BVHDC Approves Roof Decks for Condo Units on Edgerly Place; Understands Neighbors’ Concerns

The Bay Village Historic District Commission (BVHDC) on June 8 voted to approve two amendments to previously approved projects on Edgerly Place. The first was at 1-17 Edgerly Place to construct roof decks on each of the nine previously approved condo units, and the second was to create a garage door opening instead of windows on the first floor of the proposed building at 10 Edgerly Place.

1-17 Edgerly Pl.

When this project was first approved by the Commission in June of last year, roof decks were not part of the proposal, but the team said at this meeting that people are seeking more outdoor space in the wake of the pandemic, so now they would like to include the decks as part of the proposal.

Architect Jonathan Garland explained that the proposed decks would “fit below the parapet line” proposed for the building, and have also been “strategically placed…along the rear of the building” and would not be visible from the street.

He called the decks “modest in scale and very minimal.” Garland also said that the style of the railing would be a metal picket rail “with a warm toned wood handrail cap,” and the railing would be three feet, six inches in height.

The team said that this proposal is compliant with zoning and installing the decks would not require any variances.

Joseph Cornish, Director of Design Review for the Boston Landmarks Commission, said that staff should take a look at a mockup of the roof decks once the building is constructed “to ensure it won’t be visible from a public way. As long as it’s not, it would be exempt from our review.”

Garland responded, “we can work with our construction team to understand the best, most expedient time that we can do it. We would want to do the mockup and get the approval after seeing it as soon as possible.”

Several neighbors expressed their concerns for this proposal, saying that they were not made aware that the roof decks were being added to the proposal.

“We received absolutely no notice that they were modifying the building,” said resident Gina Bolvin Bernaduci, She said that she did not oppose the project when it was originally proposed because no roof decks were part of the plan. Bolvin Bernaduci added that there are terraces proposed for “each of the units,” and she feels that it is “not necessary to have two outside spaces.”

Bill Bernaduci added that he was also upset that he was informed of the change to the proposal the evening before this hearing, and he “barely had a chance to review the project.”

He also said that screening may be required for the privacy of his and his neighbors’ homes, which may end up going above the parapet line and would be visible. He made a “request that the approval of this project take into consideration abutters.”

Tom Perkins, president of the Bay Village Neighborhood Association (BVNA), said he is in agreement that the “notice was somewhat short,” but did mention that the change to the project was part of the agenda for the June 7 BVNA meeting as well as posted on Nextdoor.

Perkins added that the proposal “was a topic of discussion at the meeting last night. Your complaints were heard. I did not hear other complaints, honestly, from other abutters. This gets beyond the mandate of this Commission.” He said that the question remains which entity or organization these complaints belong to.

“We did send out our usual postcard to abutters,” Cornish said, as well as listed the meeting notice properly on the city website, as well as distributed the agenda to the “interested parties” email list. He reiterated that the Commission’s purview is limited only to what can be viewed from a public way, and does not include things like noise.

“Our Commission is not the correct venue for that grievance to move forward,” said Commissioner Steve Dunwell, adding that it “puts us in a slightly difficult position,” as the Commission recognizes these issues are a concern for some neighbors, but the BVHDC’s purview only goes so far.

The Commission ultimately voted to approve the roof deck proposal with the proviso that nothing be seen from the street, and a mockup confirming that must be reviewed by staff. If the mockup is visible, the project proponents will have to come back before the Commission.

As for the neighbor concerns, the Commission suggested contacting the city’s Inspectional Services Department as well as City Councilor Ed Flynn.

10 Edgerly Pl.

Jonathan Garland is also the architect for the proposed project at 10 Edgerly Pl., which was originally approved as two different residential units with a window on the first floor. The proposal is being amended to now be a single townhome with the window proposed as a garage door opening instead.

Garland explained that the garage would have “traditional carriage style doors” with a darker stain color. A previously approved planter in front of the old first floor window has been removed to make room for use of the the garage door.

“I don’t have any trouble with it,” said Commissioner Anne Kilguss. Other Commissioners agreed, saying there weren’t any issues with the door.

Tom Perkins had some comments for the developer, Jonathan Lee, asking him to “make yourself available” for future BVNA meetings to discuss changes to proposals.

“I think it’s in everyone;’s interest if there is an opportunity to resent and review this stuff at a neighborhood meeting,” Perkins said.

The BVHDC voted to approve the change in design to include a garage door instead of a window at the first floor, and added :final design details must be reviewed and approved by staff.”

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