Second Meetings Held on Coleridge Street Proposal

The developer of a vacant lot on Coleridge Street appeared before the Harbor View Neighborhood Association (HVNA) Monday night to update residents on changes to the proposal.

Ryan Acone, who owns the 19,000 sq. ft. vacant lot at 181 Coleridge St., originally wanted to develop 22 units of housing in two buildings with 22 parking spaces on the lot. However, Acone and his attorney, Dennis Quilty, said after holding the first in a series of abutters meetings, they have decided to drop the number of units down to 20. The project would also include 20 parking spaces, as well as two ‘guest’ parking spaces.

“We haven’t filed anything yet with the City of Boston because we want to continue to work with the community on a design that works,” said Acone.

“We think this is a better design with better landscaping,” said Quilty. “We held an abutters meeting and after listening to concerns and suggestions, we decided to drop the number of units and improve some of the landscaping in the back.”

What makes the project tricky is the parcel is subjected to the state’s Chapter 91 regulations, which means half the land needs to be public open space and the larger building requires space within the building for public use.

“The public accommodation space can be anything from a meeting room, to a yoga studio, to public art space,” said Acone.

The parcel is the last lot on the right before Constitution Beach and abuts Rice Street, which leads down to the East Boston Yacht Club.

Acone’s proposal would includes long-term planning as it relates to sea-level rise. The project would be built above the projected sea level rise totals and would use other climate ready and resiliency techniques to ensure the project stays dry for future generations.

The Chapter 91 public access would consist of a harbor walk in the rear of the development that would be accessible from Rice Street and the project would include a community room or some other public use space inside the larger of the two buildings.

The developer has enhanced landscaping in the back since the last meeting, and after hearing from abutters, the harborwalk that will be mandated by the state under Chapter 91 will have a fence at the end to protect the adjoining properties from potential trespassers.

Of the buildings’ design Acone said his goal is to implement an architectural design that is respectful of the other homes that line Coleridge Street. Because Coleridge Street is made up of a mix of A-frame and flat-roof homes, Acone said he and his team have come up with a design that cherry picks some of the street’s architectural elements.

The design includes one larger flat-roof building and a smaller A-frame townhouse. Acone plans to break up the project into two buildings to keep sight lines down to the water for neighbors across the street.

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