(See the July post here.)
The biggest change is addition of a 40- by 70-foot roof garden for residents, which generated a lot of discussion about safety features such as round-top railing so nothing could be set on the rail and fall off. Zoning Board of Adjustment Vice Chairman Alejandro Ruiz also suggested running a gas line to the roof for grilling, so residents would not use propane or charcoal. The board questioned the height of the railing - 42 inches - and the size of the parapet to which it would be attached. Architect James Guerra said 42 inches was "code," or standard for such railings.
Architect James GuerraThe retail portion on the ground floor will be larger in the revised plan, but the owners have not signed retail tenants yet, so couldn't name any. Board Chairman D. Scott Belin asked for a timeline for construction and the answer was the project will be complete in a year.
Perhaps a good sign for the project Wednesday was the absence of Dairy Queen owner Donna Albanese, who strongly objected to the project in July. The lot is next to her business and she predicted that tenants would be parking there, as none is allowed concerns on South Avenue. The new parking formula allows 1.8 spaces per tenant, which may have allayed her fears.
The board had a few concerns. Jim Spear sought assurances that a den or study in each apartment would not become a second bedroom and lead to overcrowding. Members wanted the owner to stipulate that only residents and no third parties could use the roof garden and that all furniture would be secured so it wouldn't blow off in a storm. They asked the architect to name all materials to be used on the exterior.
The project team had waited two hours to be heard, as there were four memorializations and three other applications ahead of theirs. But once all the changes were described, the hearing went quickly.