The Board of Appeals yesterday approved plans by developer Patrick Mahoney for a six-story building at 200 Old Colony Avenue that would include five stories of apartments atop the Notre Dame Education Center, which would move from its existing building on the site into the new building.
The building would house 49 apartments and 31 parking spaces - with two set aside for school administrators. The school currently has 8 parking spaces. A single-family house on the land would also be razed to make way for the new building.
Mahoney's attorney, George Morancy, said the 60-foot-tall building is within an easy walk of the Andrew Square Red Line station, which he said the school's students and faculty would use - as would many of the residents.
The mayor's office supported the project, but City Councilors Ed Flynn, Michael Flaherty, Annissa Essaibi George and Michelle Wu and state Sen. Nick Collins sent aides to oppose the project because of neighbor opposition over the building's density and concerns over parking and traffic.
One of those neighbors, David Byrne of Cottage Street, said he has already talked to his lawyer about how to appeal the board's approval.
Byrne and his wife, Jennifer, who have three children 6 and under, said they are worried about another traffic tragedy killing a young child once the building is fully occupied. "It doesn't fit the scale of the community," Byrne said, adding that with no backyard, his kids would lose the ability to play on their small street for fear of getting run over, and that the building would cut off sunlight and air flow.
Another resident noted that all the residential buildings surrounding the site are at 35 feet or less.
The board vote was 5-2, with Chairwoman Christine Araujo and Marie St. Fleur voting against. Araujo said she admires the work Notre Dame does, but that she sided with residents on the traffic and density concerns, saying many people are going to drive to the school.
Morancy said that more than 300 residents had signed a petition in favor of the proposal.
The BPDA board approved the project last month.
200-202 Old Colony Ave. project notification form (47M PDF).
Project changes since that was filed (1.8M PDF).