Residents sue to stop leafy subddivision on West Roxbury/JP line

A group of Allandale Street residents filed suit today to try to overturn Zoning Board of Appeals approval of an 18-unit subdivision off their street.

Developer Jacqueline Nunez won approval from the board and what is now the BPDA last year for to build townhomes designed to require no net energy from Eversource and to survive climate-change-driven superstorms on a two-acre site at 64 Allandale.

Residents, who had opposed the project from the start as posing harm to the neighboring Allandale Woods urban wilds, said in their suit that the project's 55 variances violates West Roxbury zoning for no reason except to enrich Nunez. They filed their suit today in Suffolk Superior Court,

In the suit, the residents said the site sits in a West Roxbury zone designated specifically for single-family homes that was designed to preserve "low-density one-family neighborhoods."

In their complaint, the residents said the project would change "the entire character" of the neighborhood by injecting "a cluster of multi-unit Townhouses rising as much as 45 feet from grade," as well as creating a safety hazard because its entrance would be on a sharp curve and threatening one of the two vernal pools left in the city of Boston.

Complete complaint (9.7M PDF).

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Comments

link is not working

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FYI link to complaint not working.

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Are the residents all well

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Are the residents all well versed in such zoning laws? Who are they to get what they want and keep out development? Get a life...

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Aren't we testy

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Who are they? They are people who live right there, which I suspect you don't. They might not have any legal ground to stand on (I'm no lawyer), but as people who live there, they certainly have standing to raise issues that would directly affect them in a way that you and I would not.

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I do live in the neighborhood

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I do live in the neighborhood and find this ridiculous. I liked the original proposal for smaller eco-friendly condos. Much better than 10 McMansions. My neighbors fought against Harvard's Weld Hill Research Building for years until they realized that zoning allowed for a subdivision.

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So we have different opinions

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So we have different opinions. Don't get all caty over spilt milk Gafin.

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It's not a different opinion.

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It's not a different opinion.

You were talking about zoning. There were a massive number of zoning rules that had to be given permission to exceed to make this project go forward.

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Character of the Neighborhood?

You mean the very active hospital, the assisted living facility, the rehabilitation facility, the denuded quarry, the church, the parkway, the office building, and the orphanage? Those types of single family uses? These are uses that abut or lie near this place, not to mention the hundreds of acres of open space that already exist around this previously developed lot.

I smell a lot of horse droppings in this, and they are not coming from the old police stables across the street from this place.

Urban wild (re: weed sugar maple trees on an abandoned lot) my tush.

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Hingham law firm seems about right.

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This is a dispute brought by people with a decidedly suburban mindset. NIMBYism at its peak.

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And?

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It's a decidedly suburban kind of street. There are woods on one side of the houses and just down the street is an actual working farm. With cows, even.

Not all of Boston consists of densely packed condo buildings.

No, I'm not taking the plaintiffs's side here (neither am I taking the zoning board's side). But as somebody who lives in the "Parkway," it does get annoying sometimes to see that people think all of Boston is just a baby Manhattan.

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"Manhattanization"

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The manhattanization comments are probably the best marker to indicate someone needs to stop drinking the anti development kool-aid. If this was a mini version of manhattan, West Roxbury would be completely covered in 20 story high public housing. Comparing a *townhouse* development to the densest city in the US is a great way to indicate your NIMBY concerns are unfounded.

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Outside of Manhattan?

By logic it would not be Manhattanization. Would it be Statenization that people are trying to stop here?

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Saying Manhattanization though...

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Implies that we are talking skyscrapers, sum-blotted out, concrete, etc. It always raises my hackles since it seems to be a NIMBY go-to whenever anyone suggests anywhere that we build anything denser or higher than what's already in a given neighborhood. No one is proposing the Chrysler building in West Rox or elsewhere.

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There's basically just as

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There's basically just as many comments complaining about people who have any sort of critique about development.

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Cluster to preserve as much open space as possible

Given that it abuts the Allandale Woods, I'm all in favor of clustering the development as much as possible to preserve as much of the back side of the parcel as open space. Dividing it all into single family residents is such a waste of land, as there is no public benefit.

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I wish the City had put half

I wish the City had put half the effort in negotiating a solution between the abutters and the developer as they did for the Citgo oil sign.

The project was opposed by 6 city councilors, two neighborhood councils, and the adjacent neighborhood associations. The bordering Centre Street institutions and Springhouse have all given significant conservation easements to the woods.

I read the complaint and wonder why the need for spot rezoning. Over 50 variances is ridiculous. Why have zoning regs anywhere if they mean nothing?

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its a means

to control what is built and probably, more importantly, who builds it

everything that is ever built has variances in the zoning laws here

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I attend a fair number

of community meetings, and see projects built as of right. Some developers want to build site appropriate buildings. Sure lots of people get a variance for adding a dormer, or a vestibule to their front door, but those variances don't result in effectively rezoning an entire large lot.

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OMG, a person wants a DORMER or a

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VESTIBULE. So they need to go before another bureaucratic city agency to get "mother may I" permission to make these modifications. In a word, pathetic.

And this exactly the type of government waste that we need to eliminate.

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If developers ALWAYS require multiple variances

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in the zoning laws to build things, then that tells me there's a serious problem with the existing zoning laws. Not to mention a huge waste in time and OUR tax money associated with all the hearings to consider those variances.

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Or it's that they just want

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Or it's that they just want to do what is more profitable for them.

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The rules that are already

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The rules that are already there are a means to control what is built. Not everything has zoning variances.

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The Citgo sign was a dispute

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The Citgo sign was a dispute between a landlord and a "tenant" about rent. It wasn't a city issue.

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More housing?!?

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I'm glad the residents realize that the city does not require more housing or that it is in a housing crunch.

If they want to build higher density housing they should build it somewhere else not in my backyard.

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"Poe's law is an Internet

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"Poe's law is an Internet adage that states that, without a clear indicator of the author's intent, it is impossible to create a parody of extreme views so obviously exaggerated that it cannot be mistaken by some readers or viewers as a sincere expression of the parodied views."

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That doesn't mean that zoning

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That doesn't mean that zoning rules shouldn't be enforced if there's a strong preference for them. It's already zoned for housing, this is extra density.

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Build a wall around Boston

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Build a wall around Boston and make young people pay for it! Your home values are gonna be yuuuge!

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