Thank you for your interest in protecting Allandale Woods and surrounding residential neighborhoods, their natural resources and historic, distinctive character. We hope all are enjoying a safe and pleasant summer.
This update provides information on the 64 Allandale lawsuit and related issues.
64 Allandale Lawsuit
Residents brought a lawsuit in March 2017 challenging City approvals of an 18-unit luxury townhome development at 64 Allandale. A maximum of 5 homes are allowed on this property. Springhouse Senior Living Community, which directly borders 64 Allandale, also filed suit against the project.
Residents' lawsuit has gone through several procedural stages including examination of documents (discovery) and deposition testimony of resident plaintiffs.
The Springhouse lawsuit remains pending, but has been essentially on hold while Springhouse and the developer simultaneously seek a settlement resolution and await the outcome of residents' legal challenge.
As of mid-July 2018, the residents lawsuit is at key juncture: The developer has prepared a Motion for Summary Judgment, asking the Court to rule against residents and in favor of the project. The developer's main arguments are that the 18-unit project density is consistent with the nearby Faulkner Hospital and Springhouse and that residents' claims of harm are speculative, not backed by objective evidence and that, in any case, increases in traffic, noise, light and loss of open space are minimal and not substantial.
Residents are now preparing their reply, which will consist of a Cross Motion, asking that the Court rule find that residents would be harmed by the project and that the 50+ variances should not have been granted.
Residents rely on affidavit evidence, serious inconsistencies in developer expert evidence and a clear line of zoning cases where substantial increase in density in a residential district directly causes harm to interests protected by the zoning code.
There will likely be a hearing in Suffolk Superior Court on the Motion and Cross-Motion within approximately 3 months, but that date has not been set.
Links to the case documents will be posted on the website when they are filed with the Court, together with any announcement of a hearing date. While the Court may find that a full trial is necessary, a ruling on Summary Judgment would be the final decision at the Superior Court level.
Thanks to the sustained, generous support of individual residents and neighborhoods groups, we have been able to sustain this effort over 16 months. Throughout this process, we have encouraged the City to focus on affordable housing rather than furthering luxury, speculative development and to direct housing density to locations near public transit and walkable main street districts. As the case proceeds to the Summary Judgment stage, we will email with further updates and announcements of fundraising events.
90 Allandale directly borders 64 Allandale. A concept plan for a 19-unit townhome project on the site was prepared as part of a marketing brochure for the property. The marketing brochure specifically references the City approvals for 18 units at 64 Allandale as a precedent for development at 90 Allandale.
While there has been no formal application filed for new development at 90 Allandale, one major purpose of the 64 Allandale residents lawsuit is to prevent this excess density precedent from being established.
This small parcel of vacant land next to Sophia Snow Place is zoned as a "Conservation Protection Subdistrict", due to its proximity to a vernal pool and wetlands within Allandale Woods. A 4-unit condo development has been proposed for this property, where 1 unit would be allowed under the Conservation Protection designation.
The Jamaica Hills Association, West Roxbury Neighborhood Council, Friends of Allandale Woods, Sophia Snow Place and Hebrew SeniorLife have all advised the City of their similar position on the proposal: that residential development is not appropriate in this health-care and institutional area.
The project is currently on a temporary hold as the developer is in discussion with the City and abutters as to possible options.We hope satisfactory resolution can be reached concerning future use of this small but ecologically sensitive site.