Micro-apartment concept can’t get traction in Boston suburb

Some big cities warm to tiny living spaces, but suburbia may not be so receptive.

September 04, 2014 |
Rendering: courtesy Panoramic Interests

Micro-apartments are gaining acceptance in nearby Boston and in places such as San Francisco and New York, but Weymouth, Mass., officials and neighbors were not receptive to a proposal for tiny dwellings this summer.

“This is Weymouth, not Boston,” said the owner of a hair salon near the proposed apartment project. She opposed the Weymouth micro-unit plan, as did the East Weymouth Neighborhood Association and two town councilors.

Most neighbors viewed the proposal as a rooming house because of the planned 19 units of about 300 sf, and were worried about added traffic in an already congested area.



“Generally the comments from the public were not positive,” Weymouth town planner Abby McCabe told the Boston Globe. The town’s Board of Zoning Appeals was concerned that the overall project was too large for the site, but took no position on the micro-unit aspect of it, McCabe said.

The developer has decided to scrap the concept for 15 more conventionally sized, but still small, units—most ranging from 430 sf to 460 sf. This is an indication that tiny apartments might find an inhospitable reception outside of the large urban hubs that have embraced them as affordable options for young professionals.

(http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/regionals/south/2014/08/13/proposal-for-micro-apartments-gets-cold-shoulder-weymouth/sXDfZvkyYmNPG4TY8ynNeO/story.html)

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