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Proposed affordable housing project in Beverly heading to court

Posted by Ryan Mooney  November 30, 2012 12:23 PM

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The Beverly Housing Authority (BHA) is heading to state Land Court in attempt to get its proposed development in the Montserrat neighborhood going again after the project's building permit was revoked by the city's Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA).

Kevin Ascolillo, executive director of the BHA, confirmed today that the BHA filed documents with the court last week in an attempt to push the approximately $1.2 million development forward after its building permit was revoked on October 23, and that the project is now at the mercy of the state legal system.

The proposal has received a considerable amount of resistance from neighbors, who successfully stopped it last month, if only temporarily, by filing an appeal with the Zoning Board.

The project, which the BHA was trying to build as-of-right, would have added four units of affordable housing in two buildings to the plot abutting the Montserrat MBTA station parking lot, and repair a single-family affordable home already on the site.

The parcel, which is bordered by Spring and Essex streets, is about 20,000-square-feet, with about 4,000-square-feet lying on the other side of a fence where the train station parking lot has space for about 14 vehicles currently being used by the MBTA.

The BHA had planned to keep the fence in place, use four of the spaces for excess resident parking, and give the other 10 spaces back to the MBTA at no cost.

The Montserrat Neighborhood Group cried foul, saying the parcel is too small for what the BHA wants to do, and accusing the BHA of skirting local zoning laws. The group filed its appeal with the Zoning Board in September.

Ryan Mooney can be reached at globe.mooney@yahoo.com. Follow him on Twitter @mooney_ryan.

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