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Local Association ‘Disappointed’ with S. Huntington Guidelines

The association is dismayed with in certain aspects of Boston Redevelopment Authority’s guidelines for the area, specifically regarding the inclusion of areas where buildings could be built higher than regulation.

After months of planning, the Boston Redevelopment Authority released guidelines informed by neighbors about the future of the South Huntington Corridor at the end of March. Not two weeks later, a prominent Jamaica Plain neighborhood group publicly voiced its disappointment in them.

The Jamaica Pond Association said in a letter from chair Jack Fay Jr. to the BRA April 5, the association is “dismayed in a few specific but critical aspects of the current draft product.”

The association takes umbrage with four “special height zone” areas along the corridor – which runs the length of South Huntington Avenue in Jamaica Plain. In these areas, the BRA recommends that buildings could be built higher than what is currently known as regulation.

The association letter argues that the guidelines fall short of explaining a justification for the allowed special height zones. The zones would be located at four areas along the corridor where sight lines end.

“The JPA believes there is no reasonable basis to include special height zone exceptions especially as the basis on where views terminate and streets converge, and therefore should not  be used as the basis to determine this,” according to the letter.

For a building to qualify to exceed the requirements, that building would have to provide “exceptional public benefits” such as affordable housing units above the city-mandated 15 percent, according to the guidelines.

Bob April 08, 2013 at 12:49 PM
I'm glad the JPA thinks their concerns are the only ones that matter. Review the meeting notes from the 2nd corridor meeting, there were plenty of residents that were calling for a "community center" at the South Huntington Heathe Street intersection. The height and increased density is needed in the city. I applaud the BRA for standing strong and truly setting forth a corridor study that sets a vision for the future and not concentrated on the past. Boston is changing and growing, we have to embrace the change and welcome others into our community.
Louise Johnson April 08, 2013 at 02:22 PM
The height and density proposals by the BRA are wrong and not in keeping with the neighborhood. I do not support the BRA's plans for this neighborhood. These huge towers will destroy any feeling of community that exists in this area. The luxury, studio apartments that are being proposed are not going to build Jamaica Plain in a positive way. This area will become a transient no man's land, cut off from the rest of the community.
Bob April 08, 2013 at 03:04 PM
Louise, the height and density is already there. Both the VA hospital and the Back of the Hill apartments fall into the corridor study, with heights of at least ten stories. You are asking the BRA to present something that is below what currently exists on the street. The community asked the BRA to study the corridor and present a vision for the future. In a city with obscene rents and a complete lack of housing, the BRA is doing the only thing it can to reduce these pressures, not to mention presenting the actuality of the corridor. To suggest that density and height could be limited would be a farce that the BRA knows they cannot keep. How is the city going to meet the mayor's 30,000 unit goal if they limit density and size to what is there already across the city?
Mike F April 08, 2013 at 03:53 PM
I have to agree with Bob. The BRA did a good job with the study. It would be nice for that South Huntington Heathe Street intersection to feel more like Fenway. We could get some more walking traffic and really make a nice intersection. Nice vision BRA, this is turning out better than expected!
Art April 08, 2013 at 04:45 PM
I am sick of this Day guy. Stop calling every letter this man writes "local association." He has two groups, both of which he apparently represents JPNC and JPA, to make himself appear larger than he is. He apparently is the only person with any issue and is causing trouble. I live very close to South Huntington in Mission Hill and the projected project and guidelines would be very good for that street. It's currently full of students and needs development and investment.
Janice April 08, 2013 at 05:01 PM
This Day guy is a joke. The guys building 105a are as local as you can get for business men. They have been working out of Huntington avenue for more than 25 years. they came from Hyde Park. He claims to represent the community but is just puffing his chest. This man makes me sick.
Jack Fay April 08, 2013 at 06:52 PM
Let me take this opportunity to correct a misunderstanding you have. Ben Day chairs the JP Neighborhood Council. Jack Fay chairs the Jamaica Pond Association -two different people and two different groups/neighborhood associations. The JPA's comments were submitted on behalf of its Board of Directors and reviewed prior to being sent to the BRA.
Janice April 08, 2013 at 07:31 PM
Jack, I must apologize I made the same mistake also. You must admit though, your concerns are not the only one that matters. The BRA did a very good job listening to many view points, one of which is yours. It is very childish of you to think only your concerns should be met.
Scott April 09, 2013 at 01:34 AM
What's the day rate on being a shill for the developers?
Diane B April 10, 2013 at 06:34 PM
I oppose the inclusions of special height zones on South Huntington Ave in the BRA‘s South Huntington Ave Guidelines. It defeats the purpose of the guidelines. Pedestrians should have the highest priority mode of transportation, followed by cyclist, public transportation & finally motor vehicles. I oppose “3 car train operation” for the E line, while the E line trolley is mixed with traffic.
Kate April 11, 2013 at 03:33 AM
I think/hope these will have a positive impact on this neglected part of JP. It's a wasteland for shops and cafes in immediate walking distance - I currently have to walk 15-20 minutes to get to a coffee shop or restaurant, much less any local stores or boutiques. With more population density will come more businesses (small! local! everyone's happy!). I'm not tremendously excited to see how on-street parking will change, but maybe enough stores will move in that I can finally dump the car altogether!
Scott April 11, 2013 at 11:51 AM
Kate - No cafes or shops are opening there. Just two apartment buildings, 500+ units, 1000+ cars. Good luck finding a parking spot in a two mile radius. Traffic is going to be insane. You think the 39 bus is crowded and slow now, just wait. Watch, Blob and the developers sock puppets will be on here insulting me in the next few hours. Don't you nosebleeds have real jobs?
Bob April 11, 2013 at 08:02 PM
Scott I believe the 105 site includes two commercial spaces - one for a local coffeshop/restaurant and on for a small market.
Scott April 12, 2013 at 11:40 AM
That was never mentioned at the zoning meetings I went to. But you would know, you're their mouthpiece.
Bob April 12, 2013 at 11:45 AM
Scott, I am just happy someone is doing something in my neighborhood. Read the bra submission, that's what I did.
Scott April 12, 2013 at 01:17 PM
They're really working you hard, reading and shilling.
Scott April 12, 2013 at 01:38 PM
The same zero credibility BRA submission that says this disaster is going to have "no impact on traffic or parking."
Bob April 12, 2013 at 03:09 PM
The same one you apparently didnt read and are an expert on...
Scott April 12, 2013 at 03:48 PM
Did your boss tell you post that?
Bob April 12, 2013 at 06:20 PM
Well it looks like you have conceded not knowing anything about the current corridor study or plans for South Huntington Scott. I have no affiliations to either developer or the bra. I am however informed, which I suggest you should try doing. Name calling and finger pointing is of no service to the community in this time of change.
Bob April 12, 2013 at 06:25 PM
And as I have pointed out before, I was not for tearing down the beautiful home for little wanderers. And I am not for tearing down the Goddard house either if that would ever come about. But the way you are posing arguments is not going to help us come together for those causes.

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