The Zoning Board of Appeal yesterday gave the owner of the derelict gas station on Belgrade Avenue at West Roxbury Parkway until February to actually begin razing the building and putting up the 18-unit apartment building approved by the BPDA and the zoning board in 2016.
John Douros's zoning approval - which, this being West Roxbury also includes 33 parking spaces - expired in February. At a hearing yesterday, his attorney, John Pulgini, said Douros had been delayed by a variety of reasons, including a lawsuit, complications from a high water table, the fact that DCR, which owns an adjoining green space on the parkway, never got back to him with its required approval, and the need to work with Boston to ensure that a planned crosswalk did not mean the elimination of an on-street space used by a disabled veteran across from the project.
"It was like a game of Asteroids," Pulgini said.
Acting board Chairman Mark Erlich said that was all well and good, but that didn't explain why Pulgini didn't come in before the board's 2016 approval expired in February. Although the board routinely grants extensions, it has long taken a dim view of applicants who file for one after their initial approvals expire - an issue that has taken on some added urgency because of its role in the zoning bribery case.
Pulgini apologized and the board granted an extension until February.