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Slew of South Boston projects approved by city's Zoning Board of Appeals

Posted by Patrick Rosso  November 26, 2013 04:06 PM

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The saga of St. Augustine’s continued Tuesday as developer Bruce Daniel appeared before the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals.

Daniel is behind the proposed conversion of the St. Augustine’s Church on Dorchester Street into residential units and the demolition of the St. Augustine’s School on E Street to make way for a residential development. The projects were before the board for a number of zoning variances, including insufficient rear yard space.

Both projects were approved by the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s Board in November.

The church, which was constructed in 1874, and the school have sat vacant for a number of years since they were closed by the Archdiocese of Boston because of mounting financial pressures. The two properties were purchased by Daniel and his development partners close to a year ago.

The $12.5 million proposal for the church at 225 Dorchester St. calls for converting the structure into a residential building for 29 condominium units and 27 underground parking spaces. Four of the units will be affordable. Although the church will be preserved, dormers will be added to the structure to allow for more residential space, according to documents filed with the BRA.

That portion of the project was approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals Tuesday with support from the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services, the office of City Councilor Bill Linehan, the Electricians Local 103, and the Carpenters Union.

Daniel, after the hearing, said the project at the church could begin as early as February 2014 and should take approximately 16-months to complete.

A decision on the $12 million proposal for the school at 205 E St., however, was deferred by the board.

Plans for the school call for demolishing the existing structure and building two three-story buildings for 32 units as well as constructing two townhouses for one unit each. Sixty-three parking spaces are also included in the project, according to documents filed with the BRA. Four of the units will be affordable.

At Tuesday’s hearing a number of neighbors voiced opposition to the school project because of its density and potential negative impact to the community. Residents also said they have been kept in the dark about the project.

The project has had several community meetings in addition to the community meetings mandated by the BRA’s Article 80 process and the Landmarks Commission’s Article 85 Demolition Delay process.

“Yes, Mr. Daniel did reach out to the neighborhood, but he did not reach out to the abutters and we’re the ones who have to live with this,” Maureen Hennessey, an area resident, told the board.

The project, however, did receive support from the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services, the office of City Councilor Bill Linehan, the St. Augustine’s Convent, the Electricians Local 103, and the Carpenters Union.

A decision on the E Street project was put off by the board until December 17 at 11:30 a.m. to allow for more community input.

To read more about the project’s Demolition Delay process, click here.

To read more about the BRA’s decision, click here.

To read about the project’s initial community meeting, click here.


27-29 H St.

Twelve units slated for H Street in South Boston were approved by the city's Zoning Board of Appeals Tuesday morning.

The proposal for 27-29 H St. was before the board for a slew of zoning variances including an excessive Floor Area Ratio and insufficient usable open space.

The project, proposed by A and M Family LP, calls for a five-story building to house 12 two-bedroom units. Twelve parking spaces are included in the project in an at-grade garage. It has not been determined by the developer if the units will be rentals or condos.

“We believe this project is consistent with the present uses of the neighborhood and future planned uses,” explained Carolyn Conway, an attorney who represented the developer at Tuesday’s hearing.

A large single-story commercial garage is currently located on the parcel and will be demolished to make way for the new building.

The project, which must go through the Boston Redevelopment Authority design review and must still receive the OK from the city's Inspectional Services Department, could break ground as early as spring 2014 and is expected to take nine month to complete, according to Bill Christopher the project's architect.

At Tuesday's hearing the project received support from the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services and from the office of City Councilor Bill Linehan.

Two residents turned out to oppose the project, citing concerns about parking, light, and height.

“There are several neighbors that believe five-stories is too high, although we would like to see a residential building there,” Jennifer Chise, an area resident, told the board.


330 Dorchester St.

A project that proposes converting a Dorchester Street property into condominium units was approved by the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals Tuesday morning.

The project was before the board for a number of zoning variances including insufficient off-street parking and excessive height.

Located at 330 Dorchester St. and proposed by Colm Dunphy, plans call for a three-story addition to the existing one-story structure on the property. Of the four units, two will be one-bedroom units and two will be two-bedroom units. The project includes parking for two vehicles at the rear of the property. Plans also call for a private roof deck for the top-floor unit.

The building currently located on the property had been used in the past as a firehouse and will be restored as part of the project, according to Niles Sutphin, who represented the developer before the board Tuesday.

At Tuesday's hearing the project received support from the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services and from the office of City Councilor Bill Linehan.

A letter in opposition was submitted by Representative Nick Collins citing concerns raised by the Andrew Square Civic Association about the project’s parking plan and density.

The project, which must still go through Boston Redevelopment Authority design review, is expected to break ground by spring 2014 and should take seven to eight months to complete, according to Sutphin.


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Email Patrick D. Rosso, patrick.d.rosso@gmail.com. Follow him @PDRosso, or friend him on Facebook.

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