The Zoning Board of Appeal today rejected a proposal by developer Larry Cristafori to build a four-story, five-unit building on what is now a vacant lot at 223 Northampton St., near Tremont Street in the South End.
The vote means Cristafori, who bought the property in 2015, has to wait at least a year before resubmitting plans to build on the lot. ZBA Chairwoman Christine Araujo said any future plans would have to be different than the ones rejected today.
Cristafori's attorney, Dennis Quilty, noted that the board had approved plans for a building on the site back in 1987. And he said Cristafori reduced his original proposal from five to four stories to create a building he said would fit right in with the rest of the buildings on the street and Chester Square area.
But the mayor's office and nearby residents lined up to oppose the proposal.
Faisa Sharif, of the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services, said her office decided to oppose the project when Cristafori rejected a request to hold another meeting with residents to try to work out differences.
Residents said the building would still be too larger for the area and that they were affronted by the developer's proposal to take down some trees and to use front and rear decks to meet the zoning requirement for "open space."
Quilty, however, said the front decks were taken out at the residents request. He said Cristafori was willing to meet with the Chester Square neighborhood association again but that he was told "not to waste our time," at which point it made more sense to go to the zoning board.