We know that there has been considerable development in the area in the recent past, and not all of it has had a positive impact on the neighborhood.We think our project will have a positive impact, for we are renovating (and slightly reducing the size of) an existing structure that's in very bad shape and building a new home in the back of a lot that's also in rough shape. Where no one could live before, two families will be able to reside—in buildings very much in keeping with the character of the neighborhood.
"several of us in the neighborhood oppose this new construction as it would destroy the privacy and open space currently in place between 15, 21, 23 valentine st, 20, 22 decatur st, and other abutting properties. adding another single family house on the small lot would ruin green space, crowd the neighborhood, and increase the number of cars parked on decatur st. we feel that renovations and an addition to the existing structure would suffice, and see no reason to grant the variances."
"We would much prefer a new unit and a renovated unit on that lot to the existing run-down building. The large number of run-down buildings in our neighborhood is certainly a much greater drag on our neighborhood’s property values than adding a unit in the back half of that large lot would be."
"The privacy and open space enjoyed by the properties adjoining no 24, in Decatur St, Valentine Place and Valentine St, will be lost forever; increasing the density of housing by allowing a second house to be built on a very small lot will alter the character of the neighbourhood for the worse and devalue the existing properties."
"It makes sense for all to work in a cooperative manner if possible - for those who are building to have some consideration for the neighbors and for the neighbors not to raise objections based on their preference of having space they don't own stay vacant."
To me, this is exactly how these things should be done. Reasoned commentary from neighbors leading to a public meeting next week where City planning and zoning officials can make an informed decision based on letters and comments from the public.
Have an opinion? Join the meeting: the Board of Zoning Appeals will be holding a hearing on the variance application on Thursday April 29 at 8:00 PM at the Cambridge Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Avenue.