Monday, May 20, 2024

A home under construction on Avon Hill is drawing fire for a curb cut. Progress has been slow on the 24,931-square-foot home. (Photos: City of Cambridge, top; Bing, middle; Google, bottom)

There’s tension on Avon Hill, a pricey neighborhood of large single-family homes near Porter Square.

A neighborhood of large single-family homes, yes, but none so large as this.

A limited liability corporation called Scylla Properties is building a three-story home and auxiliary apartment on Raymond Street of some 24,931 square feet on a 53,665-square-foot lot — totaling some five bedrooms, four full bathrooms and two half-bathrooms, three kitchens and four fireplaces, according to city records.

While the surrounding homes are very nice, the biggest is only about a quarter the size of this home. And while the neighbors’ homes are assessed at up to $3.2 million, the Scylla home is assessed at $11.4 million.

“It’s the largest lot in the city,” an Inspectional Services Department worker said Monday.

“Amazing, absolutely amazing,” another said.

But this is all more or less irrelevant. What is distressing neighbors is that the owner is asking for a curb cut on Wyman Street, a short road that approaches the rear of the Scylla lot from the street on the opposite side of the block, Avon Hill Street. Two neighbors spoke Monday to the City Council to oppose the curb cut, both noting it would be the third curb cut for one property.

James Rafferty, the well-connected lawyer who sometimes seems to represent every development in Cambridge, replied that one of those curb cuts is for construction vehicles — the house has been under construction for four years — and will not serve the Scylla house in the long term.

“This is a single-family home,” he reminded councillors, suggesting that any use the owners could give the possible curb cut would be far more gentle than what could have resulted from use of the lot.

It could have sold, he said, as five buildable lots.

A sale in July 2005 put the property in the hands of Scylla, a foreign limited liability corporation with a Boston post office box. Eric Griffith is identified as the owner on the driveway request form, and a letter in opposition to the curb cut is addressed to “Eric.”

A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the owner of the Raymond Street house.