Frustrated residents of two narrow Fields Corner streets asked the Boston Licensing Board on Tuesday to revoke Fields Station Liquor's license over what they said is an unending stream of delivery trucks that block their street, fill their lungs with toxic disesel fumes, block their driveways and create a public-safety menace because emergency vehicles can't get down the street while they're making deliveries.
After hearing the store's lawyer and manager refute the charges, board Chairwoman Christine Pulgini told an audience that also included BPD C-11 Captain Richard Sexton there was nothing her board could do because none of the assertions involved violations of liquor-sales laws. She then urged the two sides to work with Sexton and the city Transportation Department to try to come up with a solution. The two sides then adjourned to a room elsewhere in City Hall for talks.
At issue is the configuration of the shopping mall the store is located in. Although it has a large parking lot, it was configured - at the insistence of Fields Corner Main Streets - to bar trucks from using it for deliveries. Instead, delivery trucks for the liquor store and other stores in the mall use back entrances accessed via Freeman and Faulkner streets.
Faulkner Street resident Fred Zayas led a contingent of some 10 residents who made the trip downtown to say they've had enough of problems that include deliveries before 7 a.m. He said curbs are sinking from the weight of the tractor trailers that have parked on them and noted residents have been lucky there were no parked trucks to block firefighters from the two fires the neighborhood has had in the past 18 months.
But Thomas Kirchofer, attorney for Field Station Liquors, said even if the store went away today, the residents would still have problems - because the Payless, the McDonald's and other stores also use the streets - as do school buses and garbage trucks. A store manager disputed that the store accepts deliveries before 7 a.m., because there's nobody in the store then to accept them. He said he always goes out to tell drivers of idling trucks to turn off their ignitions. And he submitted a delivery log that showed no more than 11 deliveries in one week.
Sexton acknowledged frustration on both sides. Referring to the residents, he said, "I think a lot of their complaints are valid." But the mall has been there for some 50 years now.
"This has been going on for years and nobody has been able to get a good resolution," he said.
Sexton wondered why the store couldn't use the large front parking lot for deliveries; Fields Station said there's a fire lane in front of the store and that its front doors and tiling would have to be replaced to make a wider, taller entrance for the pallets some of its deliveries come on.
At that point, Pulgini suggested everybody get together in a room to try, again, to come up with a solution.