JPNC votes down 3200 Washington St. proposal

July 3, 2015
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The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council (JPNC) last month voted 11 to 3 with 1 abstention to request the City to deny variances for the proposed development at 3200 Washington St. The council cited in its vote a failure for the developer to resolve residents’ concerns.

The 3200 Washington project has been the target of protests demanding a greater percentage of affordable units. A group of Egleston Square activists marched down Centre Street with a banner to the June 17 meeting the JPNC Zoning Committee to demand 100 percent affordability in the project for households making $26,000 per year.

Rosy Gonzalez, spokesperson for the developers, said that there has been an “extensive community process” for the project, including discussions with the JPNC that helped form the current proposal. She said that developers will move forward with the project to the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA).

The developers, Dan Mangiacotti and Paul Iantosca, have plans to build a 76-unit development project with 11 affordable units and 36 parking spaces. The developers are also attempting to purchase 52 Montebello Road, a City-owned apartment building, to use in an “affordable package.”

According to a letter JPNC chair Kevin Moloney sent to the City, the council cited six reasons for its vote: project is too high and out of scale; project is too dense for the site; uncertainty around 52 Montebello; insufficient compliance with the JPNC Inclusionary Zoning Policy, which requires at least 25 percent of units be affordable; and that the developer failed to “engage sufficiently with the residents of the relevant neighborhood to resolve concerns about the project.

The BRA said discussions about the project continue.

“We’re still discussing how to move forward with the review of this project internally,” said BRA spokesperson Nick Martin in an email to the Gazette. “As we’ve talked about previously, the BRA is very invested in trying to expand the affordability of the project by including 52 Montebello Road. We have not yet made a determination as to when the project would be presented to our board for consideration.”

The property at 52 Montebello Road has been vacant for several years and drawn complaints for illicit parties and squatters. It has been on JP’s Problem Properties Committee list since mid-2012, when the City’s Inspectional Services Department boarded it up. The 6-unit apartment building was taken over by the City, unit by unit, through foreclosures.

A request for proposals (RFP) to buy an apartment building and vacant lot at 50-52 Montebello Road was issued by the City earlier this year. The RFP seeks to preserve the lot as open space and have the apartments become affordable homeownership or rental housing.

The site includes 50 Montebello Road, totaling approximately 5,625 square feet of vacant land, and 52 Montebello Road, a 6,000-square-foot lot with six condo units now owned by the City.

The RFP asks that the current building height and massing not be altered and that proposals provide a detailed landscaping plan for both sites. The vacant lot is expected to remain green space. At previous meetings about the project, City officials said the lot is too steep and rocky to build on.

The Department for Neighborhood Development were slated to hold community meeting for two RFPs on 52 Montebello Road, including one from Mangiacotti and Iantosca, on July 1, after the Gazette deadline.

Activists from JP and the Egleston Square area march down Centre Street to the June 17 meeting of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council Zoning Committee, demanding affordable housing in the 3200 Washington St. project. (Courtesy Photo)

Activists from JP and the Egleston Square area march down Centre Street to the June 17 meeting of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council Zoning Committee, demanding affordable housing in the 3200 Washington St. project. (Courtesy Photo)

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