Zoning board rejects two Point Breeze housing proposals

The Zoning Board of Adjustment denied a request for variances for the second phase of a housing development on the 1300 block of S. Chadwick Street in Point Breeze on Tuesday morning.

The decision was another setback for developer Ori Feibush, of OCF Realty, whose proposal for another major project at 20th and Wharton streets was recently denied by the zoning board as well.

The Wharton Street project involved the development of 22 homes on a site zoned for industrial use that currently houses an abandoned warehouse. The proposal was for a property adjacent to another warehouse that was slated to be developed into 48 homes, and which drew protest from some local residents.

Feibush said last week that he was disappointed by the ZBA’s decision regarding the Wharton Street proposal and that he had no back up plan. Reached by phone on Tuesday, he said the future of that project will require “a much longer, deeper conversation,” and that it is likely to involve “some very active litigation.”

Feibush’s Chadwick Street proposals mirrored other houses on the same block that were already approved by the ZBA and which have already been built. He said the zoning board’s rejection of the newer phase was disappointing but “not surprising.”

The Chadwick Street proposals had drawn opposition from some local residents who felt like the already-approved houses being built were more massive than they’d bargained for. Councilman Kenyatta Johnson’s office also did not support the project, though other local residents and the Newbold Neighbors Association did. More on that dispute here.

Feibush had planned to build houses that matched those already built: three stories, with a mansard roof tapering back from the property line above the second story, a total of 33 feet tall. He said on Tuesday that he’d move ahead with a by-right design on the remaining properties. The new houses will likely be taller than the plans the zoning board rejected, he said.

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