WOBURN - Not waiting for a recommendation from the Planning Board, the City Council this week granted a special permit for a lunch cafe to open in West Cummings Park in East Woburn.
On an 8-0 vote with Ward 3 Alderman Mark Gaffney absent, the council approved the application of Corner Office Gourmet, which intends to primarily market its comestibles to people who work in the surrounding buildings in the office park.
"I take no exception to this," said Ward 5 Alderman Darlene Mercer-Bruen. "It sounds like a perfect fit for the area."
The council added two conditions, one limiting the hours of operation to 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays, and the other that the special permit is not transferable.
"Should you leave, someone else can't come in and assume your permit," said Mercer-Bruen. "They would have to go through this process again."
The council bypassed the usual special permit approval thread by not waiting for a recommendation from the city's Planning Board, which apparently wanted a traffic impact study, according to Mike Tracy, representing Corner Office Gourmet.
"This is a great idea," said Ward 7 Alderman Raymond Drapeau. "It doesn't necessitate a traffic study to figure this one out."
Tracy told the council his company intends to sell sandwiches, soup, salad and beverages in a shop formerly occupied by a similar type of entity. Most of the sales will be grab-and-go of packaged food, and there will be no additional cooking apparatus brought onto the site.
"We might actually help traffic on Washington Street by preventing people from getting in their cars (and going elsewhere for lunch)," said Tracy.
"Your business plan makes a lot of sense," said Ward 6 Alderman Michael Raymond. "Your customers will be the people who surround you."