Coop Variance Application Quashed; Must Recast Church Street Design
Loading Platform Required
It looks as though it's back to the drawing boards for the Coop's architects.
The Cambridge Board of Zoning Appeal Thursday denied by a 3-2 margin the Coop's request for a zoning variance which would have permitted the omission of an off-street loading platform from its planned Church Street addition.
When informed of this decision, Stanley F. Teele, President of the Coop, said that he still intends to build on the Church Street plot, and will ask the architects to provide an alternate plan in accord with the zoning ordinances.
"Obviously we need the building, and obviously if we have to conform we will," he said.
Teele said that the original target date for the building had been "geared for the fall rush" and that the Coop would "push as much as it can" to complete whatever building it decides upon.
"Injurious and Detrimental"
The Board's report said that granting the variance would be "injurious to the neighborhod and detrimental to the public welfare by inhibiting passage and further complicating the traffic problems of an already congested narrow street."
In addition, the report stated that the diversion of first-floor space for the off-street loading platform would not "deprive the applicant of a reasonable use of its property," and that the denial of the variance would not subject the Coop to "substantial financial hardship."
Teele said that the Coop would look into the possibility of appealing the Board's ruling. However, an informed source said last night that there is no legal provision for an appeal in such a case.
The most vociferous opposition to the Coop's proposed building came from the Church Street Trust, a three-man group headed by Sheldon Dietz '41. They opposed the old plans because the Coop proposed to raze the 120-year-old Hawkins Building, which it purchased last summer.