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Planned Waltham Burrito Restaurant Raises Parking Concerns

Boloco is planning to open a burrito store at 475 Winter St. in Waltham.

The plan to propose drew some concerns over parking from Waltham City Councilors during a Monday, Aug. 6 public hearing at

Boloco, a Boston-based company whose named stands for "Boston Local Company," has proposed opening a new store at 475 Winter St. The company, during a public hearing with the Waltham City Council on Monday, requested a special permit to operate a fast food permit. 

“They are very excited to be coming into the Waltham community,” said Boloco's attorney, Joseph M. Connors.

STORE SPECIFICATIONS

  • The store would be located at 475 Winter St. in the sites of the former Wine Cellar and Copy Cop, according to Boloco's attorney Joseph M. Connors Jr. The store would span 2,263 square feet in the 39,000 square foot building that overlooks the Winter Street bridge, Connors said.
  • The store would seat 60 people and serve food to go, according to Connors. It would operate seven days per week from 7 a.m. - 10 p.m
  • The site would not feature a bike rack, or delivery serivce, according to Boloco CEO John Pepper, who attended the public hearing. 

COUNCILOR'S CONCERNS/THOUGHTS

  • City Councilor Thomas Curtin said he was worried about whether the site would have an adequate number of parking spaces. “I have a concern that we are excerbating a problem that sooner or later is going to be dangerous,” Curtin said. 
  • Currently, there are 184 parking spaces at the site, according to Connors, who added there would be no way to expand the current number of spaces. 
  • City Councilor Robert Logan suggested painting new stripes in the parking lot to allow for compact cars, thus more total parking.
  • The project's traffic engineer said he did not believe the project would further burder the area with additional traffic, but City Councilor Edmund Tarallo said that study was done before
  • City Councilor Joe Vizard supported the project saying it was the kind of business needed in that area and hoped Boloco would use local union workers to do any necessary renovations.

The matter was referred to the council's Ordinance & Rules Committee for further discussion at its Sept. 17 meeting. 

Jason Bilsky August 07, 2012 at 05:48 PM
How long ago was a movie theater there? Not in the last 20 years... I also don't understand the "no way to expand the current number of spaces" comment- putting a line of cars from the exit off of the road to the plaza would probably double the space if they needed to.
Jen P August 07, 2012 at 06:50 PM
I can't see the bike rack being used much. That's a tricky location to bicycle. So many lanes of traffic to cross so close to the highway.
David Kehs August 07, 2012 at 08:05 PM
Jason - That whole driveway leading up to Winter Street is city property. The plaza owners can't just add parking there. And the land right next to the driveway is owned by the City of Cambridge, as part of the resevoir property. Don't even think of paving any of that. The owners and tenants of the plaza will just have to make do with the parking spaces that the have now. If the Boloco people think that they can make their restaurant work within those constraints, I'd say let them give it a try.
Jason Bilsky August 07, 2012 at 08:37 PM
It always bamboozles me when a development has land that belongs to someone else. I know it's not likely, but what if Someday, someone just decides that they don't want that road there anymore? Seems a bit shortsighted to own land that's inaccessible without going through someone else's land.
Robert G. Logan August 10, 2012 at 03:11 AM
Alice, The process requires a public hearing at which Councillor's ask questions and gather facts in order to make an informed decision. We try to work with applicants to find solutions to any problems that are identified. Sometimes applicants are unwilling or unable to address problems, and the permit must be denied. However, the vast majority of permits are approved. We are just doing our job, Robert G. Logan Councillor Ward 9

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