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Help Us Keep Commercial Space!






A developer has proposed residential projects at 194 and 198 Bunker Hill Street that will eliminate THREE commercial spaces forever—Nail Sensation Salon at corner of Green Street (occupying two spaces) and The Family Kitchen.

The developer has offered to retain 2 out of the 3 commercial spaces in exchange for support for the building at 198 Bunker Hill Street, but we have held firm that we cannot support incremental loss of commercial space in Charlestown. 

Bunker Hill Street was once a thriving commercial district that supported Charlestown when the population was 44,000 residents! With all the new development proposed, Charlestown’s population is growing with an ever increasing need for goods and services. We need to preserve naturally occurring affordable commercial space for local small businesses as well as create new commercial space! 

Unfortunately, our neighborhood zoning currently allows residential use at ground level on Bunker Hill Street, and that is why businesses have slowly disappeared over the years. We cannot stop this development based on use alone—but we can oppose the twelve variances the developer is seeking for a building a full story above the rest of the buildings on the street, with zero open space, insufficient setbacks, and zero parking. However, CPS could support an alternate proposal for this site that includes all commercial space on the ground floor, with two residential floors above that, not exceeding the zoning height limit of 35’ for the neighborhood.

Here is a complete list of the variances they are seeking for each building:

194 Bunker Hill Street:

Usable open space insufficient
Off street parking insufficient
Dimensional Regulations: Floor area ratio is excessive.

198 Bunker Hill Street:

Lot Area Insufficient
Add’l Lot Area Insufficient
Floor Area Ratio Excessive
Bldg Height Excessive (Stories)
Bldg Height Excessive (Feet)
Usable Open Space Insufficient
Side Yard Insufficient
Rear Yard Insufficient
Off-Street Parking & Loading Req

Please call and email the following to oppose this overly ambitious project that eliminates commercial space in Charlestown. 

Gabriela Coletta, City Council: ; 617-635-3200
Jason Ruggiero, BPDA: ; 617-918-4383
Caitlin Stapleton, Office of Neighborhood Services: ; 617-635-3529

Zoning Board of Appeals (reference Case number: ERT1133235 / BOA1279022)

We are currently exploring a zoning amendment with the BPDA through PLAN: Charlestown and Councilor Coletta’s office that would make residential use on the ground floor of “local convenience zones” (think Bunker Hill Street and Main Street) a “conditional” rather than “approved” use. This would give us a sort of speed bump and community say into the approval process that allows the elimination of precious commercial space in these areas. We need your support for this as well, please email us and we will be in touch.

Charlestown Preservation Society 

(a 501c3 not for profit)

PO Box 290201 | Charlestown MA 02129


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