CAMH September monthly meeting report

The Community Alliance Mission Hill (CAMH) met remotely via Zoom on Sept. 16. On the agenda were a property on Calumet and fruit trees. Around 14 members of the public attended.

190 Calumet St.

CAMH hosted a pre-vote review of the property at 190 Calumet St. Architect Tim Burke and property owner Brian Gormley, who lives in Brookline, are proposing the addition of two bedrooms and one bathroom to the first floor unit at the basement level. The developers are seeking a variance for the Floor Area Ratio (FAR), which is a building’s floor area in relation to the size of the lot/parcel that the building is located on. The maximum FAR is .7, while the developers are seeking a FAR of .89. The basement unit is accessed from the inside of the building.

New tenants have already started moving into the property and do not include students. Mission Hill houses a lot of undergraduates from the area’s many local colleges, something that has caused grief to homeowners, who have complained of noisy parties and rowdy behavior. 

CAMH member Rich Giordano criticized the project, saying that it offered no tangible benefits to the neighborhood, such as artist housing or home-ownership opportunities. Due to a surplus of rentable apartments in Mission Hill, residents aren’t in a hurry to approve the addition of more. Of the members present, seven opposed the project and three abstained. No one voted in support of the project.

Other business

One member was curious why neighborhood apple trees had not been bearing fruit. Unfortunately, a drought has impacted plants, including fruit trees. Because climate change has ensured that temperatures will continue to rise and droughts will be more common, scientists are discussing planting more drought-resistant species in the region. 

CAMH meets virtually every month on the third Wednesday of the month at 7pm. Members of the public are invited to attend via the online conferencing platform Zoom.

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