In the end, Eastie’s Boston City Councilor Sal LaMattina and Senator Anthony Petruccelli had much to do with Woody’s Liquors taking their expansion plan off the table for now.
It was a good piece of neighborhood-community work for LaMattina and Petruccelli, and for Mayor Thomas Menino, all of whom voiced concern about whether or not the owner of Woody’s would go through with changes to the building that he was proposing to make.
And many neighbors banding together echoed those beliefs and presented a petition with 65 signatures as well opposing Woody’s expansion.
LaMattina and Petruccelli hosted last week’s community meeting.
They responded to neighborhood residents who claimed that there was not enough in a binding codified way to hold the owner of Woody’s responsible for everything he said he was proposing to do.
Last Tuesday at a public hearing of the Boston Zoning Board of Appeals, Woody’s withdrew plans to build a takeout pizzeria inside the liquor store due to overwhelming opposition from neighbors.
Again, this shows what a neighborhood can do to protect itself from an expansion project being proposed by a business owner whom they did not have confidence in to do the right thing.
This doesn’t mean that Woody’s owner John Wood would not have done the right thing. Rather, it simply means there was enough doubt Woods might not do the right thing among neighbors, LaMattina, Petruccelli and the mayor, to cause everyone to take a much more cautious and closer look. When the smoke cleared in the hearing room Tuesday evening, Woody’s attorney Daniel Toscano told his client to do the right thing – which was to withdraw. This does not mean that Woody’s will not be back. It simply means he needs to rethink how to engender the neighborhood’s collective good will for himself.
In other words, Wood very badly needs to show the neighborhood good faith. Until he does that, many neighbors are going to question his apparent good intentions.