Zoning Committee postpones vote on McBride St. project

The 14-16 McBride project was discussed at the Aug. 24 Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council’s (JPNC) Zoning Committee meeting, but was not approved or denied.

With a ticking clock, the council finished discussing the Goddard House project and had only 30 minutes to review and discuss the 14-16 McBride St. proposal.

Developer Stephen Ballas presented plans for two three-story townhouses on the former James’s Gate parking lot site at 14-16 McBride St. Ballas bought the property, along with James’s Gate across the street, this spring for $1.95 million.

Ballas originally planned a six-unit building for the parking lot site, but that plan drew criticism during a June Zoning Committee meeting. He presented a revised proposal at a subsequent Zoning Committee meeting that split the building into two, three-story townhouses with parking in between the two buildings and in garage in the first floors.

At the most recent Aug. 24 meeting, the proposal reflected minor changes to the layout in which the parking was relocated and the room layouts were moved around.

Most community objections voiced at the meeting were in regard to density, saying that the total number of units proposed for the site was too high. Many residents also raised concerns over what would be built at the historically joined plot of land at 5 McBride St., the former James’ Gate.

Eventually, a motion was made to approve, which was not passed. A second motion was made to call the project back for another community meeting with the Zoning Committee to see if the developer could work out any objections with the immediate abutters on McBride Street.

“We’ll see if there are changes to the project that are responsive to the remaining abutters’ concerns,” said Dave Baron, chair of the Zoning Committee.

The matter will be revisited at the Sept. 21 JPNC Zoning Committee meeting.

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