ZBA Grants Zoning Relief to Chick-Fil-A On Boylston St. Pending BWSC Approval

Boston is one step closer to having its very own Chick-Fil-A on Boylston Street.

This comes after former Mayor Thomas Menino wrote a letter several years back to the company’s CEO Dan Cathy saying that the restaurant has no place in Boston due to Cathy’s controversial stance on same-sex marriage.

At the Zoning Board of Appeal (ZBA) hearing on Tuesday, the board granted the relief requested—with provisos—by the project proponents. The project has the following violations: take-out issued to petitioner only (the space is currently occupied by burrito chain Boloco), extension of non-conforming use, and the site sits within the Groundwater Conservation Overlay District.

The project, which will be in the former Boloco space at 569 Boylston St. consists of a fit-out of the existing 5,280 square feet of gross floor area, construction of a ground floor addition on the front of the building, and the addition of usable space on the third floor. The proponents are also seeking to expand the restaurant and take-take-out uses to the entire second floor of the building, which is currently being used as office space. The outdoor patio seating area, which currently holds 32 seats, will be reduced to 14 seats in order to make room for the ground floor addition.

Attorney Michael Scott represented Chick-Fil-A at the hearing on Feb. 5, saying that “we believe the property is appropriate for this use.”

“We’re seeking to expand this existing use from the ground floor and basement that Boloco had used to the basement second floor and the first floor for the restaurant as well as storage on the third floor,” he said.

The building will be fully handicapped accessible, and the Chick-Fil-A restaurant will be 5,800 square feet for the basement, first floor, and second floor, with an additional 1,000 square feet of storage/office space on the third floor.

Since the building sits within the Groundwater Conservation Overlay District, Christian Simonelli of Boston Groundwater Trust appeared at the hearing to say that he has been in touch with the applicant. “At this time we are requesting a hold for signature,” he said. “The plans were submitted to Boston Water and Sewer at the beginning of January and they’re still under review. But I have received confirmation from Water and Sewer that the plans have been submitted.”

Elliott Laffer, of the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay (NABB), said that the project proponents came to NABB’s Licensing/Building Use Committee meeting and the one concern they had regarding the project was that they were planning on keeping their dumpsters outside.

“And as you know, the alleys in the Back Bay, we have rodent issues,” Laffer said. “We asked them to adopt indoor storage of trash. They agreed to do that, and so we are not opposed.”

No one spoke in opposition of this project, and the ZBA voted to approve it with the provisos that the decision be held until a stamped and signed off letter is received from the Boston Water and Sewer Commission, as well as the “usual take out language” that grants take out to the petitioner only, which means it is only being granted to Chick-Fil-A at that space.

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