The Stonybrook Neighborhood Association (SNA) met virtually on January 10, where members heard presentations for two different projects: one at 3430 Washington St., and one at 15 Meehan St. Updates from subcommittees were also provided.
3430 WASHINGTON ST—STANLEY’S TOWING AND ACME BODY & PAINT
The presentation heard for 3430 Washington St.—currently the site for Stanley’s Towing and Acme Body & Paint—was a very preliminary one, as the project team came with two conceptual ideas looking for feedback from neighbors.
Attorney Joe Hanley, along with Jumbo Capital Management and architect Dartagnan Brown, were on hand to present the proposal and address questions and concerns.
“We are here very early in what may or may not be a process to have some initial discussions,” Hanley said, adding that no plans have been filed with the city.
Hanley said that the site is approximately 38,000 square feet, and is located at the intersection of Rockvale Circle and Washington St. Because of its location in the local industrial subdistrict, the site “has a certain level of contamination,” he said, and “we think there’s an opportunity for a little bit of environmental justice; to help clean up that soil.”
One of the potential development options is a mixed-use storage facility, and the other is a mixed-use residential building, which was focused on more heavily and seemed to be favored by residents over the storage facility.
For the residential idea, “this option is looking to put up a six-story residential building that comprises 61 one beds, 32 two beds, and eight three bed units,” Brown said, for a total of 108 units.
There would be 57 parking spaces, and there was also brief discussion of material precedents in the area, which include brown brick, metal paneling and screening, as well as grey brick, but there have been no choices made in terms of materials yet.
There was also discussion of some of the goals of the residential building with regards to sustainability, as well as discussion of compliance with PLAN: JP/Rox.
“Personally, I heavily prefer the housing option,” said SNA Steering Committee member Paige Sparks. She said that having more housing is “in line with PLAN: JP/Rox and the vision there.” She asked the team, “When do you plan to take a deeper look at affordability?”
Hanley responded by saying, “It’s tricky, because we need to understand what the building program is. We’d like to dive into that early on.” He said that there are other things that need to happen before, such as “studying the corner; the scale.”
Steering Committee member Jonathan McCurdy agreed with Sparks, saying he is “personally not a huge fan of the self storage building. We have a number of them in the neighborhood already. Adding new neighbors is a plus—neighbors who would be living there, not just storing things there.”
SNA member Jennifer Uhrhane added that “PLAN: JP/Rox discourages adding storage facilities to this area. We’ve got three storage units within less than two miles form this parcel, plus one being proposed on Stedman St. I don’t think we need any more of those.”
Uhrhane also said that if the team does move forward with this proposal, she would like to see “illustrations that really show how this will look in context with everything that’s already been approved or is being proposed.”
She also talked about open space, saying that “we’re losing tons of trees, and we’re not really gaining back any green spaces.”
Hanley said that there are “ways” to look at open space and trees “with having different variations of scale and less lot coverage,” and are open to looking at it further.
Since this is a very early presentation, no further action was taken at this point.
15 MEEHAN ST.
Attorney Ryan Spitz presented on behalf of the proposed project at 15 Meehan St., which is to increase the living space as well as add extensions for the egress porches in the back. The units will be for home ownership.
Spitz said that zoning violations include “conformity with the extension of the building alignment,” which will “most likely be removed,” as well as side and rear yard insufficiencies. These are pre existing violations, and this project will be “neither increasing or decreasing these.” The project has also been cited for insufficient Floor Area Ratio.
Architect Andrea Brue said that “we’re maintaining the footprint of the building for the most part,” and there will be a front porch with entrances to units one and two, as well as a rear deck for the first floor unit. Additionally, there will be a spiral staircase for the second floor “as a second means of egress,” she said.
The team will be “maintaining the foundations” as well as the “exterior envelope” of the building. She said that the ceiling heights for Unit One will average about nine feet, and the floor for the lower level will be lowered about 30 inches to create a code-compliant height.
The materials proposed are “fiber cement cladding with fiber cement panel and fiber cement casings,” she said, as well as a “two-toned” facade with “possibly a bluish color on the bottom and a lighter color on top,” Brue said. There will also be painted railings that will be made of either wood or metal.
A Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services-sponsored abutters meeting was held on January 5, where the team said they garnered some feedback that will continue to be worked out.
Jenny Nathans, an abutter, said that “I did notice that it does cause a lot of shadows where we don’t have them now,” which she said is “not particularly welcome.”
When wrapping up, the team said that they will be “continuing conversations about design.”
A few of the SNA’s subcommittees on various projects had some updates. For the mural proposed as part of the formerly Flanagan & Seaton site, Jennifer Uhrhane reported that final numbers for cost to paint the mural have been received, and she said about $1400 more needs to be raised.
For the Southwest Corridor Expansion proposal, which includes the potential creation of a dog park in the space between the Orange Line tracks and the Extra Space Storage building on McBride St. Paige Sparks reported that another meeting has been set for January 19 at 7pm, and said that at the last meeting, the group “discussed the land ownership issues with MassDOT and DCR.”
The Doyle’s project, which includes the new restaurant, a market, and 29 units of housing, is set to come before the Zoning Board of Appeal on January 18, and Sparks said that the SNA has submitted its letter of non-opposition to the board.
For 75 Stedman St., project proponents came before the SNA with a proposal for a storage unit in May of last year, but the SNA had several concerns about the inclusion of another self- storage facility in the area. Jonathan McCrudy said at the January meeting that the proponents are “moving forward with the self-storage [proposal] and the subcommittee is requesting a meeting with them for discussion. The neighborhood is not that happy about self storage, also, it doesn’t match PLAN: JP/Rox.”