Somerville Zoning and Development Headaches

By Judy Locchi Jacobs 

Since when does the city care about parking requirements especially when it comes to their friends who are behind the developments.
Take a look at the monstrosity being build on Holland Street across from Hodgkins Park in Ward 7. The owner couldn’t get a driveway passed on a busy street so instead they allowed them to attached another triple decker which will take 20 on street parking spaces or more from the already densely populated neighborhood.
I attended the last zoning meeting which addressed the site of former East End Grill. At the end of the meeting I agree the owners have a right to build. It’s their property. They bought the old bar, turned it into a restaurant and invested thousands to remodel it. Now they wish to build housing units and stated they are willing to drop the number of units originally planned.
Frankly, I think some of the complaints about the proposed project are grossly exaggerated– a danger to school children due to excess traffic, where I suggested they provide incentives to occupants who only use bikes. One comment insinuated that balconies were a bad idea because the owners with a pool didn’t want to be seen by their neighbors.   
It seems to me that even with their generous donation of free parking to neighbors in their expansive parking lot, and willingness to renegotiate the plans, there are some who won’t be satisfied until they are driven to the point where they will have to sell to someone for a bargain price, and we know it could be among those on the very short list. Need I say more?

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