The two North End / Waterfront neighborhood groups are split on the proposed zoning relief proposal for the complete rehabilitation and building addition at 3-5 Quincy Court. The North End / Waterfront Neighborhood Council (NEWNC) voted 5-4 to support the application on June 8th while members of the North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA) voted 15-11 to oppose it at their meeting on June 11th. Both groups are advisory to the Boston Zoning Board of Appeals that will hear the issue on July 7th at Boston City Hall.
Quincy Court is located next to Ricardo’s Restaurant and directly across from Limoncello’s Restaurant on North Street. The property has been vacant for many years, with the plan calling for a fourth story addition to make six rental units in the building.
Pending BRA design review, the property owner is seeking zoning relief for violations that are “consistent with additions and occupancy changes,” according to representing Attorney Daniel Toscano. “We are seeking relief from F.A.R. (Floor Area Ratio) limits, to make large enough units with adequate space to attract families.” The petitioner seeks to acquire more living space by finishing the basement (adding more room for two lower units to use), while adding living space for the top two units with the added floor.
Taking into account earlier opinions and concerns from abutters, the plan for a roof deck was eliminated and the addition would bring the building height up about 10 feet, keeping the height of the building below the North End height limit of 55 feet.
Concerns from abutters were geared toward fire safety in a tight alley, the lack of trash room space, noise from potential student renters and lack of parking. This will not be an owner occupied building. Given the close proximity of abutting properties, there were also concerns raised over criminal access to a neighboring property.
Supporters spoke of the renovation dealing with an “eye sore” of a property and cleaning up a neighborhood building. Comparisons were made to the vacant building on Stillman Place where a fire recently broke out.
Below is the presentation video from the NEWNC meeting.