HVNA February Meeting Recap

The Harbor View Neighborhood Association (HVNA) held its February meeting  and voted in favor of two development projects and to hear an initial presentation on a third.

HVNA members voted 18 to 12 in favor of the project at 631 Saratoga Street.

The developer is seeking to demolish existing structure and erect a three-story building with four units. While some HVNA members were sad to see the small two-family go the current owner said that the building is in a state of disrepair and it would be far more costly to try to save the structure than demolish and start from scratch.

Since the last HVNA meeting Attorney Jeff Drago said his client has made several changes to the proposal after hearing from HVNA members and abutters.

Drago said his client has removed the head-house based on abutters feedback; reduced the size of the building; removed the rear decks; pulled back third floor 16 feet; and the fourth unit has been reduced from three bedrooms to one bedroom.

The project will be marketed as apartments, but will be condo ready should the market favor condo sales instead of rentals.

An abutter of the developer’s other project on Wordsworth Street commented that the developer really does care about the neighborhood. She said the project on her street has been a positive experience overall and the workers there are polite and quiet.

At 112 Moore St., HVNA members voted 23 to 12 in support of Santiago Lasprilla’s plan to change his single-family to two-family without changing the footprint of the building.

Lasprilla’s attorney, Lorene Schettino, said her client needs a variance because although the building has historically had two units, it wasn’t a legal two-family on the books at City Hall. So when Lasprilla pulled a permit to do work on the unit it triggered a rejection because legally adding the second unit required a variance due to lack of lot area, open space and parking.

There were some community concerns that Lasprilla was looking to flip the building and was not going to have family live there as he said at previous HVNA meetings.

The building was recently listed for sale and multi-families tend to sell for more than single families so some eyebrows in the community were raised.

However, Schettino said the process has been long and frustrating for his client who originally tried to do the permitting on his own six months ago before hiring a lawyer.

“I think he listed it just to keep his options open in the event he is unable to attain the proper approval or the Zoning Board, which is not a guarantee,” said Schettino.

Lastly HVNA members heard the first presentation of a development project at 76 Wordsworth Street.

There the development wants to erect a two-family home on a 2,500 sq. ft. lot with no parking. The two units will be sold as condos with the first floor being a two-bedroom unit with a finished basement while the second-floor unit will have three bedrooms.

There was no parking proposed for the two and half story, two-unit building.

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