The Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) unanimously denied a variance request that would have allowed for the conversion of a dilapidated single-story home to an eight-unit apartment building at 126 Ferry St.
The new building would have sat next to a 17-unit apartment building currently being renovated by the owner, according to Anthony Rossi, the attorney for the project.
The variances being sought for the building included rear, side, and front setbacks, but the biggest hold up appeared to be the lack of parking spaces for the project. Under zoning regulations, 16 spots were required for the six two-bedroom and two one-bedroom market-rate units, but there was no parking proposed on site.
“I know there are concerns about parking, but there are three spots that can be rented at the other building (being renovated by the owner),” said Rossi.
Rossi also noted that the building on Ferry Street is near public transportation and bus routes and would appeal to tenants who do not necessarily own cars. He said the owner would also agree to conditions in the ZBA decision in which tenants of 126 Ferry St. would not be able to get on-street parking stickers from the city.
“My concern is parking,” said Arlington Street resident Kathy Getchell. “You can’t tell someone that is renting that they are not going to have a parking spot. Residents will park on the street.”
However, Getchell said she would find the project more acceptable if there was a condition that residents wouldn’t be able to get parking stickers.
ZBA member Michael Dantone asked if there was any chance the size of the project could be reduced.
Rossi noted that the owner, Luisa Bedoya, spent a considerable amount on the neighboring property, as well as 126 Ferry St., and is making a sizeable investment in the properties, but that she would be willing to reduce the project to six units if it was the Board’s will.
According to city assessing records, Bedoya purchased 126 Ferry St. last year for $200,000. She bought 114-124 Ferry St. in 2017 for $2.8 million.
“We’re willing to take a story off and do four two-bedrooms and two one-bedrooms,” said Rossi. “We could do that and still have a nice project.”
Dantone made a motion to grant the variances for 126 Ferry St. with the conditions that no city parking stickers be issued for residents, and that the project be reduced by one floor, eliminating two units, but the variances were unanimously rejected by the Board.
The applicant can appeal the decision to the state.
•Many of the residents attending Monday night’s meeting went home early, as several projects on the agenda were tabled to future meetings, including projects at 31-33 School St. and a controversial one at 295 Chelsea St.
•The ZBA also denied a special permit to convert a two-story home to a three-story home on Bennett Street after the applicant failed to show up for the second hearing in a row.