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Board rejects new roof deck in South Boston as councilor calls for complete moratorium on their construction in the neighborhood

Not long after approving a proposal for a roof deck on Worcester Street in the South End, the Zoning Board of Appeal today rejected a request for permission to build a new roof deck at 460 East 7th St. in South Boston.

The difference: Nobody opposed the South End proposal while two city councilors and neighbors said they're fed up with roof decks on the other side of Fort Point Channel.

An aide to City Councilor Michael Flaherty (at large), in fact, urged the board to simply declare a moratorium on all new roof decks in all of South Boston because of constant complaints about noise and parties. He noted that somebody fell off a roof deck after the St. Patrick's parade on Sunday, on Broadway. City Councilor Ed Flynn also opposed the proposal.

Paul McDonough, who lives on East 7th St., said he was opposed specifically to Gerald Adler's proposal on a building that already has two decks.

"We've had nothing but trouble with this landlord since he's been there," pointing to both "parties and noise all the time" on the existing decks and the constant lack of sidewalk shoveling in the winter.

The board then voted unanimously to reject the proposal.

"It sounds like there's a little bit of work you need to do with your neighbors," board Chairwoman Christine Araujo told Adler.

Neighborhoods: 

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Comments

If you could fit, say, five cars on a roof deck, then he'd be all for it.

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Voting closed 76

Jimmy Kelly was whining about the same issue.

So remember, this "too many roof decks" thing has been going on in South Boston for longer than the time between the South Boston Information Center was telling people "not" to throw rocks at black kids in school buses and Kelly's complaining about roof decks.

I'm still waiting Mike and Ed to call for a banning of house parties on Parade Day by the "natives". If you are going to complain about parties, you might as well be legit in your seemingly selective noise concerns.

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Voting closed 23

Came here to say the same. It's just political theater, nothing more.

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why doesn't he introduce some legislation to ban them in the city? Feels weird to ask the zoning commission to do so, and only in one specific neighborhood, rather than try and use the power you actually have to make a difference here.

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When you have an unaccountable board run by Christine Araujo running around opposing everything in sight.

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Voting closed 45

By "opposing everything in sight," do you mean "declining to grant exceptions to the law for everyone who asks for one?"

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You must not be very familiar with Ms. Araujo and the ZBA she runs.

https://www.universalhub.com/2022/another-apartment-building-rejected-wa...

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Another law restricting property owner's rights for no legitimate reason.

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But, I'd rather see it be put forward as a piece of legislation that can be voted on and discussed, vs a rule being followed by an unaccountable zoning commission.

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on both counts.

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Don’t punish other neighborhoods just because Southie is a mess.

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don't punish Southie just because some councilors like to complain about it. There's no reason to believe that roof decks are dangerous in some neighborhoods but not in others.

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A clearly articulated set of guidelines for roof decks, that would make it possible for anybody who goes through the correct process, flies against Flaherty's preference for working hidden levers and back room deals.

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why doesn't he introduce some legislation to ban them in the city? Feels weird to ask the zoning commission to do so, and only in one specific neighborhood, rather than try and use the power you actually have to make a difference here.

umm... the rules already prohibit building a roof deck in that location, otherwise the owner would have just built it and the ZBA would never have been involved.

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But let's say that he isn't, then why is he wasting the ZBA's time asking them to implement a rule they already have? Either way, it's stupid.

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The ZBA is not supposed to grant variances unless all three elements of the Chapter 44a test are met. Instead, they have become de facto a planning agency that reviews and approves of projects based on some other criteria. It’s become a godawful mess of caprice, influence, and arbitrariness.

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But a city councilor asking them to add additional rules, rather than making legislation that would make these kinds of rules aboveboard and clear to all, is just adding additional caprice, influence, and arbitrariness. So I'm not really sure what point you're trying to make here since it seems like you agree with me.

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I don’t think he’s asking for additional rules so much as asking them to follow the existing rules and stop handing out variances and special permits that they aren’t actually authorized to grant.

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Another day, another example of why the south end is better than Southie.

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If it's good for the restaurants...

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Voting closed 23

Shortly after we bought our place in 2005 with a flat roof deeded to us, the city changed the requirements so that building a new roof deck requires full professional architectural plans (~$10K) rather than just following code. This was purportedly due to Southie drunken-falling-off-roofs nonsense.

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Looks like he wants a roof deck for each floor. Considering your not supposed to have cookouts on porches in Boston it seems like he's trying to promote this building as party central. Why would any landlord with a house on a hill not shovel their sidewalk? Sounds like a slip and fall lawsuit just waiting to happen

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