Fed-up with the out-of-control gentrification of Munjoy HIll, neighbors challenged Jeff Kane, new property owner of 25 Monument Street, at a city-required meeting last night at East End Community School, North Street.
Kane, currently a Falmouth resident, gave a brief over view of his 4-story, five unit condominium planned for 25 Monument Street before the challenges started flying from a group of about 25 Hill neighbors. Kane told the group he paid $1M for the run-down property in January of 2017. While the figures are not final yet, he expects to sell the units for about $1M each. Kane and his wife will live on the top floor of the building. The condo architect said that the building is several feet under the maximum allowable height and a garden is planned around the building because of larger setbacks than are required by the city.
One neighbor expressed concern about the viability of mature trees on the property. At one time, there was a school on the property, although it may not have been housed in the building on the site. Stacy Mitchell told the development team that: “Unfortunately, we are loosing so many historical buildings on the Hill. There is so much history here. This is so unfortunate for the neighborhood.” Whereas the actual original school that once was located on this property was removed from the premises many years ago.
“We are seeing a movement toward this stuff. Restore what you have or come up with something that blends with the neighborhood better,” said Jane Hurley, also a Hill resident and a retired consumer advocate in Washington, D.C. before moving to the Hill. “Mass is the problem,” she said.
“I wish you would make this into a fix-up here rather than tearing it down,” said Maggie Wolf. “Context and harmony are part of the city code.”
Throughout the one hour meeting Kane and his development team often looked puzzled by the challenges presented to them from the neighbors. “We are trying to clean up this part of the neighborhood,” he said, making it clear that a change of his plans were not under consideration.
A review of the proposal could be on the planning board’s agenda for December of 2017. Work on the project could begin next spring. Craig Cooper is the builder. The planning department once decided to have a department attend city-required meetings when the matter is especially controversial to some. This meeting would have benefited by the attendance of a city professional because of the tone and demenaor of some of the critics of the Kane plans.
Please visit post herein dated October 20, 2017 for more background information on the proposal.