One of the most contentious issues at recent neighborhood meetings has been resolved through a compromise between abutters at 44 Prince Street and the owner of 113/113A Salem Street, Arthur Caras. The Barber Shop expansion was a hotly debated issue with neighbors complaining about the roof deck that would be on top of the 2-story extension.
Minutes before the August 18th Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) hearing, the parties signed a memorandum of understanding. The compromise comes with the help of resident Victor Brogna that recently informed the owner’s counsel that the roof deck did not need to be 300 feet to meet “open space” requirements. In fact, the deck could be as small as 150 square feet. With this information, the owner agreed to re-design a smaller deck that would include sky lights and a walking path egress (required for the fire escape) in the square footage. This way, the deck would function more as green space than a social roof deck. With the MOU in hand, the ZBA approved the smaller deck along with the Barber Shop expansion.
This agreeable outcome was a direct result of the pressure that the neighborhood was able to exert on this issue. NEWRA voted 33-5 against the proposal. NEWNC voted 6-3 in favor of the expansion/deck despite emotional opposition by residents. Numerous letters/emails and a petition opposing the expansion and deck were sent to the ZBA prior to the hearing.