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Board rejects proposal for duplex on West Roxbury side street that now has only single-family houses

The Zoning Board of Appeal today denied a developer's proposal to raze a single-family home and garage at the corner of Chellman Street and VFW Parkway and replace it with a duplex after neighbors objected to such a thing.

The board rejected Pamela Bardhi's proposal without prejudice, which means she can come back before the board if she can figure out another way to put a duplex on the lot that would not drive the neighbors crazy - such as making the duplex front on VFW Parkway instead of on Chellman.

Bardhi said she wanted to do that, but the problem is that the lot is a rectangle, with one of the shorter sides on the parkway, which means the lot did not seem wide enough to basically turn the two-family structure that way. But zoning-board members encouraged her to try again.

None of the three residents who spoke against the proposal disagreed with board Chairwoman Christine Araujo that the current house "is, in fact, an eyesore," but they said they were worried about the precedent of granting Bardhi's request to put a duplex on a street that doesn't have any. The house, which caught fire in 2018 is a rare all-metal structure.

Bardhi formally needed board permission because the new building would be denser, and closer to the rear-property line, than allowed under the street's zoning.

In addition to the residents, the mayor's office and aides to city councilors Matt O'Malley and Annissa Essaibi George spoke against the proposal.

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Comments

Is this the vintage Lustron steel home?
http://backsideofamerica.blogspot.com/2017/05/put-some-lustron-in-your-l...

The one that caught on fire a few years back?

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Yes.

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Should leave Boston, they be so much better off.

Create there own school system and watch their hosing values double.

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And they wouldn't have to follow Boston's rules about spelling and grammar even.

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I think West Roxbury residents greatly underestimate how much they benefit from being within Boston city limits -- their property taxes are greatly reduced and subsidized by commercial property in other areas of the city. If they were to leave, they might see their property values improve, but they would also likely see their taxes skyrocket, and I imagine many of their older (and very vocal opponents to development) residents would be priced out, which would be a hilarious unintended consequence to those who oppose development.

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Zoning reform now. A duplex should be as of right.

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Might as well just declare West Roxbury a no-go zone for anything that isn't luxury condos over a parking garage.

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Only single family homes.

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This is a disappointing decision. Whatever the motivations, it doesn't help the city's housing problem. The precedent has already been set in the past; this neighborhood has quite a few duplexes already - I live in one of them close by. There's a duplex four doors down at VFW and Lyall, and a whole string of them between Corey and Lagrange, within 500-600 feet of this property. They provide 2 or 3 living spaces for the footprint of a "normal" single-family home. I hope the petitioner can find a way to build the denser structure.

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The silly part is that everyone seemingly would be OK with this if the two front doors faced the VFW instead of the side street. Why is that suddenly more acceptable when it's the same pig wearing different clothes?

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The unspoken complaint is really the parking, and the perception is that if the house faced a different direction, the occupants would park on that street instead.

Yes, it's absurd.

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Or the idea that some people might be willing to walk a bit further sometimes in order to park...

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But it bears repeating. The Mayor's Office should have absolutely NO involvement in ANY zoning or licensing matters.

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After all, everything has to have a "first of its kind" somewhere...did they think their SFHs just sprang up out of the ground like mushrooms?

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westie gonna westie

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