The Board of Appeals today took no action on a proposed four-story residential building on Ward Street to give the developer and neighbors more time to work out a solution to what is becoming one of the third rails of South Boston development: A proposed roof deck.
The board agreed to continue its hearing until May 8.
Developer Ed Doherty wants to put up a four-story, nine-unit building at 29-31 Ward St., near Preble, along with twelve parking spaces - and a 320-square-foot roof deck that would only be accessible to the tenants of one of the units on the top floor.
The deck would be roughly 80 feet from the street - and not visible from it - and roughly 40 feet from the rear property line, Doherty's attorney, Nick Sozula said, but that was not good enough for neighbors, who, like other South Boston residents, increasingly see roof decks as one of the worst things a developer could put in, because of their potential for rowdy parties and deck-goers eyeballing their close-by neighbors through their windows.
Doherty's attorney, Nick Sozula, said he would be willing to talk with neighbors, again, about possibly reducing the size of the roof deck. The problem with just not building one, he said, is that the building would then run afoul of a zoning requirement for a certain minimum amount of "open space" for the building that the deck would satisfy even if most of the residents would not have access to it.
If neighbors would be willing to support Doherty in seeking a variance for not having enough "open space," he said his client might be willing to consider foregoing the deck altogether.
The offices of the mayor and city councilors Ed Flynn (South Boston) and Annissa Essaibi-George (at large) sided with residents. Somewhat surprisingly, Councilor Michael Flaherty (at large) supported the proposal - as long as it had no deck.