BHCA Zoning and Licensing Committee Votes Not to Opposed Head-house Proposed for 33 Branch St.

By Dan Murphy

The Beacon Hill Civic  Association (BHCA) Zoning and Licensing Committee decided by a vote of 11-1-2 Wednesday not to oppose granting the zoning variances that would allow the owners of a single-family house at 33 Branch St. to build a head-house, with the stipulation that the new structure’s roof is opaque.

The applicant has proposed building a gazebo-style head-house, measuring 4 feet by 4 feet, to house a spiral staircase that provides access to an open patio on the building’s second level. The new structure, which would provide natural light and a second means of egress to the room below, won’t be visible from any public ways, said Frank McGuire, the project’s architect.

Per the city’s Inspectional Service Department, the head-house will add 16 square feet to the floor area of the building, which already exceeds the 2.0 maximum for buildings on Beacon Hill. The structure would also directly abut a higher brick wall at the rear of the lot, requiring a variance from the city’s rear-yard setback requirement.

The applicant is scheduled to appear before the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals at City Hall, Room 801 on Tuesday, June 21, at 10:30 a.m. to address the requested variances.

Meanwhile, the owners of 3 Spruce St. and 5-7 Spruce St. jointly withdrew their proposal to build a proposed enclosure on the front terrace of the adjoining townhouses and a 5-foot wall at the front of the lots, amid concerns from abutters and committee members.

The Spruce Street proposal will be rescheduled for the committee’s next meeting, Committee Chair Tom Clemens said.

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