The Zoning Board of Appeal today formally denied Roxbury Prep's request to build a new 562-student high school at the former Howard Chevrolet site on Belgrade Avenue at West Roxbury Parkway in Roslindale, a vote that doesn't kill the proposal but which could mean still more delays if it is ultimately approved.
Roxbury Prep first proposed a high school in early 2017. In a process that has now extended longer than for many larger projects, the BPDA has yet to schedule a final vote on the proposal, which initially called for 800 students, but which was shrunk to 562 in the face of often vitriolic opposition from some nearby residents.
At a board meeting today - attended by a number of Roxbury Prep students - school attorney Joseph Hanley asked the board to formally defer any action on the variances it needs for two months in the hopes the BPDA will finally make a decision on whether the school meets that authority's standards. The non-hearing had originally been set after the board deferred action in October.
But board Chairwoman Christine Araujo said it would be in everybody's best interests if the board formally denied the request for variances related to the proposed building's size, height and driveway without prejudice, which would let the school come back for an actual hearing "when you're really ready."
The zoning board typically does not consider larger proposals until after they have won BPDA approval.
The Herald reported earlier this month that the BPDA issued a statement that its review continues apace and that it is dealing with "the significant feedback we have received from the neighboring community on issues including traffic configuration and congestion and neighborhood context."