Residents send letter to BRA over 64 Allandale project; talks continue between City and developer

January 29, 2016
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More than 20 community members, many of whom live near the site, have signed a letter to Boston Redevelopment Authority Director Brian Golden with eight recommendations for the proposed 64 Allandale St. project. The recommendations include having the project be built under the existing single-family zoning.

Meanwhile, the BRA and the developer said that talks continue over the proposed project.

The developer, Jacqueline Nunez, is still awaiting a ruling from the state Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) on whether the project falls under the state Wetlands Protection Act. A decision is expected in February.

MassDEP conducted a survey last month after receiving an appeal from Nunez. The Boston Conservation Commission voted on Nov. 18 that the project does indeed fall under the act. 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.

One of those who signed the letter to the BRA director was Wilfred Holton. He is a member of the informal Friends of Allandale Woods group and lives at Springhouse Senior Living, which abuts the 64 Allandale St. property. He raised the issue of the Wetlands Protection Act to the Boston Conservation Commission in September.

The recommendations sent to Golden include one that asks the number of units and the square feet of development be limited to the amount allowed under the existing single-family zoning for the site, which would “preserve the rural character of Allandale Street,” according to the letter.

Some other recommendations from the letter are for the proposal to “satisfactorily address public safety and traffic concerns on Allandale Street with respect to vehicles” entering and leaving the site, having any tree on the property slated for removal identified and its removal agreed to by the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, and the creation of a buffer zone between the development and Allandale Woods.

The BRA had asked the developer to consider a buffer zone months ago and those talks continue.

“We continue to have productive conversations with City, and we will provide any refinements to our plans through the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s community process,” said Susan Elsbree, spokeswoman for the developer, in an email.

BRA spokesperson Nick Martin in an email echoed Elsbree sentiments on the “productive” talks. He also commented on the letter sent to the BRA director, saying “We understand the concerns that have been raised, and we appreciate the community’s engagement. We will continue to work with the development team and all stakeholders to achieve consensus on an acceptable project.”

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 current 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 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.

 

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