Friday, September 24, 2021

FPNA Neighborhood Gathering 9/28: The Mayoral Candidates, Local Amenities & Open Studios

You Are Invited To A
Fort Point Seaport
Hybrid Neighborhood Gathering


Tuesday, September 28, 2021
6 pm to 8 pm

in person at District Hall (75 Northern Ave.)
 or
 via Zoom

Sign Up Today


featuring

Boston Mayoral Candidates
City Councilor Annissa Essaibi-George
&
Councilor Michelle Wu


plus
Our C-6 Community Officers
&
Councilor Ed Flynn: A District Update:


including 
Neighborhood News & Conversations

Ground Floor Amenities & Uses: What is missing in Fort Point & Seaport?
Construction & Development Updates from the Channel to the Harbor


&
Fort Point Arts Community
 42nd Annual Open Studios & Upcoming Shows

Your Choice: In Person or Online
With Covid protocols changing, we are taking the opportunity to still use Zoom for those that can’t attend in person and to gather face to face as a  neighborhood. Your choose how you want to participate when you 
Sign Up. Please note: the sign up confirmation will include the zoom link even if you plan to attend in person.  Remember if If you are visiting us at District Hall, you must wear a mask.
Upcoming Neighborhood Happenings

September 26: Seaport x Black Owned Bos. Market featuring black-owned business takes place 12pm - 6pm on Seaport Common.

September 27: City of Boston’s Election Department informational meeting to advise the public on the departments current effort to redraw precinct lines, including our precinct 6-1.

September 27- October 16: Check out Boston Design Week.

September 29: AFH Open Studio x from 5p - 7pm, part of Boston Design Week.  
October 1 and 2: Harpoon Brewery's 31st Annual Octoberfest filled with live music, pretzel eating contests, and more. 306 Northern Ave.

October 2: 4th annual Robo Boston Block Party, the latest and greatest in robotics. From autonomous vehicles to drones, you’ll see first hand all the amazing capabilities these machines have. Immerse yourself in various STEM activities and interactive demonstrations hosted by 30+ organizations from 11am - 4pm. Seaport Common  


Farmers Markets
Mondays 12pm-6pm: South Boston Farmers Market through October at 446 West Broadway 
Thursdays 11am-4pm: Dewey Square on the Greenway through November 18
Thursdays 2pm - 6pm: Seaport Farmers Market though October 28 at Sea Green Park (Q Park) on Boston Wharf Rd. 

 
It is  your neighborhood. Get Involved. Contact FPNA  today!

Don't miss a neighborhood event, meeting or happening:


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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

What's On The Calendar This September

 Upcoming Neighborhood Happenings
(updated as of 9/22/21
)

  • Monday, Sept.13: American Red Cross Blood Drive Honoring 911 at District Hall from 12:30 – 5:30. Sign up

  • Tuesday, Sept .14: Boston Preliminary Mayoral & City Council Election Day. Polls open 7am - 8pm at the Condon School at 200 D St. More details.

  • Wednesday, Sept. 15: 244 - 284 A Street Impact Advisory Group Workshop from 12pm - 2pm to discuss community benefits located at the Channelside Sales Office at 300 A St or via Zoom. Public is welcome to attend.

  • Thursday, Sept 16*: Fort Point Arts District Discussion from 1pm - 2pm hosted by the Mayor's Office of Art & Culture. Register.

  • Thursday, Sept 16: City Hall To Go Truck is bringing basic City Hall services to the Seaport Farmers Market from 2pm - 4pm. Pay a parking ticket, get a dog license or request a marriage license, etc...

  • Saturday, Sept. 18*: 21st Annual South Boston Street Festival  from 11am - 4pm on E. Broadway between I & L Streets. Free music & Irish dancing (2 performance stages), food, art for sale from South Boston & Fort Point artists, special store discounts & festivities.*new listing

  • through Sept 20: Catholic Charities South Boston LabourĂ© Autumn Online Auction with fabulous items up for bid... including concert tickets to see The Jonas Brothers at Fenway, Red Sox vs. Yankees tickets, an interior design consultation, a tour of the White House with $500 travel spending money and much more! *new listing

  • Monday, Sept. 20*: Special Conservation Commission Meeting at 6pm on the proposed regulations and performance standards for Isolated Vegetated Wetlands, Vernal Pools & Vernal Pool Habitat, and Land Subject to Coastal Storm Flowage drafted under the Boston Wetlands Protection Ordinance. *new listing

  • Tuesday, Sept 21*: FPAC Open Studios Info. Session at 7pm for artist participating in or considering being part of Oct 15. - Oct 17 Open Studios. *new listing

  • Wednesday, Sept. 22: Boston Harbor Now's Harbor Use Forum on Parcels O & P in the Raymond Flynn Industrial Park from 8:30 am - 10 am. The project is located just north of the Dry Dock #3 and consists of an approximately 219,000 square foot life science building, as well as an approximately 9,000 square foot adaptive reuse of the existing building located on Parcel P.

  • Wednesday, Sept. 22: Related Beal is holding their own meeting on the urban design of their 244 -284 A Street Channelside development at 300 A Street from 6pm - 8pm. These unofficial meetings are outside of the BPDA Article 80 public process. RSVP

  • Friday, Sept. 24*: Fort Point Film Night at 244 A Street Channelside parking lot from 6:30pm to 10pm. BYOBC (bring your own beach chair) to watch COCO, rated PG. Fort Point Film Night is a free, family friendly event brought to you by Save The Harbor Save The Bay, Related Beal, Friends of the Fort Point Channel, Conventures & TCP (Transformative Cultural Project). Music by DJ Troy Frost and food by Northeast of the Border Food Truck. *postponed to 2022. 

  • Tuesday: Sept. 28: FPNA Fort Point Seaport Neighborhood Hybrid Meeting at District Hall & online at 6pm featuring Mayoral Candidate Annissa Essaibi-George, neighborhood developments and ground floor amenities from the Channel to the Harbor and Fort Point Arts Community exciting news. 

Public Comment Deadlines
Oct 1: 244 -284 A Street Draft MEPA Environment Impact Report comment deadline

originally posted 09.07.21

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Boston City Council Looks At Non-binding Ballot Questions, BERDO, Arts Grant, Public Records & More

City Councilor-At-Large Michelle Wu publishes notes from Boston City Council meetings. Below are some highlights from September 15, 2021 City Council meeting:

VOTES

Eversource Substation Petition: The Council voted unanimously to approve a petition entitled “Petition for Eversource Substation East Boston,” which will place a nonbinding public opinion question on the November 2021 municipal election ballot, asking Boston voters: “Should a high voltage, electric substation be built at 400 Condor Street in East Boston, along the Chelsea Creek, near homes, parks, playgrounds, jet fuel storage, and in a flood risk area rather than in a nearby alternative safe and secure location such as non-residential Massport land at Logan Airport?”

Elected School Committee Petition: The Council voted unanimously to approve a petition entitled “An Elected Boston School Committee,” which will place a nonbinding public opinion advisory question on the November 2021 municipal election ballot, asking Boston voters: “Should the current appointed school committee structure be changed to a school committee elected by the residents of Boston?”

Prepaid Envelopes for Mail-In Ballots Ordinance: The Council voted unanimously to approve an ordinance proposed by Councilors Edwards, O’Malley and Flynn to increase voter participation by providing prepaid envelopes for mail-in voting whenever the Elections Department sends mail-in ballots to Boston voters.

MATTERS RECENTLY HELD FOR POSSIBLE ACTION

Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure: Councilor Edwards reported back as Chair of the Committee on Government Operations on a hearing recently held to discuss an ordinance amending the section of the City of Boston code regarding Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure, known as BERDO 2.0. This ordinance would require that starting in 2025, the 3,500 buildings covered by this ordinance (4% of Boston building stock) would be required to meet greenhouse gas emissions standards that decrease every 5 years to reach zero by 2050. (Remains in the Committee on Government Operations)  

NEW FILES

City Protocols for Providing Public Records: Councillor Bok introduced a hearing order to discuss city protocols for providing public records. The City has been repeatedly cited by the State’s Supervisor of Records over the course of the summer for its failure to provide public records, and while the Administration has not provided a detailed response to the Council’s recent inquiry about its public records protocols, it appears that City departments generally control the ultimate decision to release records and therefore can hold such records indefinitely for vetting. Additional public records staff may not solve the problem of unresponsiveness if the reason for delay lies with the Mayor’s Office and departments. This matter was referred to the Committee on Government Operations.

Civilian Review Board Nominations: Councilors O’Malley and Campbell introduced an order regarding the Civilian Review Board, established under the Ordinance to establish an Office of Police Accountability and Transparency (OPAT) in December 2020. This order states that the City Council shall receive applications, and that the appropriate committee will hold a working session to review applications, before seeking a consensus on the nine nominees which will be submitted to the Mayor for consideration. This matter was assigned to the Committee on Public Safety and Criminal Justice.

BPDA Plan for East Boston: Councilor Edwards filed a hearing order to discuss the status of the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) Plan for East Boston. This matter was referred to the Committee on Planning, Development and Transportation. 

APPOINTMENTS

  • Environment Department: Alison Brizius was appointed as Commissioner, effective August 2, 2021. (Placed on file)

  • Constables: The constables bond of Samuel Desrosiers was approved and received by the Collector-Treasurer. (Passed)

  • Boston Cannabis Board: Jasmin Winn was appointed as Project Manager, effective September 20, 2021. (Placed on file)

 GRANTS 

  • $2,051,903 in the form of a grant for the Boston Cultural Fund, awarded by the Boston Redevelopment Authority to be administered by the Office of Arts and Culture to fund cultural spaces, organizations, programs, artists, and activities in the South End, with the goal of preserving and enhancing cultural activity. (Passed)

UPCOMING HEARINGS (Streaming Online)

  • Our next City Council meeting will be on Wednesday, September 22 at 12PM.

  • Monday, September 20 at 10AM: Hearing on home rule petitions for special laws regarding the maximum age requirement for police officers and benefits for the widow of a former firefighter (Committee on Government Operations)

  • Monday, September 20 at 2PM: Hearing regarding the safety of construction sites in the City of Boston (Committee on Small Business & Workforce Development)

For complete notes of Boston City Council meetings, visit MichelleForBoston.com to sign up to receive Council Notes automatically.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Westbound Haul Rd/Bypass Rd Closure Tonight

Seaport TMA advisory that on Wednesday evening, September 15, 2021 into the morning of Thursday September 16 the westbound Massport Haul Road to South Boston Bypass Road and I-90 East will be closed for overhead construction.

Timing: Wed. 9/15 from 9:00 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Purpose: To install electronic signage including hanging, electrical wiring, and testing that cannot be done safely and efficiently above live traffic.

Detour: Access to I-90 East will be detoured to the South Boston Bypass Road on-ramp via the Haul Road eastbound and Congress Street. Drivers from D Street southbound will use Summer Street and Pumphouse Road to access the detour at Haul Road eastbound. Drivers from D Street northbound will continue on D Street to access the detour on Congress Street. Detour routes will be fully marked with signage. 

When driving through and near the work zone, we ask drivers to pay extra attention to speed, lane markings, traffic signage, barriers, police details, and construction workers. Pedestrian access will be maintained around the site.


Contact
On-site Construction Concerns: (508) 962-8091
Questions via email: construction@bostonseaport.xyz

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Tuesday Is Election Day. Who Gets Your Vote?

When: On Tuesday, September 14th the polls will open at 7am until 8pm. 

What: Boston Preliminary Mayoral & City Council Election. 

Who: In addition to choosing a Mayor from the seven who are running, there are seventeen candidates vying for four City Councilor-At-Large seats. Check out the Dorchester Reporter for a complete run down of the At-Large candidates and their priorities.  The top two Mayoral candidates and the top eight At-Large candidates will advance to the General Election on November 2, 2021.

The Mayoral Candidates

Annissa Essaibi George 

Richard Spagnuolo 

Andrea Campbell 

Kim Janey 

Michelle Wu 

Robert Cappucci

John Barros 


View September 14th ballot order and let's get out the vote! 

Where: Fort  Point & Seaport residents vote at the Condon School located at 200 D Street (D St & West Broadway behind the Laboure Center). The polls open at 7am and close at 8pm. 

Why Vote?: The community counts on our elected officials for their support of local issues and initiatives. Elected officials look at voter turnout by neighborhood when deciding where to put their limited resources and time. Let's show the City that residents live in Fort Point and the Seaport. Your Voice. Your Vote. 


Thursday, September 09, 2021

Pier 4 Public Meeting: Floating Marina Facility & Seaplanes?

update 09/09/21: per Caitlin Carpenter, BPDA project manager, the comment deadline is extended to accommodate a tbd second community meeting as requested by FPNA on behalf of the neighborhood.  

Boston Planning & Development Agency public community meeting on Pier 4 Phase 4 in the Seaport:

Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021
6pm - 7pm


to discuss the Notice of Project Change and the Planned Development Area (PDA) amendment. The notice of project change for Pier 4 is to describe the proposed work and formalize the approval of the development of a public marina facility including a floating marina support building for a restroom/storage/service uses in the watersheet around Pier 4 ("the Marina").

 At FPNA's June 2018 meeting, the floating structure was presented as a marine / seaplane office with seaplane dock next to our Pier 4 waterfront park, the largest public pier park on the South Boston waterfront. With Tailwind Air's reported desire to move seaplanes from a floating dock in East Boston to a seaplane dock in Seaport. The marine operator, same as Fan Pier, is favorable to seaplanes docking at the Fan Pier and Pier 4 marinas.  

Public Comment Deadline: extended to October 13 following a yet tbd 2nd public meeting. 
Project Manager: Caitlin Carpenter


FPNA June 2018 Meeting: Proposed Marine Office & Seaplane Dock

originally published 09/01/21

Wednesday, September 08, 2021

Fort Point Landmarks September 2021 Meeting

updated 9/8/21 with links to available design presentations. 

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

Thursday, September 9, 2021
6:00 PM

This hearing will be held virtually and NOT in person. 
You can participate in this hearing by going to our Zoom meeting link 
or by calling 929-205-6099 and entering meeting id 813 8689 9333# 
You can also submit written comments or questions to FortPointLDC@boston.gov 

I.  VIOLATIONS 

APP # 22.0127 FPC 253 SUMMER STREET (postponed to October 14, 2021 hearing) 
Applicant: : COJE Management Group, Chris Jamison
Proposed Work: Ratify a patio expansion, including the installation of pavers, planters, lighting, furniture, and associated landscaping (Violation # VIO.21.009)

II. DESIGN REVIEW HEARING

APP # 22.0113 FPC 22 THOMSON PLACE
Applicant: Jason Parillo
Proposed Work: Install new signage at main entrance on existing sign band (continued from 8/12 hearing)

APP # 22.0072 FPC 300 A STREET
Applicant: Dyer Brown & Associates
Proposed Work:  At the main roof, demolish one (1) RTU and install three (3) new RTUs  
(continued from 8/12 hearing)

APP # 22.0125 FPC 12 FARNSWORTH
Applicant: Philip Marcotty
Proposed Work: Replace existing loading dock and stairs at rear of building. At roof, repair two (2) brick head houses, install mechanical equipment, and expand existing mechanical penthouse. (continued from 8/12 hearing)

APP # 22.0271 FPC 308 CONGRESS STREET
Applicant: Amy Auerbach
Proposed Work: Install 2 new graphics at roof garden

APP # 22.0255 FPC 268 SUMMER STREET
Applicant: Hazel Hopkins
Proposed Work: Proposed work: Install new blade sign and vinyl door graphic.

APP # 22.0211 FPC 22 BOSTON WHARF ROAD
Applicant: Andreas Romero
Proposed Work: Relocate existing entry door, install new metal clad canopy with non-illuminated signage

III  RATIFICATION OF 8/12/2021 PUBLIC HEARING MINUTES

IV  STAFF UPDATES

V  Projected Adjournment: 8pm

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

originally published 09.01.21

Saturday, September 04, 2021

Are You Ready For September 14th Preliminary Election?

09/04/21:updated with Dorchester Reporter City Councilor-At- Large candidates' priorities article and election day hours and location.

Plan on voting in the upcoming Boston mayoral & City Council preliminary election on September 14, 2021? 

In addition to choosing a Mayor from the seven who are running, there are seventeen candidates vying for four City Councilor-At-Large seats. Check out the Dorchester Reporter for a complete run down of the At-Large candidates and their priorities.  The top two Mayoral candidates and the top eight At-Large candidates will advance to the General Election on November 2, 2021.

The Mayoral Candidates

Annissa Essaibi George 

Richard Spagnuolo 

Andrea Campbell 

Kim Janey 

Michelle Wu 

Robert Cappucci

John Barros 

View September 14th ballot order and let's get out the vote! 

Did you recently move or has it been awhile since you last voted? Check your voting statusThe deadline to register or update your information for September 14th election was Wednesday, August 25th. The November 2nd election registration deadline is 8pm on October 13, 2021. 

Early Voting 

Starts on Saturday, September 4, and runs through Friday, September 10. Please note: Any voter registered in Boston can vote at any early voting location.

Boston City Hall is the main early voting polling location. City Hall will be open for voting Tuesday through Friday (Labor Day is Monday, September 6). City Hall will be open for early voting on Tuesday and Thursday from 9 am - 8 pm, and on Wednesday and Friday from 9 am - 5pm.

Nearby Early Voting Locations

  • Saturday, Sept 4: Condon School from 11am - 7pm at 200 D St (D St & West Broadway behind the Laboure Center)
  • Sunday, Sept 5: Condon School from 11am - 7pm at 200 D St (D St & West Broadway behind the Laboure Center)
  • Thursday, Sept 9: District Hall from 12 pm - 8pm at 75 Northern Ave. 

Vote By Mail

To vote by mail, your application must reach the Boston Election Department by 5pm, Wednesday, September 8, 2021. If you did not receive your application by mail, you may download the application here

If you plan to return your ballot in person instead of mailing it, there will be dedicated drop boxes (locations tbd) across the City, including Boston City Hall. You have until 8 p.m. on Election Day to drop off your ballot. You can also drop off your ballot at any early voting location during the City's early voting period.

Election Day

On Tuesday, September 14th the polls will open at 7am through 8pm. Fort  Point & Seaport residents vote at the Condon School located at 200 D Street (D St & West Broadway behind the Laboure Center).

originally published 08.23.21

Friday, September 03, 2021

Friday Fireworks, A Bookstore, Fort Point Block Party & Early Voting Starts Saturday

The neighborhood is alive and bustling this September. The Boston  Convention & Exhibition  Center re-opened and is hosting the annual FanExpo, a Comics, Sci-Fi, Horror, Anime, and Gaming experience, this weekend. Fireworks will be illuminating the Boston Harbor Friday night. 

First Neighborhood Bookstore
We are thrilled to welcome
Porter Square Books.to the neighborhood. Their second location will be within Seaport's brand new literary center, home to creative writing non-profit GrubStreet and poetry non-profit Mass Poetry. Porter Square Books cordially invites neighbors to come by and share your hopes for your neighborhood bookstore at Open Houses on September 9th from 2pm - 4pm or September 11th from 12 pm - 2pm at 50 Liberty Drive. Refreshments will be served.
The literary center is Seaport's newest MA Public Waterfront Act (Chapter 91) ground floor community space.


Fort Point Rock The Block, a Celebration of Arts, Culture, & Collaboration​
Artists for Humanity (AFH) is celebrating 30 years of empowering Boston's youth through paid employment in art and design  Starting at 4pm on September 12th, we are all invited to a first of its kind, indoor-outdoor, day-to-night, free to all Rock The Block Party. The AFH EpiCenter and adjacent A Street Park will come alive with a showcase of teen expression and collaborations with partners: The Boston Children's Chorus, Boston Lyric Opera, Midway Artist Studios, Urbanity Dance and more! There will be food and drink from loved local vendors, immersive art and music all day and night, and amazing video projections after dark on the surrounding buildings and a afterparty at Midway Artist Studios. Please register to attend.

Preliminary Boston Mayoral & City Council Election
Early voting starts Saturday, September 4 through Friday, September 10.
Voting by mail? Application is due by September 8
Election day is Tuesday, September 14. Polls open 7am - 8pm.

In addition to choosing a Mayor from the seven candidates running, there are seventeen candidates vying for four City Councilor-At-Large seats. The top two Mayoral candidates and the top eight At-Large candidates will advance to the General Election on November 2, 2021.

The closest early voting location is District Hall (75 Northern Ave) on on Thursday, September 9 from 12pm to 8pm.
Click here for more information on the candidates and voting.

This Weekend

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Councilors Flynn & Flaherty Urge Southie to Apply for CPA Funds by September 3rd

As the deadline for the 2022 funding round for the Community Preservation Act grants approaches, Councilors Ed Flynn and Michael Flaherty are urging South Boston residents again to consider applying for CPA funding for relevant projects. Interested applicants would need to contact the Community Preservation team regarding their eligibility, then submit the CPA’s rolling eligibility form by Friday, September 3, 2021 at 5pm.

In July, City Councilor Ed Flynn and City Councilor At-Large Michael Flaherty partnered with the Office of Community Preservation to host an information session for District 2 residents on the Community Preservation Act (CPA). The meeting provided information and resources for South Boston residents, nonprofits, community and youth sports organizations to apply for CPA funding. The Councilors also emphasized that with 16 applications submitted over 4 rounds, and 7 projects subsequently approved, it’s critical for community organizations and neighbors to apply so that we do not lose out on available funding to help improve and preserve our neighborhood. With nearly half of South Boston applications awarded funding, it’s also crucial for those who may have been denied in the past to re-apply and continue to stay engaged with the CPA team.

The CPA provides funding for initiatives related to affordable housing, historic preservation, open space, and outdoor recreation facilities. From 2018 to 2021, there were 16 applications from South Boston, and the following seven approved for CPA funding:

 

  • Martin's Park - $500,000

  • St. Augustine Historic Chapel - $499,075

  • Barnard Place Park - $150,000 

  • Congress St Fire Museum - $150,000

  • Harry McDonough Sailing Center - $78,783

  • Castle Island Interpretive Signs - $75,000

  • Kearsarge Anchor - $75,000 

 

To be considered for CPA’s 2022 funding round, interested applicants need to please contact the Community Preservation team regarding eligibility at 617-635-0545 and thadine.brown@boston.gov before filling out the CPA’s rolling eligibility form by Friday, September 3, 2021 at 5pm. The form can be accessed through the Office of Community Preservation’s website at www.boston.gov/cpa. If CPA staff reviews the project and determines that it can be funded under CPA requirements, the applicant will be invited to complete an application for CPA grants. An outline of the application steps can be found here: https://www.boston.gov/community-preservation/how-apply-community-preservation-funds. For more information, including to request translation or interpretation services, please contact thadine.brown@boston.gov

 

“I’m calling on my neighbors to contact CPA and apply for funding by September 3rd so that our community has the chance to receive funding for initiatives on affordable housing, historic preservation, open space, and outdoor recreation,” said Councilor Flynn. “CPA funding is an important resource for our community, and neighbors should take full advantage of this funding opportunity so that we can further strengthen and improve our neighborhoods. “ 

 

"When I worked to get the CPA adopted in Boston, it was because I knew the transformative effects the funds from the program would have across the city," said Councilor Flaherty. "With over $92M authorized for projects across the city already, we are seeing those changes. I want to make sure residents in South Boston have every opportunity to harness the impact of these funds, and I encourage folks to get their applications in."

 

For more information, please contact Councilor Flynn’s office at 617-635-3203 and ed.flynn@boston.gov.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Boston City Council Looks At Early Voting, Cannabis Regulations, ZBA, Real Estate Transfer Fees, Recovery & More

City Councilor-At-Large Michelle Wu publishes notes from Boston City Council meetings. Below are some highlights from August 18, 2021 Boston City Council meeting:

VOTES

Early Voting Locations: We voted unanimously to approve an amended order from the Chair of the Board of Elections regarding early voting for the September 14 preliminary election and the November 2 general election. This amended order commits to additional early voting sites in the Roslindale, South Boston Waterfront, Chinatown, and Mission Hill neighborhoods and the Upham’s Corner area of Dorchester, which had been left out of the initial proposal, as well as additional early voting days to ensure equitable access to the ballot box.

Landmark Declaration for Shirley-Eustis Place: We voted unanimously to approve an order from the Boston Landmarks Commission designating Shirley-Eustis Place, 33 and 42-44 Shirley Street and 24 Rockford Street in Roxbury, as a Landmark. 

Boston-Cambridge Tourism Destination Marketing District Plan: We voted unanimously to approve a Boston-Cambridge Tourism Destination Marketing District (TDMD) plan, based on the recommendation of Councilor Edwards, Chair of the Committee on Government Operations, and Councilor Baker, Chair of the Committee on Arts, Culture and Special Events, who reported back regarding a hearing recently held to discuss the TDMD plan. This plan, which also has the support of the City of Cambridge and the Massachusetts State Legislature, will permit hotels in Boston and Cambridge to implement a 1.5% assessment that will be directly reinvested back into the TDMD areas to support local businesses in the travel and hospitality sectors. 70% of hotels in Boston and Cambridge with at least 50 rooms have voted to approve the TDMD formation, and TDMD expenditures will be managed through a 15-member governance board

Surplus Declaration of Roxbury Parcel: We voted unanimously to approve the surplus declaration of a City-owned, former Commonwealth of Massachusetts parcel, located at Melnea Cass Boulevard in Roxbury, and transfer the care and custody, management, and control of the property to the Public Facilities Commission for ongoing use as a community garden. 

Transfer of Roslindale Parcel to Conservation Commission: We voted unanimously to approve an order authorizing the City of Boston Conservation Commission to receive a property located at Morrison Street in the Roslindale neighborhood. This parcel is located in the Roslindale Wetlands Urban Wild and will be a valued addition to this natural neighborhood asset, serving as a buffer to an adjacent wetland area that is used for recreation, wildlife habitat, and storm water storage for the Boston Water and Sewer Commission. 

Equitable Regulation of Cannabis Industry Ordinance: We voted unanimously to approve an ordinance from Councilor Edwards amending CBC Chapter 8-13, Ensuring Equitable Regulation of the Cannabis Industry in the City of Boston. This order will amend the current cannabis ordinance by removing the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) from the process, codifying the half-mile buffer zone, and maintaining the objective that no one area of the City will have an overconcentration of cannabis businesses.  

Zoning Amendment Regarding Marijuana Establishments: We also voted (12-1, with Councilor Bok opposing) to advance a zoning amendment from Councilors Edwards and Flaherty to make cannabis establishments an allowed use in commercial areas, prohibit cannabis establishments in residential districts, and remove the ZBA from the process, providing consistency in the cannabis industry. This amendment now goes to the Boston Zoning Commission for approval. 

Language and Communications Access Ordinance: We voted unanimously to approve an ordinance from Councilor Mejia regarding language and communications access for City services. This ordinance will amend the current Language and Communications Ordinance, which I authored and passed in 2016, by codifying the Office of Language and Communications Access; requiring the office to develop guidelines that reflect culturally competent interpretation and translation, including for residents with limited literacy; and requiring that vital documents be translated into languages spoken by 5% of the population of the City of Boston or by 1,000 people, whichever is fewer. 

COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate Resolution: We voted to approve a resolution from Councilor O’Malley in support of a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for City of Boston employees. 

Dignity of Work Act Resolution: We voted to approve a resolution from Councilor Mejia in support of S. 1185, an Act to Establish the Dignity At Work Act, which was designed to recognize human rights in the workplace and to prevent bullying, harassment, intimidation and other abusive or negative behaviors in the workplace. 

OIA Requests 17F: We voted to advance Councilor Bok’s 17F order requesting information regarding requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) since March 22, 2021. This order comes after recent legal complaints from local media outlets for the Administration’s failure to fulfill public records requests, a recent complaint from the Attorney General for failure to adequately respond to requests concerning the BPD, and recent media reports of disparate treatment of the Acting Mayor as compared with her City Council colleagues in relation to the Administration's release of records in response to public records requests by local media. This order requests a list of all FOIA requests received by the City that remain unfulfilled, the reason for their non-fulfillment, a date of expected fulfillment, and an indication of whether they concern files related to the Acting Mayor, her City Council colleagues, or both; those that have been fulfilled and partially fulfilled; a description of the City’s standard operating procedure for responding to FOIA requests; and a list of all instances in which the Acting Mayor has been informed of FOIA requests prior to action that resulted in their fulfillment, and delayed fulfillment, or non-fulfillment. 

COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE MAYOR 

Real Estate Transfer Fees Home Rule Petition: We received an order for Council approval regarding a home rule petition, Special Law Re: An Act Relative to Real Estate Transfer Fees. If approved by the City Council, Mayor, State Legislature, and Governor, this home rule petition would impose a transfer fee of up to 2% on certain real estate transactions. This legislation is similar to a 2019 home rule petition that was passed by City Council but remains in the State Legislature; however, this version is applicable only to transactions over $3 million, rather than $2 million. This matter was referred to the Committee on Government Operations.

COMMUNICATIONS FROM OTHER PUBLIC OFFICES

Municipal Budget Ballot Question: We received communication from Council President Pro Tempore O’Malley regarding an amendment to the Boston City Charter, which was approved by the City Council and the Acting Mayor earlier this year. This proposed charter amendment would change the process for creating and approving the municipal budget. With this order, President Pro Tempore O’Malley formally requests that the Elections Department send a summary of the proposed changes to all households with one or more registered voters. (Placed on file)

MATTERS RECENTLY HELD FOR POSSIBLE ACTION

Status of ZBA Executive Order and Home Rule Petition: I reported back as Chair of the Committee on Planning, Development and Transportation on a hearing recently held to hear updates on the status of the Zoning Board of Appeals Executive Order and Home Rule Petition. During the hearing, we heard from the Administration about the status of reforms to the ZBA, including the makeup of the Board, term limits for Board members, guidelines for recusal, the issuance of quarterly reports on variances and conditional use permits given out in each neighborhood, the creation of an online submission portal to streamline operations, and the creation of an ombudsperson role to notify the public of their rights during and outside of ZBA meetings. (Remains in Committee). 

Legal Representation of Boston Groundwater Trust: Councilors Bok, Flaherty and Edwards introduced an ordinance to provide for legal representation of the Boston Groundwater Trust by the City of Boston Law Department. The Groundwater Trust monitors groundwater levels in areas of the city where foundations are threatened by low levels, and is governed by a Board of Trustees, who are unpaid volunteers. Because the Corporation Counsel has argued that the Trust’s officers and employees cannot be deemed to be officers or employees of the City of Boston, the City Law Department cannot advise or represent any trustee, officer or employee of the Trust. This ordinance would amend the City of Boston Code to expand legal representation by the City of Boston Law Department to all trustees, officers, members, employees and volunteers of the Boston Groundwater Trust. This matter was referred to the Committee on Government Operations. 

COVID-19 Recovery Funds: Councilors Flaherty and O’Malley called for a hearing to discuss COVID-19 Recovery Funds. The City of Boston is expected to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) through the end of 2024. The City Council approved roughly 25% of total expected ARPA funding at the end of June, and the Administration recently announced the launch of the Equitable Recovery Taskforce (ERT) to inform the investment of additional recovery funds. Residents and stakeholders should have numerous opportunities to understand and inform how the City leverages this funding for short-term and long-term recovery efforts, both within the City Council and through the ERT. This matter was referred to the Committee on COVID-19 Recovery. 

UPCOMING HEARINGS (Streaming Online)

  • Our next City Council meeting will be on Wednesday, September 15 at 12PM

For complete notes of Boston City Council meetings, visit MichelleForBoston.com to sign up to receive Council Notes automatically.