Update on the 64 Allandale lawsuit

August 10, 2018
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A resolution to the lawsuit by a group of abutters–Carl Tremblay, Jacqueline Lees, Stephen P. Bell, Mary Reed, and Elizabeth Bowen Donovan—over the 64 Allandale St. project appears to be on the horizon.

According to an update on the Allandale Woods Coalition website, a group opposed to the current project and that is helping fund the group of abutters’ lawsuit, the developer has prepared a motion for summary judgment, asking the court to rule against the abutters and in favor of the development. The residents are preparing a cross motion and a hearing will likely happen within three months, according to the update. “While the Court may find that a full trial is necessary, a ruling on Summary Judgment would be the final decision at the Superior Court level,” said the update.

The abutters lawsuit is one of two court actions against the City’s Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) and Wonder Group, LLC over the controversial project and the variances that were granted for it. Springhouse Senior Living Community has filed the other lawsuit, which requests that the court declare that the ZBA went beyond its authority in granting the variances and that the zoning relief annulled. Springhouse Senior Living Community abuts the proposed project site

Last year, Judge Paul D. Wilson of the Suffolk Superior Court issued a split ruling on a motion to dismiss the abutters lawsuit. The ruling denied the motion to dismiss over a lack of standing, but granted the motion to dismiss on the spot-zoning claim and several other issues, including citing potential damage to the wetlands as an adverse affect, which narrows the scope of the lawsuit.

Jacqueline Nunez plans to build an 18-unit development at 64 Allandale St., which is a reduction of two units from her original proposal. The project consists of renovating a farmhouse and building several townhouses on a road snaking down towards Allandale Woods. The proposal would have one affordable-housing unit. The other units would likely cost in the million-dollar range.

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 Hackensack Road.

The site 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.

The vast majority of attendees at a meeting in 2016 on the revised proposal spoke out against the project, expressing concerns over density and the affect on Allandale Woods, among other issues. The ZBA granted the project more than 50 variances, a decision Mayor Martin Walsh backed.

 

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