The developer of a vacant lot on Coleridge Street appeared before the Harbor View Neighborhood Association (HVNA) Monday night for the second time in what is sure to be a lengthy community process.
Ryan Acone, who owns the 19,000 sq. ft. vacant lot at 181 Coleridge St., plans to develop 22 units of housing with 22 parking spaces on the lot that will include a one family townhouse-style three bedroom home as well as a larger 19-unit building.
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 must include space for public use.
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 has not yet filed his plans with any city or state agency but wanted to first come before the community to get thoughts and feedback on his proposal.
Following last Friday’s Nor’easter and with coastal flooding still on everyone’s ming, 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 project would consist of mostly one and two-bedroom units ranging between 600 to 1,400 sq. ft. with the larger three-bedroom free standing townhouse situated on the right side of the parcel.
The project also consists of three affordable units under the city’s inclusionary program.
While Acone said nothing is set in stone and he hopes to work closely with the community to create a project that works for everyone, some at Monday night’s meeting thought the unit count was a little high but liked the style of the buildings-especially the free standing townhouse.
Others thought the larger building needed some work as far as size and massing but applauded Acone for breaking up the two building to keep sight lines down to the water for neighbors across the street.
Some said having the vacant lot developed may cut down the occurrences of young adults and teens that have historically used the end of Constitution Beach near Rice Street as a place to party during the warm summer months. Acone was of the opinion that activating the parcel and having more eyes on the Rice Street parking lot and Constitution Beach tennis courts, as well as creating a harbor walk, would put more eyes and ears on the area.
Acone will be back before the HVNA with updates as the project moves forward but with the lot being subjected to Chapter 91 regulations as well as city reviews, the process could be lengthy before anything is finalized.