CAMH members criticize Alleghany St. project

October 5, 2018
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The return of the 30 Alleghany St. project proved no more agreeable to the Community Alliance of Mission Hill (CAMH) than it was when the project was first proposed in 2012.

Attendees reviewed that project, along with several others, at CAMH’s monthly meeting on Sept. 26 at the Kresge Building at the Harvard Medical School. About 25 people attended the meeting.

Jan Steenbrugge proposed in 2012 to separate a parking lot at the corner of Parker and Alleghany Streets from 775 Parker St. and build a nine-unit condominium building. CAMH overwhelmingly rejected that proposal, citing concerns over traffic and parking, as well as other issues. The City’s Zoning Board of Appeals also voted against granting variances for the project.

Steenbrugge and his real estate company Ad Meliora is back this time proposing an 18-unit development with eight parking spaces. The reaction was hostile with CAMH members at the Sept. 26 meeting criticizing the density of the project, the impact it will have on a busy intersection, and the appearance of the proposed building.

Mission Hill resident Jeannine Barry said that Alleghany Street is already very busy with a school with 400 children and nonprofit group homes for children in the area.

“The street is already hell and chaos,” she said. “I don’t know what you’re thinking.”

She added later, “We don’t need anything like this on this property.”

Louis C. Miller, the lawyer for the development team, said they weren’t looking for a vote on the project at the meeting, but were presenting to “figure out what we can do.” He added the city desperately needs housing.

That argument failed to persuade CAMH members, who continued to pile on the project. Miller was also criticized for his involvement with a MH project from 20 years ago.

While the 30 Alleghany St. project was not voted on, CAMH did take action on several other development projects.

Boston Building Resources (BBR): BBR presented plans to renovate and expand its reuse center at 100 Terrace St. No one spoke opposing the plan, but several attendees asked information questions. CAMH voted with 28 members approving and no one opposing or abstaining.

Terrace Street Affordable Artists Residences: Developers Wyatt Komarin and Steven Meyer presented plans to develop two City vacant parcels at 40 Terrace St. and 132 Terrace St. into affordable housing for artists. The City land is being sold through the Department of Neighborhood Development. The developers said their goal is to enhance Mission Hill home ownership, support artist creative entrepreneurship, and preserve Terrace Street’s unique identity.

The project at 40-42 Terrace St. will be 8,750 square feet, four floors, seven 2-bedroom units, and two art spaces. The project at 132 Terrace St. will be 6,000 square feet, four floors, six 1-bedroom units, and an art space. The two-bedroom units are expected to be 725 to 750 square feet and to go for around $250,000. The one-bedroom units are expected to be 575 to 600 square feet and to go for around $225,000.

CAMH members voted with 27 approving, 0 opposing and 1 abstaining.

5 Worthington St.: Plans were presented to renovate 5 Worthington St. for a Chabad rabbi to live in and who will be associated with Harvard Medical School. CAMH members voted 20 approving, 3 opposing, and 5 abstaining.