JPNC Zoning Committee approves two proposals

The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council (JPNC) Zoning Committee met virtually on May 4, where two matters were discussed and approved: a proposal at 57 Brookside Ave., #14 to add and finish a bedroom in the second floor loft area, and a proposal at 12 Cataumet St. to add a second-story addition to part of the house. 


At 57 Brookside Ave., #14, applicant and homeowner Luke Bruffee explained that he would like to add a bedroom to the second story of his home, as a continuation of the existing loft. 

“The proposed project is to continue the loft all the way across from the center pole to the wall and make the total area of the loft space cover half of my unit,” Bruffee said, adding that this is “very similar to many other units in this building.”

Bruffee also wants to add a laundry closet to house his washer and dryer, as well as add a window above the front door for the bedroom to make it an egress. He said that the windows would match Unit #15, which is right next door. The proposal also includes adding a closet in the existing bedroom, as it currently does not have one, as well as to add a closet in the proposed new bedroom as well.

Committee Omer Hecht, who said he’s also an abutter, was in support of the proposal.

Committee member Carolyn Royce said she attended the abutters meeting for this proposal, and there were about four or five abutters in attendance. “We’re in support,” she said, and added that other abutters also seemed to be in support as well..

The committee voted to approve the project.


Owner David Rand presented the proposal for his home at 12 Cataumet St. 

“In the rear of our home, we have an existing single floor area and we’re just attempting to put a second floor on top of that,” he said.

He said a zoning variance is needed only because the existing house is a nonconforming use, therefore any work triggers a zoning violation.

The addition will be used to enlarge the existing bedroom, as well as create a new primary bathroom. 

“It doesn’t affect any of the houses around it,” Rand said. “I have letters of support from neighbors on both sides, behind me, and directly across the street.”

The addition will go on top of an area in the back of the house that is currently only one story. 

“We have very limited bathroom and closet areas,” Rand said, so the purpose of this project is to create a bathroom and a larger closet. “Our existing primary bathroom will become an ensuite bathroom for another bedroom on the floor,” he said. 

Rand said that he moved here almost two years ago with his family, and he has two children who attend the Curley School, so “this is, as far as I’m concerned, our forever home,” he said. “We’re here for the long term.

Committee member Kevin Leary reported that the Jamaica Hills Association had heard this matter and spoke with abutters, and “unanimously approved” the proposal.

An abutters meeting had also been held.

The Zoning Committee voted to approve the proposal. 

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