BHCA Zoning Opposes Changes to Building

The Beacon Hill Civic Association (BHCA) Zoning and Licensing Committee voted to oppose the relief needed to change the occupancy of a one-family home at 70 Myrtle St. into four condo units on Wednesday – three months after the applicant withdrew without prejudice a larger-scale project slated for the site amid concerns from neighbors.

The homeowner, who is scheduled to go before the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals on Aug. 4, intends to gut the structure and build living units within its exterior. While the current plan doesn’t increase the building’s height of 48.5 feet, it would require excavation at the basement level to accommodate an approximately 36 square-foot common-storage area for trash and bicycles. The renovation would increase the overall size of the existing building by around 800 feet.

The project would need variances for floor area ration (FAR), as well as parking requirements.

Mt. Vernon Street resident and BHCA board member John Corey described the project as a “non-starter” and said that he would never support it.

“This is a gem of a single-family home, and single-family homes are in extreme demand on Beacon Hill,” Corey said, adding that the historic building dates back to circa 1809.

Others cited potential noise created by HVAC units and problems arising from the proposed excavation as their biggest concerns with the project.

            “This is nowhere near the standard we need and sets a various dangerous precedent,” committee member Sandy Steele said.

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