Zoning Board says no go to Downer Court condo building

A rendering shows a proposed building on Downer Court. The city’s Zoning Board voted down the idea last week. Image courtesy ZBA

The Zoning Board of Appeal last week rejected a proposal for a four-story, nine-unit condo building at 9 Downer Ct. off Bowdoin Street. Board members said the proposed building was simply too large for its context - a dead-end street with much smaller buildings.

Developer John McCallum had originally proposed a twelve-unit building, but reduced that to nine after nearby residents and neighborhood associations protested, saying that they could live with six. McCallum’s attorney, Joseph Feaster, however, said that was too small to make the project financially feasible.

“It feels a little hulking,” board member Eric Robinson, an architect, said, adding he was concerned about the proposed building’s height and density and relative lack of greenspace, given how much of the lot the building would occupy. “I just think it’s too big,” he said.

Robinson moved to reject the proposal without prejudice, which would let McCallum come back with a new proposal within a year, perhaps, Robinson suggested, with smaller, if not fewer, units.

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