The Zoning Board of Appeal today approved a six-story apartment building at 72 Burbank St. in the Fenway, where units will be smaller than usually required by city zoning, where residents will get no parking spaces, but annual Bluebike memberships and where students will not be allowed to rent - with the building owner hiring an independent auditor to do annual "rent roll" checks to make sure they stay out.
Four of the units will be rented as affordable.
The BPDA approved the project in February, one of the first to win approval under its compact-units pilot, aimed at trying to bring down housing costs to some extent through smaller units - in this case with studios between 361 and 378 square feet instead of the 450 normally called for, along with smaller than normally allowed one- and two-bedroom units - as small as 632 square feet for one of the two-bedroom apartments.
Marc LaCasse, attorney for developer Forest Properties Management of Cambridge, said residents won't need cars due to the proximity of several Green Line stops and bus lines.
Although the Fenway Community Development Corp., which owns a building next to the vacant lot on which the building will rise, signed off on the project, a representative of another building, at 54-56 Burbank, opposed the proposal. David Epstein said the project would prove a fire hazard by essentially narrowing access to the alley that now runs behind it, and by being too close to an adjacent, unsprinklered building. He said it would create a potential trash problem because garbage trucks that now service his building would no longer be able to use the alley.
Both the mayor's office and City Councilor Josh Zakim supported the proposal.
The board voted unanimously to approve the proposal.
Documents and renderings for the proposal.