ZBA Approves Residential Building at 58 Burbank St.

The Zoning Board of Appeal (ZBA) on May 18 voted to approve the residential building pro-posed for 58 Burbank St. in the Fenway.

The proposed building will be seven stories, and “immediately adjacent to the Fenway CDC” offices, said attorney Marc LaCasse. 

Marc LaCasse said that this is a “proposal to fill in a long neglected vacant parcel along Bur-bank St. in the Fenway neighborhood.”

The ground floor will feature three office or “work pod spaces,” according to LaCasse, that will be available for community use via the Fenway CDC and an online software to book the use of the space. The remainder of the floors will have residential units with their own rear balconies.

He added that while the proposed “architecture is contemporary in nature,” it still comple-ments the surrounding historical context within the neighborhood.

There will be five one bedroom units, one two bedroom unit, and one three bedroom unit with bike storage on the lower level.

Three of the units are 400 square feet, but LaCasse said this proposal is not aiming to be a compact living project.

The lot is 1600 square feet and “very narrow,” LaCasse said. He said that this was taken into consideration when designing the building.

Joe Coppinger from the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services said that the mayor’s office has “received a number of letters of support from local abutters and neighborhood associa-tions,” and the support from the mayor’s office comes from the fact that much of the commu-nity was in support of this use for that space.

Vijay Singhal, the owner of the building at 73 Westland Ave., which is located behind 58 Bur-bank St., said he opposes the project for several reasons. He said that there will be issues with parking in the area, and “the building is going to stand out like a sore thumb” at seven stories when other buildings in the area are around four stories.

He also said that he believes the height of the building will block sunlight.

“The proposal is going to make the neighborhood non-homogeneous,” he said, adding that the modern design does not fit in with the context of its surroundings, and “destroys the charac-ter and ambiance of that neighborhood,” he said.

LaCasse explained that the required zoning variances for this project include: insufficient off street parking, the office use is forbidden, the Floor Area Ratio is excessive, and the usable open space and rear yard are insufficient. There is no height variance required, LaCasse said.

After hearing all of the facts and the comments for the proposal the ZBA voted to approve the project with Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) design review. One member of the board was opposed.

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