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ZBA approves variances for Washington Ave. apartment building

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  The Zoning Board of Appeals approved variances for a 30-unit apartment building at 810 Washington Ave last week, despite some concerns about traffic and parking.

  “This is a bit of déjà vu,” said Attorney Gerry D’Ambrosio, representing applicant Washington Sherman LLC. “The reason it is déjà vu is because this was before the ZBA two years ago and this identical proposal was already approved.”

  Because of Covid, D’Ambrosio said, there was inactivity and there was trouble finding a financing partner for the project, causing the permits to lapse. “The primary owner of the property has found a partner and they hope to develop a brand-new building in that area of the city,” said D’Ambrosio. “We did have a community meeting in that area of the city, and the neighbors were in favor of it.”

  The proposal calls for 30 studio and one-bedroom rental units. When it originally came before the ZBA in October of 2020, the developer requested 42 units, but city officials asked that the project be scaled back.

  D’Ambrosio said Ward 6 Councillor Richard Serino and the Mayor’s Office were in favor of the scaled back project.

  Denise King, who lives nearby at 770 Washington Ave., said she is opposed to the project. “The reason I am opposed to this is, because from what I understand, it is 30 residential units and it’s going to be a zero-foot variance in the front and on the side and back of the building,” said King. “Also, I don’t believe there is enough parking for this particular building. We live at 770 Washington Ave., and my fear is that the overflow of parking from this building will flow into 770 Washington Ave.”

  Currently, King said, the area of Washington Avenue is congested and the traffic backs up. “I think this building is going to make traffic even worse,” she said.

  The ZBA voted unanimously to approve the variances that were originally approved in November of 2020. In addition to the variances for the setbacks, the development requested a parking variance, with 36 spaces proposed for the 20-unit building.

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