Tuesday, January 21, 2020

FPNA Kicks Off 2020 With Rep. Biele, Grubstreet & 15 Necco Update

Fort Point Seaport Neighborhood
2020 Kickoff


Tuesday, January 28, 2020
6 pm to 8 pm
District Hall
75 Northern Ave.


featuring

State Representative David Biele
7 pm

introducing

GrubStreet
coming soon to 50 Liberty
requesting a beer & wine license
6:15 pm


with


Neighborhood Updates
including
15 Necco Street 
6:45 pm



Special Thanks to District Hall for providing meeting space

Neighbors Want 15 Necco Changed

updated 01/15/20: Comment deadline extended from Jan 17th to February 3, 2020.

At Monday night's BPDA Community Meeting for 15 Necco Street over 150 Fort Point neighbors turned out to have their voices heard and their message was clear. 

The Boston Globe took notice. The City staff was surprised. The development team was shocked.

Make sure your voice is heard. 

Submit a letter to the BPDA and our elected officials.  
Our personal comments are the most effective way to make change happen.

We only have one chance to get this right.

Comment letter deadline is now Monday, February 3, 2020.

Email To:
BPDA Project Manager Aisling Kerr-  aisling.kerr@boston.gov
with copies to: 
BPDA Senior Resilience & Waterfront Planner Joe Christo- joe.christo@boston.gov
BPDA Deputy Director for Climate Change & Environmental Planning -richard.mcguinness@boston.gov
District City Councilor Ed Flynn - ed.flynn@boston.gov
Councilor-At-Large Michael Flaherty- michael.f.flaherty@boston.gov 
State Senator Nick Collins- nick.collins@masenate.gov
State Representative David Biele -david.biele@mahouse.gov
FPNA- fpnaboston@gmail.com

Most Talked About Changes:
  • Overall architectural design & fit within the neighborhood, especially with respect to existing historic architecture (see meeting presentation page 6)
  • Retaining State (Chapter 91) approved cultural and civic community ground floor spaces- a community work lounge, a restaurant cafe, museum and collaboration space.
  • Reduction the height of the 2 story 34 foot Life Sciences lab mechanical penthouse and protruding pipes at unknown heights.
15 Necco (former GE Headquarter's site) 

Related Posts
originally published 01.09.20

Monday, January 20, 2020

Boston City Council Kicks Off 2020 With New President & Looks At Climate & Opioid Crisis, ZBA, PILOT & More

City Councilor-At-Large Michelle Wu publishes notes from Boston City Council meetings. Here are the notes from the Monday, January 6 and Wednesday, Jan 15, 2020:

Welcome to the new City Council term! Although we usually meet on Wednesdays at noon, the Boston City Charter requires that the first Council meeting of the term take place on the first Monday of the year (even when it falls on New Year’s Day, as it did in 2017) and the most senior member of the Council (by age) preside over that meeting until a Council President is selected. So today, after all thirteen Councilors were sworn in at Faneuil Hall--special congratulations to our four new colleagues Councilors Arroyo, Bok, Breadon & Mejia!--Councilor Liz Breadon started with the gavel.

CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT: We voted 12-0 (Councilor Baker abstained) to elect Councilor Kim Janey as City Council President for the 2020-2021 term. She is the third woman of color to serve in that role and the first Council President from Roxbury in over 30 years. She laid out an agenda focused on transparency, equity, and accountability, specifically mentioning the creation of a PILOT Committee to ensure fair contributions from hospitals, universities, and Boston’s large tax-exempt institutions; as well as moving forward with the push for fare-free bus service.

VOTES
Climate Crisis as a Public Health Emergency: The Council voted to adopt Councilor O'Malley’s resolution affirming that the climate crisis is a health emergency. The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported that only a decade remains for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5 degrees Celsius, and even half a degree of average warming will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat, and poverty for hundreds of millions of people. The health threats of climate change include increased exposure to extreme heat, reduced air quality, more frequent and intense natural hazards, and increased exposure to infectious diseases and aeroallergens, nutritional security, effects on mental health, and increased risk of population displacement and conflict. 
 
NEW FILINGS
Stray Voltage in Boston: Councilor Flynn refiled a hearing order to discuss issues and concerns regarding stray voltage in the city. Boston’s infrastructure includes older electrical utility cabinets, which are weakened during the winter months due to salt on the ground that can corrode wiring and grounding lugs. This poses threats to pets, and there have been multiple incidents where pets have been injured or killed due to this, and children are also vulnerable.
 
After Hours Construction: Councilor Flynn refiled a hearing order to discuss construction and development issues outside standard permitted hours of 7am-6pm, including early morning, late evening, weekends and holidays. Residents have highlighted concerns regarding security and safety in all phases of development at construction sites, damages to neighboring properties, the need for adherence to approved plans, and suitable rodent control. The current penalty for demolition, erection, alteration, or repair of any building outside of permitted hours without special approval is $300 for each offense. 

Sharps Disposal: Councilor Essaibi-George refiled an ordinance to provide for safe disposal of sharps through the establishment of a Product Stewardship Program, given that an insufficient number of safe drop-off sites for sharps has caused improper disposal of needles in household trash, parks, and public spaces, posing a risk to public health and safety and our waste management system. The proposed language would require manufacturers of sharps sold and distributed in Boston to work with retailers that sell sharps to take back sharps at no additional cost to the consumer at the time of return. The collection services should include at least two methods, which may include but not be limited to: a mail-back program that provides prepaid and pre-addressed packaging, collection kiosks, drop-off day events, or in-home disposal methods that render a product safe from misuse. 
 
Opioid Crisis: Councilor Essaibi-George refiled an order for a working session regarding the opioid crisis. The working session would convene stakeholders to discuss strategies to combat the crisis, including ways to increase funding on-the-ground prevention, treatment, and recovery solutions, and improve access to treatment, treatment beds, and point-of-time connection of services

Zoning Board of Appeal: Councilor Edwards refiled a Home-Rule Petition to change the statute governing the Zoning Board of Appeal, amending the state law designating the nominations process for ZBA members and the requirements of the board. Specifically, it would add designated seats to represent renters, persons knowledgeable in civil rights and fair housing, experts in environmental protection and other stakeholders not currently represented on the ZBA. The language would also require timely notification, the ability to access zoning services and records of decisions electronically and at Boston City Hall, and a regular report on variances by neighborhood and zoning district to inform future zoning by clearly indicating where actual development practices and the zoning code differ substantially. 

Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) Payments: Councilor Flaherty called for a hearing regarding the City's PILOT payments. In FY19, the PILOT program cited $52,496,775 in community benefits and $34,187,928 in cash contributions. The property values which PILOT agreements are based on were last assessed in 2009 and haven’t been updated since, even though according to the original PILOT Taskforce, valuation should be reviewed after the first five-year phase in. 
 
PILOT Task Force: Councilors Edwards and Essaibi-George filed an ordinance to create a PILOT Task Force to renegotiate agreements with large tax-exempt institutions in the City. The noted that the successful implementation of PILOT is an important tool and obligation to the City, as property taxes continue to rise for residents, while the percentage of tax-exempt land has increased.

UPCOMING HEARINGS (In the City Council Chamber unless otherwise noted. Watch Online
  • Our next City Council meeting will be on Wednesday, January 29th at Noon

Anyone can sign up to receive these notes by email at www.michelleforboston.com/sendmenotes.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Fort Point Channel Operations Board Annual Meeting This Thursday

The Fort Point Channel Operations Board will be holding their annual meeting on Thursday, January 16, 2020 at 11 AM in the Fort Point Room at Atlantic Wharf (280 Congress St). The public is welcome to attend. 

The agenda includes:

  • Recap of Atlantic Wharf 2019 Annual Plan
  • Presentation of Atlantic Wharf 2020 Annual Plan
  • 2020 Fort Point Channel Watersheet Activation Grant Program

What is the Fort Point Channel Watersheet Activation Plan? To determine how to take better advantage of the Fort Point Channel's potential, the BPDA initiated a watersheet planning process with the Fort Point Channel Working Group and Fort Point Channel Abutters Group, which involved area residents, business owners and stakeholders. The resulting Fort Point Channel Watersheet Activation Plan envisions the channel as a location for a wide range of water’s edge and floating public uses, including piers, docks and landings for cultural attractions, recreational boating and sightseeing. The Plan also endeavors to seamlessly balance these public uses with the existing water-dependent uses along the Channel, including the Gillette Company, Barking Crab and Hook Lobster, as well as advancing water transportation initiatives. The activation goals and elements of the Plan have informed Municipal Harbor Plans specific to the area as well as state Chapter 91 Waterways licensing of projects along the Channel.

originally published 01.10.20

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

15 Necco (formerly GE) Life Sciences Project Enters Community Review

updated 1/14/20 with January 6th Public Community Meeting presentation posted under Meetings below.

The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) is hosting two public meetings to solicit feedback on the proposed new development at 15 Necco Street. GE and MassDevelopment sold the two historic Necco buildings and parcel to National Development and Alexandria Real Estate Equities earlier this year. 

The Proponent proposes the construction of a new, 12-story, approximately 316,000 square-foot, multi-tenant office/life sciences/research and development building with active ground floor uses, such as retail and restaurant spaces within the southern portion of the Project Site (15 Necco Street). Because of the Project Site's proximity to public transit and nearby public parking facilities, the new building is not proposed to include any underground parking.  Depicted below is the new building design.


MEETINGS

January 6th: BPDA Public Community meeting. View Presentation.

December 18th: Boston Harbor Now Harbor Use Meeting 

December 17th: BCDC Committee Meeting. View Presentation

December 3d: Boston Design Civic Commission Meeting held December 3d. View presentation.

November 21st: The first meeting of the Impact Advisory Group. 






On Tuesday, November 5th, 2019, ARE-MA No. 74, LLC, which is a joint venture between affiliates of Alexandria Real Estate Equities ("ARE") and National Development, and ARE-MA No. 72, LLC, an affiliate of ARE (collectively, the "Proponent"), filed a Notice of Project Change ("NPC") with the Boston Planning & Development Agency ("BPDA") for 5 and 15 Necco Street, which comprise an approximately 2.7-acre site in the Fort Point neighborhood of Boston and for which the General Electric Company (GE) Headquarters Project was previously slated for construction. 

Concurrently with this NPC, the Proponent also filed a proposed Amended and Restated Development Plan for 5 and 15 Necco Street, South Boston, Massachusetts, within Planned Development Area No. 69, South Boston/The 100 Acres and a proposed Fifth Amendment to the Master Plan for Planned Development Area No. 69, South Boston/The 100 Acres. The previously approved project was contemplated to include GE occupancy in both 5 Necco Street and the new office building at 15 Necco Street. GE will now occupy office space only at 5 Necco Street. 

Comment Deadline: January 17, 2020
Send comments to Aisling Kerr, BPDA Project Manager


originally published 11.14.19

Thursday, January 09, 2020

Fort Point Landmarks January 2020 Meeting Tonight

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

Thursday, January 9, 2020
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 # 20.703 FPC  30-40 Melcher Street (273 Summer Street and 281-283 Summer Street). 

Applicant: Andrew Gorden, Spin Boston, LLC

Proposed Work: At the 30 Melcher Street storefront replace an existing wood door, side panel, and window system with a new aluminum door and window system; replace a wood door system with an aluminum door system; remove three loading dock doors, modify the openings, install raised curbs with louvers, and new overhead door systems; at the Melcher Street courtyard install a new bi-fold door system; At the 40 Melcher Street storefront replace two (2) existing overhead door systems; and remove one wood window system, modify the opening, and install an overhead door system; at both facades, install guardrail systems; at the secondary side fa├žade, create a new masonry opening and install a louver. 

II  Ratification of 12/12/2019 Public Hearing Minutes

III. Staff Updates

IV. Projected Adjournment: 7:00 PM

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