|The response by area residents to a request for a "rushed" approval is is an example of how our Boston-area neighborhoods
(Upham's Corner) recognize their right to review, deliberate and vote
upon neighborhood changes that may impact their quality of life. The
residents value this local control and DO NOT want it usurped. |
Residents of the Westside Neighborhood Association (UCWNA) received a
letter from their President, Bob Haas, saying that he would write a
letter of support for Paraiso Restaurant's request for additional
business licenses if the group agreed.
But they didn't. "Why the rush?"
As a result the restaurant's manager, Gregorio Colon, requested a delay
in the early December hearings and they have been rescheduled for
February 28, 2011.
December 13 (which is after the original hearing date), the Westside
Association met to discuss the restaurant's requests. This took
place with the "usual" residents in attendance who enjoy discussing the
pros/cons and implications to the neighborhood of the planned changes.
Mr. Colon's presentation of his long-term business goals seemed to
please the group. Except for one person abstaining, UCWNA voted
unanimously to support the restaurant's license requests.
Click here ===> How Paraiso Restaurant plans to manage new licenses.
|On December 1, 2011 Bob Haas, President of the
Upham's Corner Westside Neighborhood Association sent out email asking
for comments regarding Paraiso Restaurant's application for both
takeout and entertainment licenses.|
|December 1, 2011
Dear UCWNA Neighbors and Friends,
This week I attended a meeting with Ramon “Gregory" Colon, one of the
owner/managers of Paraiso Restaurant, at 750 Dudley St., in the space
formerly occupied by 750 Grille. They are seeking a zoning variance to
accommodate takeout, and an entertainment license and are caught in a
bind without sufficient time to properly seek community support.
For some reason, their hearings before the zoning board and also the
licensing board are scheduled for next Tuesday, Dec. 6, which doesn't
leave enough time for us to have a full discussion at our next
scheduled UCWNA meeting, which would be Dec. 13. As far as I can tell,
no one, not UC Main Street or any other organization, got notification
before about a week ago.
Based on my conversation with Mr. Colon and my experience of the
restaurant (they have really good food but need more customers to
survive at their Upham's Corner location), I would like to support
Paraiso. But I told Mr. Colon that I was unable to speak for the whole
neighborhood without a full process. The hearings could defer their
decisions to a later date, but that would likely be in January, after
the holiday season.
In my opinion, it's important for Upham's Corner to help this
restaurant achieve profitability as soon as possible, and based on my
experience with Mr. Colon, I can say that he's highly responsible and
wouldn't abuse the advantages obtained by the variance and the license
Please give me feedback. If I hear no negative responses by next Monday, I would like to write a letter of support.
|"For some reason" is
something that should be known and knowable. Why no proper notice? Why
should he get special treatment? I say no.
|I support the idea
of a license for takeout. I think that would be a good service
for the neighborhood, as well as being good for his business. I
believe it's in the neighborhood's best interest to have a successful
restaurant in that location.
As to entertainment, do we know what kind of entertainment, and during
what hours, he is requesting? That would affect my opinion.
|Thanks for bringing
this to our attention and for already talking to the owner. Its really
important. I agree with many of your points. However, I think there is
too much at risk to skirt a neighborhood conversation on this. If
we allowed this to be the process it would send the wrong message to he
new owner of Paraiso Restaurant and the Zoning and Licensing boards.
I say we ask the Zoning and Licensing boards to postpone the hearing
until there is a meeting. Although, I have a conflict and can't
make the Dec 13th meeting I really value what my neighbors have to say
on this and most importantly that they have a say. I would be willing
to help draft a letter to the Zoning and Licensing boards on this.
I have met with Ramon Colon, one of the owners of Paraiso Restaurant on
750 Dudley Street. I believe that there is a niche in our neighborhood
to be served by this restaurant. I think the take-out and live band are
However, I also stressed the importance of having a thorough community
process to Mr. Colon. He has done a good job in the short amount of
time that he’s had to reach out to different neighborhood associations.
I believe there needs to be more dialogue with immediate abutters and
other neighbors to address any concerns. Mr. Colon goes in front of the
zoning board of appeals tomorrow (12/6/11) and I have asked him to
request a deferral to allow more time for neighbors to weigh in. I will
support a deferral to ensure this process includes more residents. As
your State Representative your opinions on this issue are what matter
to me most.
I also want to clearly state that Mr. Colon has been very
cooperative and pledged to work with residents to be a good neighbor.
He is willing to knock on doors and engage residents at their doorstep
to make sure they are heard. I am pleased by his commitment to
Carlos Henriquez, State Representative
|Deferral seems the
way to go and hopefully Mr. Colon will be able to present his plan to
the various neighborhood groups with sufficient time for questions and
responses and discussion. Thanks to all for your help.
|I would strongly agree with Ms. Finneran's points.
I would also like to point out that this issue of late (or no)
notification regarding zoning issues is something that the neighborhood
has experienced before. It happened similarly with a residential drug
treatment program that was trying to situate itself in the old St.
Kevin's convent on Bird St.
I could also reference the Keno license given to El Frutero recently,
with no appropriate notification to the neighborhood or even to the
Police Department. I would like respectfully to request that our
elected representatives, Rep. Henriquez and City Councillors Jackson
and Baker, collaborate to improve this process.
Thank you in advance for your help on this!
|Mr. Colon's presentation of his long-term business goals seemed to
please the group. Except for one person abstaining, UCWNA voted
unanimously to support the restaurant's license requests.|