The Zoning Board of Adjustment has approved a 132-unit, mixed-use apartment complex at 43rd and Baltimore, across the street from Clark Park, according to a number of sources.
U3 Ventures and Cecil Baker, the developers and architect of the project, respectively, designed the five-story building after several rounds of talks with community members and local civic associations. They then took the design to Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, who represents the area, and asked for a zoning bill to be introduced that would allow the project to be built by right.
Blackwell declined, and told the developers to go to the zoning board. At a hearing in April, the developers sought variances for height, 35 feet more than the underlying zoning allows, and commercial space. It was supported by local civic groups and Councilwoman Blackwell’s office, but opposed vociferously by two neighborhood residents who live a few blocks from the property.
Mary McGettigan and Larry Caputo, the opponents of the project, noted that the project didn’t conform to either the existing or proposed zoning of the property. They argued that the developers hadn’t made their case that the zoning designation represented a hardship on the property.
Alex Feldman, of U3 Ventures, declined to comment on Tuesday, as did Matt McClure, an attorney representing the development team.
The decision was split 3-2, with board member Greg Pastore and chairwoman Julia Chapman voting against the project.