Saying they feel surrounded, and will likely feel even more surrounded, by construction activities at all hours, neighbors and a large condominium association on Harrison Avenue have vociferously opposed recent approvals for after-hours and weekend work.
The South End has a special protocol for after-hours and weekend work that relies on Inspectional Services Commission Buddy Christopher to grant permits under only special circumstances and with notification of the neighborhood. However, recent large projects, such as The Smith (formerly Harrison Albany Block) have challenged that protocol and pitched neighbors against the City’s bureaucracy.
This week, the condo association at 700 Harrison made public a vote to oppose after-hours work recently approved to accommodate concrete pouring after-hours at The Smith – an approval that will go through December and perhaps into March.
“The Trustees, residents, and stakeholders of the 700 Harrison Condominium Association affirm support for existing City of Boston construction guidelines, which limits construction activity to the hours of 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday,” read the resolution. “We oppose regular exceptions to these rules, especially to accommodate construction that may otherwise be accomplished within the confines of the weekly permissible 55-hour construction window.”
It was signed by five trustees, including Kyle Szary, who has sounded off about the approvals previously in public meetings. He and other neighbors believe the project and the City should adjust their schedule to fit normal hours rather than neighbors adjusting to fit the project – especially for something as common as concrete pouring.
Neighbor Brad Busino said the construction on the weekends and after-hours does disrupt the neighborhood. He said he particularly worries about future projects.
“If we have this one approved consistently, you have to remember we have the Flower Exchange coming after this one, and if we set a precedent here, we have many more years of this kind of activity coming our way,” he said. “That’s a lot to handle when you’re talking about multiple projects around you over many years.”