NORTHFIELD — While it is good news for both the city and Carluccio’s Coal Fired Pizza that the restaurant has been busy, residents of Davis Avenue say there are drawbacks.
Longtime resident Jack Davis said if he takes a short trip out of his home during the dinner rush, within 15 minutes he loses his spot — or his driveway is blocked — forcing him to search for parking. Another issue, he said, is the litter.
“My wife asks me why it bothers me, and I ask her, ‘How many paper plates are you picking up in the mornings?’” Davis said. “She’s the one picking it up, not Carluccio’s.” The Davises live in one of the first few houses on the street, opposite the restaurant, which are taking the brunt of it, he said.
“I hope the guy does well. But I don’t want him to take our peace of mind,” Davis said.
The issue was discussed at City Council’s meeting Tuesday, and the Police Department has been charged with finding solutions and presenting them at the next session.
Police Chief Robert James suggested 2-hour time limits to avoid driving away customers. The practice is in place in two other areas of town — along Northfield Avenue and near Northfield Community School, he said.
He suggested having officers run the license plates to verify whether the car belongs to the resident.
Carlo Citera, owner of Carluccio’s, is aware of the parking problems and to alleviate summer crowds had leased parking spaces from the accounting office on Davis Avenue.
“The employees are told to park there,” Citera said, and those who live nearby walk to work. He added that some of his customers are aware of the parking spaces in that lot, but not all.
“We are paying taxes just like everyone else, and I don’t see why anyone should be punished,” Citera said. “But we want to be happy too and be able to work with the neighbors.
“Hopefully the city can come up with a solution. I am willing to do anything they tell me. I definitely won’t close just because of the parking.”
Before Carluccio’s opened, a Dunkin’ Donuts existed with the same number of parking spaces on its lot, about 15.
Traffic during those days wasn’t as bad, Davis said, because it was mostly morning traffic and the rest of the day was slow. Carluccio’s opens at 11 a.m. and business gets especially heavy between 1 and 9 p.m.
“It’s a small town. You will eventually have the problem of businesses encroaching,” said Mayor Vince Mazzeo in a phone interview Friday.
“We have to find the best solution in the interest of the business and the residents and hopefully find a middle ground,” James said.
Contact Anjalee Khemlani: