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Six-unit apartment building on Readville side street rejected as too big

11 Yuill Circle proposal

Not to be.

The Zoning Board of Appeal today rejected a developer's proposal for a six-unit apartment building on Yuil Circle, a small circular street off Neponset Valley Parkway in Readville's Wolcott Square.

George Morancy, attorney for the developer, said the building would fit in well; he said the building was right near Neponset Valley Parkway and an existing seven-unit apartment building.

But board members unanimously disagreed. The proposed building wouldn't be on the parkway itself and "this is really going to stick out like a sore thumb," board member Mark Ehrlich said.

City Councilor Ricardo Arroyo supported the proposal. Readville resident Craig Martin, though, called the proposal "an insult to the neighborhood." The BPDA urged rejection as well.

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Comments

Architectures are boring these days.

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Voting closed 26

People used to complain that our now-beloved three-deckers were shoddy and ugly and cheap and full of undesirables. People complained that the now-beloved Victorians of San Francisco were hideous. People complained that the now-beloved brownstones of NYC were cheap and ugly and all the same.

Not only are your aesthetic preferences less important than the need for people to have homes, they're also shortsighted and probably wrong.

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Voting closed 64

Citations?

I have a hard time believing the majority opinion was negative about these when they were new: https://goo.gl/maps/vdLwymCV493w6Rc49

Are you confusing brownstones with tenements, some of which are clad in brown stone?

Not all new things are bad, and not all old things are good. But that doesn't mean we can't complain about bad things being built today.

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Voting closed 10

Not only are your aesthetic preferences less important than the need for people to have homes, they're also shortsighted and probably wrong.

Your opinion of my aesthetic preferences is not very important to me.

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Voting closed 13

It sounds like it would have been approved if it had "looked the same" as the rest of the neighborhood.

How exactly is Boston supposed to meet modern housing needs if we are required to build only what we've built in the past?

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Voting closed 14

Has Mr. Martin taken a walk down Yuill Circle in the past decade? One thing is to disagree on the design and size of the proposed building which is normal for those who'd like to preserve the rural character of certain suburbs but to call it anything designed to improve that area an insult is borderline contempt.

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Voting closed 16

Craig fights against any development in HP regardless of what it is. It's too bad as I think the neighborhood could benefit from strategic development buts completely closed minded to any changes. This case he might be right.

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Voting closed 7

In this case the development would have replaced a parking lot for industrial and construction equipment (actually looks like a junk yard) and these NIMBY's call this building an "insult to the neighborhood" that "sticks out like a sore thumb"?

We need to burn this system to the ground.

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Voting closed 37

Just look at the street view. How is this building not better than what is there now? This not only should have been approved, but enthusiastically welcomed.
:/

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Voting closed 11

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It should have been approved.

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Voting closed 68

"I've got a house, so I don't see why we should build any more."

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Voting closed 55

Let’s say you think Little League would be a better game if you allowed 4 strikes instead of 3. Not a completely crazy position, maybe batters’ reflexes develop more slowly in kids than pitching skills; maybe getting more batters on base and having higher scoring games would give more action and would help develop all of the players faster and more effectively.

The place to make that argument is most certainly not with the umpire in the middle of a game.

The purpose of the appeals process is to grant exceptions in cases in which a literal application of the zoning rules would shaft an applicant due to extraordinary circumstances not foreseen by the zoning laws.

If you think the zoning laws are overly restrictive, then the remedy is to change the zoning laws, not to expect the appeals process to hand out variances with no real justification. That latter approach just invites favoritism, abuse, and overall lack of confidence in the system.

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Voting closed 23

In baseball, the rules are well understood and set up to promote a competitive game.

Zoning in Boston was created to be discriminatory and has been fantastically successful at making a few people wealthy and excluding anyone else, while being disastrous for the environment. Zoning rules are dumb and should be ignored: I don't have the data in Boston, but in Somerville in 2016 only 22! properties were legal https://www.vox.com/2016/6/16/11948630/somerville-zoning-illegal

We should take every chance we get to build more housing, and not wait for the slow process of changing these dumb and often very harmful codes.

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Voting closed 32

We need to get rid of single family zoning. It was developed to keep minorities out of certain areas and it needs to go.

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Voting closed 16

You have to trust me, it wasn't zoning that was keeping black people out of parts of Boston when the zoning code was first enacted. There were whole neighborhoods full of dense, multifamily housing where black people couldn't buy, regardless of their income.

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Voting closed 19

It wasn't the number of strikes that kept Satchel Paige from playing in the major leagues.

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Voting closed 12

For the enforcement bureaucracy to simply ignore laws that it considers unreasonable is profoundly un-democratic. The body of law, imperfect though it is, is the best representation of the will of the people that we’ve got. Sure, the law can be profoundly wrong: look at Jim Crow laws for one example.

But dealing with laws you don’t like by not enforcing them is almost never the right answer. Having tons of laws on the books that are rarely enforced (that is, unless you’re out of favor with the power structure) is effectively a police state and corruption is inevitable.

Having zoning laws that ban everything is ridiculous. Dealing with that ridiculous situation by having the ZBA routinely hand out variances that aren’t warranted merely takes away the pressure to fix the zoning laws, and creates the situation where the zoning laws only apply if you hire the wrong lawyer or find yourself on the mayor’s “naughty list” that’s not the kind of society I want to live in, and the short term benefit of getting a little more housing built doesn’t outweigh the cynical loss of faith in democratic governance

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Voting closed 8

Zoning rules are dumb and should be ignored

I kind of like the fact that my neighbor isn’t allowed to build an oil refinery in the middle of my residential block. Or to block my light and air by building a 10-story brick wall right on the lot line next to my house.

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Voting closed 11

change the zoning laws

Wow, that sounds so quick and easy. How do I get started?

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Voting closed 15

Do you vote in every single election? For every small office? Do you attend neighborhood meetings where zoning issues are discussed? Have you studied the existing zoning rules and the history of land use planning so that you are well informed when speaking with public officials? Have you contacted your city councilor to make your position known? Have you rallied your like-minded neighbors so as to present a larger voting bloc?

Yeah, all that sounds like work. The well-funded special interests can afford to hire that work out; if we mere citizens want to go toe to toe with them there isn’t really an alternative to doing the work.

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Voting closed 6

The twelve track train yard two streets over isn't a sore thumb though.
Pppfffttttt

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Voting closed 8

Magoo here. Magoo thinks that Boston needs the likes of Howard Roark to build back Boston better if Magoo is so bold to say and Magoo is. Magoo also thinks that Dagny Taggart should get the trains in order. Magoo.

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Voting closed 13

Seriously, WTF. That building is not unreasonable. Politicians talk about our housing crisis and then this. WTF?

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Voting closed 10

Yeah, that third floor would be really disruptive to the dump truck depot across the street. https://goo.gl/maps/3EynAmSKbpXLkgiRA

And the excavator depot next door. https://goo.gl/maps/cV7L3wJD7rPo1mVB6

How many buildings visible from the site DON'T have three stories? Not too many.

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Voting closed 13

City Councilor Ricardo Arroyo supported the proposal

Appreciation for Councilor Arroyo being consistently one of the few pro-housing councilors in the face of NIMBY opposition.

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Voting closed 26

As well all know, what really makes a city great is to only allow things that don’t stick out.

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Voting closed 23

I think they look good but I did see a video about the "rectangles are everywhere" and why that is and it was really interesting and put out by Vox.

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The proposed building wouldn't be on the parkway itself and "this is really going to stick out like a sore thumb," board member Mark Ehrlich said.

People who live in multifamily housing deserve the option to live on quiet side streets too!

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Voting closed 23

The construction vehicles and neglected buildings around that lot are a view to be preserved!

Good Job, all.

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Voting closed 17

I always found it funny that they made the Wolcott Sq. Dunkin Donuts put in a brown and gold sign so that they wouldn't disrupt Wolcott Square's bucolic scenery with their usual orange and pink sign across from a lot full of rusted construction equipment.

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Voting closed 5