Existing Rooftop Conditions.
Existing Rooftop Conditions.
Planned insulation boards surrounding new units.
Planned insulation boards surrounding new units.

CVS, the pharmacy and convenience store at 215-221 Hanover St., is requesting zoning relief to install insulated refrigeration (condenser) units on a rooftop as part of the store’s internal renovation. The plans were presented at this week’s Zoning, Licensing & Construction meeting of North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association.

CVS Attorney Peter Lyons (right) & Architect Jeff Kerns (sitting)

CVS Attorney Peter Lyons (right) & Architect Jeff Kerns (sitting).
CVS Attorney Peter Lyons (right) & Architect Jeff Kerns (sitting).

Attorney Peter Lyons is representing CVS along with architect, Jeff Kern. CVS has been operating on Hanover St. for 12 years. The store is being internally renovated to include more refrigerated and frozen food space. Inspectional services cited a need for zoning relief as a result of the rooftop units because the new insulated condensers units would be a 5418 violation, relating to rooftop height restrictions. The insulating walls will exceed 6 feet in height.

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As shown in the above photos, there is one existing condenser unit and several air conditioning units on the 1-story building. In order to add additional refrigeration, CVS is planning on 3 additional condenser units. All the condensers and a/c units will be enclosed with insulating walls, open at the top.

Although the building with the rooftop units is only one story, the surrounding apartment buildings are higher, creating a valley. Next door is a 28-unit apartment building at 220 Hanover Street. On the other side is the Improv Asylum theater. Also, accessible through the alley is 214 Hanover St.

Mr. Lyons said that Tina Brensinski, the landlord of the building with the rooftop units requested the insulated screening after receiving tenant complaints.

Expressing concerns at the meeting was George Jabour, an attorney representing Angela Romano of Romano’s Florist. Romano owns the abutting building of rental apartments.

“The noise is intolerable,” said Mr. Jabour. He suggested CVS install the units on a higher rooftop, above the CVS building. He asked, “How can we be assured these units will be insulated enough not to be a nuisance?” Mr. Lyons said that putting the units higher may be cost prohibitive.

ZLC Committee co-chairs, David Kubiak and Victor Brogna, asked for a tour of the property and rooftop situation. Mr. Brogna noted that ZLC meetings are an opportunity for abutters to work things out before they come to a vote at a NEWRA members meeting.

The next NEWRA meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 10th and the next Neighborhood Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 14th. See the calendar for details.

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