The owner of Turtle Swamp Brewing and his Washington Street landlord last week filed suits against the non-profit group that wants to build a 39-unit building for senior citizens next door, charging the building could harm the brewery and maybe even kill it.
The dual lawsuits, filed in Suffolk Superior Court by brewery owner John Lincecum and landlord Monty Gold, also name the Boston Zoning Board of Appeal, which in February approved plans by the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corp. for a five-story building right next to Turtle Swamp's parking lot and outdoor seating area.
Lincecum and Gold charge the building would be too large and does not have enough parking - which is similar to the argument Gold made in his lawsuit against an even larger, 202-unit, proposal by the Pine Street Inn across the street. Gold, the Pine Street Inn and its developer, Community Builders, Inc., agreed to settle that case in April, with Pine Street agreeing to lease parking spaces for construction workers at a nearby church and to then use the spaces for parking by Pine Street Inn workers after the new building opens. Pine Street Inn also agreed to not oppose any redevelopment of the Turtle Swamp property by Gold.
Lincecum was not a party to that lawsuit, even though Gold's argument then centered mainly on the parking impact on the brewery.
In his suit against the senior-citizen building, Lincecum argues the board should never have approved low-income housing in an industrial zone and that there is nothing particularly special about the property that would have allowed the six other variances the board granted on such issues as density, side-lot requirements and parking.
Part of the building would come right up to the property line, but Lincecum and Gold say they don't know how workers will even be able to put the thing up because they certainly aren't going to give contractors permission to use their space for the work - and that legally the workers better not do anything that would hamper Turtle Brewing's small parking lot and outdoor seating area.
The two also argue that the building's lack of parking will cause further problems for the brewery by making it harder for its customers to find their accustomed on-street parking. Gold also says the proposal would further harm the brewery because it would convert three on-street spaces that the drivers of 18-wheelers now use to make deliveries to the brewery into spaces where only ride-share drivers and others picking up and dropping off people could park.
Lincecum charges that, rather than proving hardships, the developers were only seeking to build as large as possible to maximize their profits on the project - in which all of the units would have one bedroom and would be rented to seniors making no more than 60% of the Boston area-median income.
In addition to the zoning board, the BPDA also approved the project
Renderings and documents on file with the BPDA.