History of Fort Hill, Part 2 (2008). Mural by: Loray McDuffie, Taylor Saintable, Edwin Perez-Clancy, Christine O'Connell, Julia Andreasson, Jorge Benitez, Divah Payne, Lucy Saintcyr, Laua Dedonato, Gregg Bernstein.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Zoning on Centre Street, Roxbury

Edward Cooper offers the viewer an apple—presumably a Roxbury Russet, while City Councillor Chuck Turner points to the colonial orchards in the background.

The Back Story
Today's post is the fourth in a series describing the nature of the Centre Street Neighborhood. For those just arriving, the back story is this: an entrepreneur would like to drop a 7-day, 2am-closing, fully-licensed bar/restaurant into a residential neigborhood, which is otherwise devoid of commercial activity. The impetus for this blog is to explain in detail why this is bad for the neighborhood.

Zoning on Centre Street, Roxbury
Here is the BRA zoning map for Roxbury North. (Pause before you click; that link fetches a 6MB pdf. It's pretty interesting, but pretty large. Set the Zoom percentage at 75. Then scroll around to find Centre Street.)

The map shows the entire stretch of Centre Street from Eliot Square to Columbus Avenue is classified as 3F-4000. The 1 Centre Street auto repair shop is included in the Eliot Square Multifamily Residential/Local Services Subdistrict. There are two small open space subdistricts (OS), designated urban wild and parkland.

It is a bit of work, but plowing through Volume III, "Neighborhood Districts," for the Roxbury Neighborhood District one finds Article 50. (This is another pdf. Unless you are on a dial-up it's a safe click at only 1/3 of a megabyte.) The entire zoning code seems to be rooted in this BRA web page.

The reason why the reader is being dragged through these obscure pdfs is to come to Table B of Article 50.

Table B, beginning on page 57, lists all the imagined uses for a parcel of land and is specific about which uses are Allowed (A), Conditional (C), and Forbidden (F). In the table, the first column lists the use. The next columns are for Two Family (2F), Three Family (3F), Rowhouse (RH), Multifamily Residential (MFR), and Multifamily Residential/Local Services (MFR/LS) subdistricts.

The pay-off for today's post is found on page 62, and is this:

Bars and Restaurants of all sorts are Forbidden in the subdistrict in which 85 Centre Street is located. Restaurants with entertainment are a forbidden use. Private clubs (those serving alcohol and not) are a forbidden use.

In fact, it seems that the only non-accessory uses Allowed in 3F subdistricts are some kinds of residences, and houses of religion.

The next post will detail some facts about 85 Centre Street from the City of Boston Assessing Department.

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