The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council (JPNC) met virtually on November 24, where members discussed updates from council committees.
Public Service Committee
Michael Reiskind reported that the Public Service Committee discussed two matters, the first being a request for a common victualler license for La Patrona Mexican Grill at 360 Centre St. Elizabeth Cabral will be the manager, and the hours of operation will be 11:00am to 9:00pm. The Council voted to approve this request.
The second matter was a continuation of a discussion from last month regarding a vote on sending a letter of support to the Longfellow Area Neighborhood Association (LANA) and the Roslindale Wetlands Task Force, who are asking the City to purchase 104-108 Walter Street to build up to four affordable homes for ownership as well as add the parcel as part of the wetlands protection.
Reiskind said that the proposal for 104 Walter Street is to demolish the existing building and construct four affordable housing units.
The 108 Walter St. parcel is “immediately adjacent to the Roslindale wetlands area,” Reiskind said, and would be protected from building.
He said that the parcels are “for sale for well over $1 million,” and the City has received a LEND grant for $387,005.
“There was a good amount of pushback from community members,” he said, reporting that JPNC member Gert Thorn said that while he believed this proposal was a good one, there is already a lot of green space in the neighborhood and he thought the money should be spent elsewhere.
He also said that JPNC member Samantha Montano thought that it “might not be feasible” to turn 104 Walter St. into affordable housing.
LANA member Deb Asbrand said that 104 and 108 Walter St. “are separate parcels,” but have “historically” been kept together and are being sold together.
She said that should this project happen, it will “allow greater access to the wetlands.”
Public Service Committee member Louise Johnson said that the Public Service Committee voted to send the letter. “All we’re doing is saying we support what the neighborhood is doing,” she said, adding that she thinks neighborhoods should support one another.
The JPNC voted to send a letter to the mayor, city council, and environment department supporting this idea.
HOUSING & DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
As previously reported by the Gazette, the Housing and Development Committee heard from the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC) about an update to the Call Carolina project at 71-85 Call Street, as well as discussed sending an Article 80 comment letter for the proposed project at 632-638 Centre St. for a four story building with 18 residential units and four commercial units.
Royce reported that “construction halted and then started again,” and “came in the back door as an Article 80.” She said that a lot of people on the Housing and Development Committee were not aware of a lot of the project’s background.
Royce said that both the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) and the Boston Transportation Department (BTD) have made some changes to the project, which was “one of the things that informed us.”
The JPNC voted 10-4-1 to send the Article 80 comment letter.
Dave Baron reported that there were two matters heard by the Zoning Committee in November: one at 17 Kingsboro Park to add additional living area on the third floor of a second-story condo unit, and one at 3305-3307 Washington St. to combine existing lots into one and create a three to four story building with nine residential units and one commercial space.
At 17 Kingsboro Park, Baron said that the family who lives at the property wants more space and are seeking to expand the attic. He said there was some “pushback from members of the committee on the particular design,” specifically the parapet roof, but the recommendation of the committee was to approve with the removal of the parapet. Baron said the :”owner was indifferent” to the parapet and “happy to accommodate.”
The JPNC voted to approve the project as well.
At 3305-3307 Washington St., which Baron said has come before the committee before, the Zoning Board of Appeal had denied a previous proposal and asked to see something smaller with a different look.
Baron said that the current proposal is for 10 units and nine parking spaces. One of the residenital units will be at 70 percent AMI, and the building has a different design from the previous proposal. Baron said that the new proposal went through processes with the Egleston Square Neighborhood Association and the Brookside Neighborhood Association, where it was approved again.
The JPNC voted to approve the project as well, subject to the Memorandum of Understanding that had been laid out.