ZBA Refers 73 Sheridan St. Petition to Law Department

     The proposed project at 73 Sheridan St., which consists of eight residential condominiums, split into two three family buildings and one two family dwelling building, has been a point of contention for years for some of the project’s abutters, who came before the Zoning Board of Appeal (ZBA) on October 6 to petition the permit issued by the Inspectional Services Department (ISD) in June.

     The project, which is proposed by Watermark Development, calls for those three buildings to share party walls, and 10 off street parking spots will be provided on the lot. The existing building on the lot will be demolished.

     Several abutters to the project, are seeking “a determination that the Inspectional Services Department erred in issuing the permit…” for this project, according to the ZBA. “The permit was issued as an allowed use,” and the developer has stated that the proposed project can be built as of right.

     Attorney Brian Wells, who represented six abutters, said at the hearing that he and the abutters were “asking you to invalidate the permit.” He said that the issued permit was “in violation of multiple provisions… I’m not sure how it got through,” he said. He read a passage from the Article 55 of the zoning code: “…it states that any structure or combination of structures, including townhouses or rowhouses or however you put them together, the limit is three dwelling houses…”

     Attorney Don Wiest, who represented Watermark Development, said that “there is no limit in the zoning code about how many dwellings can be placed on a lot.”

     He also cited the zoning code, saying that in a 3F subdistrict, which is where this property is located, the maximum number of dwelling units per building is three, but reiterated that there is no limit on buildings per lot.

     He said that all other requirements, such as height, parking, and distance from lot lines, are met, as asked by ZBA chair Christine Araujo.

     Marc Joseph, a Plans Examiner for the ISD, explained that each townhouse is one building, and “each one can have three units based on the size of the lot.” He also said that townhouses and rowhouses are allowed in this particular subdistrict, and “in each building, the requirements have been met.”

     Wells responded by reading back from the zoning code again. He said that in a 3F subdistrict, the maximum number of dwelling units in any combination, which includes townhouses or rowhouses, “shall be three.”

     ZBA chair Christine Araujo requested that all parties provide information in writing to the Board of Appeal office no later than October 16, and the ZBA voted to refer this matter to the city’s law department for a decision.             “This is purely a technical discussion, and we need a technical analysis,” Araujo said.

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