28 Hancock,John Jeffries Addition on ZLC Agenda at BHCA Meeting

The Zoning and Licensing Committee (ZLC) of the Beacon Hill Civic Association (BHCA) will meet on Wednesday, May 3 at 7:30 p.m. at 74 Joy Street to consider a proposed penthouse and roof deck addition at 28 Hancock Street and a four-story addition to the John Jeffries House on the parking lot parcel next to Savenor’s.

While The Related Beal development team, owners of the John Jeffries House at 170 Charles Street, has held several planning meetings with immediate neighbors and other stakeholders, this meeting will be the primary opportunity for the neighborhood at large to ask questions and provide input to the proposed addition. Extensive materials are available on the BHCA website for your review prior to the meeting.

Related Beal has requested that BHCA not oppose the zoning relief required for construction of the addition. Its proposed use is a hotel lobby and limited commercial use (such as a coffee shop) on the street level with hotel use on the upper floors. The parcel straddles the line between the residential and local business zoning districts, and the Inspectional Services Department has determined that the proposal requires conditional use permits for (a) expansion of the existing nonconforming hotel use in the H-2-65 District and (b) hotel use conditional in the L-2-65. In addition, a Groundwater Conservation Overlay District permit is required.  The project has been designed so as to comply with the dimensional and density requirements of the zoning code so no variances are required.

The owner of 28 Hancock Street appeared before the ZLC in April to present the original plans and answer questions about the proposed roof deck and penthouse addition. Given the skepticism expressed by the committee about the original plans, the applicant withdrew the proposal to make modifications which will be presented at this meeting. The new plans have been posted on the BHCA website.

28 Hancock is a condominium building located between Hancock Street and Ridgeway Lane. The applicant owns the top (5th) floor unit and roof rights to part of the roof and proposes to replace an existing deck accessed by a spiral staircase and small headhouse with a pair of decks and an expanded headhouse structure to allow access via a code-compliant staircase. The existing building is just below the 65-foot allowable height and already exceeds the maximum allowed FAR of 2.0 in the H-2-65 District; so the expanded penthouse requires variances under BZC Art. 15, Sec. 1 (FAR excessive) and Art. 16, Sec. 1 (Building height excessive).

The owner has requested that the ZLC not oppose the requested FAR and height variances, requiring exceptions to the BHCA policy of opposition to such variances.

All meetings are open to the public.  Those with questions or comments regarding the matter to be heard should make every effort to attend.  Those who are unable to attend but would like to express an opinion, please call (617.227.1922), write (74 Joy Street, Boston, MA 02114) or send an email to the BHCA office (patricia.tully@bhcivic.org) prior to the meeting.  Design plans and additional information and updates on these matters are posted on the BHCA website at www.bhcivic.org.

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