BHCA Zoning and Licensing Opposes Byron Street Variance

By Dan Murphy

The Beacon Hill Civic Association Zoning and Licensing Committee voted on Wednesday to oppose granting the variances that would allow the homeowners of 12 Byron St. to build a third-floor addition and roof deck.

The applicants intend to make substantial renovations to the two-story carriage house presently used as a single-family residence, including the construction of a 578 square-foot roof deck on the front portion of the house, as well as erecting new solar panels and a heat pump that would sit atop an addition to the rear portion of the roof. Inside, an atrium that extends the height of the existing building would be reconfigured to create a new bedroom and additional living space, according to architect Tim Burke.

Rob Whitney, a Civic Association board member, expressed concern that the committee not opposing a third-floor addition to a residence could set a problematic precedent in the neighborhood.

While the applicant has received letters of support from neighbors on Byron Street, Civic Association board member Keeta Gilmore said Chestnut Street residents who would be immediately affected by the proposed addition had yet to weigh in on the matter. “It’s up in the air until you hear from them,” she said.

The applicant’s claim of hardship regarding its desire for more living space was met with some skepticism.

“You bought a two-story carriage house with no basement on Beacon Hill,” Temple Street resident Jane Kelley said. “This is caveat emptor personified.”

The city’s Zoning Board of Appeals has yet to schedule a time to review the applicant’s request for variances.

Jacob Wessel, the mayor’s liaison to Beacon Hill, will help facilitate a second public meeting for abutters at 12 Byron St. on Monday, Aug. 22, at 6 p.m.

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