70-unit condo building with 220 trees approved on Tremont Street in Brighton
The Zoning Board of Appeal today approved plans by two developers to replace 1.3 acres of weeds and mostly invasive trees with a 70-unit condo project rising four to six stories at 75 Tremont St. in Brighton's Oak Square neighborhood.
Unusual for any development in Boston, the plans by Saracen Properties and Mainsail Management call for 60% of the steeply sloped site to remain as open space. Their attorney, Joe Hanley, said crews will remove all the weeds - which include garlic mustard and Japanese knotweed - and invasive trees and ensure the project is handed over to it condo trust with 220 trees, including both 70 native trees that will be protected during constructed and 150 additional native trees.
The proposal, approved by the BPDA in March, also includes 70 parking spaces, a new Bluebikes station, a wider sidewalk and a new crosswalk across Tremont Street. Some 12 of the units will be sold as affordable.
The developers will buy the land from the Archdiocese of Boston, which formerly owned it as part of its Presentation Church property along Washington Street up the hill.
City Councilor Liz Breadon (Allston/Brighton) supported the proposal, in large part because it will mean new home-ownership opportunities in a neighborhood in which most multi-family units are apartments. The Brighton Allston Improvement Association also voted to support the proposal.
However, several nearby residents testified against, saying the building is just too dense for land zoned for single-family homes and would lead to traffic issues along Tremont Street.
"It's a fantastic project but not the right project for this site," resident Nicole Keane said.
The building would sit next to three other multi-family buildings on Tremont Street, but would also b near smaller homes on Tip Top Street.
The board approved the proposal unanimously.
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I hope the city holds them to
I hope the city holds them to the landscaping. Knotweed and Garlic Mustard are both very, very hard to get rid of and Garlic Mustard has a deep and long-lived seedbank. It can take YEARS of careful follow up to fully eradicate invasives - I know people who are virulently natural-solutions-only who have a tiny bottle of Roundup and little sponge brushes, because cutting the knotweed and applying cancer chemicals to the wounded stumps is the only thing that actually works.
If the landscapers think they can just bulldoze everything down and then throw down a bunch of mixed "native wildflower see mix" and assume that'll stick, they're going to fail.
Knotweed's a bear
Knotweed is almost impossible to eradicate without herbicides. In the UK it has become such a problem that property sellers have to disclose if any is on the property, and one can sue abutters who let it spread.
Garlic mustard takes patience (and many helping hands if a large patch). The second-year plants are easy to spot late April/early May (saw a fair amount at the Arboretum today), and are not too hard to pull, especially when the ground is moist.
The new board
Maybe not all bad?
In the past we would have had the board nodding along with this blatant NIMBYism. This board:
Also interesting: up until the 1950s, most of that block was made up of greenhouses belonging to Holbrow Florists, which still exists in Quincy. Also also: the Roman Catholic Church seems to specialize in weedy lots which could be put to better use given the housing crisis (or should I say Christis). Sometimes the weedy lots have former churches and sit for decades before even being sold.
Anyway, yes, housing. Good in Brighton. And would be even better to see it west across the border in deepest, darkest Newton Corner.
You know a developer is planning to cut down a ton of trees when they start marketing how many trees they will plant. New trees do not replace the canopy lost from older trees for decades (if they survive that long and many new trees do not).
Dear Nicole Keane,
CAN I HAVE YOUR CONDO?
Still looking for those handouts
Than having them go unused with all the traffic madness and density...in a city.