Despite some neighborhood opposition, the Planning Commission on Monday recommended approval for a John Wise development on a steep slope at Tucker and Tremont streets.
He plans to build a line of townhomes at a spot known locally as "The Pit" after a prior owner cut into a hillside, leaving a sheer bluff.
Cindy Minter said the project would "make The Pit bigger and take away another old house" and was "not in keeping with the neighborhood."
She and other neighbors said it would worsen traffic and parking problems.
Mr. Wise said he was putting $450,000 townhomes on the challenging site.
One requirement by the city Department of Transportation is that he build a pedestrian pathway connecting Tremont and Tucker streets. He said that will cost $100,000 and would be little used. He said, instead, he would give public access to a roadway at the site and it could connect to Tucker at the end with a small set of steps.
Neighbors noted that the steep walkway could not be used by bicyclists or the disabled.
Mr. Wise said he had held a number of meetings with neighbors and believed they were satisfied. Then he said another group came forward. "You can't make everybody happy," he said.
The developer said it is the best project the community can get at the eyesore site. He said, "I'm not putting in some monstrosity."
He added, "I'm ready to get it started."