Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Have You Heard The Noise? Find Out What It's All About

Have you heard noises coming from 15 Necco (former GE Headquarters site)?

Construction has begun. 

Come and hear from the National Development team as they share their Construction Management Plan with the neighborhood. It will be a busy 26 months.

National Development Construction Meeting
Wednesday August 4th
6:30 PM

Meeting ID: 836 2692 4655

Passcode: 443234

One tap mobile

+13126266799,,83626924655# US (Chicago)

+19292056099,,83626924655# US (New York)


Topics will include
  • Construction Hours
  • Site Safety and Emergency Vehicle Access
  • Trash and Waste Handling
  • Construction Vehicle Movements and Routes
  • Construction Worker Parking
  • Rodent Control

Mayoral Candidate Waterfront Forum In-person & Online Thursday

FPNA and over 40 Boston non-profit partners of the Coalition for a Resilient & Inclusive Waterfront invite you to a Mayoral Candidate Forum on the future of an accessible, equitable, climate resilient & economically vibrant Boston waterfront on:

 
Thursday, July 29, 2021

4:30 pm to 6:00 pm

In person at the New England Aquarium's Imax Theatre
or
Online
 
One Registration. Two Ways to Attend.

 
The Mayoral Forum will be moderated by El Mundo Boston's Alberto Vasallo and Boston Globe's Shirley Leung. 
 
The Coalition for a Resilient and Inclusive Waterfront is an alliance of diverse non-profit organizations focused on bringing the pressing issues facing Boston’s harbor and rivers to the forefront of public conversation.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Boston Parks & Recreation Neighborhood Events: July & August

Mayor Kim Janey and the Parks and Recreation Department invite you to gather outdoors a these special summer events.


Neighborhood Concert: Rebels (Tom Petty Cover Band)
Bring a picnic and some friends to enjoy music in the park!
THIS THURSDAY, July 29
7:00 pm
Medal of Honor Park/Lee Playground


Enjoy popular films under the night skies!
Tuesday, August 17
7:45 pm (dusk)
Moakley Park




Meet the Mayor, enjoy treats from Dunkin' & fresh fruit from Star Market, and bring home a free plant from our greenhouses!
Wednesday, August 18
10:30 am
Medal of Honor Park/Lee Playground





Monday, July 26, 2021

Ground Floor Uses & Architecture Along Fort Point Channel Top Tonight's Public Meeting

244 - 284 A Street (along the Fort Point Channel)

BPDA Urban Design & Ground Floor Uses Virtual Public Community Meeting
 
Monday, July 26, 2021
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
View Presentation

Let the Boston Planning and Development Agency and the developer know your thoughts and ideas to improve: 

Urban Design: Does the architecture and public realm layout enhance the character of the neighborhood?
 
:

 
Building Heights & Density: 2 of the 3 building exceed zoning: one by 80% and the other by 25% with  mechanical extending 50 feet into the sky. Do the 180 feet buildings wall off the neighborhood from the water? Does the inclusion of another 180 foot building across from historic 75 foot buildings divide the neighborhood?
 



 
Ground Floor Uses: Do the ground floor uses support watersheet activation and park activation? Do they offer a diverse set of civic, cultural & retail uses at price points that include a high degree of affordability for Boston residents, workers and visitors that complement the offerings in the Seaport? Will there be opportunities for small business and especially minority owners to flourish?
 
 
 

This is critical point in the approval process. Decisions made now will not be changed. What do you want to see and have in this last waterfront expansion of the neighborhood? 
 
244 - 284 A Street, the 6.5 acre development along the Fort Point Channel & A St (aka former Gillette Channelside parking lots), is resuming the approval process from the City and requires feedback from the neighborhood and other advocates.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

What's Happening On A Street?

updated 7/22/21: No parking on A Street from Wormwood to Necco is extended to August 18th.

Vicinity Energy is now executing a plan to bring steam down A Street. 

Steam you say, isn’t that so “old school”? Vicinity has been delivering steam to Boston and Cambridge businesses for over 90 years. 

They are expanding their footprint into our neighborhood and are connecting businesses along A Street to the existing steam pipe on West Second Street. Plans currently are to run steam from the West Second Street pipe to Necco Street in conjunction with 15 Necco Life Sciences building.

The project will run in phases with step one, test pits, being dug over the next week. Don't forget the parking restrictions on A Street from Wormwood to Necco every Monday through Friday from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm until July 21, 2021. The project will eventually progress into full excavation along one lane of A Street. Construction will complete in the summer of 2022. 

Police will manage vehicular traffic as needed, appropriate sidewalk detours will be in place and parking restrictions will be posted. If you have any questions on the A Street Steam project, call Vicinity Energy's 24 hour service line at 617-482-8232.

originally published 07.06.21

Friday, July 09, 2021

Voice Your Opinion On New Waterfront Parks & Resilience

updated 7/13/21 with meeting presentation and meeting video.

The Boston Planning & Development Agency is hosting a public meeting on Monday, July 12th at 6pm regarding new waterfront parks and climate resilient flood protection at 244 - 284 A Street (former Gillette Channelside parking lot) a 6.5 acre mixed development with required open space. 

What do you want to see in South Boston's newest waterfront parks, and will these new parks also protect our inner neighborhoods from flooding?  Will it be a model for coastal resilience and equitable, high quality open space?

Discover the latest 244 - 284 A Street development plans for Open Space & Climate Resiliency on: 

Monday, July 12, 2021
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

View Presentation

Let the Boston Planning and Development Agency and the developer, Related Beal, know your thoughts on: 
  • Public Parks Design & Programming 
  • Sea Level Rise & Stormwater Flood Protection
  • Climate Resilience
This is critical point in the approval process, decisions made over the next couple of months will not be changed.

244 - 284 A Street, the 6.5 acre development along the Fort Point Channel (aka former Gillette Channelside parking lots), is resuming the approval process from the City and requires feedback from the neighborhood.

******

The Waterfront Parks: Last year, the community established three themes focused on urban wilderness, community living room and flex space/outdoor gallery. Do the park designs meet neighborhood needs and expectations?



Climate Resilience: Will the proposed climate resilient solutions protect the site and neighborhood from sea level rise and stormwater flooding? 



originally published 07.09.21

Thursday, July 08, 2021

Fort Point Landmarks July 2021 Meeting

07/06/21: updated agenda with presentation links below.

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

Thursday, July 8, 2021
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 301-715-8592  and entering meeting id 829 7962 1250 # 
You can also submit written comments or questions to FortPointLDC@boston.gov 

I.  DESIGN REVIEW HEARING

APP # 21.1106 FPC 44 THOMSON PLACE
Applicant: John Kiernan
Proposed work: At the roof, remove entire existing roofing assembly, edge metal, gutters, downspouts, masonry pier caps, party wall caps, and reglet flashings. Install new PVC roof assembly with PVC roof edge metal in "Lead Grey" color. Install new copper gutters and downspouts, copper caps and reglet flashings.

APP # 21.1105 FPC 44 THOMSON PLACE:
Applicant: Dina DiTommaso
Proposed Work: At the ground floor storefront, install new vinyl graphic signage and a new video telecom device at the side of the entry.

APP # 21.1103 FPC 20-30 CHANNEL CENTER STREET
Applicant: Philip Marcotty
Proposed Work: Install new rooftop mechanicals at the roof for change of use to research and development. Install new elevator override.

APP # 21.1002 FPC 374 CONGRESS STREET:
Applicant: Mike Miller
Proposed Work: At the Stillings Street entrance, remove main entry sign and yellow brick and replace with wood panelled enclosure to conceal dumpster located behind the sign. Add new signage to enclosure.

APP # 21.1130 FPC 308 CONGRESS STREET:
Applicant: Amy Auerbach
Proposed Work: Replace existing green roof at second story of Boston's Children's Museum. Work includes steel fortification of existing roof structure, installation of glass railing system, and lowering existing door to meet ADA requirements.

II. ADVISORY REVIEW

332 CONGRESS STREET: Modify the ground floor storefronts and entry.

III: RATIFICATION OF 5/13/21 & 6/10/21 PUBLIC HEARING MINUTES

IV. Staff Updates

V. Projected Adjournment: 8pm

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

originally published 07.02.21

Wednesday, July 07, 2021

Preservation & Conservation Events For Southie & Fort Point Tonight

Wednesday, July 7,2021 is Conservation night for South Boston and Fort Point.

Councilor Ed Flynn and Councilor At-Large Michael Flaherty along with the Community Preservation Team are hosting a virtual Community Preservation Act (CPA) information session for South Boston residents on Wednesday, July 7th at 6pm.

This meeting will look to provide helpful information and resources for neighbors, civic groups, youth sports and other organizations in South Boston who may want to apply for funding from the CPA for initiatives related to affordable housing, historic preservation, open space, and outdoor recreation facilities.

Topics will include the application process, eligibility criteria, relevant deadlines and other related information. If you wish to be in the know, register for tonight's informational session

Learn more about how to utilize CPA funding to help preserve and enhance our neighborhood.
At the Boston Conservation Commission tonight, Related Beal is requesting a determination for the authorization of geotechnical borings and test pits, located at 244 – 284 A St, South Boston, MA (100ft Buffer to Coastal Bank, LSCSF).  

Conservation Commission Meeting
July 7, 2021
6 pm

244 - 284 A Street is tenth on the agenda. You drop in and out to see how the meeting is progressing.  Zoom in to discover more about the 10 test pits and 58 test borings on the development site and its impacts on groundwater, stormwater management and the neighborhood. 

The proposed test borings will be approximately 2-in. to 4-in. diameter and will be advanced between approximately 5- to 60-feet below existing surface grades. Deeper boreholes are anticipated to be performed using a truck-mounted drill rig, while shallower explorations may be conducted using a direct-push (Geoprobe®) rig. The test pits will be roughly 10 feet by 10 feet to a depth of about 8 to 10 feet, with the pavement being sawcut and taken offsite for proper disposal. Greater details and impacts are outlined in the application.

244 -284 A Street

The Boston Conservation Commission protects the interests of the public and private water supply, groundwater, prevention of pollution, flood control, prevention of storm damage, protection of fisheries and land containing shellfish, and protection of wildlife habitat.

Monday, June 28, 2021

FPNA June Neighborhood Gathering Goes Hybrid

 Fort Point Seaport
Hybrid Neighborhood Gathering

Tuesday, June 29, 2021
6 pm to 8 pm
in person at District Hall (75 Northern Ave.)
 or
 via Zoom

featuring

Our C-6 Community Service Officers

Neighborhood News & Conversations
Summer Programming on Land & Sea
Housing, Offices, Life Sciences & Parks
Street Happenings

Gillette Lots 8 & 9
 requesting a Conditional Use Permit for ancillary parking 

 and introducing

Mecha Noodle Bar
44 Thomson Place
requesting an all-alcohol license

MA Representative Jon Santiago
Mayoral Candidate Spotlight

&

Jon Spillane 
City Councilor-At-Large Candidate

What is a hybrid meeting?
In March 2020, FPNA moved online via Zoom to stay together as a neighborhood and to continue to communicate with each other. With Covid protocols changing, we are taking the opportunity to still use Zoom for those that can’t attend in person and to begin to gather again face to face as a neighborhood. You get to choose how you want to participate. You may see your neighbors smiling faces at District Hall or in cyberspace via Zoom. If you are visiting us at District Hall, please wear a mask, unless you are vaccinated or if you would feel more comfortable.
Upcoming Neighborhood Happenings

June 29: Vaccination Pop Up from 11 am to 3 pm at the Boston Children's Museum for anyone 12 years and up. Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be available. Registration is recommended. Walk-ins are also welcome. Stonewall Kitchen is offering a free gift to everyone who gets vaccinated next door at the Boston Children's Museum. 

June 29: The Seaport...and Beyond (splashthat.com) from 12pm to 1pm.  A conversation about racial diversity and economic equity in the Seaport & in future neighborhood development moderated by the Boston Globe & WBUR in conjunction with the Civic Action Project.

June 30: 601 Congress Street Public Meeting 6:30pm to 8pm to discuss proposed change of use from offices to Life Sciences with additional mechanicals to support the change and minor changes to the public realm.

*new* July 7: Community Preservation Act Information Session for South Boston at 6pm hosted by Councilors Flynn and Flaherty. Topics will include the application process, eligibility criteria, relevant deadlines and other related information. If you wish to learn more about the program, you can register for the session here.

July 12: 244 – 284 A Street Open Space  & Resiliency Public Meeting 6:00 pm. The meeting will cover climate resiliency and storm water management and two waterfront parks. 

Farmers Markets
Mondays 12pm-6pm: South Boston Farmers Market 446 West Broadway
Thursdays 11am-4pm: Dewey Square on the Greenway
Thursdays 2pm - 6pm: Sea Green Park (Q Park) on Boston Wharf Rd. While shopping, be sure to check out local artist Maria Molteni and New Craft Artists In Action most recent installation, A Sea Bird, on the basketball court.

Boston Under Water is an informative WBUR series of short hitting articles on local (including Seaport & Fort Point) climate change from what’s underneath Boston (landfill, transportation and storm water sewer infrastructure) to rising seas.

originally published 06.23.21

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Boston City Council Looks At Budget, BERDO, BioTech Workforce Development, Parcel Transfers & More

City Councilor-At-Large Michelle Wu publishes notes from Boston City Council meetings. Below are some highlights from June 9, June 16 and June 23, 2021 Boston City Council meetings:

VOTES

FY22 Operating Budget: The Council voted to reject a procedural motion (2-10, with Councilors Bok and Essaibi George voting yes) from Councilor Bok, Chair of the Committee of Ways & Means, to suspend Council rules to discuss and vote on the FY22 operating budget today. This motion was proposed by Councilor Bok as a proxy vote on the operating budget, which the Council recently received from the Mayor in its amended form. Because the Council voted against this procedural motion, the matter will remain in the Committee on Ways & Means and come before the Council on June 30, during the last Council meeting before the end of the 2021 fiscal year.

Zoning Board of Appeals Resolution: The Council voted to approve a resolution from Councilor Edwards in support of H.2201, a petition in the Massachusetts state legislature to reform the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA), which reviews variances to the zoning code to guide development in Boston. These reforms would establish term limits for board members, strengthen conflict of interest protections, require quarterly reports on variances granted, and add experts in environmental justice and urban planning and a renter to the board.

Reprecincting Resolution: The Council voted to approve a resolution from Councilor Edwards in support of H.3863, a bill in the Massachusetts state legislature relative to reprecincting. This bill would change the deadline for reprecincting and offer an opportunity to more accurately represent Boston’s demographics and ensure voter access and equity. 

Amendment of City Council Rule 3: The Council voted (10-1-1, with Councilor Arroyo voting no and Councilor Mejia voting present) to approve a motion from Councilor Edwards to amend City Council Rule 3 to allow the Council to remove its Council president with a two-thirds majority vote. Previously, with a two-thirds majority, the City Council president could remove any City Councilor, but this same power did not extend to City Council presidents. This rule change enables greater consistency, transparency and accountability in the role of the Council in choosing the City Council President. 

Conservation of West Roxbury Parcel: The Council voted unanimously to approve the transfer of a property that is currently under the care and custody of the Boston Planning and Development Agency, located at 0 Rivermoor Street in West Roxbury on the banks of the Cow Island Pond area, to the City of Boston Conservation Commission to protect the floodplain and ensure permanent conservation of the Charles River shoreline.

COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE MAYOR

FY22 Boston Public Schools Budget: The Council received message and order for annual appropriations for the School Department for FY22. This matter was assigned to the Committee on Ways & Means and will come before the Council on June 30, during the last Council meeting before the end of the 2021 fiscal year.

Morrison Street Property: The Council received message and order for the Council’s approval to authorize the City of Boston Conservation Commission (ConCom) to receive a property located at Morrison Street in the Roslindale Wetlands urban wild, currently owned by Ms. Deb Beatty Mel, in order to restore and maintain the wetland area. This matter was referred to the Committee on Planning, Development and Transportation.

NEW FILES

Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault: Councilors Flynn and Campbell called for a hearing to discuss opportunities to provide support for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, ways to reduce domestic violence and sexual assault in Boston, solutions for increasing reporting opportunities for all communities, as well as other ways to educate the public to increase awareness about the prevalence of domestic violence and sexual assault. This matter was referred to the Committee on Public Health.

Biotechnology Workforce Development: Councilors Baker, Breadon, and Flynn called for a hearing to discuss maximizing workforce development opportunities in biotechnology for Boston residents. The City of Boston is currently undergoing a massive boom in development of laboratory and other high-tech manufacturing facilities, and the City should collaborate with neighborhood groups and workforce development and job training nonprofit organizations in order to maximize Boston residents’ access to these new jobs and workforce development opportunities. This matter was referred to the Committee on Small Business and Workforce Development.

Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance Amendment: The Council voted unanimously to approve a motion from Councilor O’Malley to amend the Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance (BERDO), originally passed in 2013 and updated in 2014. The purpose of the ordinance is to reduce emissions including greenhouse gases from energy production, encourage efficient use of energy and water, and develop investment in a green economy by requiring the reporting and disclosure of annual energy and water use in all buildings over 20,000 square feet. If passed, this amendment would require that starting in 2025, the 3,500 buildings covered by this ordinance (4% of Boston building stock) would be required to meet greenhouse gas emissions standards that decrease every 5 years to reach zero by 2050. Compliance payments and penalties would fund an Equitable Emissions Investment Fund to support, implement, and administer local carbon abatement projects that benefit the City and prioritize Environmental Justice populations. This matter was referred to the Committee on Government Operations.

UPCOMING HEARINGS (Streaming Online at https://boston.gov/departments/city-council/watch-boston-city-council-tv

  • Next City Council meeting will be on Wednesday, June 30th at 12PM.

  • Thursday, June 24 at 1PM: Hearing regarding appropriations for the Community Preservation Committee for FY22 (Committee on the Community Preservation Act)

For complete notes of Boston City Council meetings, visit MichelleForBoston.com to sign up to receive Council Notes automatically.

Monday, June 21, 2021

244-284 A Street At BCDC Tuesday Night

updated 6/24/21 with presentation below:

244 -284 A Street (former site of Gillette Channelside parking lot) will be presented to the Boston Civic & Design Commission (BCDC) on:

Tuesday, June 22, 2021
5 pm


BCDC will be reviewing the architecture, height and massing, design of streets, sidewalks, landscaping, and public parks. In the latest version, the building facades have changed a little, (two of the three building heights still exceed zoning), the parks' designs depart from the Sasaki park concept developed with the community during the 100 Acres Open Space process which created priority themes of urban wilderness, community living room and flexible/outdoor gallery space.

If you are unable to attend, you may submit comments to Elizabeth Stiefel at the BCDC to share with the Commission. 

The Boston Civic Design Commission (BCDC) provides a forum for the general public and professional design community to participate in the shaping of the city's physical form and natural environment. They are charged with critiquing the aesthetics of proposed development projects and ensuring that the projects have a positive impact on the city's public realm. 


Tuesday, June 15, 2021

A Real Reception At The Gallery At 249 A This Saturday

The Gallery at 249 A proudly presents "Family Ties" for its first 2021 in-person art opening on:

Saturday, June 19, 2021
5 pm to 7pm
Gallery At 249 A
249 A Street

"Family Ties" is an exhibition by curator and artist Bebe Beard, her husband and fellow artist, Dan Osterman and their niece, artist Vanessa Varjian. Vanessa Varjian and Dan Osterman are painters inspired by the observation of the outdoors. While keen observers, both enjoy pushing paint on board or paper into more poetic realms. Bebe Beard’s work takes on a fantasy of organic shapes that celebrate or seem held down by man’s refuse. 

As we move beyond the pandemic, Bebe hopes that the natural world will inspire you to visit. "Family Ties" runs from June 15 through July 25th. Viewing by appointment. Text 617-416-7827 to schedule your gallery visit.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Fort Point Landmarks June 2021 Meeting Tonight

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

Thursday, June 10, 2021
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 850 5871 0856 # 
You can also submit written comments or questions to FortPointLDC@boston.gov 

I.  Business Meeting

The purpose of this meeting is to review and discuss the new online application system. 

II Violations

APP # 21.0754 FPC   253 Summer Street 
Applicant: COJE Management Group
Continued from the 4/08/2021 FPCLDC Public Hearing. Proposed work: Ratify a patio expansion, including the installation of pavers, planters, lighting, furniture, and associated landscaping (Violation # VIO.21.009). Install new planters.

III DESIGN REVIEW HEARING

APP # 21.0979 FPC          21 Wormwood Street *MOVED TO ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
Applicant: Benner Construction
Proposed work: Construct a roof deck and replace an existing window with a new exterior door for deck access.

APP # 21.0993 FPC          26 Thomson Place 
Applicant: Back Bay Sign
Proposed work: At the ground floor storefront install a wall sign, illuminated blade sign, and vinyl window graphics.

APP # 21.0994 FPC        364-372 Congress Street
Applicant: Claremont Companies
Proposed work: At the roof, demolish an abandoned circular brick chimney; install a new roofing system, flashing, and moldings

APP # 21.0995 FPC        300 A Street
Applicant: Dyer Brown & Associates
Proposed work: At the main roof, demolish five (5) RTUs and install two (2) new RTUs. At the lower loading dock roof install new condenser units, mechanical screening, and complete associated structural work.

IV  Discussion and Vote on Proposed Permanent Signage at Properties Receiving Community Preservation Act Funding

V  Administrative Review/ Approval

APP # 19.1276 FPC          15 Channel Center Street: At Medallion Avenue, install a loading dock platform and replace an existing multi-pane window with a garage door (Extension of Certificate of Design Approval issued July 1, 2019 and approved at the June 13, 2019 FPCLDC public hearing.)

APP # 21.0979 FPC          21 Wormwood Street 
Applicant: Benner Construction
Proposed work: Construct a roof deck and replace an existing window with a new exterior door for deck access.


VI  Ratification of 5/13/2021 Public Hearing Minutes

VII Staff Updates

VIII  Projected Adjournment 8:00 pm

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

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

Boston City Council Looks At Charter Amendment, Hybrid Meetings, Cannabis, Urban Wild, Boston History, & Much More

City Councilor-At-Large Michelle Wu publishes notes from Boston City Council meetings. Below are some highlights from May 2021 Boston City Council meetings:

VOTES

Hybrid, Remote and In-Person City Council Operations: The Council voted to approve a Special Petition from Councilor O’Malley regarding An Act Concerning the Operations of the Boston City Council. This special law would allow the City Council to conduct committee hearings, working sessions, and meetings remotely, in a hybrid format, or in person at the discretion of the Chair. The petition now moves to the Massachusetts State Legislature for approval.

Ballot Question on Amending the City Charter: The Council voted to approve an order from Councilor Lydia Edwards to amend the Charter of the City of Boston by submission of a question for approval by the voters. Last fall, we voted to send this proposed charter amendment, which would , to move to the Attorney General’s office for approval. This order contains slight revisions to the previous language, based on feedback from stakeholders throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, including clarifying the parameters around participatory budgeting to be consistent with state law. With the Council’s approval, this order now requires approval from the Acting Mayor and then the Attorney General before appearing on the ballot for the city election on November 2 for approval by Boston voters. 

NEW FILES

Boston Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance (BERDO) update: Councilor O’Malley called for a hearing to discuss an update to BERDO. Buildings contribute to three-quarters of greenhouse gas emissions in the City of Boston. In 2013, the Council passed BERDO to require that all commercial and residential buildings that are 35,000 square feet or more, or have 35 units or more, report their energy and water use to the City every year. The ordinance was amended in 2014, and in 2019, the Climate Action Plan Update introduced an amendment to BERDO to replace the energy action and assessment requirement with a building emissions performance standard by 2021. This matter was referred to the Committee on Environment, Resiliency and Parks.

Removing Parking Minimums for Affordable Housing: Councilors Bok and O’Malley proposed a text amendment to the Boston Zoning Code to remove parking minimums for affordable housing units. Parking minimums are being used to stall or prevent new affordable housing development, most recently at the Zoning Board of Appeals in regards to proposed senior housing development at 3371 Washington Street and a supportive housing project at 37 Wales Street, both in close proximity to public transit. Removing parking minimums would be the first step of a broader strategy to offer zoning relief for 100% affordable projects, making it easier to build housing for lower income Boston residents. This matter was referred to the Committee on Government Operations.

Equitable Regulation of the Cannabis Industry: Councilors Edwards and Flaherty filed an ordinance amending CBC Chapter 8-13 Ensuring Equitable Regulation of the Cannabis Industry in the City of Boston. The ordinance would remove the Zoning Board of Appeals from the conditional permit approval process, leaving approval to the Boston Cannabis Board; preserve and clarify requirements around the half-mile buffer zone to avoid the overconcentration of marijuana shops in one area; and streamline the process for dispensaries to apply for relevant permits for delivery services. This matter was referred to the Committee on Government Operations.

Zoning Amendment for Marijuana Establishments: Councilors Edwards and Flaherty filed an order regarding a text amendment to the Boston Zoning Code with respect to marijuana establishments, codifying the changes in the proposed ordinance above. This matter was referred to the Committee on Government Operations.

108 Walter Street: The Council voted to authorize the City of Boston Conservation Commission (ConCom) to receive a property located at 108 Walter Street in Roslindale, part of the Roslindale Wetland urban wild. This property is currently in the care and custody of the BPDA and will be transferred to ConCom for purposes of preservation, after many years of advocacy from neighborhood residents and community organizations. An adjacent parcel is moving through the process for a new affordable housing development. 

Boston Commemoration Commission: Councilor Bok filed an ordinance to create the Boston Commemoration Commission, taking advantage of the upcoming 250th anniversary of 1776, the upcoming 400th anniversary of the founding of Boston, and other significant historical anniversaries to tell the full range of our history. This matter was assigned to the Committee on Government Operations.

For complete notes of Boston City Council meetings, visit MichelleForBoston.com to sign up to receive Council Notes automatically.