Neighbors Abutting Warren Street Project Protesting Space Expansion

December 2, 2011
By

Better late than never might best be the title of the ongoing drama with neighbors of the Warren Street garage who are protesting the changes scheduled to be made to the structure located at 40 Warren Street.

The Boston Redevelopment Authority has approved plans allowing owners of the building to add two stories for additional housing and for changes to be made at the street level for commercial space.

The addition of the two stories would bring the building’s height to nearly 70 feet and would obstruct the views of several property owners, some of whom claim they were not notified of advertised hearings regarding the changes.

Those people attended a Tuesday evening meeting of the Neighborhood Council and will be out in force at a more significant Zoning Board of Appeals meeting scheduled for December 6.

The objective of the abutters is simple – to stop the new construction in order to save their views.

The building is owned by Vahid Nickpour of Andover.

He has been anticipating making the changes he seeks for quite some time and numerous hearings have been held and the Neighborhood Council and most neighbors had already chimed in about their feelings long before this last ditch effort came to be made.

An October meeting on the matter before the Neighborhood Council caused a 15 person turnout.

About the same number turned out Tuesday night for a meeting depicted by some as too late.

Even the Zoning Board of Appeals meeting December 6 is more about form than function.

As one Neighborhood Councilor said: “It is near to impossible to overturn a BRA approved project.”

 

  • Brian

    Thanks for coverage on this issue. While the views are part of the issue, for abutters and those in close proximity to the 40 Warren Street project, there are issues of reduction in light caused by a structure that is roughly 75% taller than the existing one today, growing beyond the current zoning of 35 feet in the area to at least 62 feet. Along with an expected in property value decrease because of the impact to the view, there will be a reduction in light, impacts to airflow, concerns for parking and traffic with the addition of retail space. Finally there is the impact to the neighborhood feel, adding a taller, more industrial-looking building to an area within 100 feet of the Freedom Trail. Zoning for Charlestown, while I am not a city planner, seems to be  designed to retain Charlestown’s historic neighborhood charm and appeal, keeping buildings under 35 feet, about the height of a 3 family building. The project at 40 Warren Street would impact abutters, their air, light and views but also change the look of the neighborhood, impact traffic, possibly parking and ultimately the character of Charlestown.