Residents speak out against Allandale project; some voice support

Many attendees at a community meeting on the 64 Allandale St. project opposed the proposal for several reasons, such as being too dense, going against zoning and negatively impacting Allandale Woods, while some did speak in support of it.

About 55 people attended the meeting at the West Roxbury Police Station on Oct. 6.

The property 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, according to the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA).

Jacqueline Nunez, a Dorchester-based developer, filed a project notification form (PNF) during the summer with the BRA for a $20 million, 20-unit development at 64 Allandale St.

The proposal calls for building 16 new townhouses and creating four units at an existing house already on the property. The townhouses would be built in five different clusters, snaking down towards Allandale Woods and replacing a verdant landscape. The townhouses would range from three-and-a-half to four-and-a-half stories. The project would have 47 parking spaces, including seven spots for guests.

The project would abut Allandale Woods, which is an “urban wild” of more than 80 acres of City- and private-owned land in Jamaica Plain and West Roxbury, according to the City website. The woods is roughly formed by Allandale and Centre streets, the VFW Parkway and the Hackensack Road.

Polly Selkoe, who noted she is a member of the Jamaica Hill Association but said she was speaking for herself, came out against the project. She took issue with a comment from the development team earlier in the meeting that the project would be “lowest impact.”

“No development would be the lowest impact,” said Selkoe.

She also said that the zoning currently is for single family and that it is “extreme” to go from that to 20 units.

“When you buy a home, you rely on the zoning. [The developer] is completely ignoring the zoning,” said Selkoe.

Repeated objections were made over the density of the project, traffic concerns despite the development team’s assurance that the impact would be minimal, and the affect it would have on Allandale Woods, such as townhouses towering over a historic springhouse and the development possibly damaging wetlands.

Several attendees also questioned what the cost of the units would be. The development team responded that prices have not been determined. But people pointed out that the project is expected to cost $20 million, which would mean the average unit would have to cost more than a million for the developer to make a profit. The developer has also not revealed the affordability component of the project yet.

Rob Corley, who prefaced his remarks by saying he was in the real estate business and is a member of the West Roxbury Neighborhood Council, spoke glowingly of the project. He said in all his time he had never seen such a “conscientious design” and commended the developer for her level of detail and investment. Corley said he has seen a lot of developers put up buildings that are essentially boxes.

“This looks nothing like that,” he said.

Other attendees speaking in favor of the project, some of who said they are friends with Nunez or live in homes built by her, commented on how well she works with the community and the detail and benefits of the 64 Allandale St. project, including it being energy efficient, bringing much needed housing to the city and being aesthetically pleasing.

To comment on the project with the BRA, call project manager Christopher Tracy at 617-918-4259 or email him at [email protected]

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