Board approves six-unit residential building on Fuller Street in Dorchester after slashing the number of parking spaces
The Zoning Board of Appeal today approved a six-unit residential building at 60 Fuller St. in Dorchester, but on the condition the owners only put down enough asphalt for six parking spaces, rather than the twelve they proposed.
Board members agreed with the Boston Transportation Department that residences just a half mile from the Ashmont MBTA station simply did not need two parking spaces per unit and that the land that would otherwise become an impermeable surface would be better used as open space.
Charlie Tevnan, attorney for owners James and Mary O'Sullivan, said the idea behind all the spaces was to help the neighborhood, by encouraging residents to park behind their building, rather than on the street. T
But Bob D'Amico, strategic senior planner for BTD, said the proposal was very much "transit oriented," given how close it is to Ashmont and simply didn't need that much parking.
The building would replace what Tevnan says is a tired one-family house not up to current code, in a neighborhood with other multi-family buildings. The building needed board approval for several reasons, including the lot being zoned for just single-family use.
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this is not half a mile away it is actually just over 1000 ft walking distance from Ashmont, which not only has the redline and Mattapan high speed line but is also a major bus hub with 9 lines. Why does someone living here need a car at all to say nothing of two?
As if car owners need to
As if car owners need to justify exercising their right of lawful vehicle ownership because you don't find them necessary. Mention your holy crusade to your next rideshare driver.
It's the American Way!
Cars = Status in the good old USA.
It’s one spot per unit
And lots of reasons - they don’t work in the city, don’t want to have to deal with the hassle of the MBTA, work outside of the MBTA operating hours, have family outside of the city, can afford a car and want one. Do you have a car? If builders thought they could build units without parking and sell them, they would.
I do not.
I do not own a car and I live considerably farther from the T than this. The stops I am closest to also offer nowhere near the level of connectivity that Ashmont does as a major transit and bus hub (And its not only MBTA service you can get all the way to brockton on the BAT 12). Living a block from Dorchester ave also means there are a variety of shops and restaurants in easy walking distance. It is entirely possible, if not downright easy, to live a car free life in this location.
Cities have limited space and the more space we dedicate to storing personal vehicles the less space we have for everything else (this is a matter of simple geometry). Cars simply take up too much space to be treated as a given in urban environments, and that is to say nothing of the environmental necessity to phase out their use. People wanting cars is a reflection of planning that seeks to make car travel as easy as possible regardless of the impacts, and locations this transit accessible should be the ideal locations to start pushing different planning paradigms that emphasize transit accessibility and walkability instead.
It's a food desert and grocery shopping is a nightmare.
Originally two spots per unit
The article says it is a six-unit plan, originally with twelve parking spaces, and that the board told them to reduce it to six.
Lets End Parking Minimums and Find Out
Except that requires a zoning variance, which is often not worth the hassle, when builders consider what does and does not pencil out. If we didn't have parking minimums, we'd likely see more developments without parking, as long as builders felt they could move the units to willing residents. I'm generally against building excess parking, but I'm also generally against zoning dictates. So in my opinion, let the builder do two spots per unit if they want. But also, let the builders who want half a spot or less per unit do that without any ZBA process.
Not sure why the city is forcing developers to add parking, but that requirement should go the way of the dinosaur.
IDK the cost of building
IDK the cost of building parking is not cheap - this development is using asphalt which is cheap but a lot of these buildings are using stacking systems and underground garages, etc, to meet the parking minimums, which cost money to build without any kind of return the way an extra unit or a retail space in the same area would. I've seen numbers anywhere between 80-120k to build a parking spot in some of these developments - times that by 10 units and the math of going to the zoning board to request a variance starts to look different.
That said, it's a lot harder to sell your 700k 1100sq foot condo to somebody who has a car and uses their car when they have a dozen odd choices for 700k 1100sq foot condos that DO come with parking. Maybe if developers were willing to pass the savings on parking costs along it would be different. 700k for a place with a parking spot vs 580k to fight with street parking makes a compelling argument.
2 spots and no spots are very different things. 2 spots strongly encourages driving for all members of a house hold and contributes to all the corresponding problems such as climate change, lower air quality, and lack of space/congestion. 2 spots also makes housing more expensive as building parking costs money. No spots encourages living without a car, a decision that has positive externalities for others.
If anything the city should be placing maximums on parking not minimums.
This means that tenants with 2 cars will be taking up on street parking spaces instead, and they will.
Or you could say it will attract people with only one car (or less) and make people with two cars less likely to buy there, or less likely to get a second car. Stats show that the more off street parking offered, the higher the car ownership and the greater traffic issues. https://www.sightline.org/2021/01/28/more-parking-isnt-harmless-it-actua...
I live in a building down the
I live in a building down the street closer to the T and I have a car and 2 parking spots. Believe it or not, we don't only spend all of our time within the limits of the MBTA. Not to mention, it's insanely unreliable. I take the T as often as I can, but sometimes it doesn't make sense or simply will not get me where I want to go. Also, I have guests from out of town. They can't park in the street without a resident sticker for a good chunk of the week.
Your guests should take the train, or you need to reconsider who you associate with or have over as guests. It's insane how one who lives so closely to the T can choose to also have cars (i.e., cyclist murdering machines).
The world is larger than your block
It is truly bizarre that there is an undercurrent in all these objections that there should be some sort of tiered or caste system applied to people to determine who and who can't have a car.
Not the Implication Being Made
People support eliminating parking because it reduces traffic, is better for the environment and makes the city a better place to live, not that you "can't" have one. If you want a car, you still totally can, but we shouldn't be encouraging it with our current regulations, and we certainly shouldn't be subsidizing car ownership in the city.
If the household includes
If the household includes doctors/nurses and other essential workers they probably need cars. I get stuck at work for hours and hours after my shift. The T is closed. I've rushed in for emergencies too.
If permeability really is the
If permeability really is the issue, there should be a formal policy. There can be permeable parking spaces, and there can be impermeable patios.