Residents’ Association Opposes Addition to 49-49R Charter Street

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The North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA) voted 26-2 in opposition of a one-story addition at 49-49R Charter Street at their July meeting.

The proposal also calls for legalizing the present basement occupancy. The changes would result in a change of the total occupancy from six to eight residential units. Watch the presentation by Attorney Daniel Toscano in the video above and follow along with this summary.

Currently, there are three units in the front and three in the back, all have two bedrooms and one bathroom. The lower level is occupied by one occupant, the former owner of the building. The current owner has granted this resident, who has some preexisting health conditions, a lifelong stay. The proponent would like to renovate and legalize this lower level.

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Zoning violations would include parking (none would be added), open space (no roof decks are being added), roof structure violation caused by adding a one-story unit on top of the current roof, and the floor-area-ratio, which would increase to 3.7.

The one-story addition would be built between the two existing head houses to use the stairways that are already there. It would be set back from the roofline about 10.5 feet.

The back properties would be reduced from two to one bedrooms because of the existing size (each back unit is between 400 and 450 sq. ft.). The new unit 8 to be built would be a 10′ addition, making the building 44 feet high.

The biggest impacts are on the residents of 4B and 5B at 57 Charter Street, whose windows would be obstructed. A sun study is presented at 8:27 showing the addition shading these units in the morning hours.

Phil Celeste of RMG Realty spoke on behalf of the building owner, Dr. Weller, at 9:57.

Concerns from abutters are presented at 11:52. Abutters have no objections to renovating the building and legalizing the lower unit. Objections were raised about the top unit addition, which would block sunlight and air flow for 57 Charter Street.

The North End / Waterfront Neighborhood Council (NEWNC) also voted to oppose the proposal. Watch that video here.


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