The Zoning Board of Appeal today approved a plan by the owners of the Verb Hotel to add ten rear units along Van Ness Street in the Fenway for people who have always wanted to stay in a mobile home without worrying about getting carried away by a tornado.
The hotel will buy pre-constructed modular units that look like old-style Airstream mobile homes, but will give them permanent foundations and tie them into the hotel's electrical and plumbing systems, the Verb's Mike Fitzpatrick told the board at a hearing this morning.
"Why do they look like home trailers vs. something interesting?" board Chairwoman Christine Araujo asked.
Fitzpatrick politely took exception to her question. He said the "trailers" will provide an interesting look and "activate" Van Ness Street, not to mention provide a way to harken back to the days of motor lodges and music that he said the music-themed Verb is already striving for.
The units needed board approval because the hotel, where the Howard Johnson's used to be, sits in Boston's groundwater-conservation district, where new construction is not allowed to reduce the amount of rainwater that flows underground - where it helps preserve the timbers on which many buildings sit. The Boston Groundwater Trust said it had no problems with the proposal.