Plan For 20 Condos at Washington and Green Deeply Divides Neighbors

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Richard Heath

ARCHITECT EDWARD PORZIO describes the plan for Washington Green

ARCHITECT EDWARD PORZIO describes the plan for Washington Green

Richard Heath

ARCHITECT EDWARD PORZIO describes the plan for Washington Green

At the most recent public meeting on a development for 3371 Washington St. and 197 Green St., the air was thick with frustration from both those opposed and those in favor — although it appeared the opponents were in the majority.

Owner Walter Craven wants to build two long, four-story, brick-faced multi-family condos on an L shaped lot. The space is currently a hodgepodge of a parking lot, light industry and a woodframe house built before the Civil War.

Union Avenue neighbors want Craven to build two three-story condominium buildings that are much shorter and set farther away from three houselots on that street.

WASHINGTON GREEN STREET site plan.  Union Avenue at the top left The arrow at the left shows the set back concerns of Union Avenue residents.

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WASHINGTON GREEN STREET site plan. Union Avenue at the top left The arrow at the left shows the set back concerns of Union Avenue residents.

After two and a half years of meetings about it - at least eight of which were held with Union Avenue residents - this issue was no closer to being solved as the Boston Redevelopment Authority held a small project review on Oct. 3o.

Vetoed by the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council Zoning Committee back in November 2013, the project was redesigned and refiled with the BRA on Oct. 3.

Craven, who operated Weld Rite at 3371 Washington Street for some years, was not present to hear how his revived vision was received by the standing-room only audience at Curtis Hall. He was in California.

Attorney Joseph Feaster represented Craven and he emphasized that after many meetings with the Union Ave community major changes had been made to address their  concerns. For instance, the height had been reduced to four stories and the lot line pulled back from the two Union Avenue homes by 30 feet and 8 inches.

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WASHINGTON -GREEN DEVELOPMENT PLAN. The red arrow at the top indicates the 30 feet 8 inch set back from the abutting property line/

Phung - Porzio Architects.

WASHINGTON -GREEN DEVELOPMENT PLAN. The red arrow at the top indicates the 30 feet 8 inch set back from the abutting property line.

Architect Edward Porzio led the audience of more than 35 people through the revised full color schematic drawings. He said that the buildings would be faced with brick and stone with aluminum window trim. 3371 Washington St. would be set back  30 feet 8 inches from the abutting house at 10R Union Ave.  The ground floor of 3371 Washington would have one commercial space of 13,400 square feet and a parking garage for 13 cars; 17 additional parking spaces would be provided with access from Green Street. There would be nine condominium apartments.

There would be eleven condominium apartments at 197 Green St. with three commercial  spaces two facing Green Street.  Cars and service trucks would enter and exit from Green Street.

 'Our Property Values Are Being Taken Away'

RUEBEN VAN LEEUWE of Union Ave. "This has not been  a fun process for me."

Richard Heath

RUEBEN VAN LEEUWEN of Union Ave. "This has not been a fun process for me."

"This has not been a fun process for me, "said Rueben Van Leeuwen of  Union Avenue. "The  density [issue] hasn't changed in two years.  This [development] covers up my view. I think it will affect those who live on Union Avenue. You can reduce the size of the buildings. [Also] the building is too close to Green Street."

Shane O'Brien of Union Avenue simply wanted " basic fairness...we don't want to be the bad guys here but our views and property values are being taken away."

Several residents were critical of the single exit and entrance from Green Street so close to the Washington Street signal.

'Young People Can't Afford a Place to Live'

Tow in favor Bill Reyvelt (L) and Brian Murray.  "We dont have a transportation crisis we have housing crisis ",sad Murray.

Two in favor: Bill Reyvelt (L) and Brian Murray. "We don't have a transportation crisis.  We have housing crisis", said Murray.

But other neighbors welcomed the project for adding much-needed housing. Mayor Marty Walsh ELEVATION DRAWING FOR 3371 WASHINGTON ST. The top floor is built of light stone to reduce the visual size of the building. The entrance is to the commercial space. Residents will have a separate entrance as indicated by the figure on the left. ELEVATION DRAWING FOR 3371 WASHINGTON ST. The top floor is built of light stone to reduce the visual size of the building. The entrance is to the commercial space. Residents will have a separate entrance as indicated by the figure on the left.[/caption]

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