Algonquin Club Project Deferred at Zoning Board Hearing

The Algonquin Club project at 217 Commonwealth Ave. is soldiering on, but with a slight delay. Prince Lobel real estate lawyer Mike Ross appeared at the Zoning Board of Appeals hearing on July 10 to announce that the applicant is requesting a deferral until July 31. Ross said that the applicant would like to talk to the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay about “some additional issues.”

“We are making great progress, but we wanted to see if we could get a couple more weeks just to work everything out,” he said.

The proposed work is to renovate the existing club, which will only be available for private use to its members. Currently, the application has violations of excessive floor area ratio and insufficient side yard and rear yard.

The request for deferral was approved, and the case will be heard on July 31.

Several other projects in the downtown area were also heard, including on at 270-280 Huntington Ave., where the proposed work includes interior renovations to bathrooms and renovation of some of the facade.

Eric Chamberlin of Davis Square Architects said that the project has “triggered compliance with the Groundwater Conservation Overlay District,” where the building is located, so a rejection permit had to be applied for from the Inspectional Services Department. Chamberlin also said that the Boston Water and Sewer Commission has approved the CULTEC infiltration system that will be installed on the sidewalk and street in front of the property on Huntington Avenue.

The Board approved this project as proposed.

At 67 Saint Botolph St., the applicant is proposing to move the existing head house forward 16 feet to provide better access to a proposed deck. The deck is 34 feet by 24 feet and is parallel with the head house and to the rear of the head house.

The existing roof is seven feet eight inches by 13 feet by 9 feet, 7 inches. The developer said that the only alteration in the new deck is that the new dimension is a foot wider.

The stairway that leads to the existing head house does not comply with existing building code, according to the developer. This building is undergoing a gut rehab, and the head house must be moved in order to ensure compliance.

Zoning Board of Appeal Chair Christine Araujo asked if they have considered a hatch alternative, but she was told that a hatch would not work with the stairs, since they have three turns.

The developer assured the Board that the head house is not visible from the street.

Yissel Guerrero from the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services said that a mock-up was erected on the property when they went to look, but confirmed that it was not visible from the street. She also said that two abutters meetings were held with the direct abutters, and none of them expressed opposition to the project.

The project was approved by the Board, as long as it is not visible from the street.

At 66 West Rutland Square, the applicant is proposing a three foot window bay off the back of the building from street level to the third story, as well as minor excavation to increase the head height of the garden level, from 7 feet to 8 feet, 6 inches. This is a gut rehab of the building, and they are looking to expand the finished living space on the garden level to the whole rest of the garden floor. There is also a proposed roof deck on the top level that will be private and only accessible by hatch.

The Floor Area Ratio (FAR) will be increased from 2.3 to 2.64, to expand the living space and the garden level.

Faisa Sharif from the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services that there was no abutter opposition and that the civic group is in support of the project.

The Board approved the project with the proviso that it undergo Boston Planning and Development Agency design review for the rear.

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