Zoning Board: 54 Pleasant Street Development To Proceed

According to yesterday’s Dorchester Reporter:

“The Zoning Board of Appeal approved a controversial housing project at the corner of Pleasant and Pearl streets this week, giving the go-ahead to the construction of a 17-condominium building at the site of the Scally & Trayers funeral home.

Giuseppe Arcari’s plans for 54 Pleasant Street has split residents and abutters in the area over the past year. In September, the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) approved the project, which will put a three-story building with the 17 condos and 20 underground parking spaces on the 14,688-square-foot parcel.

At a Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association’s planning meeting, interactions were tense between civic members who had opposed the project and City Councillor Frank Baker, who joined the mayor’s office and Councillors Michelle Wu and Michael Flaherty in supporting the proposal…”

Artist rendering of approved 54 Pleasant Street

Developers Of Former Boston Globe Site Submit Letter To City

According to the Dorchester Reporter:

“Developers of the former Boston Globe headquarters have submitted a letter of intent to the city’s planning agency, announcing plans for a multi-purpose building that would include area improvements to better connectivity between Columbia Point and Savin Hill.

Nordblom Co., a Burlington-based development company in the process of purchasing the 135 Morrissey Blvd. site, outlined potential uses for the 16.6-acre parcel earlier this fall. “It is expected that the building will be used for light industrial, creative office, technology, life sciences, small retail, food and beverage, and other commercial uses,” Nordblom wrote in the letter.”

New CSHCA Committee Forming

The Columbia Savin Hill Civic Association is forming a new committee to address our desires for potential development sites. While our current Planning Committee responds to individual development proposals, the new committee will help create the community’s interests in sites that have obvious development potential. The goal is to help inform developers what uses would receive  community support.
Some examples include Morrissey Blvd, Mt Vernon St, Glovers Corner and several sites on Dorchester Ave. You may have other sites to offer.
The new committee will meet on Wednesday, November 15th, at 7:00 pm at the basement of Savin Bar and Kitchen on Savin Hill Ave. You are invited (and invite anyone you feel appropriate).

— Don Walsh

12 Carson Street Abutters Meeting Rescheduled

The 12 Carson Street formal abutters meeting has been moved to Monday, October 30 at 6:00 pm. Residents living within 300 feet of the property should receive flyers about the upcoming meeting, according to an e-mail from David Cotter, the Dorchester Liaison in the Boston Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services (City Hall Room 805; phone 617-635-4819).

The proposed development is to convert an existing single-family home into two or three units.

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

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.

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.

Next Meeting: 54 Pleasant Street Development Project

The next neighborhood meeting about the proposed 17-unit condo development project at 54 Pleasant Street will be:

Date: Tuesday, August 1
Time: 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Location: McLaughlin Center / Boys & Girls Club, 1135 Dorchester Ave

A prior neighborhood meeting was held on July 22. To learn more about this project, attend this upcoming meeting. Spread the word or join the 54 Pleasant Street Abutters group on Facebook.

Morrissey Blvd Redesign: Deadline For Feedback Is Tomorrow

Scope. Morrissey Blvd Redesign Plans. DCR. June 27.

Morrissey Boulevard Design Project Scope

Reminder: Wednesday, July 18, is the deadline to submit feedback about the redesign plans for the Morrissey Boulevard Reconstruction project. According to the Dorchester Reporter on June 29:

“What we’re trying to do throughout the project is maintain capacity where it’s needed, at the intersections… which are typically the most constrained and challenging locations,” said Gary McNaughton, a traffic engineer with McMahon Associates. “And then in the areas where we can repurpose some of that pavement over to provide better accommodations for bikes and [pedestrians] and better landscaping features, we’re making sure we’re able to do that.”

Two of the project’s main design goals are to elevate the roadway to minimize coastal flooding, and to better connect neighborhoods to the park and shore.

The last public meeting was held June 27, when an updated 25-percent design plan was presented. According to the timeline presented in June, the DCR expects to present 75-percent design plans at an upcoming meeting in October. The DCR expects to present final design plans at a public meeting in January 2018, followed by a pre-construction final meeting in the fall of 2018.

The June 27 redesign presentation is available online (Adobe PDF). Residents can submit feedback online at the DCR website.