Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Waterfront Parks: Part Community Space, Part Climate Change Protection

You may have heard of Resilient Boston Harbor, Mayor Walsh’s plan for protecting Boston’s neighborhoods from sea level rise and flooding due to climate change. The plan includes a comprehensive vision for coastal resilience as well as neighborhood specific plans.

A major part of the vision for South Boston is designing waterfront parks that are community gathering spaces, which will serve double duty by providing flood protection for the surrounding neighborhood. The first South Boston park undergoing such a transformation is Moakley Park. 

Attend the premiere of resilient designs for South Boston's Moakley Park and help select winning design options for the park on:

Thursday, March 21, 2019 
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Iron Workers Local 7 
195 Old Colony Ave

Stay tuned for the awarding of the Fort Point 100 Acres Open Space System Request For Proposals by the Boston Planning & Development Agency.  The chosen consultant will lead community engagement in the development of concept design and programs for the future Fort Point Park and Channel Park. 

100 Acres Master Plan Waterfront Parks

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Thursday, March 14, 2019

Boston City Council Looks At Seaport Fort Point Civic Space, Traffic Enforcement & Upcoming Wetlands Ordinance & Cannabis Hearings

City Councilor-At-Large Michelle Wu publishes notes from Boston City Council meetings. The Boston City Council considered the following items and more at their March 13, 2019 meeting:

South Boston Waterfront (Seaport) Civic Spaces: Councilors Flynn, Flaherty & I called for a hearing to discuss city services and public facilities in the South Boston Waterfront Seaport neighborhood. By 2030, the Seaport and Fort Point area’s residential population will nearly triple from 2012 levels to exceed 20,000 residents, with approximately 13,000 jobs added in the neighborhood. Yet despite the incoming industries, businesses, and restaurants, there is no school, library, community center, fire station, police station, or other similar public facilities in the neighborhood. Civic infrastructure is important for safety, community and civic engagement. The matter was assigned to the Committee on Planning, Development and Transportation for a hearing.

Boston Trust Act: Councilor Zakim ordered a hearing regarding Enforcement of the Boston Trust Act. The Trust Act was passed in 2014 and prohibits the Boston Police Department from detaining individuals based on their immigration status and directs the BPD to disregard federal immigration detainer requests. The Act was established to make all Bostonians safer by improving trust between law enforcement and Boston’s immigrant communities, so that witnesses or victims of crimes can interact with the BPD without fear of arrest due to their immigration status. Recent news reports indicate that BPD officers worked in concert with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) agents to arrest Jose Martin Paz Flores on May 10, 2017. At that time Mr. Paz Flores was not authorized to be in the United States. Concerns have been raised as to overall compliance with and enforcement of the Trust Act. The matter was assigned to the Committee on Civil Rights for a hearing.

Traffic Enforcement Unit: Councilor Campbell reported back on the hearing to discuss the possibility of creating a traffic enforcement unit within BPD and exploring the pros and cons of installing traffic enforcement cameras. At the hearing the Boston Police Department and Boston Transportation Department discussed the City’s current enforcement efforts and plans, stating that BPD is already at minimum coverage geographically, so there are not extra officers able to focus on traffic enforcement. BTD Commissioner Fiandaca stated that the Mayor and department are discussing moving forward with cameras to catch those blocking the box and passing a stopped school bus, but not for speed limit enforcement. The matter remains in the Committee on Public Safety and Criminal Justice.

Appointments: The Mayor made the following appointments:
Zoning Commission:

  • Reappointment of Michael DiMella as a member for a term ending November 1, 2020
  • Reappointment of Michael Nichols as a member for a term ending October 1, 2021
  • Reappointment of Annaise Foureau as a member for a term ending May 1, 2021
  • Reappointment of Jill Hatton as a member for a term ending May 1, 2021
  • Reappointment of Joanne Keith as a member for a term ending October 1, 2021
  • Appointment of Giordana Mecagni as a Member of the Archives and Records Advisory Commission for a term expiring January 3, 2022
  • Reappointment of Dr. Myechia Minter-Jordan as a Member of the Boston Public Health Commission's Board of Health for a term expiring January 15, 2020
  • Appointment of Phillomin Laptiste as a Member of the Boston Public Health Commission for a term expiring January 15, 2022

UPCOMING HEARINGS (In the City Council Chamber unless otherwise noted. Watch
  • Our next City Council meeting will be on Wednesday, March 20th
  • Monday, March 18th at 11:30am: Hearing on Wetlands Ordinance (Government Operations)
  • Tuesday, March 19th at 10:00am: Hearing on Cannabis Industry Equity Ordinance (Government Operations)
  • Tuesday, March 19th at 2:00pm: Hearing on Investor and Commercial Properties Transfer Fee (Government Operations)

For complete notes on Boston City Council meetings, visit MichelleForBoston.com or sign up to receive these notes automatically. 

Fort Point Landmarks March 2019 Meeting


Thursday, March14, 2019
6:00 PM
Boston City Hall - Piemonte Room (5th Floor)
After 5:30 pm, enter and exit City Hall at the Dock Square entrance on Congress Street 
(across from Faneuil Hall).

Subject of the hearing will be applications for Certificates of Design Approval on the agenda below, review of architectural violations and such business as may come before the commission, in accordance with Ch. 772 of the Acts of 1975, as amended.

I. Design Review

APP # FPC 19.875 FPC       44 Thomson Place 

Applicant: Andrew Tobias, Trader Joe's

Proposed Work: Install Signage

APP # FPC 19.843 FPC       22 Boston Wharf Road
Applicant: Hazel Wood Hopkins
Proposed Work: Install Citizens Bank Signage and Branding

APP # FPC 19.860 FPC       25 Thomson Place 
Applicant: Paul Gibbs
Proposed Work: At front façade, install signage, menu board and new entry.

APP # FPC 19.876 FPC       355 Congress Street 
Applicant: Ernani Guimaraes 
Proposed Work: At rear façade, add additional flight of stairs to existing fire escape.

II. Administrative Review

APP # 19.874 FPC           355 Congress Street:  
Repair existing fire escape at the rear of the structure in kind.

APP # 19.882 FPC           370 Congress Street:  
At rear, side and front façade, repoint and replace brick in kind. Repair cracks in brick masonry on rear and side elevations.

APP # 19.865 FPC           21 Wormwood Street:  
Install two new exterior windows at penthouse level, not original to the structure.

III Ratification of 2/14/19 Public Hearing Minutes

IV Staff Updates

Projected Adjournment: 8:00 pm

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

originally published 3.08.19

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Call For Fort Point Channel Activation

The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) and the Fort Point Channel Operations Board are accepting applications for the 2019 Fort Point Channel Watersheet Activation Grant Program. The application is linked here

Now in its eighth year, the program provides financial resources for capital improvements and public programming within and along the Fort Point Channel, as envisioned in the Fort Point Channel Watersheet Activation Plan. The plan was established in 2002 through a collaborative effort between the BPDA, City of Boston, landowners, nonprofit and cultural leaders, and residents to encourage new cultural activities and year-round programming in Fort Point.

Approximately $50,000 is available to organizations for the 2019 grant cycle. The competitive grant seeks creative proposals for water-based programming in and around Fort Point that will benefit the general public, including such things as new water-based infrastructure, public events, art installations, and educational opportunities.

To be eligible, an organization must be tax-exempt or operate under the fiscal sponsorship of a tax-exempt nonprofit. For-profit organizations may be eligible for funding at the discretion of the Fort Point Channel Operations Board if the project constitutes a not-for-profit, public project.

Applications are due on April 12, 2019 at 5 p.m. Funding for the grants stems from the Chapter 91 Waterways Regulations License for Atlantic Wharf, a project developed by Boston Properties.

Monday, March 11, 2019

CommonWealth Pier (Seaport World Trade Center) To Be Revitalized

Pembroke, an international real estate business associated with Fidelity Investments, is proposing to revitalize Commonwealth Pier known for over three decades as the Seaport World Trade Center (SWTC). 

Pembroke introduced the Commonwealth Pier Revitalization Project first at FPNA's Fort Point Seaport Neighborhood Meeting on February 26, 2019. The proposed revitalization of SWTC will modernize and re-position the existing historic building and Pier for expanded use as a place for work, retail, events and active public waterfront experiences within the city's Seaport District. The project will enhance its current uses by replacing the existing exhibition hall with new public realm spaces and improvements and expanded ground-floor retail space, as well as creating new flexible and innovative office space and first-class event spaces. Fidelity Investments will occupy the office space.

Commonwealth Pier is owned by Massport and situated within a designated port area (DPA). The project will undergo the City's Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) Article 80 Large Project Review as well as the MassDEP Waterway Act Chapter 91 licensing process. 

View Commonwealth Pier Revitalization Project Notification & Environmental Notification Form. The document combines the BPDA's Article 80 project notification and Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) environmental notification. 

Upcoming public meetings are:

Impact Advisory Meeting*
Monday March 11, 2019
6 pm - 7:30 pm
Cityview Ballroom, SWTC
*open to the public to listen

Public Community Meeting
Wednesday March 12, 2019
6 pm - 7:30 pm
Cityview Ballroom, SWTC
200 Seaport Blvd

MEPA Environmental Notification Comment Deadline: March 12, 2019
Analyst Purvi Patel
Email: Purvi.Patel@state.ma.us

BPDA Article 80 Comment Deadline: March 18, 2019
Project Manager: Aisling Kerr
Email: Aisling.Kerr@Boston.gov

In addition to MEPA's environmental review, there is also a Waterfront Development Plan required as part of Massport's Memorandum of Understanding with Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The preliminary Commonwealth Pier Waterfront Development Plan can be found here.  

Draft Waterfront Development Plan Comment Deadline: March 22, 2019
Lisa Wieland, Port Director, Massport
Ben Lynch, Waterways Program Director, DEP

The Waterfront Development Plan is a precursor to the proponent's Chapter 91 application. What is Chapter 91? Check out the People's Guide to the Public Waterway Act (Chapter 91) created by CLF.

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Boston City Council Looks At CPA, Artist Work & Live Work Spaces, Shared Mobility, Nightlife Safety & More

City Councilor-At-Large Michelle Wu publishes notes from Boston City Council meetings. The Boston City Council considered the following items and more at their February 28 and March 6, 2019 meetings:

Community Preservation Fund: We voted (10-0, Councilors Baker, Ciommo & McCarthy absent) to approve the appropriation of $34.9M from the Fiscal Year 2018 and Fiscal Year 2019 Community Preservation Fund revenues for 56 projects recommended by the City of Boston Community Preservation Committee ("CPC"). Between the first round of grants and now this second round, every neighborhood in Boston has received funding from the CPC. See the list of all projects.

Municipal Participation of the Widest Eligible Range: We voted to adopt a resolution that Councilors Zakim, Janey & I offered urging passage of the Massachusetts House Bill known as the EMPOWER Act, sponsored by Representatives Andy Vargas and Dylan Fernandes. The proposed legislation would allow cities or towns to extend the right to vote in municipal elections to citizens at 16-years of age, when youth can drive, work without restrictions, and pay taxes. Research shows that voting at an earlier age leads to more dedicated voting than starting at 18 years of age. In jurisdictions where there is a lower voting age, the data shows that the 16- and 17-year old first-time voters consistently turn out to vote at higher rates than 18- and 19-year-old first-time voters.

Artist Workspace and Live-Work Spaces: Councilors Essaibi-George, O’Malley & Janey refiled a hearing to discuss strategies for creating more affordable work space for artists, given ongoing displacement of artists who are struggling to find affordable housing and workspace. The matter was assigned to the Committee on Arts, Culture & Special Events for a hearing.

Safety in Nightlife Settings: Councilor Essaibi-George called for a hearing to analyze the safety of patrons, especially women, in Boston’s bars, clubs, and other nightlife venues, following the recent kidnapping of Olivia Ambrose and murder of Jassy Correia after the two women were socializing in Boston establishments. She stated that women have the right to be safe while enjoying nightlife in our city, and that the goal was to convene the Boston Licensing Board, Police, business owners, and others to discuss a more proactive approach to safety. The matter was assigned to the Committee on Public Safety & Criminal Justice for a hearing.

Shared mobility businesses: Councilors Flaherty and O’Malley reported back on the hearing on the Mayor’s proposed ordinance to set regulations for shared mobility companies, including electric scooters. The ordinance would create a license for companies to operate in Boston, as well as a Small Vehicle Sharing Business Advisory Committee to help the Boston Transportation Commissioner establish regulations. The ordinance does not outline specific rules, but lays out categories for the Commissioner to issue rules later, including safety, speed limits, accessibility, and the number of licenses that will be available. The matter will remain in committee for further action.

MBTA Local Assessment: Councilor Garrison called for a hearing on withholding city funding to the MBTA Local Assistance Fund until service levels are better. This matter dovetails with the order that Councilor Essaibi-George and I filed last month on Boston’s $85M annual local assessment payment to the MBTA. We will bundle the dockets together and hold a joint hearing. The matter was assigned to the Planning, Development & Transportation Committee for a hearing.

UPCOMING HEARINGS (In the City Council Chamber unless otherwise noted. Watch Live

  • Our next City Council meeting will be on Wednesday, March 13
  • Tuesday, March 12, 11am: Hearing on Boston Public Health Commission (Healthy Women, Families and Communities)
  • Tuesday, March 12, 3pm: Hearing on the creation of a traffic enforcement unit. Docket #0143 (Public Safety and Criminal Justice)

For complete notes on Boston City Council meetings, visit MichelleForBoston.com or sign up to receive these notes automatically.