Controversial West Roxbury proposal wins key city approval

The Boston Globe | By Tim Logan
December 13, 2016

west-rox-condA controversial project to build 18 luxury town houses near Faulkner Hospital in West Roxbury received unanimous approval from the Boston Zoning Board of Appeals Tuesday.

The proposal had become a flashpoint for a group of residents, who say it would overwhelm a quiet, woodsy neighborhood near the border of Jamaica Plain and Brookline, and the Walsh administration, which backed it because of its environmental aspects.

The developer, Jacqueline Nunez, principal of WonderGroup, said the homes would be the first “net-zero” residential complex in Boston — meaning the complex will offset its energy consumption by generating its own electricity on site.

“It’s right in line with the city’s climate action plan,” which promotes green building techniques, said Nunez. “This is how we need to be building in this city.”

The 2-acre property was zoned for single-family use and is tucked into an unusual pocket that includes the 86-acre Allandale Woods conservation land, open space, and Allandale Farm. Putting so many town houses on the property required dozens of zoning variances, and neighbors and residents of the nearby Springhouse retirement community argued the project’s potential benefits were not worth threatening Allandale Woods and upending the rules that govern building in the area.

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