Zoning Board okays apartment complex on Westville Street

A rendering of the completed project.

The city’s Zoning Board of Appeal on Tuesday approved plans by the owners of a Fields Corner cafe for a four-story building on Westville Street with 14 studio apartments no bigger than 280 square feet.

The BPDA had already approved Vivian and Elisa Girard’s proposal for 141 Westville St. in July under a pilot program aimed at increasing affordable housing in Boston by allowing smaller units than normally allowed under city zoning. At Tuesday’s hearing, Vivian Girard said eight units would rent for $650 a month, the rest for $850 a month. 

The Girards co-own home.stead cafe on Dorchester Avenue, and have said they were thinking of their workers when coming up with the idea for the building, which will also have a common area for residents, an outdoor patio and storage for 14 bicycles. Two of the units, on the first floor, will be designed as handicap accessible.

Board Chairwoman Christina Araujo questioned how a handicapped person who cannot ride a bike and needs a vehicle to get around could actually live in one of the units. A BPDA project manager acknowledged that was a good question, and worth further study, but said the issue had not come up during the agency’s approval process, which included meeting with the city disability commission.