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Planning Board to discuss Webster Street height limits

Submitted by on 1, August 9, 2010 – 4:45 amNo Comment

The Planning Board will have preliminary discussions about raising building height limits on Webster Street from three stories to five at its meeting tonight.

City planners wrote that they expect some height limit changes will be “necessary” along specific stretches of Webster – including the intersection of Webster Street and Central Avenue and on the northern segments of the street, near Atlantic Avenue – but they said taller buildings wouldn’t be compatible with what’s already in place in other spots.

Planning Services Manager Andrew Thomas wrote that staff would wait to make recommendations on any proposed height increases until an in-progress “visioning” process for Webster Street is complete. A draft Webster Street plan is expected to be presented to the City Council in late September.

If ultimately approved, the new height limits would match the five-story limit already in place on Park Street, Thomas wrote.

In addition to changes in height limits, the board is also slated to discuss zoning changes intended to make it easier for yoga studios and tattoo parlors to set up shop on Park and Webster streets. The changes, which could see a vote tonight, would also make it harder for nail salons to open up along Webster Street but easier for bars to come to Webster.

The Webster Street Business Association asked for the restrictions on nail salons because they’re concerned there are too many on Webster Street now, and that the salons are leasing spaces that could better be used by other types of businesses.

Under the current rules, bars are prohibited on Webster Street.

The Planning Board meets at 7 p.m. today at City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Avenue.

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