JPNA Reviewing Plans for 4 Haynes Street Development

By Michael Coughlin Jr.

Representatives of a proposed project on Haynes Street came back to the Jeffries Point Neighborhood Association (JPNA) during its monthly meeting on Monday, Feb. 13, to present again and answer any remaining questions before the development went up for a vote.

The project’s developers are proposing to combine two parcels located next to 8 and 10 Haynes st. into a singular 1,800-square-foot lot to construct a new residential building – 4 Haynes Street – that will include four units and three parking spaces.

The proposed four-floor building would not only exclusively use its first floor for parking and storage, but it will also include a bike rack to encourage the use of other modes of transportation. Regarding the unit size, there will be two studios on the second floor, each 543 square feet.

As for the remaining two units, both are larger coming in at over 1,200 square feet, and have a lower and upper level on the third and fourth floors, respectively. According to Jeff Drago, who spoke about the project at the meeting and represents the owners, these will serve as an opportunity for family housing.

“Even though we have two studios, we also wanted to create family housing as well, so these are our larger units,” said Drago.

As a bonus, there are also two rear decks and roof decks in the plans for some additional space for residents of the building.

Overall, it seemed like the sentiment from residents and abutters who spoke and sent in comments was positive. The chief reason for so much of this positivity was due to work done by the development team to connect with abutters and residents to take in feedback.

“This is a taxable city parcel that we worked diligently with our direct abutters and the Planning and Zoning Committee to come up with the design that you see tonight,” said Drago.

For example, Drago referenced the talks with neighbors to change the façade of the building to brick, keeping consistent with buildings next door.

To this point, he also mentioned commitments made with neighbors, such as creating a construction management plan to spell out construction hours distinctly, guidelines for site cleanliness, and more.

Probably the most intriguing commitment was to limit on-street residential parking, a noted concern among residents.

“We were asked if we would give our address as well as the two buildings that the owners own next door at 8 and 10 to the city to restrict resident parking, and we did agree to it. Again that’s a newer program – the details are still being fleshed out, but immediately the developers agreed,” said Drago.

Additionally, Drago did say that the buildings next door to the right that he indicated are owned by the same people proposing this project will not change. “The buildings to the right will remain exactly how they are.”

One abutter expressly referred to the entire process between the development team and neighbors as to why he is voting in favor of the project.

“At this point – given the way the process has gone, I’m prepared to support this project as it is currently drawn up,” said Steve Holt.

Other abutters echoed Holt’s point regarding the process, such as Caitlin Wallace, who said, “We’re very much appreciative of how much the developers have worked with this group to inch us closer to the line.”

As well as Brian Williamson, who outright said he supported the plans. “We want to throw our support behind this project. They’ve done a lot of things – they changed the design of the building – we’ve actually worked with them in the past … we’ve worked through issues and problems before, and they’ve been great neighbors of ours.”

Although many of the comments were positive, some questions were raised, notably about the commitment to restricting resident parking and how it would be enforced.

Drago explained explicitly that the parking restriction program involves unit addresses being sent to the transportation department, and parking stickers would not be given to those residents. He also mentioned that this restriction would be written into the unit leases.

However, he did make sure to state that since the program is relatively new, there could be potential legal challenges.

“If someone was to challenge this legally, it’s so new that we just don’t know,” said Drago.

As this week draws on, those who are eligible to do so are able to vote in support or opposition until Friday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m.

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