In face of neighborhood opposition, developer to come up with plans for smaller building at old West Roxbury gas-station site

Former gas station, now used for Zipcar storage.

After nearby residents told him how much they hated the idea of a five-story apartment building with a two-level garage on the triangle where Belgrade Avenue, Beech Street and the West Roxbury Parkway meet, new site owner John Douros agreed to have his architect draft new plans for a smaller building.

The Bellevue Hill Improvement Association was scheduled to meet with Douros and his architect tonight, but association President Ginny Gass opened the meeting by saying she got e-mail at 11:12 last night that Douros wouldn't be there because his architect wasn't done with the new plans.

Gass said the strong negative reaction to the initial plans came at an informal meeting with Stratford Street residents about three weeks ago.

Douros owns a gas station in South Brookline.

Police suspect ex-employee in West Roxbury pizza-place heist

DeNo's, 2040 Centre St. in West Roxbury, was broken into early Tuesday by a thief who gained entry by smashing a window, police say.

Because the thief knew right where to go to find money, police say, they suspect the 4:30 a.m. break-in was the work of a former employee. Police add the screwdriver arriving officers found near the ringing burglar alarm suggests the thief unsuccessfully tried to disable it.

The money they found on the ground, police add, suggests he left in a hurry when he realized the police might be on the way.

Mayor comes out for property-tax increase to help fund affordable housing, park improvements

Mayor Walsh said today he'll back a referendum on the November ballot to levy a surcharge on property taxes that could mean $16.5 million a year to help build affordable housing and spruce up and expand Boston parklands - plus additional matching funds from the state.

In a statement, Walsh said:

Our city is growing and thriving, but success has brought challenges-housing costs being one of the greatest. We've studied the impacts and benefits, and I believe the Community Preservation Act offers a balanced and timely strategy for helping Boston build affordable housing, invest in our parks, and preserve Boston's historic and inclusive character. I thank the City Council for taking this up, and look forward to working with them and our community partners in support of the Community Preservation Act.

The City Council is currently considering a proposal for a 1% surcharge that could go before voters this fall. Officials estimate that if voters approve, the average home's property tax would increase by $28 a year.

Council approves measure to drop city speed limit to 20 m.p.h.

The City Council today unanimously approved a proposal to reduce the default city speed limit on most roads to 20 m.p.h. and 15 m.p.h. in school zones.

The measure, which councilors said should make Boston a safer city for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians, now goes to the mayor. If he approves, it then goes to the state legislature for action.

City Council approves Latin Quarter designation for Hyde and Jackson squares in Jamaica Plain

The City Council voted unanimously today to approve a measure celebrating the Latino heritage of Centre Street from Hyde to Jackson squares in JP.

The designation of the stretch of Centre Street does not change the name of either square, but could make the area eligible for state funds, City Councilor Matt O'Malley (Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury), who sponsored the proposal, said.

Car goes up in flames behind West Roxbury store after high-speed chase; driver runs, is captured

WBZ reports that a chase that began in Walpole this morning ended behind the Party City store on VFW Parkway in West Roxbury, where the car burst into flames - after the driver made an unsuccessful run for it.

Photos from the air.

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