Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Boston Cannabis Board Debuts Draft Rules & Regulations

The Boston Cannabis Board (BCB) will hold a virtual hearing on:

Wednesday, July 8, 2020
1:00 pm 

to solicit testimony regarding the Draft Rules and Regulations

Any individual seeking to testify before the BCB at this hearing is urged to email cannabisboard@boston.gov to ensure all individuals can be called to testify in an organized manner.

The BCB will hold a subsequent public hearing on July 22, 2020 at 1:00 pm to discuss and adopt the Draft Rules and Regulations.

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Fort Point Landmarks July 2020 Meeting

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

Thursday, July 9, 2020
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  831 9615 0664 #
You can also submit written comments or questions to FortPointLDC@boston.gov 
or via Twitter @bostonlandmarks.


I.  DESIGN REVIEW HEARING

APP #  20.1096 FPC  332-340 Summer Street.
Applicant: Stanhope Garage Inc.
Proposed Work:  Install a planting bed and planting plan. See additional items under Administrative Review

APP # 20.1103 FPC  33/41 Farnsworth Street.
Applicant:  T-C Fort Point Creative Exchange LLC
Proposed Work: Replace entry doors and infill.

APP # 20.1102 FPC 51 SLEEPER STREET
Applicant: NFLSRE 51 Sleeper LLC
Proposed Work: Install HVAC equipment and associated dunnage at the roof. 

II. ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW/APPROVAL: In order to expedite the review process, the commission has delegated the approval of certain work items, such as those involving ordinary maintenance and repair, restoration or replacement, or which otherwise have a minimal impact on a building’s appearance, to commission staff pending ratification at its monthly public hearing. Having been identified as meeting these eligibility criteria and all applicable guidelines, the following applications will be approved at this hearing:

APP # 20.1096 FPC 332-340 SUMMER STREET: Refurbish existing steel fence facing Boston Wharf Road. See additional items under Design Review.

APP # 20.797 FPC 300 A STREET: Replace visible HVAC equipment at the roof (modify Certificate of Design Approval). 

II.  Ratification of 6/11/20 Public Hearing minutes

III.   Staff Updates

IV. Projected Adjournment: 7:30 PM


FORT POINT CHANNEL LANDMARK DISTRICT COMMISSION

David Berarducci, Susan Goganian, John Karoff, Lynn Smiledge, Vacancy
Alternates: Thomas Rodde, Vacancy

Monday, June 15, 2020

Summer Neighborhood Kickoff Is All About The Outdoors

You are invited to a
 
Fort Point Seaport
Neighborhood Summer Gathering


Tuesday, June 23, 2020
6 pm
Zoom SignIn


featuring

What's Next in Coastal Resilience for Fort Point & the Seaport? 
The Challenges of Flood Protection.
The Players. The Neighborhood.


Alison Brizius
Director of Climate & Environmental Planning
Boston Environment Department
CoastalResilience Solutions for South Boston (Executive Summary)


Bud Ris
Green Ribbon Commission
ExpandingBoston's Capacity to Build Coastal Resilience Infrastructure:Lessons Learned from the Seaport District (Executive Summary)
 


&
Street Sweeping
 A Neighborhood Discussion of Melcher St & Beyond.

with
Neighborhood Updates & Announcements
including 15 Necco (former GE Headquarter's site)


Our sign in sheet is back and like everything these days it is digital. Please click on the Zoom Sign In. You will receive an email confirmation with the link and one tap mobile details for those joining us by phone. We recommend you sign in advance of our 6 pm kickoff on June 23, 2020. 

Please note that our presentation, "What Will An Improved Summer Street Experience Look Like For Walkers, Cyclists & Bus Riders?" is postponed to a future date.

Monday, June 08, 2020

Fort Point Landmarks June 2020 Meeting

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

Thursday, June 11, 2020
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 820 2426 5260 #. 
You can also submit written comments or questions to FortPointLDC@boston.gov 
or via Twitter @bostonlandmarks.


I.  DESIGN REVIEW HEARING

APP # 20.889 FPC  311 Summer Street
Applicant: Suite Six Medical Aesthetics 
Proposed Work: At the Summer Street facade second level install a blade sign.

II.  Ratification of 5/14/20 Public Hearing minutes

III.   Staff Updates

IV. Projected Adjournment: 6:30 PM


FORT POINT CHANNEL LANDMARK DISTRICT COMMISSION

David Berarducci, Susan Goganian, John Karoff, Lynn Smiledge, Vacancy
Alternates: Thomas Rodde, Vacancy

Boston City Council Looks At CPA Funds, Budget Surpluses, Safe Streets, COVID & More

City Councilor-At-Large Michelle Wu publishes notes from Boston City Council meetings. Below are a few highlights from May through June 3, 2020. For complete notes of Boston City Council meetings, visit MichelleForBoston.com or sign up to receive these notes automatically.

VOTES: 

Occupational Presumption of exposure to COVID-19: We voted to adopt the resolution filed by Councilors Breadon and Flynn in support of state bills regarding the occupational presumption of exposure to COVID-19. Essential workers are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, and occupational presumption legislation would ensure that any essential worker reporting to work outside their home who contracts the coronavirus is presumed to have gotten it from exposure at work--ensuring that infected essential workers do not have to use their own paid time off or sick time to quarantine, treat, or recover from the coronavirus; and that they and their families get the workers compensation and death benefits they deserve should their illness become severe. 

Federal Action Condemning Police Brutality: We voted (12-0, Councilor Baker absent) to adopt the resolution introduced by Councilors Mejia, Arroyo & Janey in Support of the federal resolution filed by Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley for Federal Action Condemning Police Brutality, Racial Profiling, and the Use of Excessive and Militarized Force. Many Councilors spoke in support of the resolution, and you can see the video starting at 1hr and 56min, linked directly here.

FY 2021 BUDGET: Because the City Charter requires a vote on the budget by the 2nd Wednesday in June but the City has until the end of the month to approve a budget before the fiscal year ends, today we took a customary vote to reject the proposed budget without prejudice and prepare for the Mayor’s resubmittal. The Council also voted unanimously to advance the capital budget--the first of two required votes to approve appropriations for the City’s 5-year Capital Plan.

FY20 Budget Surpluses: Councilor Flaherty & I reported back on the hearing to look back on City department FY20 budget surpluses as the City is approaching the end of the fourth quarter. We reviewed potential deficits (police and fire overtime, trash/recycling removal), potential surpluses (unneeded snow removal funds, utilities rates citywide, employee health insurance, parking tickets/meters processing), and revenue reductions due to the pandemic (excise taxes, parking fines and meter fees, interest on investments, and licensing and permitting fees). You can see the full presentation from that meeting here or watch the video here. The matter will remain in the committee on Post Audit & Oversight.

COVID-19 Hotline: We voted to adopt Councilor Essaibi-George’s resolution for the creation of a hotline for workers and consumers to report businesses not adhering to the recommended protective measures. She noted that the Governor’s reopening plan relies on self-reporting and self-enforcement about physical distancing rules.  

Community Preservation Act: We voted to pass the proposed allocation of $24.3M in funds from the Community Preservation Act Fund to support housing, open space and recreation, and historic preservation. Read more about the approval process here, and see the full list of projects funded here.

MATTER RECENTLY HEARD: 
Safe Streets: Councilor Breadon & I reported back on our productive hearing last night to discuss implementing changes for safe streets during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The hearing began with three comprehensive presentations from author and national urban planning expert Jeff Speck on the urgency for spatial redesign to promote safety and health during the pandemic; Director of Transit Matters Jarred Johnson on improvements and recommendations for public transit; and Boston Transportation Department Director of Planning Vineet Gupta and Public Realm Director Jacob Wessel on the City of Boston’s plans. We also heard from many advocates, community leaders, and members of the public who echoed the need for urgency to keep residents and commuters safe during COVID-19. You can watch the full video here. This matter will remain in committee for further follow-up and discussion.

NEW MATTERS
College and University Reopening COVID-19 Plans: Councilors Breadon & Janey called for a hearing regarding the status of college and university plans to reopen for Fall 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Boston is home to over 170,000 graduate and undergraduate students enrolled at more than 30 degree-granting higher education institutions, including four public universities, two for-profit institutions, and 26 private non-profit institutions. The sponsors discussed the need to ensure the health and safety of all members of the public, including educators, students, dining and cleaning staff on campuses. This matter was referred to the Committee on Public Health.

Senior Property Taxes: The Mayor filed requests for authorization to increase the Elderly Property Tax Exemption from $750 to $1000 and also to lower the interest rate on property taxes deferred for eligible seniors from 4% to 1% for Fiscal Year 2021. These matters were sent to the Committee on Ways and Means for a hearing. 

APPOINTMENTS: 
  • Boston Public Health Commission Board of Health: Rebecca Gutman, Manny Lopes and Guale Valdez appointed as members, subject to confirmation (Committee on Public Health)
  • Zoning Commission: Nelson Arroyo, Jane Cooper Brayton and Drew Leff appointee as members of the Zoning Commission, pending confirmation (Committee on Planning, Development and Transportation)
  • Beacon Hill Architectural Commission: Joel Pierce and P.T. Vineburgh, as members, pending confirmation (Committee on Planning, Development and Transportation)
  • Boston Landmarks Commission: Justine Orlando as a member until June 30, 2022, pending confirmation (Committee on Planning, Development and Transportation)
  • Boston Water and Sewer Commission: Michael Woodall as chair until January 1, 2024 (Committee on City and Neighborhood Services)

UPCOMING HEARINGS (Streaming online):
  • Monday, June 8th at 12PM: Hearing to explore preparation for youth employment opportunities amid and post the COVID-19 pandemic (Strong Women, Families & Communities)
  • Tuesday, June 9th at 3PM: Hearing on Ordinance to Ban Face Surveillance (Government Operations)

Sunday, June 07, 2020

MassDOT Sidewalk Improvements Starts Tuesday

MassDOT is repairing sidewalks, crosswalks, and pedestrian ramps previously constructed under the CA/T Project (Big Dig) along A Street, Boston Wharf Road and Congress Street in advance of turning over these assets to the City Of Boston. There will be street parking restrictions.

Project Scope
A Street: from Iron St. to Melcher St. 
Boston Wharf Rd:  Easterly side only. 
Congress St: from Boston Wharf/West Service Rd to 1-90 ramp.

Starting Tuesday, June 9, 2020, sidewalk and curb repair preparation will begin on A Street starting at Iron Street. Sidewalks closures will occur from Richards Street to the Summer Street underpass as the project advances. The work will be performed in three phases and street parking will be impacted. The pedestrian sidewalk path will be diverted around the work zones and access to the buildings with front doors on A Street will be coordinated by the on-site construction team. There will be a temporary pedestrian pathway created in the bike/parking lane after hours. Pedestrian channeling devices and cones will be used to create this walkway. In addition, trees will be protected and missing / dead trees will be replaced. The work is estimated to complete in 30 days.

Work Hours with Crew on Site: 7:00 am to 3:30 pm.
There maybe short periods of time during trench excavations where the side road will require a temporary closure and detour. All detours will be removed and all side roads opened by 3 pm each day.

All residential & commercial abutters to sidewalk reconstruction work zones will receive notices & no parking signs posted (72) hours prior to any work commencing.

More details will be added as they become available. 

Monday, June 01, 2020

June Marks Offices Reopening, Public Spaces Expanding & Property Taxes Due

Today, Monday, June 1, office workplaces can begin to reopen in Boston, under Phase 1 of the state’s reopening framework. Boston City Hall will be open today to assist with the property owners with the tax deadline. The City's Healthy Streets initiative is expanding public open space, sidewalks and bus and bike lanes. The MBTA is pushing forward on T and commuter rail improvements and the State's reopening plan.

June 1, 2020 is the date the City of Boston asked for, because of the size of the City’s commercial sector and the unique role Boston plays in the region’s working and commuting patterns. 

The City published guidelines for offices on how to keep workers, clients, and customers as safe as possible during a gradual and limited reopening. These guidelines use the state Safety Standards for this sector as a starting point, and are supplemented with recommendations from the CDC, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and industry associations, as well as input from local building owners, property managers, and workers.

These guidelines are not mandated, but serve as a detailed and use-able best practices framework. The framework, which covers social distancing, hygiene, staffing and operations, and cleaning and disinfection, can be found at boston.gov/reopening

The Mayor urges office workplaces to be cautious about reopening, and protect their workforce by keeping the guiding principles that apply to the entire reopening process in mind.

  • First, going back to work brings risk. Even with a limited reopening, workplaces must be ready to manage the ongoing risk, and all plans must include mechanisms for scaling back if COVID-19 cases and deaths begin to spike. 
  • Second, everyone who can work should continue to work from home. Nothing close to an old normal will be possible until a vaccine or effective treatment is developed. And for any worker who is high-risk, steps should be taken to make sure they can work from home.
  • Third, equity is essential for effective risk management. If workplaces don’t plan at every step for the needs of those who are disproportionately impacted, they will have disproportionate impacts that affect the entire workplace. Workplaces must take a complete view of who the workers are that make their offices run: from the front desk staff and custodians up to the CEO. 

The Mayor strongly urges all employers, landlords, and property managers to make use of these best practices and guidelines. The City will be taking feedback and adapting it to conditions moving forward, and can help answer any questions about how to implement them. 
The City will also be consulting with the new Boston Reopening Advisory Board on safety and recovery needs in offices and other sectors of the economy. This is a diverse group of leaders from business, health care, education, labor, arts, and faith communities.

NOTE: Workers in any size organization have options if they feel they are being pressured into an unsafe situation. They include an online form at the Attorney General’s website and a dedicated Fair Labor hotline at 617-727-3465. People can also find those resources by calling 311. 

In addition Phase 1 applications for the first round of the Boston Reopen Fund are live. More information can be found at boston.gov/reopenfund. The $6 million Fund is a new resource to help small businesses minimize risk and manage economic recovery during reopening. 

PUBLIC SPACE UPDATE
The Mayor announced “Healthy Streets”, a package of changes to improve social-physical spacing in Boston’s neighborhoods, help workers and small businesses recover, and continue the work the City was doing before the crisis to make public space in Boston more safe, accessible, and healthy. These measures are “quick-build” projects that can be adapted and adjusted based on their success and community feedback. Details
Expanding bus stops and bus lanes: Working with the MBTA, the City is increasing space at bus stops on busy routes used by workers—including in East Boston, Mattapan, Roxbury, South Boston, and downtown. We’re also putting in a new bus lane on Washington St. and upgrading the bus lane on Essex Street, for the Silver Line through Chinatown.
Building dedicated bike lanes: The first phase will connect downtown job centers to our existing citywide bike lane network. We’re starting with at least 8 sections of road, connecting downtown, Back Bay, and the South End. These are dedicated lanes that are comfortable for new bike riders, families, essential workers, and commuters. We also continue to study opportunities for opening up lanes to pedestrians on some neighborhood streets, and more details are forthcoming.
Outdoor seating for restaurants: As of this morning, 264 establishments in Boston have expressed interest in seating on the sidewalk or parking lane, and we are reviewing the requests. As the State continues to develop a timeline and framework for restaurant reopening, the City is ready to help, where it can, to make those expansions safe when the time comes.

UPDATE ON PARKS
Areas that are now OPEN:
  • Passive space for walking, running, cycling, riding non-motorized scooters and skateboards, while practicing physical distancing. Keep six feet of space between yourself and others.
  • Tennis courts, pickleball courts, and athletic fields are open for families and individuals from the same household. Do not congregate in groups.
  • No permits will be issued until further notice.
The following features are STILL CLOSED in all parks:

  • Playground structures and equipment (slides, swings, climbing structures)
  • Fitness equipment
  • Courts: basketball, street hockey, and handball
  • Organized, group sports activities on fields: baseball, softball, football, rugby, cricket, and soccer

Only use parks when you have the ability to remain six feet away from others. If you find a park to be crowded, choose a less busy time or find another park.
MBTA UPDATE
The State is in the middle of a plan to replace 400 red and orange, modernizing stations and upgrading tracks.
The coronavirus made it possible for the MBTA to quickly bump up work on the Blue Line and should wrap up on Sunday, May 31.
The T is also speeding up work on the Lowell commuter rail line between Anderson and North Station for the Green Line expansion project.
The T has been cleaning more regularly and often, and is doing rear-door boarding on buses and street-level trolley stops, making it safer for MBTA workers and riders.
Transportation Secretary Pollock says that some may think the T can't do as much this year, but in fact the T will continue their work, spending $1.4B and doubling the amount invested in maintenance.

Precautions for keeping the T safe moving forward with the State’s reopening plan:
  • Social distancing: The State expects that more employees will work from home now, which may decrease congestion on the T and on the roads.
  • The State is looking at asking employers to consider things like staggered start times.
  • T has a Ride Safer Campaign, to promote social distancing, face coverings, and ramping up cleaning and disinfecting. The T is also providing PPE to employees. Staff will be monitoring ridership levels during Phase 1.
  • During Phase 2, service levels across all modes (bus, T, ferry) will increase. Face coverings are required while riding the T, including on shuttle buses.

CITY HALL HOURS AND RESOURCES UPDATE
Boston City Hall will be open this coming Monday, June 1st to accommodate the extended June 1st property tax deadline the City put in place to provide flexibility for homeowners. Staff will be available on a walk-in basis to answer questions and process payments. However, residents are encouraged to make their payments at boston.gov or by calling 311. This is a one-time change, and City Hall will remain open to the public, by appointment, on Tuesdays and Fridays only. BOSTON FIRE DEPARTMENT UPDATE ON PERMITS Due to the harsh economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses, the Boston Fire Department is extending the expiration date on all existing Place of Assembly and Annual Permits from June 30, 2020 to September 30, 2020. Any issued Place of Assembly Permit or Annual Permit stating an expiration date of June 30, 2020 will now automatically be valid in the City of Boston until September 30, 2020. The invoices for renewal will be mailed out in mid-August, and the permitting cycle for both Place of Assembly and Annual Permits will become October 1 to September 30 of the following year from this point forward.

COVID 19
  • The City of Boston has 12,634 positive cases of coronavirus (confirmed and presumptive). To date 6,272 of these 12,634 residents have fully recovered. Unfortunately, there have been 627 COVID-19 related deaths in Boston. 
  • There are  420 cases of Covid19 in South Boston. 1,927 people have been tested in South Boston.
  • Massachusetts has 94,895 positive cases of coronavirus (confirmed and presumptive) and 6,640 deaths reported at this time. Massachusetts has also tested 562,323 individuals to date.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Making Sense of The Census: Important Civic Benefits

Responding to the 2020 Census is easy, safe and important, and it’s key to shaping the future of our community. 
Top 5 Reasons to Complete the 2020 Census
  1. The 2020 Census will determine the number of seats MA has in the U.S. House of Representatives.
  2. The 2020 Census defines congressional & legislative districts, school districts and voting precincts. 
  3. The 2020 Census influences how $675 billion in public funds are allocated over the next 10 years.
  4. The 2020 Census informs funding for the services that keep our community safe and prepared like emergency response.
  5. The 2020 Census helps direct federal dollars for infrastructure that our community needs, including roads and bridges.
The Census Bureau has created an interactive response rates map so America can keep track of how they’re doing. As of May 22, 2020, the state-wide response rate is above the national rate at 62% and the overall Boston response rate is 50%. 
How can Fort Point and Seaport District improve our under 25% response rate? 
Take 10 minutes and complete the 2020 census
NOTE: Even if you completed the census for a residence outside of the neighborhood, you need to respond for all your properties including your 02210 address.  
If you lost your code, never received it or are away from your mail, don't worry.  You can complete the census without your id online or over the phone:
  1. Dial 1.844.330.2020
  2. Listen to the introduction
  3. Press “0” or say “representative” to reach an operator
Once an operator has been reached, let them know you’d like to respond to the census without an ID. 

View detailed instructions for completing census without your census id.

Quick Reminder: The form must be completed in one sitting. If there is no activity for 15 minutes, with a notiļ¬cation after 13 minutes of inactivity, the session will end and the respondent will have to start from the beginning.

Let's be counted Fort Point & Seaport!

May Neighborhood Gathering: Census, Elections, MassDOT & Neighborhood News

FPNA cordially invites our neighbors in Fort Point and the Seaport to a virtual neighborhood gathering on: 

Tuesday, May 26, 2020
6 pm sharp

featuring

Making Sense of the Census
Shelly Gillis, US Census
Sebastian Zapata, City of Boston Census Liaison 


Elections 2020
Tom Ready, FPNA

&

MassDOT Projects in the Neighborhood

with

Neighborhood Updates & Announcements
if you have questions you want answered, email FPNA


To join the neighborhood gathering, click on the invitation link
For dial-in one tap mobile +19292056099,,86394808808#,,1#,661496# 

We recommend you join us a few minutes in advance of our 6 pm kickoff. If you have not used Zoom recently or before, once you click on the invitation link above, you will be prompted to download the software or app. 
  • On a computer, you will be prompted to install the software from the Zoom website or click on the link provided to update your version.
  • On a mobile device, you will directed to the appropriate App store and asked to install the Zoom Cloud Meeting app. 

NOTE: You will need the software or the App to view speakers' presentations.

originally published 05.21.20

Northern Avenue Bridge Community Meeting

updated 5/26/19 with May 6th meeting recording, presentation and related documents and Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) comment deadline. 

Public Comments may be emailed to Team@NorthernAveBridgeBos.com

MEPA Northern Avenue Bridge Environmental Notification Form (ENF) Public Comments are due June 9, 2020. Contact Matt Devlin for a copy of ENF.


FPNA's Tuesday, April 28th's Neighborhood Zoom Gathering gave Fort Point and Seaport neighbors a preview of our new Northern Avenue Bridget. The City of Boston held an online public meeting to provide feedback on May 6, 2020. 

Northern Avenue Bridge
A Boston Bold Design
with new enhancements & new video
Wednesday, May 6, 2020
6:00 PM – 7:30 PM



originally published 4.30.20