Salem planners delay hearing on Italian cafe plan
The planned 4,300-square-foot, 80-seat restaurant at 91 South Broadway would replace the current smaller restaurant at 386 South Broadway.
The new building would be on the corner of South Broadway and Belmont Street, and several Belmont Street residents said they fear the new building and expanded parking lot would lead to more traffic and increased flooding in the neighborhood.
Town Planning Director Ross Moldoff said flooding is a big issue in the neighborhood. An independent engineering review that is pending will help determine if the new restaurant on the site would lead to increased flooding.
The owners of the restaurant are seeking a variance from the Planning Board that would allow for 35 parking spaces on site, where 42 would be required under the town’s zoning laws.
“If they have to extend the parking lot, they will have to raise it up,” Nemethy said. “If they raise it up, the runoff will affect areas down Belmont Street that already get flooded.”
James Keller, the selectmen’s representative to the Planning Board, said the board needs to see and digest the independent engineering and traffic reviews before it can make any educated decisions on the site plan.
However, no matter the outcome of the Ralphie’s Cafe proposal, Keller noted that South Broadway is a commercial district.
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