Proposed Medical Marijuana Store on Clapp Street

According to the Dorchester Reporter:

“The McCormack civic group held a meeting last Thursday at the Plumbers & Gasfitters Local 12 Hall on Massachusetts Avenue, which was attended by about 40 people…  A proposal for a medical marijuana dispensary on Clapp Street was met with some trepidation by community members… Attendees expressed worry about safety, proximity to children, and protecting the increasingly desirable areas of Dorchester… Aidan O’Donovan and his company, Natural Selections, have tested the waters on the neighborhood’s openness to the project over the past week. They hope to lease the property at 50 Clapp St., a free-standing building of about 6,000 square feet, and operate for 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week.”

General Meeting: Monday, September 11

The next CSHCA General Meeting will be on Monday, September 11, 2017 at 7:00 pm. Meeting agenda:

Call to Order
Pledge of Allegiance
Police Report

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1) Update: Introduction of new executive board for 2017-2018 association and our new webmaster
2) 410 Savin Hill Avenue- Neighborhood initiative on City owned green space- David Cotter will provide update and clarify the work of Boston Food Forest Coalition tasked with evaluating usage for space
3) September 14th Community meeting on a Medical Marijuana dispensary to be operated by Natural Selections is seeking space on Clapp Street (off Boston St).  Meeting will be at 6:30 pm at the Plumbers Hall, 1240 Mass Ave
4)Approval for a new Committee: Imagine Savin Hill 2030 to coincide with the City’s initiative

– – – – – –

Speakers:
Tito Jackson: Current City Councilor and Mayoral candidate will share his accomplishments and his agenda for our City if elected the City’s next mayor. Current Mayor Walsh has been extended an invitation to our meeting as well.

Reminder: there will be a preliminary municipal election on Tuesday, September 26th from 7:00 am – 8:00 pm.

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Need a vote to approve our association as an recognized 501(c)(4). Costs to be recognized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as such is $400.

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FYI:
1) Bike & Brew Fest: Tuesday Sept. 13th 7-9:30 pm. West Plaza Peabody Square to showcase continued efforts in the growing cycling community and Dorchester’s brewery scene.
2) UMass Boston Building Authority issued an RFI for redevelopment of the Bayside Property
3) Update on our application for a Savin Hill Main Streets

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Planning Committee:
Chair: Eileen Fenton
1) 89 Savin Hill Ave: 6:00 pm Abutters Meeting on Sept. 21 at property to discuss extending living space to basement
2) 99 Savin Hill Ave – Vote to ask for a deferral for ZBA hearing on 9/13.  Relief is asking to open a Vet
3) 110 Savin Hill Ave / Sydney Street- Vote and presentation from owner James Bakers and RODE Architects for proposal on both a commercial and residential build
4) 233 Hancock St – Informational only – 6pm Meeting on Sept. 18 at First Parish Church to receive feedback on a 36 residential unit with ground floor retail and 22 parking spaces.
5) 92 Auckland Street – Informational only – potential Article 85 / Demolition delay to raze existing structure.

TUESDAY’S PLANNING MEETING AGENDA
(subject to change)
a) 951-957 Dorchester Ave – Sale and Development of 951-957 Dorchester Ave (Current Dorchester Market & Tom English’s Pub)
b) 12 Carson Street – Conversion of single family home to a 3-unit condominium complex with parking.

– – – – – –

Old Business
New Business
50/50 raffle

Meeting Adjourned

Abutters Meeting: 99 – 103 Savin Hill Ave

The Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services, along with the proponents of 99-103 Savin Hill Ave, invites surrounding neighbors of this address to a meeting to discuss a proposal to change the occupancy to “Veterinary Clinic.”

Where:            On-Site, 99-103 Savin Hill Ave
When:             Wednesday, September 6th
Time:              6:00 pm

Please direct any questions or concerns to:

David Cotter
Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services
Phone: 617-635-4819

Abutters Meeting: 89 Savin Hill Ave

The Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services, along with the proponents of 89 Savin Hill Ave, invites surrounding neighbors of this address to a meeting to discuss a proposal to extend living space into the basement. Meeting time and location:

Where:            On-Site, 89 Savin Hill Ave
When:             Wednesday, September 6th
Time:              6:30 pm

Please direct any questions or concerns to:

David Cotter
Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services
Phone: 617-635-4819

Beantown Jazz Festival

View of Columbus Avenue during the 2016 Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival

Boston’s biggest block party, the 2017 Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival will be held on Saturday, September 30, 2017 on Columbus Avenue, west of Massachusetts Avenue, for six blocks to Burke Street.

This free, annual, outdoor public concert delights music lovers and features world-class music on three stages including jazz, Latin, blues, funk, and groove performances. The festival is held every year on the last Saturday of September.

To learn more and browse the schedule of performers, visit the Beantown Jazz Festival website.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh (right) and Berklee President Roger H. Brown (left) welcomed attendees at the 2016 Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival.

Problem/Target Properties in Columbia-Savin Hill

The Columbia Savin Hill Civic Association (CSHCA) looks for properties in our neighborhood that are unsafe, unattractive, under-utilized, or has problems in other ways. We ask you to help us identify such properties and, if you’re willing, help us deal with them.

Please join us to help develop strategies to address each problem property or send an e-mail that identifies properties you’re not happy about. Address the e-mail to our Planning Committee chair, Eileen Fenton.

There are two major reasons to do this. The first reason is, simply, that we want to live in a quality neighborhood. While the vast numbers of parcels in the CSHCA area are nice, we do have some problem properties. We believe that the civic association can help improve these.

The second reason is that there are resources out there that could help if property owners were aware of them. The City of Boston has programs to help both home owners and business owners. Very often, many owners know nothing about them.

Additionally, the Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation (DBEDC), a non-profit development company started by CSHCA members in 1978, offers both grants and loans to eligible residents. The grants range from $15,000 for a single family to $30,000 for a three family. These grants (that means free money!) are restricted to homeowners with household incomes less than $62,000. DBEDC has below market rate loans for higher income households and businesses. Again, most property owners don’t know about these resources.

The Planning Committee does not intend to be nasty, aggressive or strident in dealing with property owners. Our intention is to help property owners access resources necessary to improve their properties. Having the civic association actively supporting the property owner will help the owner. An owner that improves his/her property helps the neighborhood.

Please send us your problem sites and consider joining the committee to work on them.

Save Money Shopping For Groceries!

Fair Foods: Two-Dollar-A-Bag

Fair Foods operates the Two-Dollar-A-Bag program, which distributes food at more than 20 sites — churches and schools — around Boston. Residents can buy as 12-pound bag of seasonal, mixed produce, ranging from potatoes and organic bananas to fresh spinach and mangoes, for $2. The Two-Dollar-A-Bag program is located every Friday from 3:30 – 5:30 pm at the First Parish Dorchester Church (next to Mather School).

For details and other locations, visit the Fair Food site.

2017 Dorchester Beach Festival

Mark you calendar! The 2017 Dorchester beach Festival will be held at Malibu Beach in Savin Hill on Saturday, August 26. The event is free.

Activities for children include arts and crafts, face painting, games, and more. Children’s activities start at 5:30 pm. At 7:30 pm the film “Jaws” will be shown. See the poster below for details and list of event sponsors.

Bring a blanket, picnic, chairs. Enjoy an end-of-the-summer event with your friends, family, and neighbors at the beach!

Image of flyer for the 2017 Dorchester Beach Festival

Event flyer. 2017 Dorchester Beach Festival

Honeycomb Cafe Is Open!

Image of menu at Honeycomb Cafe. August 8, 2017

The Honeycomb Cafe is open! Located on Savin Hill Avenue in the former site of the Savin Scoop ice cream store, this new restaurant offers a variety of coffees, teas, breakfast items, and sandwiches with fast, friendly service.

The food is delicious. I had the O-T-B BLT sandwich. Tasty! Food components are sourced from local farms and partners. The menu (items may vary) also contains gluten-free options.

Be sure to visit soon!

Local farms and partners. Interior image of Honeycomb Cafe.

54 Pleasant Street Development Project: Deadline For Comments Is August 11

Image of proposed development at 54 Pleasant Street

The last neighborhood meeting about the 54 Pleasant Street development project was held on August 1st. According to the Dorchester Reporter:

“The development team offered two stark choices… saying the neighbors could get on board with a well-designed set of 17 condominium units or be left with a blocky set of nine rental units with above-ground parking. At a well-attended meeting hosted by the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA), neighbors expressed their discontent with the scope of the development and potential impacts on traffic and safety in the area…”

The proposed new condominium building would replace the existing Scally & Trayers Funeral Home at 54 Pleasant Street. Also:

“Attendees asked for alternatives to the underground parking in trade for a smaller unit count. Eileen Boyle of the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association proposed nine units, but over a floor of above-ground parking to maintain the building’s shape… Sonia Kaszuba, who lives on Pearl Street, started a neighborhood petition to get the units reduced. In conversations with abutters, some were vehemently opposed to anything above six units, with others okay with a dozen. They split the difference and have been asking for nine.”

“[BPDA project manager John] Campbell dismissed the idea of the petition, which had gathered 85 signatories by Aug. 1. “Petitions don’t count for anything at all,” he said, asking instead that people submit comments to him via website, email, or mail. A public comment period on the proposal is open until Aug. 11…”

Residents and the BPDA clashed about zoning because the proposed development:

“… has a floor area ratio of 1.53, which [Pearl Street resident Mel] Parker pointed out is more than three times the ratio allowed by zoning… The higher the ratio, the more dense the development… BPDA project manager John Campbell, who was moderating the meeting, quickly reacted to Parker’s statements. “Do you realize how outdated that is?” he asked. “You’re talking about a 50-year-old zoning code… the zoning code is being changed neighborhood by neighborhood, and that’s what the Zoning Board of Appeals is for…”

Reportedly, several residents were shocked by that response, since current zoning law is the law.

Interested residents can view preliminary project documents and submit comments at the BPDA site, and join the 54 Pleasant Street Abutters group on Facebook.