HVNA Opposes Two Projects

By Michael Coughlin Jr.

During its monthly meeting on Monday, the Harbor View Neighborhood Association (HVNA) listened to the second presentation for two projects that were presented at last month’s meeting, 106 Moore Street and 141 Addison Street, before a majority of voters subsequently opposed each.

The first presentation was at 106 Moore Street and was presented by Attorney Richard Lynds, as it was last month.

The project at 106 Moore Street proposes demolishing the existing two-family home on the site to erect an eight-unit building with nine parking spots and three private roof decks. It should be noted that the project is intended for homeownership when completed.

The zoning relief requested for this project includes the use, side yard, floor area ratio, and parking.

Moreover, the proposal has seen some updates since its presentation last month, including removing some balconies and moving the proposed roof decks closer to the middle of the building.

When Lynds wrapped up the presentation, there were many questions and comments touching on a few subjects.

For example, one resident talked about how they had reached out to the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) about this proposed project and how it would fit into the zoning changes that are being proposed through PLAN: East Boston.

The resident explained that in his correspondence with a member of the BPDA, he was told that this building would fall into a proposed zoning subdistrict that allows a maximum of six units for parcels with a width greater than 50 feet, a maximum lot coverage of 60%, a minimum permeable surface area of 30%, and a minimum rear setback of one-third of the lot depth.

“Even under the new proposed zoning, this building would not be allowed,” said the resident.

However, Lynds responded, saying that the resident was right that new zoning is being proposed but that it has to be codified in a zoning amendment, and since there is not a moratorium on development, they are permitted to apply under the current zoning code.

He also said, “With respect to your comments about the rear lot, we’re actually in excess of one-third of the rear yard setback, and we would also be pretty close to the 60% lot coverage.” Lynds also added that the BPDA would likely require the project to have more permeable surfaces.

Additionally, there was a question surrounding the proposed lighting for the project and the impact on abutting properties.

In response to the question, Lynds explained that the chosen lighting is done in conjunction with the BPDA.

“The lighting that’s ultimately chosen for the project — we don’t just sit there and say put whatever light we want — the BPDA has to approve that, and they have to see the specifications on it,” said Lynds.

There was also a question regarding parking, and Lynds explained, “The nine parking spaces we’re proposing are probably too many parking spaces for this project.”

“The city may actually look at this and say it’s too much parking,” he added, explaining that the city looks at parking maximums rather than minimums and that they do not like to see a lot of parking at sites like 106 Moore Street.

Later in the discussion, things got tense as one resident urged everyone to vote in opposition to the project. The resident made a couple of accusations alleging that the developer likes “to tilt the odds in his favor.”

The accusations did not seem to please Lynds or the developer and caused a considerable stir in the meeting, with voices being raised.

Following what turned out to be a fiery discussion, it was announced later in the meeting that those in attendance opposed the project by a vote of 30 to 11.

Up next on the agenda was the presentation at 141 Addison Street, which, too, was presented by Lynds.

This project proposes to demolish the existing industrial building, which sits on two parcels of land that would be combined into one 11,000-square-foot lot to construct a four-story, 20-unit building.

The project would contain a mix of one, two, and three-bedroom units, 14 garage parking spaces, and 20-plus bike racks. Moreover, the project, which is subject to Article 80 small project review, is intended for homeownership, and of the 20 total units, four would be Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP) units.

“This project actually creates some affordability, unlike a lot of development projects that do come before you,” said Lynds.

Also, Lynds explained that the proposal would replace an existing curb cut on the site, allowing for on-street parking in front of the building.

As for the variances requested with this project, they include use, rear yard, floor area ratio, and parking.

The floor was open for discussion after the rest of the presentation, which included floor plans and renderings.

Compared to the previous proposal, this discussion had much fewer questions or comments and was not nearly as heated.

One resident had asked about areas that potential families could use at the site for activities, and the project’s architect, who was also part of the presentation, talked about how they were looking to program the rear yard for tenants and gave examples of an area for grilling, seating, and fire pits.

Other questions concerned the makeup and total number of units, and there was a clarifying question about one of the visuals shown during the presentation.

While there were only a few questions about the 141 Addison Street project, it too was opposed by a vote of 16 to 6.

After what was a busy meeting, the HVNA will convene again next month on October 2.

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