The Zoning Board of Appeal today denied a developer's proposal to raze a single-family home and garage at the corner of Chellman Street and VFW Parkway and replace it with a duplex after neighbors objected to such a thing.
The board rejected Pamela Bardhi's proposal without prejudice, which means she can come back before the board if she can figure out another way to put a duplex on the lot that would not drive the neighbors crazy - such as making the duplex front on VFW Parkway instead of on Chellman.
Bardhi said she wanted to do that, but the problem is that the lot is a rectangle, with one of the shorter sides on the parkway, which means the lot did not seem wide enough to basically turn the two-family structure that way. But zoning-board members encouraged her to try again.
None of the three residents who spoke against the proposal disagreed with board Chairwoman Christine Araujo that the current house "is, in fact, an eyesore," but they said they were worried about the precedent of granting Bardhi's request to put a duplex on a street that doesn't have any. The house, which caught fire in 2018 is a rare all-metal structure.
Bardhi formally needed board permission because the new building would be denser, and closer to the rear-property line, than allowed under the street's zoning.
In addition to the residents, the mayor's office and aides to city councilors Matt O'Malley and Annissa Essaibi George spoke against the proposal.