OHNC Members Receive Info on Two Projects

Orient Heights Neighborhood Council (OHNC) members did not vote on any development projects at their November meeting that was held last Monday night at the Ashley Street YMCA.

Instead, members received a briefing from zoning attorneys on two different projects slated for a vote at the next OHNC meeting.

The first project at 16 Whitby St. seeks to erect a three-story residential dwelling with eight residential units and 12 parking spaces.

Attorney Matt Eckel said his client had made several changes to the project since previous OHNC meetings.

Eckel said the unit count has been reduced from 10 to nine to now eight condo units. Eckel’s client has also increased the number of off-street parking spaces from 10 to 12 and eliminated the fourth floor that was part of the original design.

However, some Whitbey St. residents were still concerned that quiet deadend street would be severely impacted by the development project. Most concerns were regarding the increase in traffic on the small street.

Eckel said while he hears the community’s concerns the developer has worked to make the project less dense and added two more parking space to the overall design.

“There’s a good parking ratio for this area and we’re close to it,” said Eckel.

The next project was at 837 Saratoga St. The developer is seeking to renovate an existing building, erect an addition, and change occupancy from four to eight units with parking for six vehicles.

The turn of the 19th century brick building will be rehabbed. The first level of the building, that currently contains a residential unit, would become the garage and that unit would be moved up one level to make room for the 6 off street parking spaces.

Some initial concerns from neighbors were regarding that there were two less parking spaces than total number of units. Some at the meeting felt it should be a 1:1 ratio when it comes to parking. Residents worried that guests of residents living in the condo units will make parking more difficult for existing residents.

Attorney Richard Lynds who is representing the developer said the zoning code doesn’t require visitor parking, but his client is attempting to meet what the intent of the zoning code is when it comes to off-street parking.

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