OHNC Votes on Several Projects

Developers batted one for four at Monday night’s Orient Heights Neighborhood Council (OHNC) meeting with the group voting down three out of the four development projects presented.

The only development project to come out of Monday night’s meeting unscatthed was Joshua Acevedo’s project at 78 Waldemar Ave. Acevedo plans to build a one family home on the vacant lot between 64 and 80 Waldemar that he, his wife, his son and his mother-in-law will occupy. Members approved the project by a vote of 27 to 1.

OHNC members then voted 22 to 10 against the project at 78 Horace St. David Gottlieb Esq. said his client planned to subdivide the lot he owns into two lots. One side is already occupied by a two family home and if subdivided the vacant lot would be zoned for another two family home.

Following a plea by abutters on Byron Street to vote against the project at 8 Byron St., OHNC members voted 29 to 3 against erecting a four story, four-unit building on a vacant lot that would include four parking spaces.

The developer drastically changed the proposal since the last OHNC meeting. While the original rendering showed a more modern home with modern building materials the developer decided to go more traditional. The tweaked project was more in line with the surrounding one, two and three family homes with bay windows, clapboards and architectural detailing. However, citing parking and density as a concern, abutters appealed to members to vote against the project because they thought it was too big for the street.

The last vote concerned the controversial project at the end of Cowper Street, a dead end street near Constitution Beach.

The group voted 26 to 5 against City Realty’s proposal to construct nine-unit condo building at 181 Cowper St.

Attorney for City Realty Matthew Eckel was once again before the OHNC after several previous meetings with OHNC and the Harbor View Neighborhood Association (HVNA) in past months.

The project has been reduced from 10 condo units in one large building with 16 parking spaces to nine units with 14 parking spaces.

The overall look of the building has changed as well. Instead of one large ‘box’ building, which abutters complained about, the architectural drawing shown at Monday night’s OHNC meeting depicted a ‘townhouse-style’ building that was broken up with different entrances and included more architectural details like a mansard roof.

The parking lot has also been reconfigured and is no longer abutting the property next door. The lot has been moved to the other side of the proposed building and now abuts Constitution Beach. Residents had worried headlights and engine noise from cars pulling in and out of the open-air parking lot that would have had a negative effect on the quite street.

Again, neighbors like Brangiforte, who lives on Cowper Street, said the proposal would destroy the fabric of the dead end street.

“There are only 14 units on the street right now,” he said. “You want to almost double the amount of people living on the street.”

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