Beacon Street, 1521

1521 Beacon Street is a 70,335 square foot site located in Waban, close to the intersection of Beacon, Chestnut and Short Streets, with frontage on Short Street and Karen Road. The site is zoned Single Residence 2 and is currently improved with a former Catholic Church, St. Philip Neri. Waban AMA Realty Ventures, LLC (the applicant) is proposing to construct a 48-unit rental development on this lot. The applicant will be seeking permitting under Massachusetts General Law Chapter 40B, for a Comprehensive Permit from Newton’s Zoning Board of Appeals. The project includes 12 townhouse units along Karen Road and 36 units in a four-story building closer to Short Street.  A total of 10 of the 48 units will be affordable to households earning up to 50% of the area median income. The proposal includes a mix of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units. A total of 105 on-site parking spaces are proposed.   All vehicular access would be from Karen Road. Comments or questions can be sent to:


The Zoning Board of Appeals has been continued its Public Hearing to Thursday, September 29, 2016.  Questions or comments can be sent to or mailed to the Planning Department, 1000 Commonwealth Ave., Newton 02459 Attn: Adrianna Henriquez. Additional Information may also be found on the ZBA's webpage, click here. in the Chambers room 207, Newton City Hall, 1000 Commonwealth Avenue, Newton Centre, Massachusetts.

Planning and Development Department Memorandum - 9/23/2016

Plans Submitted 6/28/2016

Planning and Development Department Memorandum - 7/8/2016

Application to Zoning Board of Appeals submitted 12/29/2015.

Plans submitted 12/29/2015

Public Hearing Memo dated January 22, 2016

Site Plan Submitted for April 28th, 2016 Public Hearing Application to MassHousing
Preliminary Architectural Plans

Landscape Plan Option B Submitted 09-2016

Plans and Buildings Section Dated 9-26-2016 - SK-2B

Site Plan - 8 Units - Option B, Revision 1 - SK-1B Dated 9-26-2016

View of Short Street Facades Revised 9-26-2016 - SK-4B

1521 Beacon Street Proposed Layout Plan - Option B Dated 8-23-2016 REVISED 9-27-2016

Affordable Unit Plans and Building Section - SK-2B - Dated 9-26-2016


 As a prerequisite to filling a full application with the ZBA for a Comprehensive Permit, the applicant must submit an application for Project Eligibility to a Subsidizing Agency. The applicant submitted an application to MassHousing (the Subsidizing Agency) in late April, 2015.  The Planning Department will be compiling a letter addressing any comments and concerns with the project to MassHousing.  Comments relevant to the required findings that would assist the Planning Department as we consider the applicant’s request should be submitted by Friday, June 12, 2015.    

MassHousing will consider comments prior to making a determination. If a Project Eligibility Letter is issued, the applicant may then apply for a Comprehensive Permit. Subsequent decisions related to the Comprehensive Permit application are within the purview of Newton’s Zoning Board of Appeals.

If MassHousing determines the project is eligible under Chapter 40B, all interested parties will have additional opportunities to attend and/or comment at Zoning Board of Appeals public hearings.  Notice of the public hearing is provided to abutters within 300 feet of the project.

Determination of Project Eligibility by MassHousing, dated July 23,2015.
Comments to MassHousing, dated June 23, 2015
Notice to City of application filing with Mass Housing

The next steps for the project are to file an application with the Newton Zoning Board of Appeals for a Comprehensive Permit.  Please contact Alexandra Ananth at 617.796.1121 or


The applicant will hold a community meeting on Wednesday May 6th at 6:45 p.m. at the Windsor Club, 1601 Beacon Street.  The applicant will be meeting with the Newton Housing Partnership, a citizen advisory committee on affordable housing proposals, on Wednesday, May 13th at 7:45 a.m. in Room 211, Newton City Hall, 1000 Commonwealth Avenue. 


Chapter 40B is a State law that encourages the development of low- and moderate-income housing by providing a streamlined permitting process and relief from local zoning requirements. Also known as the Comprehensive Permit Law, Chapter 40B was enacted in 1969 to help address the shortage of affordable housing in Massachusetts.  The law requires that at least 20-25 percent of units in a development have long-term affordability restrictions. Under Chapter 40B, the local Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) is the permit granting authority. The ZBA must review and make decisions (approve, approve with conditions, or deny Comprehensive Permit applications) in a public hearing setting.  


Demographic Trends and Housing in the City of Newton
Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Chapter 40B Planning
Chapter 40B Fact Sheet
Newton Zoning Board of Appeals Webpage
Newton Zoning Board of Appeals Comprehensive Permit Application Guidelines
Rules of the Newton Zoning Board of Appeals
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