Thursday, December 31, 2015

Fort Point Channel Landmarks January 2016 Meeting


Thursday, 14 January 2016
5:30 PM
Boston City Hall – Room 709
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. Applications are available for review during normal business hours at the office of the Environment Department. Sign-language interpreters are available upon request.


5:30 PM
Application 16.861 FPC 344 Congress Street
Applicant: Boston Sparks Association, Inc. (owner)
Proposed Work: Remove granite curbs at one garage entrance

5:45 PM
Application 16.907 FPC 44 Thomson Place
Applicant: John Kiernan, Fort Point Channel Investors, LLC(owner)
Proposed Work: Remove infill and modify openings, create at-grade entrance(s), and install signage

5:45 PM
Application 16.908 FPC 25 Thomson Place
Applicant: John Kiernan, Fort Point Channel Investors, LLC(owner)
Proposed Work: Remove infill and modify openings, create at-grade entrance(s), and install signage

5:45 PM
Application 16.909 FPC 47 Farnsworth Street
Applicant: John Kiernan, Fort Point Channel Investors, LLC(owner)
Proposed Work: Remove infill and modify openings, create at-grade entrance(s), and install signage

6:15 PM
Application 16.921 FPC 376 Congress Street
Applicant: Bill Lukashok, Hill Country Boston, LLC (tenant)
Proposed Work: Modify storefront openings, replace storefront infill, replace two banner signs, install a marquee, and install a canopy and patio

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 the staff pending ratification at its monthly public hearing. Having been identified as meeting these eligibility criteria and all relevant guidelines, the following applications will be approved at this hearing:

Application 16.858 FPC 281 Summer Street: Install sign panel adjacent to entryway

David Berarducci, Susan Goganian, John Karoff, Michele Yeeles, Vacancy
Alternates: B.K. Boley, Vacancy

Monday, December 28, 2015

Fort Point Special Edition Meeting

A Fort Point Special Edition Community Meeting

Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Factory 63 (63 Melcher St)
6:00 pm 

Caffè Nero 
368 Congress Street
proposed patio on Thompson Place


Craft Beer Cellar
34 Farnsworth St. 
requesting a package store liquor license

 a discussion in preparation of  Boston Grand Prix's presentation
at January 26, 2016 FPNA meeting

originally posted 12.17.15

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Boston City Council Approves BYOB, Fenway Parking & More

The final Boston City Council meeting of 2015 started with heartfelt tributes to our two departing members, Councilors Steve Murphy & Charles Yancey, who have served over half a century combined on the Council and also each served as Council President. Mayor Walsh presented each with a Paul Revere bowl, and Councilor Linehan presented them with crystal gavels engraved with their dates of service.

Councillor-At-Large Michelle Wu publishes notes from Boston City Council meetings. The Boston City Council considered the items below at on December 16th:

Confirmations & Appointments
• Voted to confirm Christine Araujo’s reappointment to the Zoning Board of Appeals until July 2018
• Voted to confirm Roxann Cooke’s appointment to the Boston Industrial Development Finance Authority until Apr. 2019
• Alexis Tkackuk was appointed as Director of Labor Relations
• Anne Galvin was appointed to the Boston Fair Housing Commission until Dec. 2018
• Timothy Sieber was appointed to the Living Wage Advisory Committee until Dec. 2018

BYOB: City Council voted to pass the ordinance that Councilors Murphy & Wu filed to end Boston’s ban on BYOB dining. Most other major cities across the country and several other cities/towns in Massachusetts have BYOB, and the goal in bringing it to Boston is to create opportunities for more small neighborhood restaurants. Our committee report included draft regulations for the Boston Licensing Board that would limit BYOB to sit-down restaurants with wait staff, 30 seats or under, only in neighborhoods outside downtown, with a requirement of liquor liability insurance, alcohol safety training for staff, and a limit on the amount of alcohol that diners can bring in. The next step is for the Boston Licensing Board to formalize regulations for a BYOB license through their public process.

Furniture Flammability Standards: Councilors Murphy & Zakim reported back on the recent hearing on their draft ordinance to adopt the TB 117-2013 flammability standard for public spaces with automatic sprinklers. Currently, the fire code calls for the TB-133 flammability standard for furniture in all public spaces, which requires flame retardant chemicals. These flame retardant chemicals include known carcinogens and are unnecessary where automatic sprinklers are installed, leading to public health concerns as well as increased costs for schools and public buildings that need to purchase more expensive materials. Boston is one of the only cities in the state and the country that requires this standard for flammability protection. The matter remains in the Public Safety Committee for further work.

Charter School Students Returning to BPS: Councilor Jackson reported back on his recent hearing with students and parents returning to BPS from charter schools. The many panels featuring students, advocates, and BPS representatives highlighted the fact that charter schools see a significant attrition rate, and the students who return to BPS partway through the year do not bring the education funding back with them, so public schools face a financial burden from this. Students and advocates described harsh disciplinary regimes at charter schools that push out students. Councilor Jackson noted the need for BPS to track the missing dollars from students returning from charter schools as well as the need for oversight in disciplinary issues. The matter was placed on file.

Special Education Transitions: Councilors Jackson & Pressley reported back on the recent hearing to identify solutions to ensure equitable transitions of BPS students receiving special education services after they “age-out” of the district at age 22. Councilor Pressley noted that there would be a group visit to Newton North High School, which is regarded as a premier example of supporting student transitions, and there will be topic-specific sessions next year. The matter remains in the Education Committee.

Fenway Parking: We voted to suspend and pass Councilor Zakim’s amendment to remove the sunset clause in the Fenway Parking ordinance that increased the fines for parking in residential spots without a resident parking sticker 2 hours before, during, and after a Red Sox game and also during other events as designated by the City. The penalty was increased from $40 (which is comparable or even cheaper than Game Day parking in the area) to $100, and there was a sunset clause so the ordinance would expire at the end of 2015. At the hearing a few weeks ago, residents, representatives from the Red Sox, and other stakeholders were universally positive about the enforcement and results, citing much less congestion and open resident parking spaces on Game Days. Because there will be concerts and other events in the coming weeks and months, we voted to keep the ordinance in effect beyond 2015.

State of Emergency re HIV/AIDS in Communities of Color: Councilors Pressley & Yancey reported back on the recent hearing that Councilor Yancey had called for regarding the State of Emergency regarding the HIV/AIDS epidemic in communities of color, which had generated funding for awareness, treatment & prevention. At the hearing, public health experts noted that most new infections are seen in men of color under age 30. The Boston Public Health Commission and advocates are working to end new infections. The matter was placed on file.

Mattapan High School: Councilor Yancey moved to get a 2nd vote on his $120M loan order to build a new high school in Mattapan at the site of the former Boston State Hospital. Loan orders and appropriations require two votes at least two weeks apart with 2/3 to pass (9 votes). Councilor Yancey had gotten a first successful vote on Oct. 22, 2014. The matter was since tabled and survived several attempts to pull it out for a vote. Today Councilor Yancey pulled it for a vote, but it failed 8-5 (Councilors Baker, Ciommo, LaMattina, Linehan & Zakim voting against).

If you have any questions, please contact Councilor Wu. For prior Boston City Council meeting notes, visit or sign up to receive these notes automatically each week by email.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Fort Point Is In The Holiday Spirit

Fort Point is in the holiday spirit thanks to the Friends of Fort Point Channel's Holiday Stroll this Friday, December 11th from 4 pm - 8 pm. Over twenty restaurants, boutiques, pop-up shops and artist studios are staying open late for a night of holiday shopping and fun. Stroll through the historic Fort Point neighborhood and nibble treats while shopping local.  
Discover live music, complimentary treats, discounts and one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone on your list. 

This free event only comes one a year. Plan your evening with a look at the Friends of Fort Point Channel's 2015 Holiday Stroll Program.  Pick up a map at any of the participating locations and collect at least 15 stamps for a chance to win amazing prizes from local boutiques and restaurants!

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Boston City Council Looks At Art Grants, BYOB, Linkage Fees & More

Councillor-At-Large Michelle Wu publishes notes from Boston City Council meetings. The Boston City Council considered the items below at the December 9, 2015 meeting:. 

Arts & Culture Grants: The Council voted to suspend & pass 3 grants for the Mayor's Office of Arts & Culture. 1) $100K from the National Endowment for the Arts to support a year-long Boston Artists in Residence program pairing 10 local artists with 12 city departments for a social/civic partnership and presentation on 1/23/2015. After that, three residencies will be selected. 2) $5K from Robert Treat Paine Association to support Emerge, a new version of the annual Boston Arts Festival, held at City Hall. 3) $1.5K from the Gililean Fund to support a new annual exhibition of emerging artists in City Hall's Scollary Square Gallery, with prizes for 3 categories of emerging local artists. Usually these items would have a hearing and come back before the Council for a vote, but with just one meeting left before the end of the year, we didn't want to hold up the department from pursuing these initiatives.

BYOB: Councilors Flaherty, Murphy & Wu reported back on Monday's BYOB hearing as a productive conversation that was positive overall. The proposed ordinance would end Boston’s ban on BYOB and allow the city’s Licensing Board to issue regulations. The authority to issue specific alcohol regulations lies with the Licensing Board, but the Council will likely attach a set of draft regulations reflecting input from stakeholders - these include a 30-seat limit on BYOB restaurants, a limit on the amount of alcohol that diners can bring in, a restriction on BYOB to neighborhoods outside the downtown, etc. More details on the hearing hereTwo items came out of the committee hearing that would require amendments: the need to clarify that BYOB cannot happen in restaurants without a BYOB license, and specific limits on the amount of alcohol. The item remains in the Government Operations committee likely until next week’s meeting.

Medical Marijuana Zoning Amendment: Councilor Flaherty reported back on the hearing about establishing a zoning prohibition that would bar any additional medical or recreational marijuana sales within 2500 ft of an existing medical marijuana dispensary. The matter remains in the Committee on Economic Development, Planning & Labor for additional work in the next year.

Fenway Parking: Councilors LaMattina & Zakim reported back on this week’s hearing to review the Fenway Parking ordinance’s implementation over the last year.  The ordinance increased the fines for parking in residential spots without a resident parking sticker 2 hours before, during, and after a Red Sox game and also during other events as designated by the City.  The penalty was increased from $40 (which is comparable or even cheaper than Game Day parking in the area) to $100, and there was a sunset clause so the ordinance would expire at the end of 2015. Residents, representatives from the Red Sox, and other stakeholders were very positive about the enforcement and results, citing much less congestion and open resident parking spaces on Game Days. The matter was placed on file, and Councilor Zakim said he would look to file an ordinance in the new year without a sunset clause and potentially expanding the neighborhoods involved.

Linkage Fees: Councilors LaMattina & Flaherty reported back on the Linkage Fees hearing yesterday. Administration representatives stated that they planned to conduct a nexus study to understand the impact on development before November 2016, the next possible time to increase the linkage amounts by law. Advocates asked for a home rule petition prior to then that would recover funds from missed increases over the years and taking advantage of the currently booming development market. The matter will stay in the Economic Development Committee.

E-commerce Exchange Zones: The Council voted to suspend and pass Councilor O'Malley's resolution that the Council urges the creation of E-commerce Exchange Zones in police stations and other public buildings in Boston. With the increasing popularity of online shopping websites like Craigslist, offering a trusted space for people to exchange payment for items would help keep residents safe.

Winthrop Square Garage: The Council voted 10-3 (Councilors Jackson, Pressley & Yancey voting in the minority) to transfer the city-owned parking garage (which has been shut down since 2013 as a public safety hazard) at 115 Federal Street to the Public Facilities Commission, which will transfer it to the Boston Redevelopment Authority for disposition. Representatives from the Department of Neighborhood Development had stated that they did not have the expertise or capacity to manage a deal as complex as this one. In response to Council questions, an amended Memorandum of Agreement between the BRA and City of Boston includes legal language guaranteeing that the proceeds will be for the City, not the BRA, and it will go to the Surplus Property Disposition Fund, which requires a Council vote if any funds are to be applied to the operating budget. The BRA will have a two-phase public process, to get feedback on the responses to the RFI before designating a buyer, and then through the Article 80 process once a buyer has been designated. More info.

For prior and complete Boston City Council meeting notes, visit or sign up to receive these notes automatically each week by email.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Massachusetts Conference for Women Traffic Advisory

The Massachusetts Conference for Women will be held December 10, 2015 at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC). The Opening Kick-off is Wednesday evening December 9th.

It is highly anticipated that overflow parking is needed for this event.
  • Channel Center Garage will be the primary option for overflow parking
  • Seaport Garage will be the secondary option for overflow parking.
  • Maps and directions will be handed out to attendees sent to overflow
  • A complimentary shuttle will run between Channel Center Garage and the BCEC but not the Seaport Garage, which is within walking distance to the BCEC.
The Massachusetts Conference for Women is a very busy vehicular event. The MCCA Transportation Department will do the following to mitigate traffic around the BCEC and in the general region:

• Transportation agents will be on site to make sure vehicles do not impede other traffic on the driveways or stop at locations that will cause safety concerns for the passengers and/ or other motorists.

• The MCCA will continue to promote public transportation to attendees of this event by advertising on the BCEC plasma screens and distributing MBTA maps at the Information Booth.

• Transportation and parking attendants will temporarily shut down the valet operation if valet gets too busy.

• Portable variable message signs (PVMS) will be used to guide attendees quickly off the street and into our parking lot. Additional locations for PVMS signs will be placed around the BCEC including:
  • Cypher Street @ South Boston Bypass Road 
  • Richards Street @ Channel Street
  • Cypher Street @ D Street facing West
  • @ 420 D Street facing South
  •  D Street @ Summer Street facing South
  •  D Street @ Seaport Blvd facing South

The Boston Transportation Department will be assisting in manually controlling traffic. Police details will be hired to help pull traffic and provide for pedestrian safety.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Are You Prepared For Winter?

Don't be caught off guard. Prepare for this year's winter weather by following Mayor Walsh's Boston Winter Weather Guide 2015-2015 with important information on snow alerts and emergencies, parking, trash pick-ups, and cleared sidewalks and streets.

Dear Residents,

As we prepare for another winter, we need
your help and cooperation to ensure that we are ready for the challenges that snow, ice and freezing temperatures create on our roadways and in our neighborhoods. I am grateful for your patience during last year’s historic amount of snow, and I am proud that this year we are even better prepared for any
challenges the winter ahead might bring our way. We are adding to our salting and plowing operations two mega snow blowers which can clear more than 2,000 tons of snow per hour from our main arteries during the worst conditions, and we have a stronger plan to ensure the safety of all of our residents, no matter what the weather.

Please use these tips to do your part to help prepare, and do not hesitate to use our new and improved 311 system for any questions, concerns or feedback. Be safe, smart, and let’s hope Mother Nature is kind to us this year.
                                           Mayor Walsh

Get news about snow emergencies, parking bans, school closings or cancellations:
Visit and follow @CityofBostonRegister for alerts at

Call 311 or 617.635.4500 for non-emergency city services

For Emergencies (Police, Fire, EMS) call 911

ABCD Fuel Assistance: 617-357-6012
Boston Water & Sewer: 617-989-7000
Consumer Complaints: 617-635-3834
DCR: 617-626-4973
Elderly Commission: 617-635-4366
Inspectional Services: 617-635-1010
MBTA: 617-222-3200
MassDOT: 857-368-6111
National Grid Gas: 800-322-3223
NSTAR Electric & Gas: 800-592-2000
Tow Lot: 617-635-3900
Verizon: 800-837-4966

Remove snow, slush and ice from sidewalks and curb ramps abutting your property. The City requires sidewalks be cleared within three hours of snowfall ending or three hours after sunrise if snow falls overnight. Remove ice to bare pavement or make as level as possible. Sidewalks must be cleared to create at least a 42 inch wide path for wheelchairs and strollers.

Violators will be fined. Each day that a violation exists is considered a separate and distinct violation.

Fines for uncleared sidewalks:

  • Commercial Property $200
  • Residential Property 16+ Units $100
  • Residential Property $50

Renters: Heating problems? First alert your landlord. If your landlord is unresponsive, call 311 to report and Inspectional Services Division will investigate.
Units must be heated to: 68 degrees during the day and 64 degrees during the night. 

Need help paying for heat? Apply for help through the state’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Visit or call 617-357-6012.
Never use your oven for heat. Space heaters can cause fires, so don’t place them near curtains or things that can catch fire. Remember to turn them off before going to bed. Clear exhaust vents to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, and check for working carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.

Trash and recycling collection is canceled only during the most extreme storms. Crews may work later than usual, so leave items out unless collection is canceled. If it’s canceled, please hold onto your trash and recycling until your next scheduled pickup.

Get updated about changes in collection schedules by visiting, 
downloading the TrashDay app, or calling 311.

Crews have a difficult time reaching trash barrels and recycling carts behind snow banks. Clear an area at the curb, or place containers next to or in front of snow banks.

We will collect Christmas trees for composting from January 4 -15. Don’t put them in plastic bags and make sure to take off decorations. Place curbside by 7 AM on your recycling day.

Help us keep streets open to plows and emergency vehicles by parking at least 20 feet away from intersections and no further than 1 foot from the curb. Don’t block sidewalks, fire hydrants, ramps, driveways or the street with your vehicle.

During a snow emergency, discount parking is available in garages with a valid resident parking sticker. Discounted parking starts two hours prior to the start of the snow emergency and ends two hours after.

Check Snow in Boston for lists of where not to park during a snow emergency and discount garages in your neighborhood.

  • Parking meters remain in effect during snow emergencies.
  • Make your resident parking sticker visible within 24 hours after the end of a storm.
  • You’ll be ticketed and towed if you park on posted snow emergency arteries during
  • a declared emergency.
  • Clear all snow at least one foot around car muffler before starting car. 
  • Please clear fire hydrants.
  • Remove space savers 48 hours.

Boston City Council Looks At Appointments, Budget, Reform & More

Councillor-At-Large Michelle Wu publishes notes from Boston City Council meetings. The Boston City Council considered the items below and more at recent meetings over the past month. 

Confirmations & Appointments:
City Council voted to confirm the following appointments that Mayor Walsh filed at the Oct. 28th meeting:
  • Boston Landmarks Commission: David Berarducci (reappointed as Boston Society of Landscape Architects nominee) until June 2017, Kirsten Hoffman (reappointed as Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce nominee) until June 2016, Lynn Smiledge (reappointed as Historic New England nominee) until June 2017, Richard Yeager (appointed as Boston Society of Architects nominee) until June 2018, Susan Goganian (reappointed as Mayor's nominee) until June 2018, Christopher Hart (appointed as alternate member, Mayor's nominee) until June 2018
  • Fort Point Channel Landmark District: John Karoff was reappointed until May 2017
Mayor Walsh also filed to reappoint Christine Araujo to the Zoning Board of Appeals until July 2018 and appoint Roxann Cooke to the Boston Industrial Development Finance Authority ( Board until April 2019, both pending Council confirmation.

MassPort Logan Airport Terminal E Modernization: City Council received notification from MassPort about the planned Logan Airport Terminal E Modernization Project's public review process, which includes a 30-day public comment period that runs 11/9/2015 - 12/9/2015. The project form is available for viewing at several Boston Public Library branch libraries as well as online:

Public Safety Grants: The Council voted to follow Councilor Murphy's recommendation as Chair of the Public Safety Committee to authorize the Mayor's Office of Emergency Management to accept three grants from the US Dept. of Homeland Security. The grants include ~$14M from the Urban Area Security Initiative to build capacity to prevent, respond to, and recover from threats or acts of terrorism; ~$140,000 to enhance shelter capacity (purchasing 2 shelter trailers, 25 cell phone chargers, 40 computers, 16 field carts for cot transport, and 4 rapid deployment shelters) in case of emergency; and ~$70,000 to purchase an emergency management vehicle. 

FY15 Budget Review: Councilor Yancey reported back on his analysis through the Post-Audit & Oversight Committee, having conducted a thorough review of revenue, expenditures, and personnel compared to the budgeted numbers. He stated that overall, the City is in very good financial condition, with a surplus of $7.4M after FY15. The revenue categories that came in as less than expected included state aid ($5M less than anticipated) and interest on investments. The expenditure categories that came in higher than expected included the Police Department ($17M over), the Fire Department ($6.6M over), Public Works ($20M over from last winter's snow removal expenses), and Execution of Courts ($3.5M appropriated but $10M used to settle legal claims). He also mentioned that as of June 30th, employees of color earned on average less than white employees, and 1/3 of salary expenditures go to non-Boston residents. Councilor Yancey promised a comprehensive written report by year's end.

FAA Flight Patterns Meeting: Councilor McCarthy reported back on work following the Council hearing on Logan Airport flight patterns that have concentrated low-flying planes and much noise over many Boston neighborhoods. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had declined to attend the Council hearing, but through advocacy from our federal representatives, there will be a meeting in Milton about this issue. The meeting was held on December 3, 2015, at 7PM at Milton High School. 

Charter Reform: Councilor Baker filed three home rule petitions, all referred to the Government Operations Committee. Councilor Baker noted that he hoped to have one hearing on all the matters--with more to come--and separate votes on each one.
1) City Council term: To change the City Council term to 4 years instead of 2 years, coinciding with the Mayoral election - since voter turnout in these off-year elections is low and is burdensome on city resources
2) At-Large Vacancy: To change the rule in case of a vacancy for City Councilor At-Large that the 5th place At-Large finisher from the last election becomes City Councilor to instead have a special election - because a 4-year term means the vacancy could occur several years after the last election.
3) Simultaneous Candidacy: To prohibit candidates from running for two municipal offices at the same time.

Sandwich Board Signs: City Council voted to pass a Sandwich Board Sign Ordinance, proposed by Mayor Walsh in September and amended through the Council's Government Operations Committee and Small Business, Entrepreneurship & Innovation Committee. Amended to be a 1-year pilot program expiring December 31, 2016, the regulations aim to provide consistent rules across all neighborhoods that would lighten the permitting load on small businesses by eliminating the free-standing sign permit, but include rules to guarantee accessibility and accountability. The signs can be up to a maximum size of 24"x36", must be weather resistant material, can be outside only during the business' hours of operation, must identify the name/address/phone of the business & sign owner for liability purposes, display content limited to the business' goods for sale, and must not display alcohol or tobacco advertisement.

For prior and complete Boston City Council meeting notes, visit or sign up to receive these notes automatically each week by email.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

December Kick-Off To The Holidays

The Fort Point Neighborhood Association kicks off the holiday season tonight with the Fort Point Holiday Social from 6:00 - 8:00 pm at the Sky Lounge at 315 on A.

The Mayor's Enchanted Trolley Tour & Tree Lightnings will be Sunday, December 6th at 1:00 pm at the M Street Park and check out the Mayors's Holiday Special offering discounted tickets to your favorite holiday shows and events all season long.

December 5th -  6th is the 25th Annual LabourĂ© Center South Boston Christmas House TourIf your home isn't decorated for the holidays yet, visit five holiday decorated homes by the creative visions of local designers.  Learn more.