Project Gets Green Light by BHCA Comm.: Would Combine Two Residences into One

The Beacon Hill Civic Association (BHCA) Zoning and Licensing Committee voted Wednesday not to oppose the city granting a variance that would allow for the proposed combination of two residences into a one-parcel, single-family home at 87 Chestnut St.

The applicant intends to unify existing properties at 87 Chestnut St. and 58 Brimmer St., and to remodel an existing penthouse on the premises. But since the site is located within the city’s Groundwater Conservation Overlay District (GCOD), the project must receive approval from the Zoning Board of Appeal, which is scheduled to hear the matter on April 23.

Joe Holland, president of Boston-based Holland Construction, said the applicant plans to install a groundwater recharge system beneath the floor to address the issue.

Among concerns with the project, neighbors at 54 Brimmer St. expressed dissatisfaction with noise, as well as trash allegedly discarded by construction workers in a shared alley between their home and the project site.

“Workers have also left the gate to the alley open…and we’re concerned about break-ins,” one neighbor said.

Holland agreed to work with neighbors to mitigate issuers associated with the project, and said he would also instruct his workers to be mindful of their concerns.

Construction on the project was expected to take another year to complete, Holland said.

“It’s dragged on for longer than any other project I have ever done,” Holland said, “but the worst part is over as far as noise is concerned.”

In another matter, the committee voted unanimously not to oppose granting a floor area ratio (FAR) variance that would allow the homeowner of 3 Charles River Square to increase the height of the basement ceiling.

“We have grandfathered use because the basement was used as livable space since 1928, and probably even before that,” said Brian Cafferty, the applicant’s attorney.

The committee also deferred hearing a request to transfer the takeout license for Yummy Express at 106-120 Cambridge St. to another restaurant at that location, since the current owner said the prospective buyer had backed out of the deal.

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