UPDATED: Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council Rescinds Vote on Whole Foods Seating
Last month a neighborhood advisory group voted against Whole Foods' proposal to add seating. This month they took back the vote, saying Whole Foods hasn't made an application to the city for the required license.
UPDATE, Friday, 5:55 p.m. - Whole Foods informs Patch they have applied directly to the city for the license needed to add seating to their Jamaica Plain store. Once Patch knows when the hearing will be, we will publicize it.
An elected neighborhood advisory group has taken back its vote last month to oppose Whole Foods' plans to add seating.
Amid concerns that locally-owned restaurants would face competition from the move, the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council voted in April to recommend that the city not give the national chain a "common victualer" permit.
However, Whole Foods hasn't applied to the city for that permit. They'd only gone before a committee of the Neighborhood Council to seek neighborhood approval. That committee couldn't agree whether to recommend approval.
Council member Red Burrows, who last month forced a vote on the issue, called for the vote to be rescinded at the group's Tuesday meeting.
"They might change their proposal," Burrows said, noting that if the proposal were changed, the Neighborhood Council might have a different opinion of it.
Council member Andrea Howley noted that in absence of any formal application, it doesn't make sense for the council to form an opinion.
"Writing a letter with nothing on the table, it can look like harassing," said Howley.
Whole Foods' most recent plans were for 22 indoor seats and 16 outdoor seats where customers could eat prepared foods they'd bought at the store.
Patch has a message in to Whole Foods asking if they plan to make an application directly to the city. The Neighborhood Council holds no formal authority, though their recommendations are often followed by downtown boards.
The vote to rescind was 15-0 with two abstentions. It was taken at the group's monthly meeting, which was held Tuesday at the Julia Martin House.