Deck could be stacked against four-story residential building near Andrew Square

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.

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Comments

Oh come on

By on

...deck-goers eyeballing their close-by neighbors through their windows.

Nobody cares about what's on your wall opposite your window or whether you have dishes in your sink.

You're more likely to offend THEIR sensibilities by walking around your house naked.

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Voting is closed. 33

Roof decks are overrated

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Nobody uses them. There's no bathroom, no refrigerator and there is not supposed to be grilles. 9 out of 10 times you need to go through somebody's bedroom to get to the roof deck. They are just a tool that realtors use to get suckers to buy a unit.

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Voting is closed. 31

I use mine every day possible...

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I live on the 2nd floor (not even the top floor) and have to walk up two flights to a shared roof deck, but every night in the spring/summer/fall, when the weather is nice, I walk up there to read my kindle, have dinner with friends or catch up on emails. Strange you say no one uses them because when I'm up there I also see other neighbors on theirs.

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Voting is closed. 23

They Are Fighting Views Of Two Housing Projects?

Roof decks don’t increase seeing into other people’s houses. If you live in the South End or Beacon Hill you can see into about 12 to 16 other units from your fourth floor window. If anything you see more distance than close up from a deck. Are we going to ban third floors now?

Jimmy Kelly tried to ban roof decks in South Boston over 20 years ago. He failed because it was a stupid proposal.

George’s lack of support on this is interesting since her husband is a player in neighborhood development in SB and Dot and builds these same type of developments.

As far as “rowdie parties” go, doesn’t Eiresatz-By-The-Sea hold the biggest idiot fest in the city in two weeks? A wee two faced if you ask me.

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Voting is closed. 30

29 - 31 Ward Street Proposal

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In addition to the roof deck, the proposal included numerous decks and balconies on the front, side and rear of the building (a total of 12 in all), which will be situated only a driveway’s width from direct abutters, and directly across from residences on an extremely small and narrow street. Prior to the ZBA hearing, developers were advised that the majority of abutters, area residents and members of the neighborhood association indicated they would support the proposal if decks and balconies were removed. Recently, South Boston neighborhood associations issued an appeal to the City, asking that “open space requirement” be addressed on a case by case basis.

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Voting is closed. 23

Proposal

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In addition to the roof deck, the proposal included numerous decks and balconies on the front, side and rear of the building (a total of 12 in all), which will be situated only a driveway’s width from direct abutters, and directly across from residences on an extremely small and narrow street. Prior to the ZBA hearing, developers were advised that the majority of abutters, area residents and members of the neighborhood association indicated they would support the proposal if decks and balconies were removed. Recently, South Boston neighborhood associations issued an appeal to the City, asking that “open space requirement” be addressed on a case by case basis.

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Voting is closed. 24