Rendering of ground floor for 3353 Washington St.

JP Neighborhood Council’s Letter Opposing Variances for 211 Green St.

City Hall went against the recommendation of the JP Neighborhood Council, an elected advisory group, to approve variances for a controversial development at the corner of Washington and Green. Here is the text of the May 4 letter from the JPNC to the ZBA:
Christine Araujo, Chair

Board of Appeal 1010 Massachusetts Ave.,

4th Floor Boston, Massachusetts 02118

Re: 211 Green Street, Ward 11, BOA675434

Dear Ms. Araujo:

At the April 2017 meeting of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council, held Tuesday, April 25, the Council members voted 9-3-0 to request the Board of Appeal to DENY ALL EIGHT VARIANCES SOUGHT FOR THIS PROJECT because:

1. The appeal for this project does not satisfy the requirements of Article 7, §7.3 of the Boston Zoning Code for the granting of variances;

2. This project was approved by the BPDA before the final draft of Plan JP/Rox was prepared by the agency and approved by the BPDA board.. The developer seeks variances for a site where under current zoning, residential housing is forbidden and the height is excessive; while at the same time requesting the increased height granted in the final draft of Plan JP /Rox without achieving the affordability required by it.

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Rendering of 3353 Washington St.

Six-Story, 45-Unit Building Divides Residents, Neighborhood Board

 

[Editor's note: Since the original posting, we've added context around a quote from the chairman of the JPNC Zoning Committee.]

A plan by the neighborhood's best-known landlord for a six-story development at Washington and Green failed to win approval — or suffer disapproval - from a narrowly divided neighborhood advisory group. Last month marked two years since Mordechai Levin started talks with the city to raze four existing buildings and erect a residential development with retail at 3353 Washington St. Current plans call for a 68-foot tall building with five stories plus rooftop mezzanines. In zoning terms, it's a six-story building. However, Architect Deb Katz and her team have set back the rooftop elevations to reduce the "perception of massing."

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BPDA Approves 45-Unit Building at 3353 Washington St.

The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) approved a 45-unit development proposed for the corner of Green and Washington streets at its December meeting. The proposed development was met with robust dissent from many neighbors when it was introduced to the community earlier this year. According to the BPDA press release announcing its approval of the $18 million project, 3353 Washington St. will be an approximately 45,286-square-foot residential building with about 2,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space. The five-story building will include approximately 45 rental units.

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JP Local First Logo

Breakfast Meeting Set for Biz Owners at Risk of Eviction

Several local community and business groups will hold a meeting Wednesday morning to encourage the city to "even the playing field" for small business owners. The meeting was called by leaders from JP Local First, Egleston Square Main Street, City Life/Vida Urbana and the JP Neighborhood Development Corp. It will be at 10 a.m. at the Egleston Square YMCA, 3134 Washington St. Business owners are encouraged to attend. The meeting will be with Karilyn Crockett of the city's Main Streets program and Lydia Edwards of the Office of Housing Stability.

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JP Neighborhood Council Housing Committee Says No to 3353 Washington St.

The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council (JPNC) Housing and Community Development Committee unanimously rejected the proposed 44-unit 3353 Washington St. rental development at its meeting last week. The opposition point of view was summed up succinctly by committee member Pam Bender: "You are doing the bare minimum" for affordable housing and community benefits, she told developer Boston Community Ventures. The May 10 meeting followed a contentious Small Project Review public meeting April 28 sponsored by the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) at which neighbors expressed little love for the project, which would be located at the corner of Washington and Green streets across from the E-13 district police station. The JPNC may register its own vote on the project at its meeting Tuesday, May 24.

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