Shirley Street Neighbors Not Happy with Apartment Building

Neighbors of 130-140 Shirley St. are not happy with a proposal to build 16 residential apartment units with 16 parking spaces, and a ground floor retail space. The entire building would be totaling 18,613 square feet.

No residential units will be on ground level because the property is in the flood plain. There also will be no elevator and no ADA compliant units.

Monday night members of Precinct 6 gathered at the E.B. Newton, to hear from attorney Richard Lynds, Owen Thomas of Bloom Architects and investor Julius Sokol of JB Capital, a well-known Boston lawyer and real estate investor. Because of Sokol’s background, some residents thought this development would be for a recreational marijuana shop.

It is not.

The town currently has a moratorium on pot shops in Winthrop.

Neighbors pointed out that parking and density of the neighborhood were issues of concern. The project has not started its building permit process yet, but when it does it will have to go to the Zoning Board of Appeals for several variances, including use, minimum lot size, front, side and rear yard setbacks. In addition, it will need a variance to allow four stories or 44 feet in height, open space and parking. It is required to have 32 parking spaces but at this point only has 16 built under the structure.

Lynds said he expects to appear in front of the Zoning Board in April, and hopefully  have permits issued by early summer and then begin a 12-month construction phase starting in the late summer or early fall.

“We feel the uses being proposed are a greater addition to the town,” Lynds said. “We feel this size building would work very well.”

Bob Carroll, an abutter and a member of the Planning Board,  said the group was asking for apartments that aren’t allowed in the area and for mixed-use to be allowed in a zone where it’s not allowed.

“Those are two big asks right off the bat,” Carroll said. “It’s five times more-dense than what’s allowable if it was by right multi-unit housing.”

Lynds conceded they didn’t comply and that’s why they were having this meeting before applying for any permits.

“We’re trying to understand a workable project for this site that’s good for the neighborhood and the developer,” Lynds said, adding that the property is already mixed- use.

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