Reading, MA — After a Monday night Town Meeting vote approved a new zoning bylaw for outdoor commerce, dining, programming, or storage, four such cases appeared before the Community Planning and Development Commission (CPDC) on Wednesday. Three of the four were local restaurants seeking to open outdoor dining options on their sites, and the fourth, Tread at the Mill, made an application to hold outdoor fitness classes.
Tread owner Lori Haverty described the challenge her business has faced with over a year of mandatory shut down, as well as the amount of expense she had incurred in retrofitting her locations for pandemic usage. She requested that she to be allowed to hold classes outside at her location on High Street on Saturday and Sunday mornings, concurrent with indoor classes at the same time. While there would be the use of outdoor music, there will be no voice amplification used for the classes. CPDC member Tony D’Arezzo questioned the use of outdoor music as it is not allowed under the bylaws. Haverty explained that the music would be amplified through a small Bluetooth speaker and that she would work with any neighbor who had a complaint. CPDC member Nicholas Safina pointed out that outdoor music has been allowed at some local restaurants.
CPDC Voted 5-0 to approve the minor site plan review for Tread at the Mill.
CPDC also voted 5-0 to approve the minor site plan review for Christopher’s Restaurant to offer outdoor dining on the raised walkway outside their facility. The plan is formed in a similar manner as was undertaken last year, with an additional two small two-person tables. Full-service dining will be offered at all outdoor tables. Both neighboring tenants in the building are aware of the plans.
Robert Lee, owner of Mandarin Reading, applied for outdoor seating in his parking lot adjacent to the building. Nine total parking spaces will be used to accommodate the plan. Tables will be separated from the lot using barriers created by 200-pound planters with 4×4 planks of wood placed six to eight feet apart to form a temporary fence. Lee stated that the set-up would be similar to last year. CPDC voted 5-0 to approve the minor site plan review.
The final request was from Haley Benitez of Fuddruckers Restaurant. Fuddruckers plans to place five tables with eighteen total seats outside the restaurant on the sidewalk, near the restaurant’s emergency exit door. Safina commented that space could eventually be developed into a permanent outdoor seating area with a few modifications, though the current plans are only for this year. CPDC voted 5-0 to approve the minor site plan review of the site.
CPDC also voted 5-0 to endorse a minor “approval not required” adjustment to the new development on Lenetta Lane. CPDC adjourned at 10:55 pm.