Despite intense opposition from neighborhood groups, the city of Boston is allowing a luxury developer to build near a popular forest in the neighborhood of Jamaica Plain.
Eighteen houses are expected to go up next to Allandale Woods. The area is currently lined with maple trees, walking paths and is home to all kinds of wildlife and pristine beauty.
Boston’s Zoning Board of Adjustment unanimously green lighted the construction of the luxury town houses and a parking lot right next door to the city owned land, the final step in a two-year process.
The Wonder Group’s Jacqueline Nunez is the developer and says the 64 Allendale Project will begin next summer on a couple acres of land owned near Faulkner Hospital and the Arnold Arboretum.
“I don’t disparage the opposition I have a great deal of respect for them,” Nunez said. “I just assure them we have no intention of ruining their neighborhood.”
Tony Lacasse and neighborhood groups aren’t necessarily opposed to a new development. But Lacasse says the city is overlooking protections, since the area is zoned for only single family homes. He's calling on Mayor Marty Walsh to intervene.
“She just wants to make more money exploiting a public asset,” Lacasse said. “We are very concerned about keeping our open space open. but this is a private developer that came in and owned the property, it’s very difficult, there’s a fine line.”
Nunez said the town houses will go for upwards of a million dollars and will be environmentally friendly, and protecting the 86 acre stretch of woods across Jamaica Plain and West Roxbury is also in the developers best interest.
The Boston Parks and Recreation Commission calls Allandale the city’s largest and most ecologically significant natural area. However, Lacasse said he wonders how long that title will last. He and other neighborhood groups are now considering their legal options.