The state Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) will conduct a survey of the 64 Allandale St. project site to determine whether it falls under the state Wetlands Protection Act after receiving an appeal from the developer, according to MassDEP spokesperson Joe Ferson.
Ferson said that the survey will happen today, Dec. 18. He did not have a timeframe on when MassDEP will determine if the 64 Allandale St. project falls under the Wetlands Protection Act.
The Boston Conservation Commission voted on Nov. 18 that the project does indeed fall under the act. The developer, Jacqueline Nunez, then appealed that ruling to MassDEP. The Wetlands Protection Act would not prevent Nunez from building the project, but she would need to jump more environmental review hurdles for it to happen.
Wilfred Holton, a member of the informal Friends of Allandale Woods group who lives at Springhouse Senior Living, which abuts the 64 Allandale St. property, had brought the issue of the Wetlands Protection Act to the Boston Conservation Commission in September.
The property at 64 Allandale St. is on the border of West Roxbury and Jamaica Plain. It is part of the West Roxbury Neighborhood District, as a matter of zoning. Nunez, a Dorchester-based developer, filed a project notification form (PNF) during the summer with the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) for a $20 million, 20-unit development at 64 Allandale St.
The proposal calls for building 16 new townhouses and creating four units at an existing house already on the property. The townhouses would be built in five different clusters, snaking down towards Allandale Woods and replacing a verdant landscape. The townhouses would range from three-and-a-half to four-and-a-half stories. The project would have 47 parking spaces, including seven spots for guests. The project would need several variances, such as for building height, floor area ratio, and setbacks.
“The project aims to be a national model for sustainability by achieving multiple ambitious goals: net-zero energy usage, LEED Platinum design and fortified home construction ensuring maximum climate change resilience,” states the PNF.
The project would abut Allandale Woods, which is an “urban wild” of about 100 acres of City- and private-owned land in Jamaica Plain and West Roxbury. The woods is roughly formed by Allandale and Centre streets, the VFW Parkway and the Hackensack Road.
The BRA has asked the developer for the 64 Allandale St. project to consider a conservation restriction that would create a buffer zone between the Allandale Woods and the development.
A conservation restriction was one of several recommended revisions the Boston Parks and Recreation Department (BPRD) suggested in a letter to the BRA about the project.
The project has been controversial, with many people speaking out against it during an Oct. 6 community meeting. Those people cited concerns over density, traffic, and the impact on Allandale Woods. Some attendees spoke in favor of the project, saying that it would bring much need housing to the city and would be energy efficient.