By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,559)
The City’s Planning Board unanimously approved a site plan for the construction of a seven (7) unit condominium building at 30 Merrill Street on Munjoy Hill late this evening. Approval came because the developer Banner Properties, LLC made numerous changes to the facade of the original proposal presented to the Board earlier this month.
The pressure to make concessions from the original Evan Carroll design came from neighbors who trashed the original proposal calling it an”embarassment to the neighborhood at a public meeting held at East End Community School.
The arrogant Tom Landry who is a partner in the development told the planning board this evening that he was “shocked at the outcry of neighbors” since he only gets involved in quality projects on the Hill. Landry described the neighborhood as “rundown and decrepid” a description that offended many. He accused the neighbors of overwhelming the board with their objections – some board members said they were not overwhelmed and listening to neighbors is part of their responsibilities. It was not a good PR performance on Landry’s part where a more conciliatory attitude would have been appropriate under the circumstances.
Changes made to the latest reiteration included: changing bay windows, highlighting them with color, changing railing detail to more traditional design, adding side windows, modifying the front entrance and adding a green screen on the south wall.
Neighbor Ryan Harkleroad said during the public comment time that the project has improved, but still does not “fit” in the neighborhood. Another neighbor Wayne Valzania, said: “we are concerned about precedent…….there is pressure for high rises…….soon there will be no family homes.”
Board member Nichols said the proposal does fit into the neighborhood citing development on Turner Street.