.
Councillor Furey concurred with Councillor Pelletier a lot of cities would love to have what we have and thanked Councillor Pelletier for bringing this forward.
Councillor Veno stated people think of Salem and are starting to look at our history of trade and homes. Chestnut Street is an essential part of our richness.
Councillor Sargent stated we need to fight to keep these things the same. Keep our R-1 lands for the future. We can act now and preserve it.
Councillor Lovely stated she agreed with the density issues that plague our city. This Historic Street and the custodians of the Historic Street want to preserve it. The tourism that the city draws these people want to share their street. They want to keep their neighborhood beautiful.
Councillor O’Keefe stated he commended Councillor Pelletier and I’m in favor. Tours take visitors to Chestnut Street and show how people used to scrape off their boots. He is in support.
Councillor Pelletier moved that the petition and letters be entered into the reading.
There was no one appearing in opposition.
On the motion of Councillor Pelletier the hearing was closed and the matter was referred to the Planning Board for their recommendation. It was so voted.
The meeting adjourned at 6:40 P.M.
ATTEST: CHERYL A. LAPOINTE
ACTING CITY CLERK