ZBA Approves Pine Street Inn Supportive Housing Proposal

The Zoning Board of Appeal (ZBA) on Tuesday approved a proposal to create a 4-story, mixed-use building at 3305-3307 Washington St., as well as the Pine Street Inn/The Community Builders proposal for supportive housing units at 3368 Washington St.

At 3305-3307 Washington St., architect Tim Johnson presented a proposal to combine existing lots into one 9,378 square foot lot and construct a four-story, mixed use building with commercial space, fifteen residential units, and a garage with 12 parking spaces. Three of the units would be affordable. 

The required height is three stories and 35 feet, but he proposed four stories at 45 feet tall. There will also be four roof decks dedicated to the top units. The Floor Area Ratio is also excessive, as .7 is required, but the proposal is for 1.9. 

The 1100 square foot commercial space could be used for something like an attorney’s office or a small grocery store, he added. The basement below the commercial space would be accessible via an elevator.

The project has received non-opposition or support from the Brookside Neighborhood Association and the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council.   

ZBA Chair Christine Araujo said she was concerned about the density of the proposal for the area, and suggested that the applicants defer and come back with something “less dense” and “more respectful of the neighborhood.”

The ZBA voted to defer this project, and the applicants are set to come back on May 19 at 11:30 with a different proposal.

3368 Washington St.

In a joint venture between The Community Builders (TCB) and Pine Street Inn, attorney Joseph Lieber proposed a mixed-use development that includes 202 housing units on the site of a one-story warehouse currently used by Pine Street Inn for “mostly back office functions.”

Of the 202 proposed units, 140 of them would be used for supportive housing units for formerly homeless individuals who have an income of below 30 percent of the Area Median Income. The 140 units would all be studios with an average square footage of 320 square feet. Johnson said that the supportive housing units come with additional services and community space for the residents, who will be encouraged to come out of their rooms and into the common spaces to socialize and interact with other residents.

Additionally, he said that Pine Street Inn will have case management staff on duty 24 hours a day to provide support.

There will be a total of 38 below-grade parking spaces, mainly for the Pine Street Inn employees that will work at the offices in the 15,000 square feet of commercial space that is proposed for the ground floor of the building. The space will also be used for resident and community-wide spaces like meeting rooms. There are other public amenities proposed as well, such as green spaces, a second floor courtyard, and roof decks.

ZBA member Mark Erlich said he was concerned about the smaller units, but the project proponents assured him that community space requirements are being met so people won’t feel trapped in their rooms.

Lindsey Santana from the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services said the Mayor’s Office was in support of the project, and that the proponents have gone through a “robust community process.” The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council also voted to approve the project, and City Councilors Matt O’Malley Annissa Essaibi-George, and Michael Flaherty were also in support.

JP resident Samantha Montano, who is also a member of the Impact Advisory Group for the project, said that she supports the project, as “income diversity and racial diversity is essential to the JP neighborhood.”

Chris Tracy, a representative of BMS Paper, an abutter to the project, said that BMS Paper owner Bob Harrington is in support of the project, as he is “cognizant of the need for this housing.”

Cynthia Snow, who represented 3377 Washington, LLC (doing business as Turtle Swamp Brewing)  an abutter under the Boston Zoning Code, said that her client was opposed to the project due to the “severe adverse effects” it will have on the brewery. She said that there will be many visitors and employees of the project at 3368 Washington St. who will be utilizing street parking. Snow said that 3377 Washington, LLC currently has 21 employees who use that street parking.

The ZBA voted to approve this project with continued BPDA design review.

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