Mark Raimondi, owner of Ellsworth Supply on Dorchester Avenue, has so far lost a bid to create seven new housing units in a vacant lot behind his place of business between Ellsworth and Kimball streets.
The city's Zoning Board of Appeal listened Tuesday as a long line of representatives from elected official's offices and Council President Maureen Feeney expressed their opposition to the development, citing the density concerns of abutters and neighborhood associations. Only the Carpenter's Union stood in support.
"It's very different when you know the parties involved. I know what good people they are," said Feeney, pointing to Raimondi. "But I really believe this is one instance that the community cannot stand with the project."
Board member Eugene Kelly asked Feeney if the community would prefer an as-of-right commercial use, and the truck traffic that would come along with it. She responded that the community wanted to limit the use of the site.
"This is like a double edged sword for Ellsworth Supply," Raimondi told the board. "I did remove eight two-family homes and three three-family homes there back in 1975 I was getting bashed for taking down houses. In 1990, with Freeport Adams [Neighborhood Association] we signed an agreement not to build no more commercial. I have been to multiple meetings with these groups. I don't know what else I can do."
The board denied him the zoning variances for density and change of use that would have been needed to move forward, but it was not a unanimous decision. At least three board members dissented when the board moved for denial without prejudice, and a vote to approve failed, resulting in a straight denial.