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South Boston abutters butt heads over plans to make some condos larger

The Zoning Board of Appeals today rejected plans by condo owners at the six-unit building at 159-165 M St. to add space to the rear of their units after residents of a neighboring building complained the expansion would cut off their light and air - and create a fire hazard for them should a rooftop deck grill at the building ever have a grease fire.

The condo owners' attorney said the expansion would make the units more livable. But one abutter, who noted he has owned and lived in his East 7 Street home for 30 years, plans to live there until hie dies and will keep renting two units as affordable no matter what condo flippers do to try to ruin the neighborhood, said the M Street building is already just 23 inches from his.

The board rejected the proposal without prejudice, which means the condo owners could come back with a revised proposal.

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Comments

Aren't rooftop deck grills illegal in Massachusetts?

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This one is electric. Anybody better versed in the fire code?

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on rooftops and decks.

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are okay. No propane or charcoal. Natural gas must have a permit and a licensed installer. This applies to balconies and decks above the first floor too.

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" one abutter, who noted he has owned and lived in his East 7 Street home for 30 years, plans to live there until hie dies and will keep renting two units as affordable no matter what condo flippers do to try to ruin the neighborhood, said the M Street building is already just 23 inches from his."

I'm glad to hear gentrification was struck a blow in Southie.

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The two issues are completely unrelated. If one property owner wants to basically make a donation to his tenants, then that's irrelevant to a neighbor applying for permits to build an addition.

Maintaining light/space is definitely a thing, but using gentrification as a reason to oppose property improvements is silly.

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I think he was doing the standard Boston thing of establishing his bona fides to speak by showing how long he's lived in the neighborhood and the like. The board chairwoman asked him for specific zoning concerns, and he cited the light, air and setback issues.

But gentrification is, at least indirectly, definitely a zoning issue, because 99% of the time, the reason some fancy project is before the board is because they're seeking to exceed the zoning for whatever parcel they want to build on, sometimes by quite a lot. Put an apartment building on a street zoned for single and two-family homes? Sure, the street will be improved immeasurably by some oversized wood-frame thing that will start sagging in 20 years! Approval granted.

Gah, I'm getting cyncial

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Because when you don't have enough housing, not building any housing automatically makes everything better! Yes, there are a lot of requests for zoning variances -- but that's because demand far exceeds zoning capacity! The zoning code was written to benefit existing residents at a time when the population was falling, of course it can't accomodate growth.

The real gentrifiers are the NIMBYs trying to block every single new apartment building in this city. Every time they do their property values go up, rents for young people go up and speculators lick their lips. They moved here 20 years ago, they pulled up the ladder behind them and thanks to Proposition 2 1/2 they can laugh their way to the bank.

What right do the people who moved here 20 years ago have to deny the people moving here now the same opportunities they had? These same people frequently wonder why young people don't participate in politics or form neighborhood attachments. Well, gee, maybe it's because thanks to the policies they advocate we can never stay in the same neighborhood long enough to participate!

I hope that when the Baby Boomers finally retire and start moving to Florida they'll find they have to pay through the nose because NIMBYs there won't let them build senior housing.

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where the heck are the adding anything? The abutter is 23 inches away! There is no where to go. How did this fire not take the whole block is a better question. This is not a nimby issue, its a would require a TARDIS room to add on to this property.

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Not gouging rents is not making "a donation to your tensnts". It being a decent and honest landlord with an interest in the wellbeing of the neigborhood. Over the long term, this also makes good business sense.

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What's gouging and what's getting fair market rent. What should a 2bedroom apartment that's 10mins from downtown cost?

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20 min to downtown, 20 min walk to anywhere in the "Innovation District", 10 min walk to the new GE headquarters, and a 30 min walk to Copley.

You're not going to beat back the ocean. Once people figured out Whitey (crime) was long gone, it was a done deal.

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The neighborhood could use more men like him. There's more to life than greed. One small victory is nice but it's sickening what developers get away with here.

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That doesn't strike a blow to gentrification, the condos were already sold and the "gentrifiers" are already living there.

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Looking at the building on Google Maps, it corner lot and the building already covers nearly 100% of its lot. I'm actually with the abutters on this one: this would end up cutting off everyone's light and air, both the abutters and the condo dwellers, and seems like a bad idea all around. Building upward would be a way better plan, though probably not feasible for lots of reasons.

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