Monday, September 30, 2019

Boston City Council Looks At Cannabis Zoning, Inspector General, Pedestrian Safety & More

City Councilor-At-Large Michelle Wu publishes notes from Boston City Council meetings. Here are some summer and September highlights:

Vision Zero: Councilors Flynn and Janey called for a hearing to discuss pedestrian crossing signals, traffic calming, and Vision Zero (the goal of having zero traffic fatalities). Both Councilors emphasized that as our city becomes more developed and densely populated, our neighborhoods have more vehicular and pedestrian traffic, and many areas need improvements to ensure that pedestrians are safe. The matter was assigned to the Planning, Development and Transportation Committee for a hearing. source: 09/18/19 Council meeting

Cannabis Buffer Zoning: The Council voted to pass Councilor Flaherty’s zoning text amendment to clarify the half-mile cannabis buffer zone. In 2016 the Council initiated and passed a zoning text amendment introduced by Councilor Flaherty and subsequently approved by the BPDA establishing a requirement that any new cannabis establishments must be sited at least 0.5 miles away from any “existing cannabis establishment,” with the intent to ensure equitable access to dispensaries and licenses, as well as avoid concentration in one area. After proposals for two cannabis establishments within half a mile of each other were presented at the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Administration and ZBA board members adopted an interpretation offered by one of the companies to find a loophole. Today we passed language to close this loophole, replacing that language with a requirement to maintain a buffer from any “existing cannabis establishment or proposed cannabis establishment that has obtained any municipal permits or approvals, including but not limited to executed host community agreements.” The petition goes to the Zoning Commission and BPDA Board for approval. (from 8/21/19 Council Meeting)
 
Linkage and Inclusionary Development: The Council voted to pass an amended version of the home-rule petition filed by the Mayor to codify Boston’s inclusionary development policy into the zoning code and give the City the ability to make adjustments to the Linkage formula with more flexibility than allowed by current state law. The Inclusionary Development Policy was created by executive order in 2000 and requires developers of new residential housing with 10 units or more to include 13% affordable units onsite or pay to fund an affordable housing project offsite. Linkage was created in 1983 as a way to fund resources for affordable housing and workforce development, requiring large-scale commercial developers to pay exactions to the City for projects over 100,000 square feet, with the City allowed to adjust the rates every three years based on CPI. The home-rule petition would allow the City to adjust Linkage and the threshold for application, eliminating the restriction on making adjustments only once every three years based on the Consumer Price Index, and linking the threshold to Article 80. The amendments include language defining a process and standards for adopting inclusionary zoning, including a requirement that inclusionary zoning proposals be approved by the City Council. The legislation now goes to the State for approval. source: 8/21/19 Council Meeting

            
Establishing the Office of Inspector General: Councilor Campbell introduced an ordinance establishing the Office of Inspector General within the City of Boston. She stated that rather than bringing in costly outside counsel to address scandals as they arise, a City Inspector General would provide permanent, proactive, independent oversight of Boston’s city government to root out corruption and identify mismanagement and waste. Massachusetts has a state inspector general, and other cities such as Chicago, Detroit, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore have city inspector generals. Councilor Garrison spoke to oppose the idea, stating that if the City had funding to create this position, that money should go back to the taxpayers instead. Councilor Baker also questioned where the funding would come from and whether this was implying widespread corruption in City Hall when most public employees are hard-working and honest. Councilor Edwards spoke about her push for independent investigations for issues such as the allegations of discrimination and assault from women serving in the Boston Fire Department and how this could be a complementary effort. The matter was assigned to the Government Operations Committee for a hearing. source: 8/21/19 Council Meeting

North-South Rail Link: Councilor Essaibi-George and I reported back on the hearing she had sponsored on the proposed North-South Rail Link to connect North Station and South Station. The Massachusetts Commuter Rail system is effectively split between the North and South of Boston, preventing statewide connectivity and mobility, and Boston is the single gap in continuous service between Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, which runs from Washington D.C. to Boston, and Amtrak’s Downeaster, which runs from Brunswick, Maine to Boston. At the hearing, advocates touted the economic benefits and quality of life improvements that would come from this project, as well as describing feasibility and cost. The matter will remain in the Committee on Planning, Development and Transportation for further discussion. source: 7/31/19 Council Meeting

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

Thursday, September 26, 2019

FPNA September Neighborhood Gathering On Cannabis


Fort Point Seaport Neighborhood Gathering

Monday, September 30, 2019
6 pm to 8 pm
District Hall
75 Northern Avenue

featuring

Keltic Green: A Retail Cannabis Shop Proposal
324 A Street (Blue Dragon)

plus
Neighborhood Updates




UPCOMING NEIGHBORHOOD HAPPENINGS

Wednesday, October 2nd: Seaport Transit Strategic Plan Community Meeting (focusing on transit improvements & connectivity in the Seaport & Fort Point) will take place from 6 pm to 8 pm at WPI Seaport located at 303 Congress St. on the ground level. 

Monday, October 7th: LaPosta Public Abutters Meeting will be held at 6pm at 12 Farnsworth. LaPosta is a new pizzeria to be located in part of the former Bee's Knees space, and is requesting an all alcohol license. All are welcome to attend. 

originally posted 09.20.19

Video Shoot A Street & Melcher This Thursday


updated 9/25/19: Although the posted No Parking signs show hours of 7 am to 10 pm, New England Locations assures they will be done before resident parking comes in to effect at 6 pm. 

 Harvard Pilgrim Health video shoot is scheduled for Thursday, September 26, 2019 on A Street in the vicinity of Melcher Street. Parking restrictions will be in effect from 7 am to 11 am at eight meters on A Street closest to Melcher Street.


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

A Fashi For Diane Ly At Summer & Melcher

updated 9/25/19: The Ly Family requested that we share a statement of thankful support from the family.  Please read below:

The Fort Point and Seaport community is coming together to remember Diane Ly, the 30-year-old woman who was hit and killed while crossing Summer Street at the Melcher Street intersection on September 11th. She was visiting our neighborhood with her very close friend Warren Cheng. 

Please join FPNA for a mourning service, a Fashi, led by the Thousand Buddha Temple from Quincy.

We will be meeting on the sidewalk in front of 250 Summer Street, at the start of the Summer Street Bridge, at 2:00 PM this Wednesday, September 25th.

A statement from the Ly Family to the residents of Fort Point and Seaport:

Thank you for your generous outpouring of support for our family.  We would like to thank the Boston Police Department, Tufts medical personnel, and the first responders who tried to save Diane’s life.  We are working with the Boston Police Department to understand how this tragedy could have occurred and prevent it from happening to anyone else. 

We are devastated by Diane's passing and praying for Warren’s speedy recovery.  We are asking for space as we mourn the loss of a daughter, friend, and family member who was taken away from us too soon.

If you would like to make a donation, a GoFundMe page has been established for Diane Ly and Warren Cheng, 


Sincerely,


The Ly Family

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Who Will You Be Voting For September 24th?

The Boston Municipal Preliminary Election is Tuesday, September 24, 2019. There are fifteen City Councilor-At-Large candidates, including four sitting Councilors-At-Large running for reelection – Michael Flaherty, Althea Garrison, Annissa Essaibi-George and Michelle Wu. The top eight vote getters will proceed to the general election on November 5, 2019.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019
7 am to 8 pm
James Condon School Cafeteria
200 D. Street (off of W. Broadway behind the Laboure Center).

Learn about the candidates (listed in ballot order):

Erin J Murphy:  Erin Murphy is a 5th generation Bostonian, but a first-time candidate for office. She is a veteran BPS teacher and proud graduate of Emerge, the state's premier political organization that recruits, trains, and provides a powerful network for women who want to run for office. Erin resides in Dorchester. Read more about Erin.

Michelle Wu: Michelle Wu has been a voice for Boston’s future through inclusion, innovation, and transparency. First elected to the Boston City Council in November 2013 at the age of 28, Wu is the first Asian-American woman to serve on the Council, and the first woman of color to serve as Council President. Michelle resides in Roslindale and is running for re-election. Read more about Michelle.

Priscilla E Flint-Banks: Priscilla Banks is a life-long Democrat who has been an active part of the Boston community all of her life. She has worked tirelessly to make Boston a better place to live, work and raise children. Priscilla resides in Roslindale. Read moreabout Priscilla.

Althea Garrison:   Althea Garrison was sworn in as an At-Large member of the Boston City Council on January 9, 2019, filling the seat vacated by Ayanna Pressley. A resident of Dorchester, she fights every day for the cares and concerns of all Bostonians. Althea is a registered Independent.
 
Martin Marty Keogh: Marty Keogh worked at the Boston City Council and the Boston School Committee from 1991 until 2001, before he became a public defender. Marty is  a resident of Roxbury.  Read more about Marty.

Alejandra Nicole St Guillen:  Born and raised in Mission Hill, Alejandra has dedicated her lived and professional experience to the people of Boston. As a parent, wife, and seasoned public advocate, she understands firsthand the opportunities for prosperity and mobility, as well as the obstacles that often deny these opportunities to many. Alejandra resides in West Roxbury. Read more about Alejandra.

Michel Denis: Michel Denis is a first time candidate advocating for safer and stronger neighborhoods, better schools, jobs and housing. Michel is a resident of Hyde Park. Readabout Michel.

Annissa Essaibi-George:  Annissa-Essaibi George is a former Boston Public Schools teacher, a mother of 4 students in BPS, a small business owner, a proud daughter of immigrants, and a lifelong Boston resident. Annissa was elected as an At-Large Boston City Councilor in November 2015 and sworn in on January 4, 2016. Annissa resides in Dorchester and is running for re-election. Read more about Annissa

Jeffrey Michael Ross: Jeff Ross has been dedicated to public service since his youth, attending church with his grandmother and spending weekends helping seniors recycle newspapers and delivering food to home-bound neighbors.  As an attorney, Jeff became an advocate for immigrant communities and LGBTQ+ families. Jeff resides in the South End. Read more about Jeff.

Domingos Darosa:  Domingos DaRosa is a life-long Boston resident. A father, entrepreneur, a mentor to hundreds of youth and seniors, Domingos has devoted his life to improving the lives of his fellow Bostonians and make this city a better place to call home. Domingos resides in Hyde Park. Readmore about Domingos.

Michael F Flaherty:  Born and raised in Boston, Michael Flaherty developed a passion for public service from his father, a State Representative. First elected to City Council in 2000-2008, he served as President for 5 years. Re-elected in 2013 as a Councilor-At-Large, Michael fights to improve Bostonians’ quality of life. Michael lives in South Boston and is running for re-election. Readmore about Michael.

Herb Alexander Lozano:  Herb Lozano was born and raised in the Dorchester. In 2012, he began his civic engagement as a member of the Boston NAACP. Herb has been involved with youth and trade development. He serves on BPDA Advisory Group for the Downtown Plan. Herb resides in Mattapan. Read more about Herb.

William A King: William King is a lifelong resident of Boston, growing up in Roxbury, Mattapan, and Dorchester. Will works in technology first for Boston Public Schools and now for a local conservation non-profit. He wants to increase affordable housing options across the city and improve access to skill sets for student success after school. Will resides in Dorchester. Read more about Will.

David Halbert: David Halbert has spent a lifetime putting his values into action serving others, working to improve his community, and heeding the call of civic duty. He has worked for two Boston city councilors and former governor Deval Patrick and helped community organizations like East Boston Main Streets. David resides in Dorchester/Mattapan. Read more about David.

Julia Mejia: Driven by a lifelong pursuit of justice and equity, Julia Mejia has created countless opportunities for others to step into their power and advocate for positive change. That is why she believes It’s time for City government leadership include new faces from different walks of life…striving for a voice in our institutions of power. Julia resides in Dorchester. Read more about Julia

Where do the candidates stand on the City of Boston's Vision Zero, an initiative to eliminate fatal and serious traffic crashes by 2030? Read here.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Fort Point Landmarks September 2019 Meeting

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

Thursday, September 12, 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 HEARING
APP # 20.115 FPC  30-40 Melcher Street
Applicant: Spin Boston, LLC 
Proposed Work: At the Melcher Street and Summer Street ground levels, install an awning, signage, and lighting.  
   
APP # 20.140 FPC  345 A Street
Applicant: Dan Yaccarino, Lincoln Summer St. Venture, LLC 
Proposed Work: At the street level on the A Street fa├žade, replace existing double entry doors with new metal and glass entry doors. 

APP # 20.151 FPC  347-351 Congress Street 
Applicant: David Durgin, The 347 Congress Street LLC 
Proposed Work: At the roof level, relocate drainage systems and install a parapet and fascia. At the street-facing facades, remove gutters, rain leaders, downspouts, and corresponding street connections.    

APP # 20.161 FPC  308-316 Congress Street
Applicant: David Hoogasian, Extenet Systems, Inc.Proposed Work: Replace a single light pole with new double light pole with telecommunication equipment. 

II.  Ratification of 08/08/2019 Public Hearing Minutes

III. Staff Updates

IV. Projected Adjournment: 7:15 PM

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

originally published 9.4.19