Developer riles Roxbury residents

The Boston Globe | By Astead W. Herndon
August 12, 2016

They plugged electrical equipment into neighbor’s homes and didn’t use proper fencing and signage at the construction site, residents said. They left hazardous materials and a portable toilet unsecured throughout the evening, attracting criminal activity.

And for all these things, Rocco Scippa, a controversial developer with a history of construction violations and financial impropriety throughout the state, is asking Roxbury — specifically the residents of Robey Street — for forgiveness. At a community meeting held this week at Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, Scippa apologized for purchasing several vacant plots of land on the tiny street — only to shirk some city requirements during his initial construction on the property.

In addition to the alleged behavior towards residents, Scippa also ran afoul of officials by deviating from city-approved design plans. The city approved wood-based siding for the first of the 19 buildings he planned for Robey Street. Scippa installed vinyl.

“I will address these issues,” Scippa said after the hours-long meeting with residents. “Let’s just move from August 10 on and do what we have to do to get it right.”

As penance for violating design plans, Scippa promised to provide new greenery and landscaping on the street. The framework of the compromise was proposed and agreed upon at Wednesday’s meeting, which was attended by about one dozen Robey Street locals, Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson, and Commissioner William “Buddy” Christopher of the Inspectional Services Department.

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