The Board of Appeals yesterday delayed action on a proposed four-unit building on Hawthorne Street in Roxbury and a proposed duplex on Fisher Avenue on Mission Hill to give developers and neighbors more time to try to resolve their differences.
At 20B-20C Hawthorne, Anthony Dilietizia is seeking permission for a four-unit building that the board actually rejected in 2016. His representative, former BPDA project manager Christopher Tracy, told the board that after careful study, his client concluded the proposal, which would include sharing a driveway with an eight-unit building he'd built next door was the best, least intrusive use of the land on the
Tracy said no neighbors had raised complaints at a Jan. 18 meeting.
Rod Singleton, who lives nearby, begged to differ, saying neighbors remained opposed because of its density and potential traffic impact on the narrow street, and that they were unhappy the developer tore down the single-family house that had been there.
The mayor's office supported the project. But an aided to newly elected City Councilor Kim Janey requested the board grant a deferral in an attempt to get the developer and the neighbors closer together. The board then voted to hold off any action until at least March 27.
The board voted a similar deferral, until April 10, for a developer's proposal to take down a single-family house at 174 Fisher Ave. in Mission Hill, where David O'Sullivan wants to put up a condo duplex.
His attorney, Jeff Drago, said the new units would better fit in with the brick apartment buildings that now line that side of the street and that the parcel's zoning would actually allow for a much larger multi-family building.
Neighbors raised concerns about drainage down the hill, but said they were particularly concerned at O'Sullivan's refusal to include a deed restriction barring the use of the three-bedroom units for students, in a neighborhood long-time residents say is overrun with them.
Drago said O'Sullivan would be willing to incorporate a student ban in the condo docs for the building, but that putting something like that in a deed would make it difficult to sell the units.
Residents, though, noted that condo docs can be changed easily - unlike deed restrictions - and that they worry that the "family rooms" O'Sullivan swapped in for his originally planned fourth bedrooms could be easily converted into bedrooms, making the buildings tempting acquisitions for investors looking to stuff more students on the hill.
Drago acknowledged he had yet to apply to the city Landmarks Commission for permission to tear down the house - required because the house is more than 50 years old - but said he expected no problems getting permission since there's nothing historic about the structure. Board member Anthony Pisani, however, cautioned that the commission might look at the house as a "last man standing" house representative of a building style that used to exist on the street.