Letter: Allandale St. project deserves green light

Thank you for covering the controversy over the proposed development at 64 Allandale St. It is important to note a few things at the start of discussing the issue.

First, something will be built on this privately-owned land and second, the proposal will not, as is implied by some, result in building on or destruction of Allandale Woods. Some opponents claim the developer is selfish for wanting to build 20 high-priced units, yet the same are willing to have 10 higher priced single-family McMansions built, which will do less to increase needed housing supply, add more to increasing CO2 producing energy use, and likely bring phosphate pollution to the Allandale wetlands from the fertilizing of large green lawns, which is more of a threat than the plowing of snow off the development roadways.

Others decry the density of 20 units yet have no problem with the very dense and unattractive (but necessary) Spring House Assisted Living facility that looms large over the woods. Some claim that the high cost of the proposed units is greedy and will do nothing to reduce the housing crunch apparently ignoring that increasing supply (much of which is occurring in nearby areas) reduces market demand pressure on prices and that the building of LEED net-zero energy consumption units is very expensive.

As a frequent user of Allandale Woods I wish that the developer could build fewer units further away from the historic spring house, but I accept that the economics of the environmentally cutting edge buildings will require the sale of 20 units to meet costs and obtain a reasonable return on the investment.

Furthermore, I remember that it was only a few years ago that we could not access the woods around the historic spring house (there was extensive over-growth and no trails) and that within a few miles radius of the site we have access to thousands of acres of woods and parks.

Most important though is the precedent that these buildings will set in ecologically sensitive building design. Climate change is the greatest threat that humanity has ever faced, for which we are doing far too little to combat. Energy intensive housing is a major source of excess CO2 production; the proposed units will use little or no energy.  I welcome the new residents that will arrive in these units; their values likely will lead them to contribute to the improvement and preservation of Allandale Woods. And, I wish the NIMBYists who are so vigorously opposing this and other housing developments in West Roxbury would re-evaluate their positions.

Alan Wright

Roslindale resident

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