The Zoning Board of Appeal this morning rejected a proposal to raze a one-family house at 486-490 Bennington St. and replace it with a nine-unit building, saying that even though it would be next to a credit union and across the street from a cemetery, it was simply too large.
The board denied the requested variances without prejudice in a 5-1 vote, which means developer MG2 Group can come back with revised plans within a year.
MG2 attorney Richard Lynds said the current home is actually an anomaly because there are several multi-family buildings along Saratoga Street behind the lot.
But even the normally pro-development BPDA opposed the proposal, saying overall development in East Boston might be getting out of hand as developers try to get in as much as they can before the BPDA finishes its current study of how to revise zoning in the neighborhood. "It's just getting to be too big, too dense, too fast," BPDA planner Jeff Hampton told the board.
The mayor's office supported the proposal, saying the main concern of residents seemed to be MG2's original plans for ground-floor retail space, which the developer agreed to replace with 6 parking spaces and a studio apartment. BTD also supported the proposal, saying that although the 6 spaces was too few under the lot's zoning, the site is near the Wood Island T stop.
But board member Eric Robinson, an architect, moved to reject the proposal without prejudice, calling saying it was just too dense and did not fit in very well with other buildings in the area.