In a vote of 5-3, the North End / Waterfront Neighborhood Council (NEWNC) voted to oppose a one-story addition at 49-49R Charter Street. NEWNC’s vote concurs with that of the Residents Association that similarly voted against the plan for a second time, despite revisions. Attorney Daniel Toscano presented the new proposal at the October 2019 NEWNC meeting in Boston’s North End.
The presentation emphasized the revisions since the original plan brought forward a few months ago in July 2019 which was unanimously opposed by the council. Instead of the fourth floor addition spanning the full length of the property, the new plan proposes to add the addition only to the back of the building. The proponent intends to also renovate and legalize the basement level, where the former building owner, Dr. Weller, has been granted a lifelong stay.
A roof deck, about 40-50 square feet, has been also been added to the plans. The proposal would change the legal occupancy from a six-family residential dwelling to a seven-family residential dwelling, legalize the basement unit.
Neighbors present from the abutting building on the lower floors spoke against the proposal, citing concerns about loss of sunlight, air flow, and privacy. In addition, two letters of abutter opposition were read at the meeting.
The current property has 12 bedrooms; the new design would have 10 total bedrooms. Unit 6 is the one that would be altered to be a duplex unit. This 12-foot addition would increase the total building height to 41 feet. The previous proposal called for a 15′ 7″ addition. The zoning violations include FAR (floor-area ratio) – the allowed FAR is 3.0, the original proposal would have changed the FAR to 3.7, the new version would have an FAR of 3.42; open space; parking; and roof structure restriction.
A shadow study was presented for each season showing varying impacts on neighboring Charter Street residences. There is a 5-6 foot alleyway separating the abutting buildings.
After the presentation and question period, NEWNC voted 5-3 to oppose the plans. In opposition were council members Natale, Simboli, Faller, Leo and Green. In support were Pregmon, Bova and Salvati.