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.

3 comments for “BHCA Zoning Opposes Changes to Building

  1. Charlie
    July 27, 2015 at 9:10 am

    And we wonder why housing in Boston continues to be so expensive… We could have had housing for 3 more families, but apparently keeping things exactly the way they are takes priority for those who already have what they need.

    Is there anything the BHCA is actually in favor of? So far, they’re against ramps for disabled people, a protected bike lane on Charles St (that wouldn’t take away any parking), and basically any renovation that changes the layout or look or use of anything. They opposed the lovely lady who lost her burrito shop on Cambridge St from occupying a former corner business space on Beacon Hill because they were too worried about “smells.” These people sound like wonderful neighbors.

    • Sigrid
      July 29, 2015 at 9:36 am

      Actually you’ve been misinformed on all these counts. We mourned the burrito lady. We want good ramps that work. And a bike lane is a great idea, but there are some problems that must be worked out, a la double parking. And BH is one of the few neighborhoods that actually has built affordable housing. There are five such places that the neighborhood has created and financed. Get your facts straight.

      • Charlie
        July 29, 2015 at 9:45 am

        You say those things yet the reality is the burrito lady was unable to find a location in Beacon Hill that the BHCA would support, the ramps have been stalled due to a BHCA lawsuit (which no other neighborhoods have done), and 5+ years after it was proposed, there is still no bike lane on Charles St. You say the BHCA supports all these things yet none of them have happened. Actions speak far louder than words.

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