ZBA grants more roof decks, rear decks in the South End

Roof decks and headhouses were popular topics of discussion for the South End at the Zoning Board of Appeal (ZBA) hearing on March 10.
At 11 Bradford St., the proponents proposed a change of occupancy from a two-family to a single family dwelling, to remove the penthouse to construct a new stair, head house and roof deck, among other interior and exterior renovations.
The applicant said that they would like to remove the solarium at the backside of the building, and extend the existing roof deck in its place. He said the deck would not be visible from a public way, just the private alley in the rear.
The existing headhouse will be kept for access to the expanded roof deck, but it will be reduced in size. Mark Erlich said that the ZBA is not particularly fond of headhouses.
Faisa Sharif of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services said that the Mayor’s Office is in “strong support” of this project, as the proposed roof deck and headhouse “actually have less of an impact” on the neighbors. City Councilor Ed Flynn was also in support of the application. Nobody came to the hearing to speak in opposition to the project.
The ZBA voted to approve the project as presented.
170 West Brookline St. and 130 West Newton St.
The proposals for 170 West Brookline St. and 130 West Newton St. were very similar, as they were requests to add roof and/or rear decks to the properties.
At 170 West Brookline St., the applicant sought both building code and zoning code relief. He said that they wan to install a hatch rather than a headhouse for access to the propopsed roof deck. “It is the traditional means of access in this historic South End district to keep the street scape uniform,” he said.
Additionally, he said that the proposed roof deck complies with dimensional regulations and could be built as a matter of right. It would not be visible from a public way.
Faisa Sharif of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services said that the Mayor’s Office is in support of the applications, as “the decks are in line with what’s usually approved in the South End.” She said that the neighbors were “appreciative” of the hatch access. Councilor Flynn was also in support.
The ZBA approved the zoning and building code relief requested for this project.
At 130 West Newton St., the appeal was again for both the building and zoning code, and the applicant requested a hatch rather than a headhouse for access to the roof deck. He also proposed three rear decks that would project six feet out, one for each proposed unit. They would not be visible from a public way, and would be supported by brackets.
According to the applicant, a representative from Alpine Advisory Services, the owner is a third-generation owner of this South End townhouse who is doing his own work for the property.
Faisa Sharif said that the Mayor’s Office was in support, as the proposal is “consistent with rear decks in the South End,” and the roof hatch is preferred by neighbors. She said that neighbors were “generally supportive” at the abutters meeting she held.
City Councilor Ed Flynn was in opposition to the project, as his staff member said that Steve Fox of the Rutland Square Association had requested that the applicant defer the project to have more time for the community to review plans and engage with the project proponents.
The ZBA voted to grant the relief requested.

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