Hampden Community Council Supports Variances Despite Opposition
The Hampden Community Council voted to support a variance to build an apartment building in the 3400 block of Roland Avenue.
Despite being controversial with some neighbors, the Hampden Community Council voted Monday to support variances needed to build a proposed apartment building.
In a 20-16 vote, the council agreed to send a letter to the Board of Municipal and Zoning Appeals in support of allowing variances for a proposed development, in the 3400 block of Roland Avenue. The developer has a hearing before the board scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on July 10.
The project needs a variance to be built as proposed, so that the building’s footprint can extend closer to the street. The larger footprint is needed to keep the building—that will include 10-units—to only two stories, which is more in line with height of surrounding homes.
The Hampden Community Council’s zoning committee supported the variance. George Peters, the committee’s chairman, argued the project was better than some of the alternatives that could be built on the site by right.
"It wasn’t a homerun for us," Peters said.
The developer, Joseph Rabinowitz, of Guerilla Architecture, first approached the council and neighbors about building the project on a vacant lot earlier this year.
Despite the council’s decision to send a letter supporting the variance, neighbors were still upset about the proposal.
Vincent Serritella, a nearby neighbor who works for an architecture firm, said his objection stemmed primarily from the design.
"I don’t mind the variance, because its what I would do. But the project as a whole, I think it’s atrocious. It’s not contextual," Serritella said.