ZBA Denies Without Prejudice 7 Smith Court Application

The city’s Zoning Board of Appeal denied without prejudice a highly controversial application submitted by the homeowner of 7 Smith Court to build a single-story addition and rooftop over the existing rooftop on the two-and-a-half story residence during a virtual hearing on Tuesday, Sept. 29.

“The Beacon Hill Civic Association was strongly opposed to this proposal – the organization’s 23 member Board had voted unanimously to oppose the proposal of the owner to significantly and irreparably alter and damage the important historic wooden house,” wrote Rob Whitney, chair of the Civic Association’s board of directors.”[The house] is directly across the court from the Museum of African American History, and is an integral part of the Boston African American National Historic Site. The house’s importance to the history of Black Americans who lived and worked on Beacon Hill in the 19th Century cannot be underestimated.”

The Civic Association joined the Boston Preservation Alliance, the National Park Service, the Museum of African American History, City Councilor Ed Flynn, the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services, and numerous abutters and neighborhood residents in opposing the application, Whitney said, while several friends of the applicant voiced their support for the project as proposed.

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