Members of the Harbor View Neighborhood Association voted down two developer projects during the group’s
August meeting held Monday night at the Edward Brooke Charter School.
The group voted 35 to 3 against City Realty’s proposal to construct nine-unit condo building at 181 Cowper St.
The project has been a bone of contention between the developer and residents on Cowper Street. Residents have long maintained that the dead-end street, lined with single and two-family homes, can not absorb a large development.
Attorney for City Realty Matthew Eckel said his client has tried to work with the community for several months on a project that could work for both the developer and residents. Eckel said the original plan was to develop not only the lot at 181 Cowper but the lot across the street at the end of the street and construct a massive, 32-unit building. The developer took developing the lot across the street off the table and reduced the number of units to 16. That number was again reduced to 10 and finally to 9 units with 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 meeting depicted a ‘townhouse-style’ building that was broken up with different entrances and included more architectural details like a mansard roof and bay windows.
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 Phil Brangiforte, who lives on Cowper Street, said the proposal would destroy the fabric of the dead-end street.
“It’s still too much,” said Brangiforte.
While another neighbor said that over 60 units are planned between Cowper, Coleridge and Horace streets. She complained that all this development is going to turn a quiet pocket of the neighborhood into a busy urban area.
Last month Orient Heights Neighborhood Council members voted 26 to 5 against the project.
The group also voted 27 to 18 against a project proposed for Horace Street.
Attorney David Gottlieb said his client owns the two-family home at 78 Horace St. The property also includes a vacant lot next door at 76 Horace St.
Gottlieb said his client plans to subdivide the lot and develop the two-family home into two condo units and then construct a two-family home on the vacant lot.
Gottlieb said his client, who currently lives in the two-family home at 78 Horace St. would occupy one of the units in the new building.
The group praised the design of the proposed building and other aspects of the project. The direct abutter to the project also said he supported the building at Monday’s meeting.
Despite all this, a majority of members still rejected the proposal.