City: Norbert School project still needs variances

April 12, 2013
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HYDE SQ.—The City has again ruled that the plan to turn the Norbert School building into 21 apartments needs variances in order to proceed.

The developer, Norbert School Associates, had re-filed the project after City said the initial proposal needed two variances. The City rejected the latest proposal, saying it needs three variances.

The project is in violation of “dimensional application” (two or more dwellings on the same lot), forbidden use (“dwellings in basement per inconsistent plans”) and insufficient off-street parking, according to an Inspectional Services Department (ISD) letter dated April 5.

Dave Traggorth, project manager for the proposal, did not respond to a request for comment.

The Norbert building is located at 20 Sunnyside St. on the Blessed Sacrament Church campus. The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC) and New Atlantic Development purchased the campus in 2005. The Norbert building originally housed the COMPASS School, but it left in 2009, leaving the building empty.

The plan to turn the building into apartments has been controversial, as some people want it to be used as a school or community space. The developer had expected to start renovations on the building earlier this year, but it has been repeatedly delayed because of the variances.