Was Waltham Poised to Approve Boloco?

Boloco has cancelled its plans for a new burrito shop on Winter Street and new details on the issue have emerged.

Boloco's plans for a new location in Waltham were heading toward approval -- but a proposed restriction waylaid them, according to a city councilor. 

The regional burrito chain had planned to open

The City Council's Rules & Ordinance Committee was poised to recommend that the full City Council approve the company's request for a fast food permit, but with one caveat -- that Duffy Properties, which owns the building, not allow more than four restaurants at the site at any given moment, according to City Councilor Robert Logan, a member of the subcommittee. That, he said, would have meant no additional restaurants could have been added after the burrito eatery.

Logan said limiting the number of restaurants was necessary to avoid worsening the parking situation at the site, which Logan said is already inadequate. 

"I think people wanted Boloco there," Logan told Waltham Patch.

Also, Boloco CEO John Pepper previously told Waltham Patch that the company was forced to cancel its plans because the building's owner did not agree to the Rules & Ordinance Committee's request for more time to consider the issue.

The Waltham City Council approved the burrito company's request to officially withdraw its plans on Monday, Nov. 26. The company can refile for a new Waltham location in the future. 

The committee asked for additional time because it was waiting for the city's Law Department to respond to the committee's request for advice on the matter, according to Logan. City Councilor Ed Tarallo, who chairs the Rules & Ordinance Committee, confirmed the reason for the requested delay. 

Prior to that, Logan said, the committee had been "bend[ing] over backwards]", to the city. The subcommittee had considered having Boloco use a nearby service road to provide additional parking at the site, Logan said. That, he said, would have provided 12 additional spaces to the plaza, which Logan said already lacks adequate parking.

"We were really trying to bend over backwards to find a way to make it work," Logan said.

As for delays in Boloco's plans coming to the Council, city Logan said the attorney Boloco originally hired to help it navigate the city's permitting process never filed any paperwork. That, Logan said, delayed the issue from coming to the council until August of 2012. Boloco CEO John Pepper also cited the attorney issues as one reason his company was forced to cancel its plans.

Logan also tried to address residents' anger over the cancelled plans. Responding to residents on social media who blamed the Council for the cancellation, Logan said, "I think a lot of this frustration is really a by-product is delays in filing necessary paperwork ... that was probably the fault of the prior attorney. That's not the fault of the city."


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