Split Decision:NEWRA Opposes Basement Renovation Plan

By Phil Orlandella

Unlike the North End/Waterfront Neighborhood Council (NEWNC) that voted unanimously for a plan to renovate the basement at 32 Charter Street, the North End/Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA) did the opposite, voting 22-15 opposing the applicant’s presented plans.

Several abutters attended the monthly meeting in the Nazzaro Community Center to express opinions relating to the project, which calls for the renovation and redesign that extends the existing first floor condominium (Unit 1), by extending residential use into the basement space (deeded to the unit).

A glass door emergency egress will be installed to a passageway from a basement room. Currently, the unit contains three bedrooms. The proposal seeks permission to increase the number of bathrooms from 1 to 3.5 baths.

The condominium Association raised the question relating to who the owner would rent the space to. They opposed renting or selling to be used as an AirBnB and were concerned about what the new owner will do, if he sold.

They are currently rewriting their condominium association policies to set new guidelines to protect them from any use that will directly affect them or their neighbors.

The owner McDonough family whose representative has met several times with abutters, unless the rules changes, will take his plans to the Board of Appeals.

Inspectional Services Commissioner William Christopher Jr., addressed neighborhood concerns, what is legal or not

dealing with obtaining a working/construction permits.

Residents were apparently pleased by the commissioner’s presentation that gave light on ISD and how to work with the city agency.

Arturo Gossage from the Alliance of Boston town Civic Organizations, spoke on AirBnB legislation being offered by Representative Aaron Michlewitz that has been presented at three public meetings.

While the bill sets policies, and generates additional tax revenue, it still leaves the final decision of two cities and towns.

            The next NEWRA monthly meeting will be held on Thursday, August 10 at 7 PM in the Nazzaro Community Center, 30 North Bennet Street.