The Zoning Board of Adjustment has changed its mind and given the go ahead for a Subway restaurant to be located in a vacant storefront at 4533 Baltimore Ave.
The Board voted on Feb. 1 to approve the Subway, reversing a decision it made last month to deny the application because of concerns of nearby neighbors about additional traffic in the alley behind the proposed location.
The Board’s decision followed a “plea for reconsideration” from the Spruce Hill Community Association and the Subway franchisee’s attorney. In a letter to the Board dated mid January, Barry Grossbach, who heads a committee that considers zoning issues for the SHCA, wrote that the Subway would provide a stable tenant for the storefront property and that the Association was “at a loss” about the previous decision to deny Subway a take-out certificate that would enable it to open.
The Subway would be the first chain restaurant on that section of Baltimore Avenue, where many businesses are locally owned.
“‘Mom and Pop’ businesses are often operating at the margins and while they remain the central and cherished fabric of our neighborhood commerce, we are always fearful that what is here today might be gone tomorrow,” Grossbach wrote. “Subway … promised a degree of stability that any corridor would welcome.”
More than a dozen nearby residents wrote letters to the Board to voice their opposition to the Subway, including state Rep. James Roebuck, who lives on 46th Street.
“I live a block from this location and I too share these concerns about the impact a Subway would have on my community,” he wrote.
Appeals of the decision can be filed until March 2.