FOREST HILLS—The City is saying that Bicon Dental Implants has the required permits it needs to be operating, but the Yale Terrace Neighborhood Association is continuing to dispute that.
Bicon, a 501 Arborway company, has stirred controversy in the area by demolishing a 19th century house at 21 Yale Terrace for a new development. The neighborhood association had tried to stop the company from doing that and has now started a concerted effort to have the City’s Inspectional Services Department (ISD) yank Bicon’s occupancy permit.
The neighbors says that Bicon operates a clinic and a lab without permits.
But according to ISD spokesperson Lisa Timberlake, Bicon has the required permits to be operating. However, it is unclear whether that means Bicon always had the proper permits or recently acquired them, or whether the clinic and lab are considered actual on-site uses. Timberlake did not immediately reponse to follow-up questions.
Bicon did not respond to a Gazette phone call.
Informed of ISD’s statement to the Gazette, the Yale Neighborhood Association reiterated its position that the company does not in fact have the required permits.
“To us, it seems very simple. To operate a dental clinic and lab at that location, a conditional use permit is required,” said the neighborhood association in a statement released by Jerry O’Connor. “Bicon stated, in an April 24 meeting with a number of people, including the ISD Commissioner and his lawyer, that it operates a dental clinic and a lab at that location. They also publish photos of their lab and clinic on their Facebook page.”
“Therefore, they, like any other similar business in Jamaica Plain, need a conditional use permit,” the statement continues. “They don’t have one. It’s not a question of whether dental clinics are good. It’s a question of respecting the legal process and the rights of one’s neighbors.”
The statement also said the neighborhood association asserts that Bicon does not have the required variance to operate a professional school.
Bicon has a history of controversial expansions and operations that have drawn neighborhood complaints, City citations and City Council hearings.
Berta Berriz, the former owner of 21 Yale Terrace, says that she was “deceived” by a buyer who claimed to be a family-minded local grandmother into selling the historic house to the neighboring Bicon Dental Implants. Berriz did not want to sell the house to Bicon.