Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Fort Point Seaport Neighborhood Gathering: Councilor Flynn, Parks & Ground Floor Uses and Seaport Activities


Fort Point Seaport 
Neighborhood Gathering

Tuesday, October 27, 2020
 6 pm
Zoom Sign In


featuring

Our C-6 Community Service Officers


District 2 Catch Up
with
Councilor Ed Flynn


Welcoming, Desirable & Equitable
Fort Point Parks, Green Spaces & Ground Floor Uses

Richard McGuinness, Deputy Director for Waterfront Planning
Joe Christo, Senior Resilience and Waterfront Planner 
Arreen Andrew, Community Engagement Manager
&
Sasaki Associates


Fall & Winter Activities In The Seaport
Debra Brodsky, WS Development

with
Neighborhood Updates

Please click 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 start on October 27, 2020.

Don't forget you can vote by mail and vote early for November 3 election.  Details.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Ground Floor Uses & Watersheet Activation: 244 -284 A St Public Meeting Tuesday

10/21 Updated with presentation link (see below). Meeting video should be available within next 24 hours at Boston Plans.

The next meeting for the 244-284 A St development will focus on Ground Floor Uses and Watersheet Activation on:

6  pm

This entire site is under Massachusetts General Law Chapter 91 and MassDEP jurisdiction, which means that in exchange for property owners using MA filled tidelands, there must be public access and substantial public benefits and public purposes provided. Buildings in jurisdiction must have ground floors composed of 75% facilities of public accommodation (FPA). FPA may include retail, restaurants, bars, cafes, community, civic or cultural spaces, etc. There is also a requirement of 50% open space, which will be covered in part by the ongoing 100 Acres Open Space design initiative. 

What do you think the neighborhood needs? Do we want a diverse mix of uses that can also be family friendly at different price points?  How would you or your family enjoy spending time at the ground level of the proposed three buildings? How could ground floor uses complement water activities?

Chapter 91 also requires public access, which is why the Harborwalk exists and provides an easy and inviting access for all to the Channel from inland communities.

Once at the Channel, water activities like canoeing and kayaking can be supported and complemented with on-shore interpretive signage, boat facilities, public art, etc...

Fort Point Channel Watersheet Activation Plan

How would you activate the watersheet? The Fort Point Watersheet Activation Plan presents ideas and a vision. The plan starts on page 25.  What would you like to see implemented? What other ideas would be fun? 

Project Comment Deadline: October 30, 2020


Sunday, October 18, 2020

Life Sciences 51 Sleeper St Abutters Meeting

updated 10/18/20 with meeting video and Fort Point Landmark District Commission 51 Sleeper presentation (July 2020 )

In January 2020, 51 Sleeper Street (an office building with Hopsters Brew & Boards on the ground floor) sold to a Life Sciences subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Nan Fung Group. Nan Fung hired Lee Kennedy who is renovating the building for Life Sciences. There will be an abutters meeting to introduce Mathew Powers from Nan Fung Life Sciences Real Estate and Christine Walsh, Government/Community Liaison & Commercial Development at Lee Kennedy Company on: 

Thursday, October 15, 2020
6 pm

51 Sleeper Street is zoned M-4 (Restricted Manufacturing). A Research Laboratory is an allowed use. Even though the developer is not required to hold a community meeting, Haley Dillon, our South Boston Liaison from the Mayor's Office, listened to neighbors' concerns and requested that one be held in order for residents to know all of the details about this lab, especially since it shares a wall with homes at Dockside Place Condominiums.

The meeting is open to abutters and any neighbors who are interested in learning more about Life Sciences fitting into our mixed use residential neighborhood. At last count, nine Life Sciences buildings are either existing, under construction or in the pipeline in Fort Point and the Seaport.


originally published 10.14.20

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Early In-Person Voting Starts This Weekend In The Neighborhood

This weekend kicks off early voting in the Seaport and the following weekend at the Condon School.

District Hall in the Seaport
75 Northern Avenue
Saturday October 17, 2020 from 11 AM to 7 PM
Sunday October 18, 2020 from 11 AM to 7 PM

James F Condon School
200 D Street (behind the Laboure Center)
Saturday October 24, 2020 from 11 AM to 7 PM
Sunday October 25, 2020 from 11 AM to 7 PM

For all early voting locations including Boston City Hall click here

What else to know before voting:

The 2020 State Election is the opportunity to vote for President, US Senator, US Representative, Councilor, State Senator, State Representative and Register of Probate.

View Sample Ballot


There are two ballot questions: Motor Vehicle Mechanical Data (advertised as Right To Repair 2.0) and Ranked Choice Voting. View 2020 ballot questions and information about voting.

Deadline to register to vote or check your registration information is October 24th.

Voting by Mail:

  • Submit your application for a ballot no later than October 20. USPS recommends you mailing your application 15 days in advance of Election day
  • Return ballots need to be postmarked no later than November 3 and received no later than November 6. USPS recommends mailing back your ballot at least 7 days before Election day.  
  • Secure drop box option at all early voting locations or at the South Boston Public Library through November 3rd, 8pm

Voting on Election Day:
On Tuesday, November 3 go to the polls at the Condon School located at 200 D. St.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

5 & 15 Necco Ground Floor Uses: Chapter 91 License Meeting

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) Waterway Regulations Program (Chapter 91) is holding a hearing for 5 Necco and 15 Necco's chapter 91 license application on: 

Thursday, October 15, 2020
2:00 pm
via Zoom
Meeting ID: 999 8396 2555
One tap mobile
+19294362866,,99983962555# US (New York)
+13017158592,,99983962555# US (Germantown)

The applicants, ARE-MA Region No. 74, LLC and ARE-MA Region No. 72, LLC (Alexandria Real Estate Equities and National Development), are seeking a Consolidated Written Determination to reauthorize the uses of two (2) 6-story existing office buildings at 5 Necco Street; construction and maintenance of a 12-story new office building at 15 Necco Street; and associated open spaces and public amenities located on filled tidelands of the Fort Point Channel at 5 and 15 Necco Street, Boston, Suffolk County. Additionally, the Applicant seeks an extended license term pursuant to 310 CMR 9.15(b). The proposed project has been determined to be Nonwater-Dependent.


View Waterways License Application File No. W20-5841


Public Comments Deadline: November 6, 2020
Written comments should be addressed to: Susan You via email. If you do not have access to email, hard copy documents may be mailed to: MassDEP Waterways Regulation Program c/o Susan You, One Winter St, 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02108.

Failure of any aggrieved person or group of ten (10) citizens or more to submit written comments to the Waterways Regulation Program by the Public Comments Deadline will result in the waiver of any right to an adjudicatory hearing in accordance with 310 CMR 9.13(4)(c). The group of citizens must include at least five (5) citizens who are residents of the municipality in which the proposed project is located.

Friday, October 09, 2020

Urban Design & Climate Resiliency: 244 - 284 A Street

updated 10/09/20 with link to meeting video. The presentation link added 10/08/20

The Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) will be hosting their third 244-284 A Street (former Channelside parking lot) Public Community meeting on October 7 from 6 pm to 8 pm. This meeting will focus on urban design and climate resiliency.  

Through multiple initiatives, the City of Boston (including the Boston Water & Sewer Commission's new inundation modeling) is preparing for 40 inches of sea level rise by 2070. What sea level rise and stormwater management techniques will be deployed? How will these solutions interact with adjacent 15 and 5 Necco, the Gillette campus and the inner neighborhood? How will climate resiliency be incorporated into the design of the three proposed new buildings? What more will we discover about the building massing and height, extreme heat and wind conditions and shadows? 

BPDA staff will be joined by colleagues from the City of Boston Environment Department and staff from the Boston Water & Sewer Commission. 

In the Urban Design discussion, understand the development's compatibility with its surroundings in terms of massing, height, materials, ornamentation, landscaping, and access. 


244 - 284 A Street: Urban Design & Climate Resiliency
Wednesday October 7, 2020



Next meeting:  Tuesday, October 20th on Ground Floor Uses and Watersheet Activation from 6 pm to 8 pm. 

After learning about the proposed development in this phase of public meetings, there will be the opportunity to file written comments and ask for more information and analysis. Your comments and questions will form the scope of work for the Project Impact Review that is the an in-depth specific filing responding to what is being presented this Fall.

Note: Due to the large scale of this project (6.5 acres, office, residential and life sciences plus Fort Point & Channel parks), it is being broken down into several topic specific meetings. 

originally published 10.05.20

Thursday, October 08, 2020

Fort Point Landmarks October 2020 Meeting

updated 10/8/20 with links to applicants' presentations

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

Thursday, October 8, 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  890 0085 1375 #. 
You can also submit written comments or questions to FortPointLDC@boston.gov 
or via Twitter @bostonlandmarks.

I.  DESIGN REVIEW HEARING

APP # 21.0231 FPC          308 Congress Street
Applicant: Stephen Fleshman, Architect
Proposed work: At the museum plaza and Congress Street elevations, install signage, lighting, barn door, and planters.

APP # 21.0232 FPC          346 Congress Street
Applicant: Santander Bank c/o Prince Lobel Tye LLP
Proposed work: At the ground level storefront install signage and lighting at the sign band and relocate a banner sign.

APP # 21.0235 FPC          300 A Street
Applicant: Channelside Acquisitions, LLC
Proposed work: At the ground level windows along A Street and Necco Court install vinyl graphics. At the A Street façade install a blade sign.

APP # 21.0238 FPC          22 Boston Wharf Road
Applicant: Artists for Humanity 
Proposed work: At the Stillings Street parking garage façade install public art sculpture.

II.  ADVISORY REVIEW

22 Boston Wharf Road. Proposed work: Construct a head house and roof deck. 

III: Ratification of 09/10/20 & 8/13/20 Public Hearing minutes

IV. Staff Updates

Projected adjournment: 7:30 pm

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

originally published 10.02.20

Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Public Art Tackles Climate Change & Adaptation Along Fort Point Channel

Boston residents, what do you know about the risk of flooding and climate adaptation strategies?  Test your knowledge. Take this short survey created by UMass Amherst. By completing the survey, you can earn an entry into our prize draw for one of ten 50$ gift cards.


Then keep your eyes open for the installation of FutureSHORELINE along the Harborwalk adjacent to the Channelside parking lot (244 - 284 A Street) on October 17, 2020 part of FPAC's Fort Point Open Studios.  The pre-installation survey is an important piece of this public art. Follow #Futureshoreline on Twitter or Instagram.


Carolina Aragon is an artist and educator at UMass Amherst who uses public art to transform landscapes, engage communities, and teach students.  She created FutureWATERS on the East Boston Greenway to address sea level rise and climate change. Climate change and climate adaptation is critical to all waterfront neighborhood including the South Boston Waterfront. . 

 

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

October Marks Select Phase 3 Step 2 Changes, Retail Bag Fees Return, Hybrid Learning, Census Deadline Extension & More

 COVID-19 CASES

The City of Boston has 17,329 positive cases of coronavirus. So far, 14,399 of these 17,329 residents have fully recovered. Unfortunately, there have been 764 COVID-19 related deaths in Boston. Massachusetts has 130,461 positive cases of coronavirus and 9,265 deaths reported at this time. 


BOSTON NOT MOVING INTO STEP 2 OF PHASE 3

  • The Mayor confirmed that Boston will not be moving forward yet into Step 2 of Phase 3.

    • We will not open indoor performance venues. 

    • We’re not going to increase capacity at outdoor performance venues; it will stay at 25% with a maximum of 50 people. 

    • Certain activities will remain closed---like trampoline parks, obstacle courses, roller rinks, and laser tag. 

    • Fitting rooms in retail stores will remain closed.

    • Gyms, museums, libraries, and driving schools will remain at 40% capacity limits. 

  • At the same time, the state has made some changes to Phase 3, Step 1 that we are accepting in Boston.

    • Food courts may open, with appropriate distancing and capacity limits.

    • Movie theaters can go from a maximum of 25 people to a maximum of 50% capacity, with a 250 person limit.

    • Golf carts may hold more than 1 person, and flag sticks may now be used.  

    • Those changes go into effect on October 5. 

    • And to be clear: Our limits on gatherings remain in place: at 25 for indoor gatherings and 50 for outdoor gatherings. 

  • In Boston, the seating guidelines will remain at a six people maximum. 

  • View revised restaurant safety standards


IN-PERSON HYBRID LEARNING BEGAN OCTOBER 1

The Boston Public Schools began hybrid, in-person learning for the highest-needs students on October 1.

  • Keeping students, teachers, and school staff safe is the number one priority. The City will continue to monitor the data closely, and make adjustments if needed.

  • Every single family has the option to continue fully remote learning. 

Schools have been prepared for safe in-person learning.

  • Every single school has been prepared for: proper spacing and capacity; proper ventilation; proper cleaning and safety protocols. 

  • School buses are ready to go with distancing and cleaning protocols. 

Remote learning is moving forward and with positive results. 

  • BPS is reporting remote attendance that is roughly equivalent to normal attendance rates (90%). 

  • Free laptops and internet hotspots continue to go out to families. 

  • Students can get 10 free meals per week at over 70 sites citywide and 26 special BPS super-sites that open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. 

  • Visit boston.gov/FoodResourcesMap for the full list of sites; 

  • and bostonpublicschools.org/freemeals for the BPS sites. 


STAPLES PARTNERSHIP FOR BPS FAMILIES

  • The City worked out a partnership with Staples, to give every BPS student a $50 in-store shopping card for their back to school supplies. 

  • All 54,000 cards were distributed last week to schools, who are currently arranging distribution with families. 

  • The cards can be used in any Staples store at any time until November 30. [Not for use online]


SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF UPDATES

  • The City’s Small Business Relief Fund has distributed nearly $7 million in grants to over 1850 businesses.  

  • To date, the Reopen Boston Fund has issued more than $2.7 million in debt-free grants to 1,325 small businesses to implement public health measures and buy PPE

    • 57% of those businesses are owned by people of color; 55% by women; and 66% by immigrants. 

    • The Reopen Boston Fund continues to offer grants to small businesses of up to $2,000 to help with reopening costs. 

  • And now, for our restaurants, we are expanding the Reopen Boston Fund, to also cover cold weather preparations for outdoor dining

    • This opportunity will include grants to cover heaters, storage equipment, and propane. 

  • Learn more at Boston.gov/SmallBusiness.


CITIZENSHIP FEE INCREASE UPDATE 

  • A federal court is temporarily blocking the big fee increase on citizenship that was supposed to start on Friday.

    • Starting on October 2, USCIS was going to nearly double the cost of applying for naturalization from $725 to $1,200 and eliminating the fee waiver for almost all low-income residents. USCIS is also increasing the permanent residence (green card) application fee and implementing an asylum application fee, making the United States one of four countries to do so. 

  • Project Citizenship led a lawsuit against it, and the City led an amicus brief that many cities signed onto. 


CENSUS DEADLINE EXTENDED

  • A federal judge in California ruled that the 2020 Census must be extended through October 31, as was planned in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

  • Go to my2020census.gov or call 844-330-2020.


EXPANDING SENIORS SAVE PROGRAM

  • The Seniors Save program helps low-income seniors over the age of 60 replace old heating systems in their homes. Since the program launched in 2015, we’ve replaced more than 200 faulty heating systems throughout Boston’s neighborhoods.

  • We used to provide grants up to $3,500. Now, we’ve more than doubled that amount to $8,000.

  • Older residents living on fixed incomes can’t always afford important improvements to their homes. New, energy-efficient systems help prevent heating emergencies during cold weather. They also help reduce energy bills.

  • Seniors are encouraged to take advantage of this program before the cold weather hits. To find out if you qualify, and to apply, go to Boston.gov/HomeCenter or call (617) 635-HOME.


TESTING PARTNERSHIP WITH BOSTON RED SOX

  • The City reached an agreement with teachers to provide COVID-19 testing and support. A partnership with the Red Sox and Major League Baseball are going to help implement this work, by providing COVID-19 testing for Boston teachers. 

  • The testing program will begin at a location near Fenway Park and later move into other neighborhoods. 

  • 5% of Boston Teachers Union members will be randomly tested each week for COVID-19 through the end of 2020. 

  • A random sample of teachers will be tested from across the city, weighted toward teachers working in neighborhoods with higher positivity rates. 


BOSTON RED SOX MASK DONATIONS TO BPS

  • The Boston Red Sox and JetBlue, in collaboration with the Boston Pride, have donated more than 60,000 reusable masks to BPS students and teachers.

  • In addition to this year’s donation, in recent years the two organizations have donated more than 40,000 Red Sox hats annually to BPS children and staff in 104 schools throughout the city. Unfortunately, the annual “Red Sox Hat Day,” scheduled for this past March 30, was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Together, the Red Sox and JetBlue evolved this annual program to meet the need for reusable masks at each school this year.

  • This donation of masks will supplement the more than 200,000 resulable masks and two million disposable masks the district has purchased for students and teachers, who must wear the face coverings while in school buildings or riding on school buses. More information on the 2020-21 BPS school year is available at bostonpublicschools.org/reopening.


RESUMING PLASTIC BAG BAN 

  • Starting October 1, retail establishments must comply with all ordinance requirements:

    • Supply compliant reusable, recyclable or compostable checkout bags

    • Charge a fee (5 cents minimum per bag)

    • Display a sign within five feet of the checkout location, telling customers that they will have to pay for a bag if they want one

    • Reusable bags are allowed in Boston. Consumers are now able to use reusable bags if they would like to.


RFP FOR VISIT BOSTON CAMPAIGN

  • The City of Boston has released a Request for Proposals (RFP) inviting proposals from consultants, firms, agencies, or other organizations to partner on shaping and executing a branding and marketing campaign to tourists. 

  • The RFP is designed to build Boston's brand as a travel destination, increase awareness and active promotion, and drive visits to Boston from diverse local and regional visitors. 

  • A successful application would examine the ways in which Boston communicates about the offerings of the city, and highlight attractions and events that speak to the experiences of people of color in Boston. As such, part of the evaluation the City of Boston will be using in the selection process will be ensuring the respondent has a plan that demonstrates focus on equity and inclusion. Given the wide range of needed expertise anticipated, the City of Boston welcomes proposals to create partnerships and join with complementary organizations and vendors to provide a comprehensive proposal. Additionally, applicants reflecting the City of Boston's rich diversity are encouraged to apply. The City of Boston is committed to selecting a campaign focused on welcoming all kinds of visitors. 

  • Completed proposals will be accepted up to October 5, 2020 at 4:00 p.m., and must be submitted electronically via the  Supplier Portal.

 

GENERAL REMINDERS

  • Individuals can register to vote in person, by mail, online or through the Registry of Motor Vehicles by Saturday, October 24, 2020 to vote in the November 3 State Election. To be eligible to vote, an individual must be at least 18 years of age and a U.S. citizen.

  • Learn more about the reopening process: www.mass.gov/reopening.

  • When going outside, wear a face covering, practice physical distancing from others (6 feet apart), and avoid mass  gatherings.

  • Anyone experiencing a medical emergency should call 911. 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol; avoid shaking hands

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes; clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces; and avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • If you think you might be sick, please call your doctor or 311 to be connected to the Mayor's Health Line 617-534-5050. Buoy Health has created a free online diagnostic tool which screens for COVID19 at buoy.com/mass.

  • Donate supplies to first responders here.

  • Donate to the City of Boston Resiliency Fund here.

  • Volunteer with the City of Boston here. .

  • City Hall is open to the public on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, 9 am – 5 pm. Learn more about the status of city departments and hours of operation here

  • Those employed at grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants, and local retail shops can sign up for a free 90-day Bluebikes pass boston.gov/bike-share.