ZBA Approves Development at Green and Washington Streets Opposed by City Councilors

The Boston Zoning Board of Appeals approved a 45-unit, six-story apartment building at the corner of Washington and Green streets Tuesday despite lukewarm community support and opposition from City Councilors Matt O’Malley and Tito Jackson.

Last month the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council’s Zoning Committee decided to neither approve or disapprove the project sited for 3353 Washington St. The full JPNC voted to deny all eight variances the project had needed. That vote was 9-3, according to Kevin Moloney, chairman of the JPNC. Here’s the text of a letter the JPNC sent to the ZBA on why they opposed the variances.

The project’s variances included having less parking than zoning requires and being too tall. The Mayor’s Office also approved of the project, according to UniversalHub.com.

Developer Mordechai Levin plans to first raze four existing buildings and then erect a 68-foot tall residential development with retail on the first floor, plus rooftop mezzanines.

As with all developments, residents often have concerns about the amount of affordable housing units. The current proposal has about 18 percent of the units at various levels regarded as affordable units, and the original proposal in March 2015 was for 13 percent of the units to be affordable. UniversalHub.com said there would be eight affordable units and six would be for people making no more than 50 percent of the area median income and two for people making no more than 70 percent.

Jamaica Plain News has covered this development extensively. Here are previous articles about it:

[Editor’s note: We’ve updated this story to include that the full JP Neighborhood Council voted against the variances needed for the project.]

  • Eric Herot

    JP News: That is actually an old photo. The current design had the corner chopped off at the request of the neighbors. You can see it on the actual project presentation: http://www.bostonplans.org/getattachment/babe41e9-1604-48d5-b063-b8d50d744235

    • JamaicaPlainNews

      Thank you, Eric. The old photo has been replaced.

  • Susan Pranger

    I think it is misleading to say there was “lukewarm community support”
    When in fact there was substantial community opposition based on inadequate affordably (17% instead of the 22% required under plan JP/Rox guidelines or 25% under JPNC guidelines), as well as height and traffic concerns. There were at least twice as many people speaking in opposition than were speaking in support. Also the full JPNC voted to oppose the project after hearing from the zoning and housing subcommittees.

  • SHC

    Why can’t the neighborhood/city get this guy to fill his vacant properties rather than building new ones? The old Milky Way/Bella Luna location has been empty for almost TEN YEARS.

  • Marty

    Good question. Could he be getting a tax write-off because it would be considered a “business loss”?

    • Hugo_JP

      Certainly. He’s asking more per square foot than the market is willing to bear but willing to wait years until the market catches up or a fool comes along. Until then, the “loss” on his empty rentals offsets the income he’s making elsewhere.
      Look Ma – no taxes!