The Zoning Board of Appeal today rejected a developer's request to add another floor and double the number of apartments at 632-638 Centre St. in Jamaica Plain, which had been a hole in the ground for years before a developer finally got permission to build a three-story building, then stopped to try to get permission to finish the thing off as a four-story building.
In February, the BPDA board approved Andrew Zuroff's proposal to add a floor and increase the number of apartments from 9 to 18, but the zoning board today sided with residents who said that approval would be rewarding somebody for something they shouldn't have done.
Joshua Brandt, who lives on Greenview Avenue - the dead end on one side of the building - told the board he is "pro-density and pro-development," but urged the board to reject the proposal because of what he said was an abuse of process that has left Centre Street with a blight for years now.
"To reward a tactic of building something you don't have permits for by ultimately granting those permits is really dangerous precedent for this board to set," he said. "This is a process the [board] simply cannot reward."
The offices of City Councilors Matt O'Malley, who represents Jamaica Plain, and Michael Flaherty, at large, also urged rejection.
Board member Mark Erlich said Brandt's point was "extremely well taken."
Board Chairwoman Christine Araujo said the vote means that Zuroff can still finish the building off with three stories and nine units, for which he has a building permit.