WEYMOUTH — The owner of a car service station in Jackson Square wants to tear down the business and build 24 apartments and a 75-seat restaurant, though residents are concerned about the height of the proposed building. 

Abdallah Metri of ANGJ, LLC proposed knocking down the 2,600-square-foot gas and service station at 1441 Commercial St. and putting up a four-story building with apartments and a 1,600-square-foot Middle Eastern restaurant. 

He applied for a special permit from the zoning board of appeals for the project, called Herring Run Apartments, along with several variances, including for the number of parking spaces and the building height.

But after hearing feedback from residents, Metri agreed to meet again with the town’s planning department and neighbors to see if he can modify the plan to address their issues with the proposal. The project will go back before the zoning board on Feb. 16.

The project is the first in what officials expect will be a revitalization of Jackson Square. The planning department will soon propose zoning changes for town council’s consideration to encourage redevelopment in the East Weymouth neighborhood.

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Staff from the planning department will hold an informational meeting on the potential changes at 6 p.m. at Tufts Library on Tuesday, Feb. 1.

Ray Jennings, an attorney for Metri, said Wednesday the project would have 51 parking spots. Metri would provide valet parking for restaurant customers during peak hours, likely 6 to 9 p.m.

Current zoning bylaws state that businesses next to residential areas shouldn’t be more than two-and-a-half stories tall. Michael Schilling, an engineer for the project, said the four stories of the building won’t “seem imposing” due to the grading of the area and set back of 100 feet.

“It’s not going to feel like the actual height of the building, which is 46 feet,” he said.

Several neighbors voiced concern about the height, whether there will be adequate parking at the site and other impacts on nearby homes.

Jenn Wade Baker, of School Street, urged the zoning board to vote down any proposal from the site more than two-and-a-half stories because of the impact on her neighbors. 

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“I could live with three stories, but I’m not going to be happy about it,” she said. 

District 3 Councilor Ken DiFazio said Metri has done a great job trying to come up with resolutions to neighbors’ concerns, though he is also worried about the height of the building.

“This project unfortunately is a clear example of putting a big building in front of three or four residences that have lower height than the building being proposed,” he said. “I think we have a good project and it’s similar in line with proposed zoning for Jackson Square … but I do find that there are constituents that have issues with the height of the building.”

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Jackson Square residents concerned about proposed project’s building height, parking – The Patriot Ledger

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