Eight Streets Neighborhood Association

Meeting Minutes, 7 January 2004


Greeting & Introductions


South End Neighborhood Coalition: SENC is discussing ways to increase participation and activity as an organization.

Alliance of Boston Neighborhoods: Our delegate to ABN has recently relocated so we need to find a new one.


ZBA Issue; 5 Ringgold St.:

Mr. Dan Merrigan is making improvements to his single-family home, including adding a bay to the ground floor rear of the building. He needs to change the FAR (floor/area ratio) in order to add this 13' 6" (wide) X 4' 6" addition. Mr. Merrigan presented photos of the current rear of the building as well as architectural drawings of the proposed changes. He noted that most other building in his block have large els at the rear and that his proposed addition would not be visible from the street nor, for the most part, by his neighbors as he has a high fence around his back yard (and the proposed addition is at any rate an aesthetic improvement as well).

Eight Streets Membership voted to not oppose this change. [NOTE: Letter to ZBA, CC to Mr. Merrigan, sent 11/8].

ZBA Issue; 7 Ringgold St.:

Mr. Chris Higgins and Ms.Jill Epstein recently purchased the top floor duplex of this recently renovated builidng. An el extends beneath their unit upon which they wish to place an 8' (wide) X 10' deck. Second floor decks require a variance. Their next door neighbors (6 Ringgold) already have a larger deck on the adjoining half of the el; the downstairs neighbors upon whose roof the deck would rest are in favor of allowing the addition of the deck; supports for a deck were installed during the renovation process with en eye towards this type of construction. Copies if several letters of support from abutters (as well as from friends of Mr. Higgins and Ms. Epstein in the neighborhood) have been provided to Eight Streets NA. Photos of the existing structures as well as detailed architectural drawings were displayed to help to clarify the situation.

Eight Streets' Membership voted not to oppose the variance for this construction. [NOTE: Letter to ZBA, CC to Mr. Higgins & Ms. Epstein, sent 11/8].


Member Concerns:

In open discussion, some Members expressed concern about the problem of trash on our streets. This is, of course, a land-standing issue throughout the South End. It is felt that Eight Streets should take steps to try to improve the situation which might include education of residents on proper disposal of trash as well as attempting to locate the gentleman who in days past was hired to do an additional clean-up after the City's trash collectors passed on trash collections days.

It was also mentioned that there are sections of the neighborhood which have what are referred to as "private sewers" which seem to fall into a gray area in terms of responsibility. If a census of these can be acquired from the City it may be appropriate for Eight Streets NA to support residents in attempts to ensure that these sewers are somehow kept in good repair, as they may affect ground-water levels and public health.