Friday, February 27, 2015

Fort Point Channel Landmarks March 2015 Meeting

The FORT POINT CHANNEL LANDMARK DISTRICT COMMISSION will hold a public hearing:

Thursday, 12 March 2015
5:30 PM
Boston City Hall – Piemonte Room

After 5:30 p.m., enter and exit City Hall at the Dock Square 
entrance on Congress Street (across from Faneuil Hall).

Subject of the hearing will be applications for Certificates of Design Approval on the agenda below, review of architectural violations and such business as may come before the commission, in accordance with Ch. 772 of the Acts of 1975, as amended. Applications are available for review during normal business hours at the office of the Environment Department. Sign-language interpreters are available upon request.

DESIGN REVIEW HEARING

5:30 PM

Application 14.945 FPC 338 Congress Street (continued review)
Applicant: Redgate Capital Partners (developer): Resurface portion of rear alley with asphalt, accented with granite cobblestones; introduce louvers and diesel fuel port on east elevation of previously approved new construction project

PROJECTED ADJOURNMENT: 5:50 PM

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Remove Your Parking Space Savers Starting Monday

The end of the February marks the beginning of the end of extended use of parking space savers. Bring in your furniture, toys, lobster traps, ironing boards and stuffed penguins. Boston's Department of Public Works will start picking up space savers on your regularly scheduled trash day. To look up the trash schedule for your address, visit the City of Boston. "I'm [Mayor Walsh] asking residents to remain respectful of their neighbors and their property as the process of space saver removal begins, and as we continue to clean up from nearly 8 feet of snow in less than 30 days.”

Boston City Council Looks At Alcohol Tax, MBTA, Snow, Olympics & Senior Housing

Councillor-At-Large Michelle Wu provides notes from Boston City Council meetings. The Boston City Council considered the items below and more at their February 25, 2015 meeting:

Alcohol Tax: Councilors Linehan and Baker filed an expanded version of their home rule petition from last calendar year to impose a tax on alcohol sales that would fund addiction treatment and recovery programs. They said that at the hearing on the previous item (which had been focused solely on off-premises alcohol sales), liquor stores said they were being singled out at the 6.5% tax was too high. The new version includes off-premises and on-premises sales (e.g. at restaurants) and would be a 1% tax. Councilor Linehan estimated that this would provide ~$10M annually for programs to address the urgent issue of addiction treatment and recovery. Councilor Baker said that although his preference would not be to burden small businesses, he believed we need a statewide tax to provide funding streams for the important policies that our Governor and Mayor support. The matter was sent to the Government Operations Committee for a hearing.
 
Senior Public Housing: We voted to pass the resolution offered by Councilors Pressley & Baker in support of the Boston Housing Authority's Designated Housing Plan submitted to HUD, which increases the percentage of public housing units dedicated to seniors. The plan changes the ratio of seniors vs. non-senior disabled residents to 80%-20%. The Councilors noted that having these two populations living side by side is far from ideal, as seniors keep very different hours and struggle to live comfortably when younger neighbors are facing addiction or mental health issues.  Councilors emphasized that we need support services for each population in the right environment, and this is just about recognizing the challenges of combining these populations in the same buildings.

2024 Olympics: Councilor Linehan filed a hearing order on the 2024 Olympics, to hear from all parties on the impact of Boston's potential bid to host the Games. The matter was sent to the Special Committee on the 2024 Olympics for a Hearing.

Snow's Business Impact: Councilor Jackson filed a hearing order to discuss the impact of the 2015 snowstorms on businesses in Boston. Small businesses have suffered from lack of foot traffic, employees not being able to get to work, and transportation difficulties. Especially given that many retail businesses have tight margins, the weeks of snow have been disastrous for business. The matter was sent to the Economic Development Committee for a hearing.

MBTA Infrastructure: Councilor Jackson called for a hearing to discuss needed infrastructure investments in the MBTA, as the age of the fleet has been sorely revealed this winter. Having solid transportation infrastructure is critical to a flourishing economy, and we need to seize on the moment to put solutions in place. The matter was referred to the Special Committee on Transportation Infrastructure, Investment & Planning for a hearing.

For complete notes from the February 11th meeting, visit www.michelleforboston.com/notes or sign up to receive these notes automatically each week by email at www.michelleforboston.com/sendmenotes, Next Wednesday's meeting will start at 2PM rather than 12PM due to the annual Boston Municipal Research Bureau meeting.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

BRA Call For Community Benefits Proposals

The Boston Redevelopment Authority releases a new community benefits application for the 371-401 D Street Development. The development approved the construction of two hotels with a combined 500 rooms and a 1,350 space parking garage. One of the negotiated agreements between the BRA, the Design Advisory Committee consisting of South Boston residents, and the developer was a community benefit payment of $630,000. The BRA has received that money and is preparing to release $400,000 for proposals from eligible non profit organizations in the South Boston community.
For this project, the BRA is piloting a new application process which if successful will be used as a tool for future community benefits distribution. The top priority of the new community benefits application is to add transparency and predictability to the process of allocating these type of funds.
Applications are due April 21, 2015
This is the latest policy change at the BRA to create more transparency. Additional improvements were recently announced in the BRA's 2014 year in review.
Contact: Kimberly Burson, Office of Jobs and Community Services

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

FPNA Presents Olympics in Fort Point: An Initial Discussion

The Fort Point Neighborhood Association (FPNA) resumes their monthly neighborhood meeting series with special guest John Fitzgerald, City of Boston's Director of Olympic Operations. Fort Point neighbors are invited to engage in an initial discussion of the benefits and impact of Boston 2024 Olympics in Fort Point on: 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Boston Children's Museum
via 308 Congress Street
R.S.V.P. (required)
  

Boston 2024
Olympics In Fort Point
An initial discussion of benefits and impact

featuring
John FitzGerald
Director of Olympic Operations
City of Boston

with
Richard McGuiness
Deputy Director for Waterfront Planning
Boston Redevelopment Authority

 7:00 pm General Meeting & Neighborhood Updates


originally published 2.19.15

Monday, February 23, 2015

Boston Landmarks' State of Preservation At A New Date & Time

The City of Boston will present 2014 accomplishments of the Boston Landmarks Commission, Local Historic District Commissions and the Archaeology Program as well as plans and priorities for 2015 on: 



Thursday, February 26, 2015
6:00 pm
Faneuil Hall


To review 2013 accomplishments and 2014 work plan. click here




Mayor Walsh Extends Use of Parking Space Savers

Mayor Walsh told the Boston Herald that the 48 hour allowed use of parking space savers will be extended indefinitely in the City of Boston to permit residents to find parking given the record snowfall and 8' tall snowbanks, which have reduced the number of available street parking spaces. According to the Mayor, in previous winters 48 hours was enough time to allow snow to melt and free up parking spaces. This month's snowfall of over 90 inches is changing the rules. Read more at the Boston Herald.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Olympic Community Meeting To Be Held In South Boston

Update: Fort Point identified as broadcast and press center with transport hub, media parking and a satellite farm for Boston 2024. The plan also calls for hospitality barges on the Fort Point Channel according to Boston 2024 Olympic venue plan (see pages 34-41).

With the US Olympic Committee's selection of Boston, Mayor Walsh announces the first nine community meetings beginning February 3d through September 29th to discuss proposed venue plans and the benefits and impacts for Boston. 

“Today marks the start of a long process to meet with residents and solicit feedback from our many diverse neighborhoods as we move forward in our quest to host the 2024 Summer Olympics,” Mayor Martin J. Walsh said. “I am excited to share our vision with the people of Boston and hear their thoughts on how we can work together to not only bring the Games to Boston, but create one of the most innovative, sustainable and successful Olympics the world has seen.”. 

The City will hold an Olympic Discussion Community Meeting in South Boston on:

Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Condon School Cafeteria
200 D St., South Boston
6:30 pm

Meetings and additional steps in the community process will be announced on an ongoing basis. In addition, Boston 2024, the privately-funded nonprofit organizing committee, held the first meeting of its Citizens Advisory Group on Jan. 21 at 6 p.m. at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Boston 2024 created the Citizens Advisory Group through their website to provide information and solicit feedback from the public.Visit Boston 2024 for Citizen's Advisory Group meeting schedule and full City of Boston community meeting schedule.

The USOC decision to select Boston as the United States' bid city is the next step in the International Olympic Committee selection process. There will be a review process before the USOC officially submits Boston as the United States' bid city to the IOC. The IOC will select the 2024 Summer Games host city in 2017.
originally published 1.9.15

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

South Boston Emergency Street Reconfiguration, Parking Ban, & MBTA Service Suspended

Updated 2/17/15 Parking ban will be lifted at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, February 18th. At most garages and lots, parkers have until 8:00 pm to remove their cars. Exceptions are noted below. For MBTA service updates visit MBTA.

Mayor Walsh announced a new South Boston one way only traffic flow to improve public safety, which will go into effect Saturday, February 14, 2015 at 10 pm through Wednesday, April 1, 2015. 

The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning in effect from 7 pm Saturday to 7 am, Monday, February 16, 2015. A wind chill warning remains in effect from 4 pm Sunday through 8 am Monday.

A parking ban will also go into effect Saturday, February 14th at 10 pm until Wednesday, February 18th at 6 pm. Discounted parking rates will be available starting at 8 pm.During declared snow emergencies, parking is prohibited on major arteries throughout the city.Ticketing and towing will begin at midnight. For a complete list of alternative parking, visit the City of BostonThe Channel Center Garage will be offering $10/day rates starting at 5 pm today until 24 hours after the parking ban is lifted. The Seaport Parking Garage is also offering $10/day rates through Tuesday, February 17th at 9 am. Parking space savers may be used for 48 hours after the ban is lifted. 

The MBTA will suspend all services starting with late-night service this Saturday, meaning the last trains will leave downtown Boston around 12:50 am. There will be no services on Sunday. Limited service resumed on Monday. For more details, visit the MBTA.

Even numbered streets will now be heading inbound to the city (west bound) and odd numbered streets will be heading outbound to Farragut Rd (east bound).  Main arterials will remain two-way streets. Streets that are currently one-way streets will maintain their original direction. The Boston Transportation Department is placing do not enter signs and barricades around the neighborhood this morning and the new temporary reconfiguration will go into effect at 10 pm tonight.  For changes to bus routes, check with the MBTA.

South Boston ETR Impacted Streets
Westbound StreetsEastbound Streets
Away from City PointToward City Point
E 2nd StFarragut Rd - Dorchester StE 3rd StG St - Farragut Rd
E 4th StFarragut Rd - Dorchester StE 5th StG St - Farragut Rd
E 6th StFarragut Rd - G StE 7th StG St - P St
E 8th StO St - Dorchester StMarine RoadI St - N St
W 4th StDorchester St - D StW 5th StD St - Dorchester St
W 6th StDorchester St - D StW 7th StD St - Dorchester St

originally posted 2/14/15

Monday, February 16, 2015

Boston City Council Looks At Late Night MBTA Service, BYOB & Fire Hydrant Flags

Councillor-At-Large Michelle Wu provides notes from Boston City Council meetings. The Boston City Council considered the items below and more at their February 11, 2015 meeting:

Long Island Bridge: Mayor Walsh submitted an order that would authorize a capital grant contribution of $4.3M from MassDOT for the Public Works Dept to design plans for rebuilding Long Island Bridge. The matter was assigned to the Ways & Means Committee.

Late Night MBTA Service: Councilor Zakim and I called for a hearing on continuing Late Night MBTA Service in Boston, as the one-year pilot extending MBTA service on Friday and Saturday nights to 2:30AM is due to end this June. The MBTA Board will hear a final recommendation on whether to continue late-night hours on April 15, 2015, after a one-month public comment period from February – March 11th. Councilor Zakim and I hope to use the hearing as an additional way to encourage public participation and comment from Boston’s residents, workers, small business owners, and visitors. Several Councilors rose to commend transportation workers for their efforts in such challenging weather conditions and expressed support for MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott. All Councilors signed on to co-sponsor the hearing order. The order was referred to the Committee on Transportation, Public Infrastructure, Planning & Investment for a hearing.

BYOB: Councilor Murphy & I proposed an ordinance that would allow Bring-Your-Own-Beverage (BYOB) in Boston and give the Boston Licensing Board the authority to set rules and regulations about obtaining a BYOB license. State law controls the number of liquor licenses available for Boston restaurants and prohibits BYOB in restaurants with liquor licenses, but leaves the decision on whether or not to allow BYOB in restaurants without liquor licenses up to municipalities. Boston currently bans the practice, unlike Brookline and some other towns across the state. Allowing BYOB would help small restaurants who can’t afford a liquor license or don’t want to commit to the upfront costs of offering an alcohol menu and committing to purchase minimum numbers of cases. This would lower barriers to entry and encourage more neighborhood restaurants, supporting neighborhood business districts and economic opportunities throughout the city. Councilor Pressley noted concerns that liquor license reform needs to continue, and that in our conversation about BYOB, we should keep a focus on gratuity for hospitality workers and equity, such that certain neighborhoods aren't relegated to BYOB with no opportunities for liquor licenses. Councilor Zakim expressed support that this would help innovative concepts and experimentation with dining concepts that expand from lunch to dinner to potentially full service liquor licenses. Councilor Linehan said that his district has many restaurants with liquor licenses already, so he hoped that BYOB could focus on small restaurants with fewer seats. The matter was referred to the Government Operations Committee for a hearing.

Fire Hydrant Flags: Councilor McCarthy & I called for a hearing on installing identifying markers on fire hydrants in Boston, which would help firefighters and others locate fire hydrants under snow. Several other municipalities have begun installing the steel markers at the beginning of each winter and then removing them in spring. Councilor O'Malley noted that there are over 13,000 hydrants citywide and hoped that we could incorporate technology in this initiative as well, such as adoptahydrant.org. The matter was referred to the Committee on City & Neighborhood Services and Veterans Affairs for a hearing.

For complete notes from the February 11th meeting, visit www.michelleforboston.com/notes or sign up to receive these notes automatically each week by email at www.michelleforboston.com/sendmenotes.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Boats, Wine, Home Show, Slopefest & More

This weekend boats are at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC) and wine is being poured at the Seaport World Trade Center.  Next weekend be ready to hit the slopes at the Lawn on D, plus many more events occurring in and around the neighborhood.

The New England Boat Show is February 14 - February 22, 2015. The Boston Wine Expo is  February 14 - February 15, 2015.

Only in New England would you see snow plows trailing boats into the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center Exhibit Hall in preparation for New England Boat Show. Thousands of visitors are expected from Greater Boston and New England. The BCEC advises neighbors that this is a heavy drive-in event with many attendees coming by personal vehicle. There may be some traffic congestion during the weekend days of the event including President’s Day (Monday, February 16). The Channel Center Garage and Necco Garage will be used for overflow parking. Portable digital signs will be at: A Street at Necco Street facing south,
BCEC Marshalling Trailer, A Street at Richards Street, Richards Street at West First Street, and Cypher Street at South Boston Bypass Road facing East. In addition to State Police, Boston Police will be on hand over the weekend through President's Day to assist with traffic.



The Boston Wine Expo is offering Fort Point neighbors $10 off Grand Tasting general tickets this Saturday and Sunday from 1pm - 5pm. Enter promo code “NEIGHBORTIX” at Boston WIne Expo.





The New England Home Show is happening at the Seaport World Trade Center on February 20-22. Both events are expected to draw thousands of attendees to the area. The Boston Children’s Museum is hosting week long school vacation activities. Parking in the area may be limited on account of all these events and there may be additional traffic congestion. The MCCA Transportation Department will monitor the effect of these activities on BCEC event operations and will contact the appropriate parties to manage accordingly. Additionally, the Westin Waterfront is hosting Boskone, another heavy drive in event during the same weekend. The MCCA Transportation Department will work with the Westin Waterfront to make sure that Eastside Drive and all other roadways do not become overly congested.

The Pulse on Tour is taking place the weekend of February 14-15 at both the BCEC and the Westin Waterfront Hotel.

Slope Fest, an outdoor winter festival, is at Lawn on D during the second weekend of the New England Boat Show (February 21-22), which may draw another substantial amount of attendees. The MCCA Transportation Agents will pull traffic on Eastside Drive to relieve congestion.

Be prepared for many visitors to Fort Point and be ready to join in a wide variety of events and activities.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

City of Boston Snow Announcements

Update: Snow parking ban in effect until
 5:00 PM Wednesday, February 11, 2015 

Mayor Walsh declared a snow emergency parking ban in the City of Boston starting at 4pm on February 8, 2015. Residents have until 6pm to remove their cars from snow emergency routes before being ticketed. 

Discounted parking starts at 4pm at municipal lots and select private garages. Cars must enter by 6pm and depart two hours after the parking ban is lifted. The closest municipal lot for Fort Point resident parking sticker holders is the BCEC parking lot (free); entrance via Cypher St. The Channel Center Garage is offering $10/day parking starting at 4pm today. Cars parked in the Channel Center Garage must exit within 24 hours after the parking ban is lifted. The Seaport Boston Hotel is offering discounted parking rates of $10 per day to South Boston residents. Please show a valid ID at the parking office. View complete list of alternative parking choices at City of Boston.

Boston Public Schools will be closed Monday and Tuesday. All community meetings are cancelled for Monday, February 9th. 

The Governor will be making an announcement on whether a travel ban will be in effect. 


originally posted 2.8.15