Board rejects Dorset Street condo project that would have turned two backyards into parking lots

Rendering of front and rear of proposed Dorset Street condo building

Rendering of front and rear of proposed Dorset Street condo building by Tim Johnson Architect.

The Zoning Board of Appeal on Tuesday rejected plans to replace a one-family house with a six-unit condo building and to create a rear parking lot for that and an existing three-family home on Dorset Street in large part because the proposed eight-space rear parking lot would completely eliminate the two lots' rear yards.

Nick Zozula, attorney for developer Adam Sarbaugh, who wanted to put up the condo building at 54 Dorset St., said his client and the Nguyen family, who own the three-family home at 56 Dorset St., would be willing to look at using "permeable pavers" for the lot, but board members said the loss of open space was just too much.

Board member Hansy Better Barraza added that the tripling of the "floor to area ratio" on Sarbaugh's lot was also excessive, and that even with all of the backyards dedicated to parking, she was concerned the space was too tight for eight cars - six for Sarbaugh's condos and two for the Nguyens - for drivers to maneuver without difficulty.

The board rejected the proposal without prejudice, which means the two property owners can file new plans within a year if they address the board's concerns.

Zozula said his client came up with the plan after nearby residents and the McCormack Civic Association said that parking was a vital issue for them. He said the civic group wound up voting 13-1 to support the project - and that the one vote came from a resident who felt even more parking was needed.

The BPDA opposed the proposal. "This is too much parking, too much paving," BPDA planner Jeff Hampton told the board.

City Councilors John FitzGerald, Erin Murphy and Henry Santana supported the proposal.


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