ZBA Approves Renovation to St. Botolph Apartments; Cannabis Shop at 297 Newbury Deferred

The Zoning Board of Appeal (ZBA) on Tuesday approved renovations to the Boston Housing Authority (BHA) Saint Botolph Apartments.

“This is a substantial renovation and the 132 dwelling units will remain deeply affordable under the Section 8 program,” said Carolyn Barry, a project manager for the BHA. “BHA will continue to manage this development.”

She said that “multiple resident and stakeholder meetings in this neighborhood” were held regarding the proposed renovations.

“This project will provide much needed building transformation and expansion of residential services while preserving these apartments as  affordable housing for the BHA’s elderly and disabled populations,” Barry said.

Rick Jegorow, a senior project manager at BHA confirmed that the building envelope and number of units is staying the same for the project.

Christian Simonelli of the Boston Groundwater Trust said that there an approval letter from the Boston Water and Sewer Commission, as well as a no harm letter have been received, as the project is within the city’s Groundwater Conservation Overlay District.

City Councilors Michael Flaherty, Annissa Essaibi-George, and Ed Flynn expressed support for the project. Ana Calderon from Councilor Flynn’s office said that “the councilor would like to go on record in support of the renovation to improve the building conditions and quality of life for the residents. The project has gone through the local architectural board and has their support. This is also in the city’s groundwater overlay district and the drainage system has been confirmed compliant by Boston Water and Sewer.”

Shanice Pimentel of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services said that an abutters meeting was held about three weeks ago, where she said that neighbors were in support of the renovations and did not have any concerns.

The ZBA voted to approve the project with Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) design review, as there are proposed upgrades to windows and other upgrades on the exterior of the building.

297 NEWBURY ST.

The proposal at 297 Newbury St. for a cannabis dispensary was set to come before the ZBA  on Tuesday for conditional use zoning relief, but Chris Tracy of O’Neill and Associates asked for a deferral, as he said “more outreach is needed with the current mayoral administration” and other elected officials within the purview of the project.

The project received a new ZBA date of June 22 at 12:30pm.

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