461 Walnut Ave. has its day in court

The lawsuit over the proposed respite care and homeless housing facility at 461 Walnut Ave. may be drawing to a close next month.

A judge will hear arguments at an Aug. 2 hearing, said Daniel Wilson, the attorney for the plaintiffs.

“This will probably be the last hearing,” said Kyle Robidoux, community organizing assistant director at the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC), one of the defendants in the suit, noting that the judge can take as long as he wishes to pass judgment after that hearing.

A group of 11 residents filed a lawsuit against the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) and the developers, Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program (BHCHP) and JPNDC, in hopes of halting the project.

“The only way we understand to have an influence on the project is to stop it,” Jason Heinbeck, a neighbor and plaintiff in the lawsuit, told the Gazette in October.

The lawsuit, filed just before Christmas, has delayed the project for six months so far. The suit claims that the BRA and the developers wrongly claimed that the property was blighted, decadent or decayed to ease zoning approval of this project.

The developers’ plan would make the BHCHP’s former Barbara McInnis House, across from White Stadium in Franklin Park, into a medical care facility with 20 beds on the ground floor and 30 studio apartments for medically frail and elderly formerly homeless people on the upper two floors. Pine Street Inn would operate the housing component.

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