The North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA) voted to support a first floor addition at 23 Unity Street at their October meeting.
Attorney Dan Toscano presented the proposed project to construct a first floor rear addition to the existing building at 23 Unity Street, which abuts the property of Old North Church. Watch the presentation above and follow along with this timeline.
(0:44) In the back of the property is some existing patio space that has been closed off. The plans propose an enclosure of this space to include with the living space for unit one. The addition would add 170 sq. ft. of living space to unit one and would be 8′ 10″ in height.
(2:36) The zoning violations include a change in floor-area-ratio which is already in violation at 3.03 and would increase to 3.18. The second violation is the rear yard setback. The minimum is 12′, and the property is already in violation at 10′ 2″. With the addition, there would be approximately 6-7 feet of space between 23 Unity St. and the next building.
(4:57) The height of 8′ 10″ was determined partially by an existing fire escape that is above the proposed addition. There is also an 11-12 foot wall that separates this property from the courtyard of the Old North Church.
(6:03) A member of the audience asked how Old North Church feels about the addition. Toscano confirmed that the owners have spoken with Rev. Stephen Ayres who has submitted a letter in support of the proposal.
(6:47) No abutters were present at the meeting. Another audience member asked if future plans would ever propose building on top of this new first floor addition. She expressed concerns that it would be much easier for a future developer to argue to build on top of a first floor unit that already exists. Toscano pointed out that the fire escape above the addition cannot be moved, so it would be unlikely that someone could build on top of this addition.
NEWRA voted 21 in support and 3 opposed.