Upham's Corner Online

Restaurant at 33 Hancock St Requesting Take-out Permit

Posted: June 11, 2011     Nancy J Conrad

Restaurant at 33 Hancock StreetThe owners of #33 Hancock Street have requested a "take-out" permit.  This has led to an Appeals Board hearing, scheduled for June 21, 2011.  At issue is this:  33 Hancock Street is located in a 3-family residential subdistrict and take-out is expressly forbidden by zoning.  A variance has to be granted in order for the permit to be issued.

Standard procedure requires the owner (Stephen/Michelle Bingham) to meet with the adjacent neighborhood associations to explain their case and garner their support.  The Bingham's have failed to meet with the neighborhood groups despite numerous requests for meeting attendance.

The purpose of this article is to provide the ownership history of #33 Hancock Street to our community so that neighbors and neighborhood organizations can make an informed decision about the take-out permit request and provide appropriate feedback to the Appeals Board prior to June 21, 2011.   [See mail to:  information below]

On April 23, 2010 Michele G Bingham and Stephen P Bingham, husband-and-wife, tenants by the entirety became the new owners of 33 Hancock St., Dorchester MA via a foreclosure deed, document number 34631.  

Their first steps consisted of making aesthetic improvements to the outside of the building and some changes to the inside, and to obtain permits so the building could be used to prepare food for their daycare centers located in Roslindale.  

In the fall of 2010 Stephen Bingham worked with Jones Hill and Hancock Street neighborhood associations as well as Upham's Corner Main Street.  Eventually they supported him in opening his restaurant with limited hours and limited entertainment restrictions.

Interview with Stephen Bingham November 8, 2010

Since then there has been very little progress.  To this date, there is no external signage.

March 3, 2011

Greetings Everyone!
Stephen Bingham
I truly hope all is well!

We are in the process of applying for a "take out" permit to add to our existing operating permits.

This will enable patrons to simply order food from our restaurant and carry food off the premises. We did not know that the City of Boston mandates that each and every Restaurant has this permit in order for patrons who do not desire to "sit and dine in" and wanted to "carry their food out and off the premises of their restaurant".

We are anticipating a "soft opening" meaning that we would like to start by opening for breakfast! This will ensure that we gradually introduce the neighborhood to "Restaurant at 33 Hancock Street" our anticipated hours are 7:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., the take out permit would be for these hours ONLY. Once we decide to increase the hours of operation for Lunch and ultimately Dinner, we will notify the committees accordingly.

We wanted to communicate with the associations, that although we have started this process as it is a lengthy one, we also want to add this topic to the next Committee meeting for discussion. Most importantly, we wanted to make certain that the lines of communication remain open and up front. If the Associations are in objection to our "take out" request, then we will halt and suspend this application addition.

As always, I appreciate your questions, comments and thoughts. Thank you in advance for your time and consideration in this matter. I look forward to hearing your responses.

Best regards

Steven Bingham
Restaurant at 33 Hancock Street

Both the Jones Hill and the Hancock Street civic associations invited Mr. Bingham to attend their meetings to discuss his request for a take-out variance.  He has not attended any of the the March, April or May meetings.  

On June 1, 2011 Flavio Daveiga, Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services, sent out a Board of Appeals Hearing Notice concerning the Bingham's request for a take-out license, scheduled for June 21, 2011.

As of June 6, 2011, Mr. Bingham sent out notification that he would not be able to attend the Hancock Civic Association meeting scheduled for June 16, 2011.  Bob Mickiewicz, Pres. Hancock Street Civic Association, replied back requesting that Mr. Bingham delay his hearing until he had a chance to meet with the neighborhood associations regarding their concerns - parking and litter.

Mr. Bingham also did not attend the Jones Hill meeting on June 8, 2011.

Board of Appeal hearing
Thanks to out to Mr. Mickiewiz who researched why the Bingham's request for a take-out license required a Board of Appeal hearing.  As the documents below indicate, 33 Hancock Street falls within a 3-family residential subdistrict and take-out is expressly forbidden unless a variance has been granted.

  1. Dorchester zoning is defined by BRA maps with BRA Map 5A/5B covering 33 Hancock Street.  It shows that 33 Hancock falls within a 3F (3-family) residential subdistrict. 

  2. BRA Article 65 covers usage in Dorchester based on the zoning district.

    Page 7 of Section 65 covers "use regulations" and is excerpted below:

    SECTION 65-8. Use Regulations Applicable in Residential Subdistricts.

    1. Within the Residential Subdistricts, no land or Structure shall be erected, used,
    or arranged or designed to be used, in whole or in part, unless, for the proposed
    location of such use, the use is identified in Table A of this Article as "A"
    (allowed) or as "C" (conditional). Any use identified as "C" (conditional) in
    Table A is subject to the provisions of Article 6. Any use identified as "F"
    (forbidden) in Table A for the proposed location of such use is forbidden in such
    location. Any use not included in Table A is forbidden in the Residential

  3. Page 50 of Table A, Article 65 -  indicates allowed use by use type with page 50 covering take-out at restaurants

Link Summary

Dorchester Zoning Map
Article 65 - Use Regulations http://www.bostonredevelopmentauthority.org/pdf/ZoningCode/Article65.PDF
Article 65 - Table A

The Board of Appeal is interested in your feedback - yea, nay or otherwise. 

You can write
  • a letter of support,
  • a letter of concern,
  • a letter requesting that the Board of Appeal delay the hearing (and why)
Above all else, it is important for as many people as possible in the neighborhood to get involved and let their voices be heard.

Following is the bottom of the Board of Appeal hearing notice on how to respond.
Board of Appeal

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