Monthly Meeting Minutes – May 28, 2019

  • Welcome & Announcements
  • Office of Neighborhood Services Updates – Lina Tramelli
    • Mayor’s Coffe Hours – June 12th @ 9:30 Noyes Park
  • Greenway Gove St Crossing Project – Stephanie Weyer
    • Friday June 14th and 15th installation – volunteers needed
    • Seasonal and popup components
    • Seating, tables, plantings, etc
    • Pop-up: similar to Roslindale
    • Conrail blue
    • Q: Can you do anything with historic ships? A: Yes, we’re trying.
    • Historically, there used to be a walking bridge across this area. Eventually the city took it down because it was dangerous but without a replacement plan.
    • Q: How many volunteers do you need? A: TBD. Get the contact from Nat
    • TODO: Jack to write up brief history of the crossing
    • Q: What about runway lights? A: Maybe flourescenet paint
    • Q: What about parking? A: It is temporary
    • Q: Can we get a stop sign? A: Good idea
    • Q: Can we show historic names? They could trace back to the names of the ships. A: Please contact me (Stephanie)
    • Q: When does short term end? A: End of summer.
  • Project Updates – Nat Taylor
    • Presentation link: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1Zh2adbYsKxeJU6ls8CRpA6SPJ21O2Vgt-FtUXEzqhmk/edit#slide=id.g5a2de58590_0_54
    • GSCA: Website, Facebook, Email
    • PLAN: East Boston – Affordable Housing
      • BPDA info session to learn more about programs that help create and preserve affordable housing as well as stabilize families facing displacement.
      • June 4, 2019 6:00 – 7:30 PM East Boston Social Center
      • June 18, 2019 6:00 – 7:30 PM East Boston Social Center
    • Love Your Block 2019
      • Street cleanup & shrub planting
      • Thanks to all the volunteers!
    • 175 Orleans Street (Loftel)
    • 202 Maverick St
      • May 1 – The plans for this project have been signed off on by [BPDA] Urban Design team. Everything is consistent with what was approved.
    • 28-30 Geneva Street BPDA Board Approved
      • Approved by BPDA Board on May 16 5-story residential building with 26 condominium units and 19 off-street parking spaces.
    • 282-308 Bremen Street
      • 165 Units
      • Public meeting 06/05/2019 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM BCYF 112 Paris Street
      • Public comments due June 10, 2019 via email at Raul.Duverge@Boston.gov
    • Suffolk Downs Minority Businesses Owners Meeting
      • June 4th at 2pm Suffolk Downs Clubhouse
    • Ward 1 Democrats Meet & Greet
      • June 12th at the Orient Heights Yacht Club 6-8
  • Project Presentations:
    • 69 Lubec Street A proposal to erect a 5 story building with 8 residential units and 8 parking
      spaces. 2nd Presentation & VOTE – Attorney Matt Eckel
    • Drago represnting George Corris, local developer
    • Tried to make changes based on feedback from abutters and GSCA
    • Change from 8 to 7 units and spaces
    • 5th floor is now setback 15-feet in front and 14-feet rear
    • Height: 47’6″
    • Timeline: 2/7 ISD filing, 3/18 refusal letter, 4/22 first presentation, 5/28 second presentation
    • Held meetings with direct abutters; pulled away from Delibero
    • variances: rear 12/30; lot area per dwelling: 358/1000, FAR: 2.2/1.0; height: 47’ feet; rear yard: 12’; parking: 1/1.75
    • Summary of changes:
      • reduces from 8 to 7 units
      • lowered building hieght
      • reduced FAR from 2.52 to 2.2
      • front pullback
      • rear pullback
      • others
    • Q: What is the balcony depth? 4’ and that’s where the setback begins
    • Vote: Yes: 1 No: 5

Meeting adjourned at 7:50pm
Please submit revisions or comments to secretary@govestreet.org

Meeting Minutes – April 22, 2019

Welcome & Updates

  1. Welcome
    1. Theresa is temporarily stepping down; Jack is interim chair
    2. Welcome to representatives from our elected officials:
      1. Steve Gingras from Representative Madaro’s Office
      2. Gabriela Coletta from City Council Edwards’ Office
      3. Patricia Jehlen from Senator Boncore’s Office
  2. Boston Police Updates – Sargent Martin & Officer Simmons
    1. Crime statistics are pretty low.  Approaching 5th month and down 27%.  5 year downwards trend.
    2. Central Square shoplifting is up.  Commercial robberies (latenight) that spiked early haven’t occurred since early March.
    3. Department requests no specific help at this time.
    4. Please report noise problems with a follow up call.
    5. Down approximately 50% over the last decade.
    6. Peace Walks start on 4/22 (4th Thursdays) from the station at 6pm
    7. Q: Can anything be done about car scratching? A: These are difficult but if you have surveillance footage it helps.
    8. Q: Will surveillance cameras be installed? A: We are not aware of any plans, but it benefits us a lot.  Ask developers to install cameras.
    9. Q: Who installed the surveillance trailers? A: We’re not aware; they might be Massport.
  3. Office of Neighborhood Services – Lina Tramelli
    1. Love Your Block – May 11th – More details at https://www.boston.gov/civic-engagement/love-your-block
    2. East Boston Neighborhood Updates Newsletter – Subscribe at https://newsletters.boston.gov/subscribe?category=My%20Neighborhood
    3. Neighborhood Coffee Hour East Boston – June 12 9:30a – 10:30a at Noyes Park, 86 Boardman Street Neighborhood Coffee Hours give residents a unique opportunity to speak directly with Mayor Walsh and staff from City departments.  https://www.boston.gov/calendar/neighborhood-coffee-hour-east-boston
  4. Board Updates
    1. New website and email system
    2. Upcoming events
      1. Keep an eye out for the next Neighborhood clean up (We held one last Sunday – 7 folks, 1hr, 10 bags incl 3 tires etc)
      2. Piers Park 2 Design Meeting – Apr 23 @ 6:30
      3. A Future with More Ferries: Business Plan Release + Panel Discussion – Apr 23 @ 5:30
      4. PLAN East Boston: Gove Street Walking Tour – Saturday 4/27 10-12 McKay school (Jay Ruggiero, BPDA)
    3. Project updates
      1. Maverick Shipyard (202 Maverick) – driveway easement on 3/19; final plans approved by BPDA; now applying for building permit; 30-45 days until construction begins if all goes well
      2. 205 Maverick – Construction could begin in as soon as 90 days, starting with the grocery store and laundromat
        1. Q: What has changed? A: It is still a 5-story building and stores are not set back.
        2. Q: What are GSCA votes? A: They are just suggestions to the ZBA
      3. Comments for ZBA on Mt Carmel project (Church building zoning appeal) due prior to hearing on 4/30 at 10:30AM

Projects

  1. 69 Lubec Street A proposal to erect a 5 story building with 8 residential units and 8 parking spaces.  1 st Presentation/NO VOTE – Attorney Jeff Drago
    1. Matt Eckel, with Drago with George and Paul from ownership and development team; abutters have already shared thoughts Epsilon Partners LLC
    2. Timeline: 2019-02-07 filing; 2019-xx-xx rejection; 2019-04-22 first public meeting
    3. Zoning: seeking several variances – request (required)
      1. Area per dwelling unit: 310 (1000)
      2. FAR: 2.52 (1.0)
      3. Min Side yard: 0/0 (2.5)
      4. Min Rear Yard: 12 (30)
      5. Parking: 1 (1.75)
    4. 8 unit similar units of about 1,000sqft
    5. Q & A
      1. Q: What are the attachment requirements? A: It requires a variance but it is relatively common.  67 Lubec owner is in favor, the other side is not.
      2. Q: Why do you have to go 5-stories?  Why is there a bump out? A: There are 4 stories and anchored with larger buildings like the Porter Lofts.  We like the bumpout for aesthetics and land area.
      3. I have an issue with 5 stories because most of the nearby buildings are 4 stories.
      4. Q: Will the facades match? A:  We can work with the developer.
      5. Q: Can you get more rear setback? A: We can work on it.
      6. Q: Why does the new attachment have to be 5 stories towering above a 3 story, towering, with no setback so there is no backyard.  A: I understand the fit story. Yes it will be 5-stories. There won’t be sidelot privacy issues because windows aren’t allowed.
      7. Q: Will the garage need a curb cut? A: Yes, we will petition for the 10-foot curb cut which is allowed.
      8. There are no popouts.  There are 5-stories.
      9. Q: How does attaching work? A: A party-wall would need to be constructed, but permission is not required.  It requires zoning appeal first, then abutters can do a court appeal.
      10. Q: Will it shade other properties? A: Yes.
      11. Q: Are these condos? A: Yes.

Meeting adjourned at 7:36pm
Please submit revisions or comments to secretary@govestreet.org

Monthly Meeting Minutes – February 25

  • Office Neighborhood Services Updates – Jesus Garcia
  • Boston Police Updates – Sargent Martin & Officer Simmons
    • Homicide outside of Medalo bar; warrants issued; no arrest
    • Late night 12a-5a 6x commercial breakins in 30 days (Jevellis, Little Asia); request survelience video and to report loud noises at night; group of 2-4 males; smash and grab
    • Postings by White Supremecists; reported by community; 3 individuals arraigned
    • Part 1 crimes are still down year-over-year (82 down from 102); 2018 ended high with robberies and they are down now; car breaks are down; larceny/shoplisting up
    • 3rd safest Neighborhood in the city (behind Charlestown & West Roxbury)
    • Seeking 5-year residents to become cadets
    • Please contact us any time
    • Q: How many robberies? A: 4 total; 1 arrest; 2 of 3 were “minor”
    • Q: Any reports of trouble on the Greenway? A: No
    • Q: We have speeders starting 6AM on Porter Street A: We’ll give the info to our traffic enforcer
  • Eastie for Eastie Project
    • A discussion on how we as a community respond to flooding. There will be a survey for attendees to complete
    • Colleen, Kelly, Mario and Kanan
    • Q: Is NOAA involved? A: No, its NOAH Youth
    • Q: Where can you get flood insurance? A: Private insurance is allowed, but its all backed by FEMA.
    • Q: What is the website? A: http://eastieforeastie.com
  • Friends of the Greenway
    • Updates on the Greenway design plan for the Gove Street crossing within the East Boston Greenway.
    • Michelle Moon & Kannan T.
    • Paper Survey (also on http://eastbostongreenway.com)
    • Summary of Recent events (Art installation, caboose lighting, Stir a Memory)
    • Working on a priority plan. They want to know what people want.
    • Q: Will Massport take care of emergency phone boxes? A: Not sure
    • Q: What is the process for event planning? A: The Facebook page lots of photos from last summer’s events, like music, food and dancing, especially in the Gove Street area.
  • 24 Geneva Street
    • A proposal to erect 6 unit residential dwelling. 1 st Presentation/NO VOTE – Attorney Richard Lynds
    • Site Owner: Resident Nick Delebra (also contractor and builder)
    • Overview: 2400 sq ft vacant lot; 6 units; 6 parking spots; two 2 bed & 4 1bed; condo units
    • Looking at improvements to the street with the city and abutters
    • No variance: min lot size, use, min lot width, front yard, parking (shallow lot)
    • Variance for: add lot area, side yard, rear yard, FAR, height, open space
    • IPOD is in as of October 18, 2018
    • Process: Outreach – Feb; Abutters – March; Vote – Apr; ZBA Hearing – May; BPDA – June 2019; Permit – Summer; Construction – Fall 2019
    • Q: How can we coordinate multiple projects to avoid congestion? A: Next project should be the corner. BTD has to approve permits and should coordinate.
    • Q: Will there be a shadow study? A: Yes, we can look at that.
    • Q: Could you point out the entrances and exits on the first floor? A: There are stairs that will be up to the building code.
    • Q: How far back does the building go? A: 14-foot setback.
    • Q: What about the condition of the street? A: It is designated a “private way” with a public right of travel. At some point the Public Improvement Commision will have to address it. The largest abutter is Massport which isn’t subject to Betterment Assement.
    • Q: Is there a center sewer line? A: The exist service is up to city standards to allow connection for other contractors.
  • 273-279 Maverick Street
    • A proposal to erect a 5 story mixed use building with 41 dwelling units with space for 1 retail establishment. 1 st Presentation/NO VOTE – Attorney Richard Lynds
    • Subject to Article 80E-2 so it requires approval by the BPDA (based on units and size.)
    • Overview: combine lots to 12,400sqft. Mixed use 1 retail, 2 artst, 38 residental. Blend the street scape with the project next door at the Pickle Factor; At least 22 parking spaces; Condo units
    • Garage access is on the side. 10-foot setback with pedestrian garden; front facade is setback 25-feet from the street.
    • Parking variance is 22 from allowed 72
    • Subject to IPOD
    • Artists space would be no cost to the community.
    • Process overview: GCSA – Feb 2019; Abutters – Spring 2019; Vote – Spring 2019; Article 80 – Spring 2019; wait for 287 to finish.
    • Q: There is only 1x 4-story building; everything else is 3-story wooden structure also on Everett. A: 287 Maverick is 5-stories; several 4-stories are approved; Pickle Factory is 5-stories; Industrial and commericial sites are allowed to continue because they are grandfathered from before zoning. Trade off with change of use is significant investment.
    • Q: Is the artists space the same as retail? A: No, they are separate. No tenant yet but there is 1,400sqft for a small cafe or retail.
    • Q: What about parking? A: We can displace the arists space.
    • Q: Is the retail mandatory? A: The city likes mixed use for areas that don’t have a lot.
    • Q: Is the vision that people will want this (density with limited parking) in the future? A: We can envision fine wine/cheese/beer for neighbors.
    • Q: Is there an IDP requirement? A: Yes, it is a minimum of 13% so 5-units would be income restricted and it will have the artists’ space.
    • Q: Are there environmental features? A: Modern green practices like ventilations and a minimum level of energy efficiency. It will manage new groundwater better than other constructions. We may look at other uses for the roof, like solar. Bike racks are included. We will look at EV-charging.
    • Q: What is the street frontage setback? A: 25-feet for the second story. There is a setback plaza between 287 Maverick.
    • Q: Can Maverick Street be two ways? A: No. We will have to make a committment to transportation mitigation fund.
    • Q: What is the construction timeline? Will it overlap with 287 A: 12-14 months and it will not overlap with 287 schedule.
  • Update on Loftel Project (155 Porter Street) – Attorney Richard Lynds
    • Project plan is unchanged
    • Project requires federal and state tax credits; historic preservation is from the owners.
    • Antenna move is approved
    • Q: Haven’t we waited long enough for it to be secured? A: I have asked them to wrap the building. The city is on them regularly.
    • Q: What is the schedule? A: They agreed on the antenna move 2 weeks ago, which was a requirement of the BPDA approval, so now they can get that.
    • Q: Who owns what? A: They own all of the parking lots. Janson owns 60 hotels.

Monthly Meeting Minutes – July 23

WELCOME & PROJECT UPDATES:

  • 202 MAVERICK STREET:
    • Currently Demolished
    • Granted reprieve for one year extension for zoning — They can start construction as soon as tomorrow.
      • Jesus (Jose) will find out why there was repreve.
        • Timeframes requested from Jesus (Jose).
      • We are not sure.
    • CARMEL:
      • Jack spoke to the fellow who represents the owner. They mentioned they are in the redesign phase and Jack recommended to hurry up – due to tariffs.
      • No BPDA presentation has been submitted.
      • Only submitted the letter of intent to BPDA.
      • Proposed 115 units
    • EAST BOSTON NEIGHBORHOOD HEALTH CENTER:
      • May sell parking lots – 5 MAJOR Blocks of Development.
      • [GET STREETS INVOLVED]
      • CDC and NOAH are trying to get involved:
        • Not Condos
        • Market Rate
        • All Rentals
      • Another For-profit organization that seems to be involved in the development as well.
      • Whoever picks up the project → there will be parking spaces that will be created due to need.

BOSTON POLICE UPDATES:

  • Statistics:
    • 10% up compared to last year (37 total incidents)
      • Burglary; Homicide, serious crimes
    • 411 – priority 1 calls
    • Any questions or concerns to feel free to reach out to the police department. Encourage to reachout at the moment that question or concern comes up. Encourages not to wait until next months meeting to bring up any concerns.
  • COM
    • 381 – Part 1 Crimes for the CY.
  • Summer Flashlight Walk
    • August 16 @ 6 PM
  • National Night Out
    • August 4 @ 2:30 PM
    • 3:15 PM with Mayor
    • Ice cream truck for children
    • Awards will be presented
  • Peace Walk
    • Every Thursday, July 26 — Until September
    • 6 PM @ Police Station
  • Capitan – Encourages people to come to the police station to speak about
  • Police Commissioner, William Evans is retiring from the force to join Boston College
  • New Police Commissioner –
  • Biggest Issues:
    • New Development
    • College Students
      • Suffolk University and Emerson College
    • Airbnb:
      • Lubec Street:
        • Breaking locks to leave packages and exchange keys.
        • No way to capture the influx of the # of Airbnb and the state and city have not be able to manage and regulate.

GSCA PROJECT TRACKER, WEBSITE:

  • Project tracker and website will be available soon

CITY OF BOSTON NEIGHBORHOOD SERVICES UPDATES:

  • Jesus (Jose):
    • August 13th – Walk Tour: for the updates on the Ners Park
    • Civic Engagements:
      • For nominations:
        • Many categories
        • City of Boston – East Boston Newsletter subscribers.

PROJECT PRESENTATIONS:

197-207 MAVERICK STREET:

  1. “Community Based Development without Displacement”
  2. 7 affordable units:
    1. AMI% Breakdown
  3. Both existing businesses will have new upgraded spaces, if they would like to stay.
  4. June 25th – 1st presentation
  5. Small Project Review w/ BPDA – June 28
  6. July 13thing – Zoning
  7. Tuesday, July 31st for [Meeting]
  8. No Hearings are currently scheduled. → Moving forward with Project.
  9. Neighborhood Traffic Patterns:
    1. Flipped the building so that the traffic would filter through from Frankfort not Maverick.
  10. Matching the Neighborhood Characteristics
    1. Use a brick material
  11. Stepping Back to 5 floors — did not reduce the stories from the initial project.
    1. Match the scale.
    2. 3 levels of Set-Back on the property.
      1. Retail (3.5 ft off the property line);
      2. above the 40ft (40ft matches the existing structure of neighborhood building height — brick);
      3. then on the top (5 ft set back)
    3. Entry Courtyard:
      1. Offset the main entry door to create a larger usable space in the Courtyard.
    4. Green Space in the backyard
    5. Zoning Board for appeals on list of variance that have not change

Questions:

  1. Parking – Currently no meters;
    1. Series of curb cuts – Provide more on-street parking
      1. On-street parking: in conversations w/BPD about 10-15 mins parking/resident only parking.
        1. Market closes 11:30 PM
      2. Loading trucks for supplies, where are they going to deliver?
        1. For the large opening on the delivery truck – 30 ft (length)
        2. Large Commercial Trucks — These trucks need to be one their property when doing delivery not to disrupt
  2. Size of the building is too large. 5 Stories — Jane requested to Lower the building.
    1. Owner proposed to lower the number of floors of brick.
    2. The Lawyer mentioned that the “reason” for 5 stories is because they want to maintain the commercial building
  3. 55 units (700 sqft). Resident — requested for more than 7 units be made for affordable.
    1. 12 Studio apartments
    2. — “We are trying” the owner said.
    3. 34 proposed parking spaces
  4. Owner said they want to keep as a rental project
    1. Market:
      1. People who lives in East Boston: 21 – 25 years old who are moving into the neighborhood
      2. They are trying to keep the rents low
    2. Renegotiate the terms of lease with the owner, Jay, of the existing Market that is not going anywhere “for a long time”
  5. Laundry – Micheal is the existing manager of the Laundromat, there is a potential that he may not stay and Jay, the owner of the market may take over the laundromat.
  6. Building is too high, we won’t be able to see Boston from my House.

 175 ORLEANS STREET (THE BOUTIQUE – HOTEL):

  1. Building built around 1920’s.
  2. Submitted final design under review with the BPDA w/in the last 10-12 days
  3. City of Boston — Apply for Building Permit
  4. In the process of getting a building permit.
  5. Designs:
    1. Added windows Glass block windows from 1920’s. — Original Design.
    2. The owner would email project
  6. Cell towers are trying to work with the cell towers company to move then further on top of the building.
    1. BPDA have adopted new cell tower regulations that not everything will be approved.
    2. Originally the cell towers were built within the building.
    3. Additional towers were added within the last 90 days.
    4. American Towers — third party is in between owner.
  7. Door was open last week
  8. A resident saw a crane there.
  9. No documentation for the towers back in the 1990’s — Original. — Owner is requesting for help to find these original documents.
  10. Jose (Jesus) to check out the permitting process for the
  11. WIll be migrating into a national hotel company:
    1. Hilton
    2. Marriott
    3. Intercontinental
  12. Owner says he visits every other week.
  13. The windows are going sealed up to the second floor.
  14. Keeping the driveway on both Porter and Orleans street;
  15. Parking lot would be in and out;
  16. 65 parking spots;
  17. Bakery proposed.
  18. Teshy requested for a presentation.
  19. Safety and Security issues with
  20. Systemic designs have been updated and need to be approved on the design by the building department.
  21. This week there will be progress on the clean up and tighty up the area.
    1. Weeding the parking lot; clean up property.
  22. Landscape to work with direct abutters for design.
  23. State Rep. Adrian Comments:
    1. Eye Sore;
    2. Deeply concerned about the lack of project updates;
  24. Safetly;
    1. Constituents have been reaching out to the State about this property;
    2. Requesting maintain the property as business/property owner
    3. Encouraging neighbors to reach out to the State Rep. about issues with this property.

East Boston Master Plan:

Email comments to: City Councilor Edwards

Second Hearing will be scheduled in the future.