The Zoning Board of Appeal on Tuesday approved builder Neil Guilden's plans to construct a three-decker with three parking spots on what has long been a vacant lot at 17 Longfellow St. in Dorchester.
Some Longfellow Street residents opposed the proposal for the 3,400-square-foot lot, saying a triple decker would stick out like a sore thumb on a street with mainly one- and two-family homes, and would cause parking issues. One resident said it better belongs around the corner on Ridgewood Street, which has several, larger vacant lots they said would be more suitable.
Ivette Matos, who lives on one side of the lot, and Hector Polanco, who lives on the other, though, said it makes no sense to leave the lot vacant when it could be used to help people who need a place to live. Polcanco used to own the lot until he sold it to Matos for $100 last year.
Another Longfellow Street resident said Polanco bought the parcel in 2000 under the city's then "yard sale" program to dispose of small lots.
Suffolk County Registry of Deeds records show that Polanco bought the lot from the city then for $750 - and that one of the conditions on the deed was that he not build anything on it, with the exception of an extension of his home. However, when he sold the land to Matos last year, the new deed stated that it "removes, releases, terminates and extinguishes" any conditions the city set on the land in 2000.
The board voted unanimously to approve the variances the building needs because the lot was too small and the building too large under its zoning. The building also didn't have enough frontage and its side and rear yards were too small under its zoning.