Beacon Hill Civic Association Zoning and Licensing to Discuss Several Proposals on Wednesday

October 12, 2017
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The Zoning and Licensing Committee of the Beacon Hill Civic Association will meet on Wednesday, October 11 at 7:00 p.m. at 74 Joy Street. All meetings are open to the public. If you have any questions or comments regarding the matter to be heard, please attend. If you 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

282 CAMBRIDGE STREET – Seeking conditional use permits (#36A take-out and #37 restaurant) for proposed juice bar /healthy food restaurant at 282 Cambridge Street called Nourish Your Soul.

The applicant proposes to open a juice bar/healthy food restaurant in the premises most recently occupied by Fresco Flowers. In 2014, Fresco Flowers proposed to convert a portion of their store to use as a juice bar and this Committee voted not to oppose. The ISD refusal letter identifies the purpose of the application as “Change occupancy to juice bar/café. Interior renovation to accommodate new juice bar, per plans. More than 25% of business is eat-in.” The applicant will appear to present plans, describe the proposed operation, answer questions and discuss terms of a proposed good neighbor agreement.

Conditions required by the Zoning Code for approval of such a use include that: the specific site is an appropriate location for the use; the use will not adversely affect the neighborhood, create a nuisance or cause serious hazard to pedestrians or vehicles; adequate and appropriate facilities will be provided for the adequate operation of the use.

APPLICANT’S REQUEST: Non-opposition to the requested conditional use permits.

121 CHARLES STREET – Seeking a conditional use permit to operate a professional medical office in a ground-level space on Charles Street.

The applicant, LexRx, a boutique practice of nurse practitioners specializing in lips, lines, and lashes, has been operating for several weeks in the step-down space at 121 Charles Street formerly occupied by a gift shop. Upon learning that the use required zoning approval, they contacted ISD which issues a refusal letter

identifying the purpose of the application as: “Change of occupancy from retail store/professional/medical office. No substantial alterations being made to the space.” The applicant will appear to describe the proposed operation and answer questions.

For applicable criteria under the Zoning Code, see the 282 Cambridge Street notice above. The conditional use permit is required pursuant to a recent zoning code amendment supported by the BHCA and the BHBA, the purpose of which was to encourage occupancy of street-level spaces on Charles Street for active, retailtype uses that appeal to pedestrians, synergize with nearby shops and respond to neighborhood needs.

APPLICANT’S REQUEST: Non-opposition to the requested conditional use permit.

5 ACORN STREET – Seeking variances from floor area ratio (FAR) and rear yard setback requirements of the Boston Zoning Code.

5 Acorn Street is a single-family brick rowhouse, located midblock on the southerly side of Acorn Street.

According to the ISD refusal letter the purpose of the ongoing project is: “Complete renovation all floors

including existing roof deck and roofing.” The owner/applicant proposes, as part of that project, to (a) expand an existing cantilevered bay at the rear of the building down two stories to the ground, and (b) to add a headhouse to provide access to the reconstructed roofdeck. According to ISD, the proposed bay extension and headhouse together with reconfiguration of interior space increase the floor area of the building, and the bay extension encroaches into the rear yard setback. Since the existing building exceeds the maximum FAR of 2.0 in the H-2-65 District, the project requires variances under BZC Art. 15, Sec. 1 (FAR excessive) and Art. 20, Sec. 1 (Rear Yard Requirements).

Project plans and related documents are posted on the website. The applicant and representatives will appear to explain the details of the project and the grounds for zoning relief and to respond to questions. In addition to the standard variance issues of hardship, special circumstances and precedent, concerns commonly raised when external additions and roof decks are proposed include such impacts on neighbors as loss of light, views and privacy and intrusion of noise from HVAC units and noise and light associated with penthouse/deck use. With respect to this project, neighbors have also raised concerns about construction impacts.

APPLICANT’S REQUEST: Non-opposition to the requested FAR and rear setback variances, requiring exceptions to the BHCA policy of opposition to such variances (see Zoning & Licensing Policies #s 4&5

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