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Apartments next to Ashmont T stop approved; residents will be barred from residential parking permits

Architect's rendering of proposed 1970 Dorchester Ave. building

Architect's rendering.

The Zoning Board of Appeal today approved a five-story, 56-unit apartment building on what is now a vacant lot at 1970 Dorchester Ave., next to the Ashmont Red Line station.

Developer Tim Long's building, which will have 32 studios and 24 one-bedroom units, will have 56 bike spaces but just five parking spaces. Under an agreement with the BPDA, which approved the project earlier this month, residents of the building will not be allowed to get Dorchester residential parking permits.

The studios will range in size from 450 to 629 square feet; the one-bedroom units between 625 and 755 square feet. The building will have ground-floor commercial space, a gym/media room and a roof deck.

Nobody spoke against the proposal at the hearing.

1970 Dorchester Ave. small-project review application (17.9M PDF).

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Now residential parking permits should be banned for every other building in the city. The city should not be allowed to tax all and use the money to provide parking for the few. If all Boston residents could use those spaces that would be different

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This developer has absolutely no incentive to enforce the "no car" provision in the leasing agreements. What money-loving landlord will evict a paying tenant for having a car registered outside the city and stored nearby?

The "F-- the newcomers" attitude towards new development has caused this.

Developers try to cram giant developments in small spaces while reassuring the current residents that the giant development won't effect them (or their ability to park their cars).

I imagine that we'll see plenty of new applications to make nearby streets "resident parking only."

It is up to city hall to pay attention to the registration address of each person's car. I suppose there are ways to around it. You are required to register your car at the principle place of garaging it.

RULE 21. RESIDENCE AND LOCATION
The proper rate schedules and rules are those effective in the city or town where the auto is principally garaged, except where otherwise provided in this Manual. Motor vehicles used by salesmen or solicitors, or those with similar duties, requiring the operation of the motor vehicle in more than one rating territory in Massachusetts, shall be assigned to the territory determined by the place of principal garaging, or, if there is no specific city or town of principal garaging, then, by the residential address of the operator, or, if the residential address of the operator cannot be determined, then, by the Massachusetts business address of the operator. No adjustment of the premium shall be made by reason of a change in the place of principal garaging during the policy period unless such change is permanent.

It seems like the laws about what address a car is registered to are centered around whether excise tax is appropriately paid. It sound like you can register your car legally at a business address as long as you aren't trying to evade taxes. I did have a friend that registered his car at his mother's house to lower his insurance rates, and that resulted in having a claim denied.

Other Boston residents have their own residential parking. Every Boston resident can get a sticker (except the ones living in this building).

No, every Boston resident cannot get one and that is my point, but every resident has to pay. So some residents end up paying for parking spaces they cannot use and that is fundamentally wrong

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But every Boston resident that owns a car that is registered in the City of Boston can get a permit. And that's the point of the resident parking sticker program, to allow Boston residents who owns automobiles to be able to park in their neighborhood.

I even had a resident parking permit for a car I owned at one time. Never used it, since there is very little parking that requires the permit in the neighborhood, but I used to be in City Hall a lot, so one day I decided to apply for one. Nowadays, you don't even have to do it in person.

A prospective buyer simply goes into the deal knowing he'll have to pay for off-street parking. I'm not sure how that abridges anyone's rights. Given the pressures on Boston street parking this is probably the only solution.

The solution is easy—charge for resident permits, and the more you buy the more they cost. Charge an eye-watering sum to Mr. Five Cars. Use the money to massively increase transit service. You could even give a discount or make them free for households earning less than 400% of the poverty line, but that won't buy you any support from the people claiming charging for parking will hurt the working poor because they already know that argument's bull.

Every neighborhood has some amount of neighborhood parking. It is isn't on my street but having a sticker lets me park in the neighborhood parking near my work and near the T station. They are free, so I don't understand what you mean by pay.

There are many municipal services that I cannot use. That doesn't mean that it is unfair to provide those services. While our car centric urban planning needs to change, it is not necessary to ban cars altogether.

How much of a rebate do people get on their tax bill?

Or is it happy happy day for you to get extreme subsidies for your use of public property for your private property storage?

This will result in lawsuits that the city can't win - just like the trash pickup business in Winchester.

Nobody is stopping you from parking your bike, or butt, in a street space normally used by a car. Knock yourself out.

That’s a great question. How much of a rebate will people get? How much of our tax money actually goes to the streets of Boston? It can’t be much.

. . . as so many other cities do. Parking isn't a "right." This will merely pressure developers to actually include an appropriate number of parking spaces in their developments.

No, a city councilor came up with that idea, it was discussed, that’s where we are at this point. The concept of “transit-oriented” developments is being pushed in the city right now. The developers come in with the idea that their tenants will live next to the T and will have no need for a car. Neighbors aren’t fools and tell the developers and city that ppl will still have cars, the no permit idea is what the city/ developer came up with.

How much of a rebate do people get on their tax bill?

I'm guessing they'll get the same rebate as the couples with no kids in school.

But we have to reserve the street parking for existing residents with driveways.

The purpose of permit parking is to make it hard for some people to have cars, in order to make it easier for certain other people to have cars. This is clearly an important role for a city government.

How will this permit policy not become a discrimination lawsuit against the city?

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the city already discriminates by address - if I live in hyde park, I can't get an allston street permit.

Boston and Massachusetts in general seems to have a problem with the concept of Equal Protection Under Law. Unless the city is going to provide a property tax rebate to the residents of this building for the portion of taxes nominally paid to maintain on-street parking I don't see this passing the smell test in court.

It's a condition of the lease or deed restriction which have been common since the Commonwealth was formed. It would only be discrimination of they were limiting it to only the low income units or prohibited permits for people who wear glasses.

The question is if Boston is going to actually note the address and reject the permit or will that stipulation be forgotten along with so many others. (Hancock observation access, etc.)

This just encourages people to register vehicles outside the city and park them on unregulated side streets. The city (and residents) will still shoulder the "costs" of the vehicles without collecting the excise taxes.

I live on one of the side streets and I expect that we'll be seeking a "resident sticker only" designation shortly before this project comes online.

Nothing is stopping these people from having a car in the city, they just can’t get a permit at that address. They’ll have to park further away, maybe Washington St?

When the developers came to the Ashmont Hill Neighborhood Association meeting to pitch this plan, they claimed that residents of this building would not be allowed to own vehicles and that this would be a provision in the lease. I pushed back and asked how he planned on enforcing this and also pointing out that it might not be in his own personal financial interest to enforce it (who throws out a paying tenant for having a car?) One of the developers made a nonsense sounding claim about the city enforcing the lease provision and his own personal integrity.

So, in theory, there is a "something" stopping these people from getting cars.

That said, I don't actually care if residents or this building have parking permits, I just don't like seeing my neighbors misled by developers.

if these tenants have registered vehicles, they may not be able to get a permit, but they can certainly park out of the permitted area. There’s no way to enforce it.

but not for thee!

are going to become more virulent as more condos and apartments are built around the city. People like, want and need their cars for all sorts of reasons. It's ridiculous that the city would approve any new development without parking. We can wish all we want that everyone would take the T and ride bikes but that's just not going to happen. (It's tough to ride a bike through the snow and it seems to be tough for the T to have reliable train service at any time.) Look at what happens every winter with all the screaming about space savers after snow storms. Why would the city encourage more of this by not requiring parking with all new development?

It seems all the things that have made Boston such a great city are quickly being overshadowed (literally) with all the building going on. Boston is a great small city. Trying to cram as many people as possible as quickly as possible in an area that, unfortunately, is not able to handle a larger amount of people is going to spoil it.

for your private vehicle, don't rent in this building.

Or rent an off-street parking space in the area.

Simple. Problem solved.

this merely lets developer cash in more at expense of actual future residents. Same as folks in converse building. No parking at that building, but those have plenty of cars, squeezing others when there was plenty of space to include garage.

I get the minimizing cars mantra, but until we have reliable public transport that doesn’t suck or stall every winter, most residents will have cars. And as much as I like cycling, these days I wouldn’t take my life into my hands to cycle to work, certainly not in for ave corridor.

Why have zoning code if city just lets developers run roughshod over it?

If you want to bring a car, don't rent there. If there are people lining up without cars, let them rent there. Don't slow down building because you want everyone to have car storage.

Neighbors have been blocking density because of parking. This is a compromise.