Thursday, June 28, 2018

New Parking Ticket Fines Effective July 2

Are you ready to amend your bad parking habits? If not, you will find yourself paying more. Effective Monday, July 2, 2018 parking violation fines will increase as follows:

  • Resident Parking, from $40 to $60
  • Overnight Street Cleaning (Ticket But No Tow), from $40 to $90
  • Loading Zone, from $55 to $90
  • No Parking Zone A, from $55 to $90
  • No Parking Zone B, from $25 to $55
  • Double Parking Zone A, from $45 to $55
  • Double Parking Zone B, from $30 to $35
  • No Stopping or Standing, from $75 to $90
  • Meter Fee Unpaid, from $25 to $40
  • Over Meter Time Limit, from $25 to $40
  • Over Posted Time Limit, from $25 to $40
Revenue generated from the increased parking fines will be invested in the continued implementation of transportation priorities established in Go Boston 2030, the City’s long term transportation plan.  An unprecedented public engagement process helped to identify 58 projects and policies prioritized in the plan.  The projects and policies work toward a complete streets design to Boston’s roadways that serves all users whether people choose to travel by foot, by car, by bike, or by MBTA and other forms of public transit.  The revenue generated will also allow for the staffing of 20 positions within BTD.  Specific Go Boston initiatives to be undertaken as a result of these funds are as follows.
  • Vison Zero safety enhancements including constructing additional Neighborhood Slow Streets zones and protected bike lanes, and fixing the most challenging intersections.
  • Advancing Boston’s strategic bike network by building out high quality bike infrastructure.
  • Creating Boston’s first Transit Team to work with the MBTA to improve public transit.  Among other responsibilities, the Transit Team will design exclusive bus lanes and implement traffic signal improvements to benefit mass transit.
  • Building a better pedestrian network through the Walkable Streets program.
  • Filling missing bike and pedestrian connections to parks and paths through the Green Links Program.  Three are currently underway: the Roxbury-Fenway Connector linking the Southwest Corridor and the Emerald Necklace; the Roslindale Gateway Path; and a multi-use path connecting Fenway and Yawkey Stations.
  • Advancing the use of adaptive traffic signal technology.  BTD is currently working with MassDOT to pilot this technology in the Seaport District.
  • Expanding the Performance Parking Program to all City of Boston parking meters.
  • Developing policies and programs focused on Transportation Network Companies, electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles.
  • Working with local transportation associations and developers to manage privately funded street improvements to directly benefit the surrounding neighborhood
  • Dedicating additional revenue toward the Parking Meter Fund to support neighborhood transportation projects.




Saturday, June 23, 2018

Neighborhood Summer Gathering: Seaplanes, State Rep Candidates, Marijuana Dispensaries, Neighborhood Updates & Rooftop Mingle

Join the Fort Point Neighborhood Association's
Kickoff to Summer*

Tuesday, June 26, 2018
6 pm sharp
315 on A
Sky Lounge, 20th Floor


featuring
Pier 4 Marina: Slips to Seaplanes
Marina Operators Ann & Chuck Lagasse
Ken Fields, Fort Point Associates


a community conversation regarding
Retail Marijuana Dispensaries
What is your POV? Will there be dispensaries in Fort Point or the Seaport? 

meet the candidates for
State Representative

David Biele
&
Matt Rusteika

plus 
Neighborhood Announcements & Updates
with special guests
WS Development & ShowPlace Icon Theatre

enjoy tasty bites by America's Test Kitchen & honeygrow
Popcorn from ShowPlace IconTheatre
refreshments by Craft Beer Cellar

* Our summer kickoff will be our last regularly scheduled monthly gathering until September.

published 6.18.18

Friday, June 22, 2018

Boston City Council Looks At City Budget, CPA Grants, Tree Coverage & More

City Councilor-At-Large Michelle Wu publishes notes from Boston City Council meetings. The Boston City Council considered the following items and more at their June 20, 2018 meeting:

FY19 City of Boston Budget: Mayor Walsh resubmitted the Recommended Operating Budget of $3.29 billion, an increase of $139M or 4.4% over last fiscal year after feedback from 28 City Council hearings. The revised budget includes $500,000 for expanded training on racial and gender bias, sexual harassment and employee awareness, new funding for the Elder Nutrition Program, doubling funds for the Youth Development Grant Program, added staff for the Office of Immigrant Advancement, Office of Economic Development, park ranger program, and increased funding to support collective bargaining agreements. You can see the full budget here.

Community Preservation Fund: The Council voted to authorize allocations from the Community Preservation Fund for the capital projects recommended by the Community Preservation Committee and presented at the hearing on Monday, for a total pilot grant funding round of $8,035,055. In line with state law, the funds will be used towards affordable housing, historic preservation, and parks and open space projects around Boston. The goal of the pilot round was to fund shovel-ready projects in as many neighborhoods as possible (all were included, except Charlestown and Mattapan, which did not see any project applications). 35 projects were funded with a maximum grant of $500,000. The capital projects list can be viewed here, or you can watch the video or read the transcript of the hearing where most grantees presented their projects here (scroll to the bottom of the page).

Tree Coverage: Councilors O’Malley and Pressley reported back on Monday’s hearing to discuss and assess the amount and quality of tree coverage in Boston. We have seen a decrease in the number of mature trees and green space overall during this building boom. Climate change continues to change our seasonal and temperature norms and the focus on development needs to include the importance of our City’s trees and recognize the link between healthy mature trees and creating healthy neighborhoods. Trees are a vital natural resource offering direct ecological, economic, and health benefits to the community. You can see the original hearing order here. The matter remains in committee for further action.

Appropriation Orders: Mayor Walsh filed appropriation orders for the following, all assigned to the Committee on Ways and Means for a hearing:
  • $40M to the Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) Liability Trust Fund, authorized under MGL Ch 32B, Sec 20, as added by Chapter 479 of the Acts of 2008.
  • $53,802,817 from the City’s Capital Grant Fund in order to provide funding for various transportation and public realm improvements. The funds will be credited to the Capital Grant fund from the Parking Meter fund.
  • $1.6M from the Surplus Property Disposition Fund to the Capital Fund. The funds are to be used for the development of master plans, architectural and engineering plans and designs, and for the implementation of such plans and designs for Boston Common, Franklin Park, and the completion of the Emerald Necklace.
Upcoming Hearings (Livestream)

  • Friday, 6/22 at 1PM: Hearing on Equitable Access to Public Transportation & Cashless MBTA Fares (Planning, Development & Transportation)
  • Monday, 6/25 at 10AM: Hearing on Curbside Composting (Environment, Sustainability & Parks)
  • Thursday, 6/28 at 2PM: Hearing on Resident Parking (Planning, Development & Transportation)
For complete notes on Boston City Council meetings, visit MichelleForBoston.com or sign up to receive these notes automatically.                         

Friday, June 15, 2018

Boston City Council Looks At Salary Increases & CPA Fund, Votes on AirBNB & Upcoming Hearings

City Councilor-At-Large Michelle Wu publishes notes from Boston City Council meetings. The Boston City Council considered the following items and more at their June 13, 2018 meeting:

Salary Increases: Mayor Walsh filed legislation to amend the Salary Categories for Certain Offices following the recommendations of the City of Boston Compensation Advisory Board. These include increasing the Mayor’s salary from $199,000 to $207,000, City Councilors from $99,500 to $103,500, and various department heads’ salary ranges. The salary for elected officials, including the Mayor, would take effect after the next relevant municipal election. The matter was assigned to the Committee on Government Operations for a hearing.

Community Preservation Fund: Mayor Walsh filed an appropriation order to transfer $8,035,055 from the FY18 community preservation fund revenues for community preservation projects at the recommendation of the Community Preservation Committee. As part of the Community Preservation Act, the City Council must approve such authorization orders from the Community Preservation Fund in order to implement the recommendations of the Committee. The funds will be used towards affordable housing, historic preservation, and parks and open space projects around Boston. You can find details on all the proposed capital projects here. The matter was assigned to the Committee on the Community Preservation Act for a hearing.

Short-Term Rentals: The Council voted to pass an amended Short Term Rentals ordinance after seven rounds of amendments! Here’s the play-by-play:
  • Councilor Flaherty, as Chair of the Committee on Government Operations, reported out of committee an amended ordinance (read the committee report and language here). The main changes included removing the 120-day cap on owner-adjacent units, requiring that the information in the new Short Term Rentals registry be made public and reporting every year.
  • 120-Day Cap (rejected 7-6, Councilors Essaibi George, Flynn, O’Malley, Pressley, Wu, Zakim voting in the minority): Councilor O’Malley moved to reinstate the 120-day cap on Owner-Adjacent Units, expressing concerns that closing down the downtown investor market for Short Term Rentals would push demand to the neighborhoods and destabilize the outer neighborhoods with a higher proportion of 2- and 3-family homes, including in his district.
  • Biannual Reporting (passed 12-1, Councilor Flaherty voting against): Councilor O’Malley moved to require reporting with specific data every six months, rather than yearly as in the draft ordinance.
  • One Whole Unit at a Time (passed 8-5, Councilors Baker, Campbell, Ciommo, Flaherty, McCarthy voting against): I filed an amendment (split into two provisions after a challenge from Councilor Flaherty to Divide the Question and affirmed by Councilor Campbell; this is the first part) to limit operators to listing one whole unit at a time. This means that an owner-occupant of a 2- or 3-family home could list an owner-adjacent unit 365 days per year, and extra bedrooms in his or her primary resident unit 365 days per year, but if that person intends to list the entire primary resident unit while on vacation or out of town for up to 90 days, s/he can’t additionally list the owner-adjacent unit and leave a hotel-like situation for 90 days of the year.
  • Wind-Down Provision (passed 10-2, Councilors Flaherty and Janey against): The second part of my amendment, which I was happy to add Councilor Baker as a co-sponsor on since it was similar to one he was intending to propose, creates a mechanism to ease the transition for those whose economic opportunities will be eliminated or limited by our new ordinance. The language maintains the January 1st, 2019, implementation date, but allows existing units contracted for Short Term Rentals with a lease in place as of June 1, 2018, to continue operating until the expiration of the lease or September 1, 2019, whichever date comes first. That means that the units contracted long-term could transition back to the housing market when renters are looking, most often in September or one of the summer months. Other cities that have passed similar regulations have provided for a wind-down period of 1-3 years.
  • Buildings with Up to 6 Units (rejected 9-4, Councilors Baker, Ciommo, Essaibi George, McCarthy voting in favor): Councilor Baker proposed amending the provision that allows for owner-adjacent units for owner-occupants of 2- or 3-family homes, to increase that eligibility for owner-occupants of 4-, 5-, and 6-unit buildings. Councilors Baker and Ciommo noted that the City’s current Rental Registry distinguishes between landlords at 6+ vs. under 6-unit buildings.
  • Investor Units with 5% Cap (rejected, only by voice vote, not roll call): Councilor Ciommo moved to add a provision that would allow investor units for Short Term Rentals, provided that the total number of investor units per building would not exceed 5% of the total units. He expressed concern that shutting down downtown demand would shift all demand to neighborhoods, and said his solution would be to increase competition by allowing some investor units with a reasonable cap.
  • Tenants (rejected 10-3, Councilors Baker, Ciommo, McCarthy in favor): Councilor McCarthy proposed an amendment to allow tenants to offer short-term rentals as well, stating that he believed this would help ensure equity.
  • Process: Councilor Essaibi George expressed frustration that there was not an additional working session before today’s vote.
  • FINAL vote on amended version, including the 3 successful amendments: PASSED 11-2, Councilors Baker and Ciommo voting against.
Upcoming Hearings (Livestream)
  • Monday, 6/18 at 10AM: Hearing on Tree Coverage (Environment, Sustainability & Parks)
  • Monday, 6/18 at 3PM: Hearing on Teacher Diversity in BPS (Education)
  • Tuesday, 6/19 at 4PM: Hearing on Usage of Surveillance Technology (Public Safety & Criminal Justice)
  • Friday, 6/22 at 1PM: Hearing on Equitable Access to Public Transportation & Cashless MBTA Fares (Planning, Development & Transportation)
  • Monday, 6/25 at 10AM: Hearing on Curbside Composting (Environment, Sustainability & Parks)
  • Thursday, 6/28 at 2PM: Hearing on Resident Parking (Planning, Development & Transportation)
For complete notes on Boston City Council meetings, visit MichelleForBoston.com or sign up to receive these notes automatically.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Fort Point Landmarks June 2018 Meeting

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

Thursday, June 14, 2018
6:00 PM
Boston City Hall - Piemonte Room (5th Floor)
After 5:30 pm, 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.from Faneuil Hall).

I. Violation
63 Melcher Street: Ratification of unapproved temporary banners installed on façade.


II. DESIGN REVIEW 
18.1379 FPC          338 Congress Street (10 Farnsworth) 
Applicant: Hazel Wood-Hopkins; Citizen's Bank 
Proposed Work: At Congress St. elevation, install vinyl window signage, non-illuminated plate signage, face-lit channel letter signage, and door pull signage.  At Farnsworth Façade, install vinyl window and face-lit signage.

18.1381 FPC          374 Congress Street Proposed Work: 
Applicant: Bill Whitlock, Whitlock Design Group for Pink Taco
At Congress Street façade; install channel and flag signage. At the corner of Boston Wharf Road and Congress Street; install marquee signage. At Boston Wharf Road; install enclosed patio.

III. ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW/APPROVAL 
  18.1378 FPC             300 Summer Street  Proposed Work: Replace existing roof chiller in kind on modified steel dunnage.

IV. REVIEW and RATIFICATION OF May 10, 2018 HEARING MINUTES

V. STAFF UPDATES

PROJECTED ADJOURNMENT: 6:45 PM 

FORT POINT CHANNEL LANDMARK DISTRICT COMMISSION  
David Berarducci, Susan Goganian, John Karoff, Lynn Smiledge, Vacancy Alternates: Thomas Rodde, Vacancy 


originally 6.5.18

Monday, June 11, 2018

Boston City Council Looks At Parking Fines, Jitney Licenses, City Budget & More

City Councilor-At-Large Michelle Wu publishes notes from Boston City Council meetings. The Boston City Council considered the following items and more at their June 6, 2018 meeting:

FY19 Capital Budget: The Council voted 12-0 (Councilor Edwards absent) for the first of two required votes to pass the City’s FY19 Capital Budget. [Any capital appropriations require two affirmative 2/3 votes at least two weeks apart.] You can find details on all the proposed capital projects here.

Parking Fines: The Council voted to pass an amended version of the Mayor’s proposed ordinance to increase fines for specific categories of parking violations, as well as create a new category of violation for overnight street sweeping, which will be a no-tow violation. The goal is to better align fines to deter violations; many of the previous fine levels were cheaper than the cost of parking in a garage. The revenue from increased fines would go to support a major investment in active transportation initiatives in the FY19 budget. After the hearing, the amended version reduced the fee for double parking within Zone A from $75 proposed by the Mayor to $55, and from $55 to $35 in Zone B. Councilor Flaherty stated that these changes would ensure that the fee increases will not be overly burdensome to residents and businesses. Councilor Zakim noted that he opposed designating overnight street sweeping as a no-tow violation, because many residents in several of his neighborhoods believe that towing is necessary for effective street-sweeping; otherwise parked cars will prevent street sweeping to the curb.
 
Short-Term Rentals: The Council did not vote today on the Mayor’s proposed Short-Term Rentals ordinance. The next opportunity to vote will be at the Council meeting next Wednesday, June 13th.

Local Motion of Boston: Local Motion of Boston filed a petition for a jitney license to operate motor vehicles for the carriage of passengers for hire over certain streets in Boston. The matter was assigned to the Committee on Planning, Transportation and Development for a hearing. This petition is the 2nd filed by Local Motion in the last month. Two weeks ago, I held a hearing on their first petition for a corporate shuttle between Brighton and Kenmore Square, which the Transportation Department recommended denying because the route is redundant to public transit (with commuter rail stops near the origin and terminus) and because the planned pickup and dropoff locations are in No Stopping Zones. As Committee Chair, I wanted to give some time for the petitioner to follow up with the Transportation Department as well as local neighborhood groups, but may bring the matter before the Council at our next meeting. Over the course of the hearing, we also learned that the petitioner was already operating another route that they did not have a license for, and that is the 2nd petition.
 
Upcoming Hearings (Livestream: )

  • Tuesday, 6/12 at 2PM: Hearing on Vacant Properties in the City of Boston (City, Neighborhood Services, and Veterans & Military Affairs)
  • Thursday, 6/14 at 10AM: Policy Briefing on Diversity Initiatives for Boston’s Public Safety Agencies (Public Safety & Criminal Justice)
  • Thursday, 6/14 at 1PM: Hearing on Summer Violence and Community Engagement (Public Safety and Criminal Justice)
  • Monday, 6/18 at 10AM: Hearing on Tree Coverage (Environment, Sustainability & Parks)
  • Monday, 6/18 at 3PM: Hearing on Teacher Diversity in BPS (Education)
  • Tuesday, 6/19 at 4PM: Hearing on Usage of Surveillance Technology (Public Safety & Criminal Justice)
  • Friday, 6/22 at 1PM: Hearing on Equitable Access to Public Transportation & Cashless MBTA Fares (Planning, Development & Transportation)
  • Monday, 6/25 at 10AM: Hearing on Curbside Composting (Environment, Sustainability & Parks)
  • Thursday, 6/28 at 2PM: Hearing on Resident Parking (Planning, Development & Transportation)
For complete notes on Boston City Council meetings, visit MichelleForBoston.com or sign up to receive these notes automatically.

Fort Point Channel Opens To Rowers & Painters Plus Fireworks Tonight

Updated 6/11/18: The Tuesday, June 12th World Trade Center fireworks show is confirmed at 9 pm. Earlier that evening from 5 pm - 7:30 pm is the Taste of Seaport at Fan Pier featuring 25 restaurants, lawn games and music. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the event. If that is not enough the Portuguese tall ship Sagres is in dock and available for tours.

Look up to the sky tonight, Friday June 8, beginning at 9:30 pm to see fireworks over the Boston Harbor. Fireworks will be launched from Columbia Point, displayed over Dorchester Bay and viewable from beaches along Dorchester and South Boston.The fireworks show is a part of a series of public activations and celebratory events being offered in part of the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) Annual Meeting being hosted in Boston this week. There is also talk of fireworks on Tuesday, June 12th around 9 pm in the vicinity of the Seaport World Trade Center.

Paint The Channel
Saturday, June 9, 2018
8 am - 4 pm
Intercontinental
Register 

Artists are invited to paint (or draw!) the vibrant Fort Point Channel scene, including the museum’s traditional wooden boats and colorful race day. The Paint Out will take place at InterContinental Boston on Friday and Saturday, June 8th & 9th from 8 am to 4 pm.  A reception at InterContinental Boston will immediately follow the conclusion of the Fort Point Channel Open race on Saturday, June 9th, during which all works of art will be sold by silent auction.  The museum will receive a 30% commission on all auction sales to support our Boston Rowing Center, which provides free rowing to more than 300 Boston Public School students each year.


Fort Point Channel Open
Saturday, June 9, 2018
Boston Rowing Center
at the Barking Crab Marina
88 Sleeper Street, Boston
Race Start: 11 am

The Fort Point Channel Open will take place on Saturday, June 9th at the Hull Lifesaving Museum's Boston Rowing Center. Entering its 7th year, the Fort Point Channel Open is a community-wide event, bringing rowers and spectators from all over the region to Fort Point.  Competitors from across New England and New York come primed and ready to lay claim to the title of crewmaster.
This event is a Coxed Four challenge.  Teams line up side by side in a series of round-robin style heats. The course runs around the Boston Tea Party Museum ships, blasting under bridges and around tight turns, ending in a sprint for the finish line in front of Martin Richard's park next to the Boston Children's Museum.  
The race is open to crews of all skill levels.