TheMapleStreetNeighbors

Imagine that you are a resident of a home which you and your family have enjoyed for 30 years.

You have a beautiful panoramic view, a lovely deck with privacy, lots of light in both the interior and exterior of your home and a backyard open space enjoyed by all of the neighbors on the block.

Then along comes your neighbor with a grandiose plan to build a rear addition —one that will almost double the size of his house. The structure will be enormously out of scale with the rear-yard extension of every other house on the block, will severely limit the views of several houses on either side of it, will interfere with the privacy of the neighbors, and will cast a shadow on the home interiors, decks, and sun-loving plants in surrounding neighbors’ yards — to name just a few of the negative impacts.

Now, suppose that in spite of very strong neighborhood opposition, there is a high probability that such a proposed project will be allowed to be built by the Durant Administration, even though the potential blockbuster clearly violates the Guidelines for Residences established in 2010 by the Department of City Planning, as well as mocks the spirit of Proposition A, passed by voters in 2012 as a means of preserving neighborhood character.

This is precisely the situation that the Neighborhood Coalition of Maple Street, a group of residents living on the block of Maple between 11th and Main, is now facing. The above description is an actual case, scheduled for a preliminary hearing before the Planning Commission April 15.