One of the most suburban neighborhoods of Boston, West Roxbury is being dragged kicking and screaming into the city’s development boom.
A controversial proposal for a 48- unit apartment building at 425 LaGrange St received Boston Redevelopment Authority approval in October and will go before the Zoning Board of Appeals December 8, according to The West Roxbury Transcript. The building needs variances for insufficient parking, rear setback, not having any loading space and for first-floor residential use. Meetings about the project have gone on for about two years and neighbors are adamantly opposed to it for parking and traffic reasons, as well as the snob grounds that tenants don’t care about their neighborhoods and are by default undesirable transients. With that kind of attitude, tenants won’t care about the neighborhood.
The West Roxbury Neighborhood Council recommended that the ZBA deny the necesssary variances and local officials are against it.
Another project opposed by many residents, a 16-unit condominium at 100 Weld St on the border of West Roxbury and Roslindale, was approved by the BRA in November. Unlike the LaGrange Street prtoject, 100 Weld doesn’t need any variances. It will, however, require permits and approval from the Parks and Recreation Commission because it’s across Weld Street from the Arnold Arboretum.
Residents told The Transcript they opposed the development because of its height and feared impacts on traffic flow on Centre Street and newcomers taking onstreet parking spaces.
Down the road a few miles, a virtually identical condo building attracted almost no opposition at 1789 Centre St (same architect, same development consultant, different owner). It will have sixteen condos and a retail space very close to a grocery store, several bus routes and a commuter rail station. Some neighbors did express concerns about traffic impacts, but their main concern was aesthetic.
A 48-unit apartment building has also been proposed for 4945 Washington St, although nothing has been filed yet.
The elephant in the room has been 1235 VFW Parkway, which had its first BRA meeting Monday. It had surprisingly little criticism for an 83-unit project on a traffic-clogged stroad like the VFW Parkway.