One person died from an early morning two alarm fire on Union Avenue on Dec. 26. Boston Firefighters responded to a fire at 24 Union Avenue in Jamaica Plain around 4 am. A fire was visible upon their arrival tweeted the Boston Fire Department. One person was brought to the hospital with life threatening injuries and was pronounced deceased several hours later at the hospital.
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.
[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."
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.
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.