The Zoning Board of Appeal this week rejected a Wrentham Street resident's request to build a second, house behind hers, with members saying they objected to a curb cut more than twice as large as normally allowed and a long driveway wide enough that firetrucks could pull in for a fire and then turn around without having to navigate the narrow street.
An architect for Paulette Whitaker, a Boston schoolteacher who owns 79 Wrentham, said she wants to build the 3-story duplex for her family to live in, on what in Dorchester is a large overall lot - some 14,000 square feet, just with relatively short access to the street.
In reviewing the plans, the Boston Fire Department insisted on the wide curb cut and long driveway for fire safety - even if the rear house were to be fully sprinklered. But at a zoning-board hearing Tuesday, the BPDA opposed the proposal because the curb cut was too wide and the driveway, at 20 feet wide and 30 feet long, would mean too much of the lot would be covered with an impervious surface.
Two nearby residents spoke against the project, noting the city zoning code prohibits construction of a house behind another house and citing concerns about natural light.
The board voted unanimously to deny the proposal for variances without prejudice, which means Whitaker can come back with another proposal without waiting a year. Board member Katie Whewell, who made the motion, said that at 3 stories, the two-family house was too large for the area.