June 2022 Meeting Minutes

June 27, 2022

Recording:

Topic: Gove Street Community Meeting – June 2022
Start Time: Jun 27, 2022 06:26 PM

Meeting Recording:
https://us06web.zoom.us/rec/share/l498u9Ik0GSj4pGr3EtQPTC2TvuAfs1ACxAJGMvSDvy18eGyeYh11y-KM_1v4C_y.VVb958XjN-h0hznJ

Access Passcode: 7MBmcc#j

Notes

Announcements

East Boston Community Soup Kitchen Fundraiser

  • Annual fundraiser – VROCC (Veronica Robles Cultural Center) at 282 Meridian Street, Boston, MA 02128
  • Friday, September 16, 2022 from 6-9 pm
  • https://www.ebkitchen.org/
  • More information, please contact ebcsk.info@gmail.com

Solarize Eastie

135 Bremen St. collecting feedback through BPDA: http://www.bostonplans.org/projects/development-projects/135-bremen-street 

Call for member to join GSCA Board

Community Updates

At-Large City Councilor Julia Mejia

Questions for Councilor Mejia:

  • What are ways you could help to help us reform BPDA?
    • There are still work to be done regarding planning and designing from a community-based perspective. New administration gives hope to 
  • For Eastie, there’s daily construction everywhere. What could happen to ensure we do it correctly?
    • We should put a pause on building and luxury development to ensure we can create a framework for community building
  • From Councilor Mejia’s Chief of Staff:
    • Hi Everyone, Thank you so much for inviting us to join you this evening. My name is Sandra and I am Councilor Mejia’s Chief of Staff. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if there is any way that we can be helpful;. Councilor Mejia’s email is Julia.Mejia@boston.gov and my email is Sandra.Saavedra@boston.gov….. — also follow us on social media: @juliaforboston to keep up with us! Thank you again. 🙂

Police updates

Officer Tommy Domenico

  • Increase of drug activities in the neighborhood
  • A few car breaks: most recently on Bremen St.
  • Traffic crash on Chelsea and Porter St. on 6/19
  • There was a break-in on 124 Gove St.
  • On-going construction on Gove St. due to water and sewer lines

City hall updates

Nathalia Benitez

  • Coffee Hour with Mayor Wu on 7/13 from 9:30-10:30 am at East Boston Stadium
  • Mayor Wu is hosting a block party on City Hall on 6/30 
  • Questions regarding Sumner Tunnel closure
    • Mitigation offered by MassDOT: discount on using Tobin Bridge; greening and beautifying tunnel portals; minimize noise, vibration, dusts, and pests
    • Asks made by elected officials: public transit – free blue line, continue East Boston ferry, adequate blue and silver line, open MassDOT parking lot; minimize congestion; emergency services: coordination with highway operations center and EMS dispatch, outline plan for emergency services when tunnels are closed, fund overnight shift for EMS in East Boston
    • Information:
    • Comments from public:
      • Carlos Munoz: Free Blue Line and ferry service during the project.
      • Bluevelvet: a plan should’ve been in place prior to any closures or last minute needs for our community. the airport traffic is being diverted into our neighborhood
      • Jane O’Reilly: There should be a moratorium on new developments

Presentation

John Smart

99A Cottage Street roof deck

June 2022 Meeting

We plan to host the next meeting on Monday, June 27, 2022 at 6:30 PM

  • Announcements (10 min)
    • East Boston Community Soup Kitchen Fundraiser – Sep. 16, 2022
    • Call for members to join GSCA board
  • Community updates (25 min)
    • BPD update from Sgt. Cintolo
    • East Boston liaison – Nathalia Benitez
      • Sumner Tunnel closure updates and collecting community feedback
    • Councilor Julia Mejia
    • Natasha Perez on EBNHC/Davis project
  • Projects (15 min)
    • VOTE: 99A Cottage St – Roof deck rebuild
  • Next meeting: July 25th (potentially 2 projects up for vote)

Please register in advance to attend the meeting:

https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIuf-ivqzooGtTUcJLzMcyzj1J2Q6wTmQCy

May 2022 Meeting Minutes

Recording:
https://us06web.zoom.us/rec/share/-HJ77ca_E5hhNRLFRfqnqu4eLld-zOFVQg2RN_nKEfBrq1GIn42-AS9HBnUpTVCG.J75qDS1BYe0PFNoW

Access Passcode: hJb+7Dyd

  • Announcements
    • Massport: This 5/26 Thurs 10:30 am – there will be a WWII Memorial – 13 Lovell St.
  • Community updates (20 min)
    • BPD update from Sgt. Cintolo and Tommy Domenico
      • Report of male exposing himself in front of woman and children on Bremen St.; there is a warrant for his arrest
      • On 4/29, there was 115 Gove St. break-in
      • On 5/9, there was a car damage
      • 5/19, Bremen auto-body shock, fist fight
      • Drug OD
      • No major incidents around Greenway and surrounding area
      • Drug unit has been very active, making arrests
      • Commercial break-ins have taken place around overnight hours
      • Catalytic converter thefts are still occurring
      • Parking is a major issue in the area – call 911 and they will come to tag the vehicle
    • Water and sewer pipe replacement happening in neighborhood
      • There has been shaking happening to buildings when they are replacing water and sewer pipe.
        • Readings are normally below the threshold. Currently, they are doing minor replacements, so it shouldn’t be causing shakings. If anything, please contact Victor Pacella and/or Ryan Shea
      • How long will this take place?
        • Timeline updates:
          • Cottage St is expected to go until August, but may be shifted to September due to permitted work hours
            • May want to shift up the time start at 7am, pending BPD approval and community feedback
          • Orlean St. is aiming to complete by Nov. 2022
      • What impact will this have for me?
        • The goal is to improve the infrastructure of pipes. Will have a positive impact to prevent water from overflowing during extreme weather
      • Contact:
        Ryan Shea @ BWSC SHEAR@BWSC.org
        Victor Pacella – RJV Construction Corp. – Project Manger  – 617-504-0315….Please do not hesitate to call
    • East Boston liaison – Nathalia Benitez
      • Mayor Wu announced two new programs for renewable efficiency: Solarize Eastie -Solarize Eastie will reduce costs for solar panel installation and the Community First Partnership will expand energy efficiency opportunities for environmental justice communities. Access Increased to Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency | Boston.gov
      • Phase 2 of waterfront initiative is close to completion – awaiting final approval from Environment Department; Nathalia will plan to bring in a contact to a future meeting
      • Coffee Hour – July 13th 9:30-10:30 am at East Boston Memorial Park
  • Projects (60 min)
    • 99A Cottage St
      • Background
        • Ariana Weihn – bought house in 2018 and loved the roof deck. But in 2021, had to knock down the entire roof deck to replace the leaky roof
        • Hired a local contractor to fix leak and construct new deck
        • Engaged an engineer to evaluate structural integrity and providing necessary drawings
        • Filed application for rebuild and received ISD refusal letter that the deck was not previously permitted
        • Abutters meeting scheduled for June 7, 2022
      • Design
        • The headhouse has already been constructed
      • Variances and next steps
        • Received refusal letter from ISD citing:
          • Article 27T – 5: East Boston IPOD applicability
          • Article 53, Section 52: roof structure restrictions
        • Next steps
          • Hold abutters meeting on 6/7
          • Vote from GSCA subsequent to abutters meeting
        • Information passed to board of appeals for ultimate vote on the project
    • 24 Geneva St
      • Follow-up presentation from 2019 (Nicholas DiLibero)
      • Background:
        • Construction of new 6-unit dwelling with 4 parking spaces
        • Mix of 4 1-bedroom and 2 2-bedroom units
        • Intended for homeownership
      • Location
      • Zoning relief – MFR
      • Questions/comments from community
        • Jane O’Reilly: units designed for family is limited, as mostly it’s one-bedroom; Lynds: East Boston is need of one-bedroom units
        • Frances Amador: concerned about limited parking spaces; Lynds: on-going conversation about future of Geneva St. repavement
        • What is the future of Geneva St?
          • Discussion happening that will address the future of the street
    • 169 Maverick St
      • Working with Richard Lynds (attorney) and Joseph Trichilo (property owner)
      • Project overview
        • Complete interior renovations of pre-exisitng non-cofmring 3 family dwelling including upgrade to life safety (full sprinklers)
        • Change occupancy from 3- to 4-family
      • Lot
      • Zoning relief – MFR
      • Nearby projects
      • Proposed conditions
      • Next steps
      • Questions
        • Frances Amador: Are these going to be rental apartments? Lynds: homeownership
        • Frances Amador: Was this property owned recently? Lynds: it was offered vacant, unsure why the property was transferred

April 2022 Meeting Minutes

Recording for meeting:
https://us06web.zoom.us/rec/share/fHE-8nQEMzE9Yxr9peNdHp5ZuCMoMKoBjovotAdOyqqqXBy7enYiLW6O1iCwtyEn.G0H9XOKfU7XrEBdf

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Voting results for 284 Maverick St.

  • Yes: 9
  • No: 5

Notes

  • Announcements (5 min)
  • Community updates (20 min)
    • Boston Police Dept. update from Officer Curtis Mosley
      • Rise in shots fired and gun arrest – be mindful and careful of your area
        • Recovered 4 firearms recovered last week
        • On Liverpool St., there has been 2 incidents
      • Telephone scams seem to be decreasing
      • Fraud report with Bitcoin
      • Central Sq. still seeing shoplifting
      • Several citations on public drinking
      • Car breaks and catalytic thefts still seem to be issue
      • Commercial plates issues in the Eagle Hill area
      • There was a body found near the old casket – State Trooper leading efforts
      • Drug arrest that happened near South Bremen St. area
      • On 4/23, there was an arrest for aggravated assault near S. Bremen St.
    • Water and sewer pipe replacement in Gove Street area
      • There is ongoing water main, sewer drains, and pipes infrastructure being updated in the Gove Street neighborhood. 
      • BWSC is asking us to separate existing combined sewers in East Boston. This includes the replacement of approximately 3,950 linear feet of combined sewers / sanitary sewers, and the installation of 7,355 linear feet of storm drains. This work also includes installing 8,800 linear feet of water mains, and the rehabilitation of approximately 2,310 linear feet of existing wastewater pipes. 
    • Upcoming Blue Line service disruption: shuttle buses and ferries
      • Blue line diversion taking place from 4/25 to 5/8. Buses will be running from Government Center to Airport. There’s also ferries shuttling individuals between the Lewis Mall and Long Wharf.
      • Later, there are blue line diversions May 12 to May 29 between Orient Heights and Wonderland
    • East Boston neighborhood liaison, Nathalia Benitez-Perez Updates on fire at 183 Maverick Street in February
      • Coffee Hour with the Mayor on 5/4 from 9:30-10:30 am – there will be iced coffee and plants; also BPD will be present
      • Rodent walk with Office of inspectional services taking place next week. Please add areas to address to Nathalia
      • Subscribe to Nathalia’s newsletter: https://newsletters.boston.gov/subscribe?category=My%20Neighborhood 
      • Fire at 194 Maverick – last 
        • 89 Orlean St. occupants have been taken cared of by insurance
        • 91-93 Orlean St. most residents are staying with family and friends; Noah has been helping with; if you drop anything off, please email Nathalia (nathalia.benitezperez@boston.gov)
      • Neighborhood clean up can share tools – can work with Public Works
      • Flight attendant crash pad on Geneva Street
        • Fire department went to location, which then brought forth ISD and it was deemed as an environment not suitable for living
        • The owner is working with ISD to see if this can be addressed
      • Natasha Perez on Bremen/Orleans project
  • Piers Park III design update, Boston Waterfront Initiative Trustees (10 min)
    • Providing update of the improved design based on community feedback
      • Added space for more than one access point
      • Added space for water taxi dock
    • There’s a new feedback sharing feature on the website: https://onewaterfront.thetrustees.org/feedback 
    • Upcoming programming:
    • Waterfront ambassadors:
  • Vote on 284 Maverick Street development project, Drago and Toscano, LLP (10 min)
    • Update from Matt Eckel and Christopher Flass
    • Questions: Is this on two parcels? No, just one parcel.
      • Comments on liking the updated siding and color updates.
      • Can there be openings on the side? The building code would not allow for it.
      • What is the heating system? All electric. Could be placed on the roof.
      • Can you lower the height of the building? Most likely not given wanting to keep the ceilings at a minimum of 8’4”.
      • Did you receive a refusal letter from ISD? Yes
      • Did this present to JPNA? This only presented to GSCA
      • Is this a rental or for sale? A renta

April 2022 Meeting

We plan to host the next meeting on Monday, April 25, 2022 at 6:30 PM

  • Announcements (5 min)
    • SPARK Boston meetup on Tues., April 26, 6-8PM, at The Quiet Few
    • Stand Up for Eastie petition meetups on Sat., May 7th
  • Community updates (20 min)
    • Boston Police Dept. update from community officer
    • Water and sewer pipe replacement in Gove Street area
    • Upcoming Blue Line service disruption: shuttle buses and ferries
    • East Boston neighborhood liaison, Nathalia Benitez-Perez Updates on fire at 183 Maverick Street in February
      • Flight attendant crash pad on Geneva Street
      • Natasha Perez on Bremen/Orleans project
  • Piers Park III design update, Boston Waterfront Initiative Trustees (10 min)
  • Vote on 284 Maverick Street development project, Drago and Toscano, LLP (10 min)

Please register in advance:

https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0tdeugpzkpH9Bzq4GUZERV0skxMkHYbYaT

March 2022 Meeting Minutes

Meeting recording

https://us06web.zoom.us/rec/share/ioEpzOfucH9ZTKDJTAYzvZMvuPz8MUJcqoaHrqCBL6PmJDDUvHQAHrJ3m5h1wWOt.urm9IpAOBi_A4zIT?startTime=1648506784000

(Passcode: hw$%%U3M)

Boston Police Department officer, Sgt. Cintolo (5 min)

  • Neighborhood updates:
    • 3/27: on Marion St. there have been package thefts; Orleans and Porter St. had a motor vehicle accident
    • 3/20: Individual sustained minor injuries
    • This past weekend there were some OUI arrest. D-7 has been increasing presence.
    • 3/23: stabbing at Porter; 2 injuries who were not Boston
    • A scooter was stolen at Chelsea St. and Maverick St.
    • 196 Chelsea – domestic disturbance;
    • Bremen: Assault and battery between two known individuals
    • No recent house breaks and robberies
  • Reminders
    • Reminder that commercial vehicle is not allowed overnight
    • Keep doors locked and any possessions in vehicles out of view
    • Reach out to Cintolo about Hub program

East Boston liaison to mayor’s office, Nathalia Benitez-Perez (5 min)

  • Blue Line – closing April 2nd to April 14th due to maintenance
  • Coffee with Michele Wu – location TBD
    • May 4th at East Boston Memorial Park, Tentative time is 9:30 am.
    • Still waiting for confirmation. Please come if you can, this is a great opportunity to talk to the Mayor, other elected officials and ask questions about specific issues involved since we’ll have many departments there to answer.
  • Questions:
    • What is the city doing with rat issue near Gove St?
      • Information forthcoming for walkthrough by inspectional services
  •  Contact info: nathalia.benitezperez@boston.gov

Bremen & Orleans Development Project, Natasha Perez (5 min)

  • Continuing process with BPDA – working on incorporating recommendations into design
    • Aiming to present an updated design in future Gove Street meeting
  • Questions:
    • When is construction supposed to start?
      • No. Still very early in the process with BPDA.
    • Can community weigh into process with development?
      • There was initial community input. All of this will be directed to the developers, including the developers.
      • Will there be more Impact Advisory Group (IAG) meetings?
        • The city may decide the plans for meetings. There have been two meetings, but there has not yet been additional ones.
        • Can connect with Jason at BPDA on process
    • How will Porter St. support auto-rich projects
      • There are a series of traffic studies that have to be reviewed with the city. 
    • For follow-up questions, perez_natasha@outlook.com

Signatures to put Andrea Campbell on ballot for Attorney General (1 min)

  • Cheryl Harding, Field Director, Andrea Campbell campaign
    • She needs 10K signatures to get on the ballot by May 1st
    • Volunteer event taking place on Thursday 3/30 in Dorchester
    • Cheryl@andreacampbell.org 857-251-2193 Thank you

284 Maverick Street Development, Drago and Toscano, LLP – Community Presentation (30 min)

  • Introduction
    • Presentation by Jeffrey Drago
    • Developer: Odessit Capital
    • Seeking to erect a new four-unit building
    • Lot size: 1924 sq.ft.
  • Presentation link: 
  • Use area is 3F, seeking 4F variance. Total of 7 variances.
  • Questions
    • Is there a headhouse built?
      • No.
    • Comments about the exterior colors of the building being dull
    • What are the proposed units?
      • Currently they are proposed rentals
      • 3 bedroom; 2 bath
      • Units are around 1,150 sq. ft.
    • Concerns about lack of elevator in the building
      • Common to not have elevator in the building
    • Where does storage and heating/electrical going?
      • Heating and electrical units will be located within each unit
      • Storage for trash is located in the back
    • How many variances will be requested?
      • 7 variances
    • Will there be green space in the back?
      • Yes
    • How do you maintain and repair the walls with only a 2 1/2 ft space — over the many years the building will be standing
      • This is typical of new constructions. If there are any major leaks, this will be addressed from within the building.
    • When can we vote on this project?
      • Meeting can take place next month

“Loftel” Development Project at Orleans/Porter (175 Orleans Street), Richard Lynds – Community Updates (30 min)

  • Updates:
    • Work has started on the building – with windows being installed
    • Expected to completely rehab the building to convert into a 123 room hotel
    • There will be 65 parking slots
    • There had been delays due to telecommunication installation. This was important to get this in place.
    • Full service restaurant and lounge will be available open to the public
    • Updates to the masonry, but minimal changes overall
    • There will be new plants/trees that will be installed along Porter and Orlean, as well as at the parking lot
  • Developer commitments:
    • Installation of new lighting around the perimeter of the building to improve pedestrian safety
    • Public realm improvements, including new landscaping, reconstructed sidewalks
    • Creation of 150 construction jobs over the course of project
    • Creation of 20 permanent full-time jobs
    • Commitment of up to $10K to repairs of Porter St. bridge to either City of Boston or Commonwealth of Mass.
    • Place and manage trash cans along the adjacent streets
    • Provide access for neighbors to use hotel’s parking lots during snow and state emergencies provided spaces are available above those required by hotel guests
    • Provide or pay for the costs associated of Zoom account used by GSCA
    • Grant permission to use to host the monthly board and member meetings
    • Contribute $5K for 10 years towards cost of regular maintenance to the Greenway
  • Questions and comments
    • Are some of the 65 off-street parking spaces available for non-hotel guests who may be eating at the restaurant?
      • Prioritized for hotel occupants. But this could be made possible.
    • Is the restaurant and lounge already chosen? Average hotel room costs?
      • Currently seeking to have hotel operator run the restaurant and lounge
    • Please make as many trees as possible
      • Need to make sure the installation of trees will meet city of Boston’s requirements for sidewalk width
    • The prior community-approved agreement included that the entrance to the parking would be on Frankfort, and that cars would enter on Frankfort and exit on Orleans (or vice-versa) to minimize traffic. This looks like it has changed, and that would, I believe, invalidate the previous agreement
      • Cars will enter on Porter St and go through circulator to exit on Orleans St.
      • Project plan was reviewed by BPDA
    • What will the landscape look like? Lighting?
      • There will be 5’ landscape along the side
      • Back will be a driveway
      • Can work on fence to mitigate the noise
      • Lighting study included in the original submitted – has been reviewed by BPDA
    • Which part of the window façade will be repaired?
      • Plan is to repair 70% of the façade. Wait until the structural repair for the column can be done. Then complete the rest of the façade repair
    • Will any on-street parking be eliminated?
      • None will be eliminated.
    • What is the plan to/from airport?
      • Goal is to not have any vans
    • What is the branding?
      • Cambria Hotel
    • How long will construction take?
      • Aiming to wrap up by end of 2023/summer 2024. But this is dependent on supply chain and minimized impacts by COVID
    • What are the construction times?
      • Work under permit can take place: M-F 7 am until 5 pm 
      • Heavy construction can only start after 8 am
    • What is the off-street parking?
      • 65 parking spaces were approved prior by BPDA; it is a 50% parking-to-room
      • Most of the attendees will be flying/into airport
      • Parking will be charged comparable to other hotels in the area
    • When was the developer commitments made?
      • In Article 80, there are several requirements to obtain a certificate from BPDA. Developer has to make commitments for the community.
    • Who will be moving the telecommunication equipment?
      • A combination of Jamsan contractors and the telecommunication company at the expense of Jamsan.

March 2022 Meeting

We plan to host the next meeting on Monday, March 28, 2022 at 6:30 PM.

Agenda:

  • Boston Police Department officer, Sgt. Cintolo (5 min)
  • East Boston liaison to mayor’s office, Nathalia Benitez-Perez (5 min)
  • Bremen & Orleans Development Project, Natasha Perez (5 min)
  • Signatures to put Andrea Campbell on ballot for Attorney General (1 min)
  • 284 Maverick Street Development, Drago and Toscano, LLP – Community Presentation (30 min)
  • “Loftel” Development Project at Orleans/Porter (175 Orleans Street), Richard Lynds – Community Updates (30 min)

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwvcOCqrDooG9OymUHEqirq2ONgCLwpfG8L

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

February 2022 Meeting Minutes

Meeting minutes

  • Maverick St. Fire update
  • Updates from new East Boston liaison to the mayor’s office, Nathalia Benitez
    • Introduction of Nathalia Benitez – new City of Boston liaison – residing on Chelsea St.
    • How can Nathalia help?
      • Community outreach – connecting constituents with services to City Hall; addresses needs and wants of the neighborhood; manages development process for developers and residents; licensing for East Boston of restaurants and cannabis; schedule abutters meetings
    • Mayor’s shift to focus on waterfront development in East Boston (new municipal harbor plan)
      • Very early in development – want to address and help East Boston
      • Working with BPDA to create plan for constructions
      • Hope to provide more updates next month and going forward
    • Updates on policies related to COVID-19
      • Vaccine mandates were lifted for restaurants and city workers as of last week
    • Questions for Nathalia Benitez: nathalia.benitezperez@boston.gov /  617-635-2681
  • Community updates from Boston Police Department officer Sgt. Cintolo and Tommy Demenico
    • Fire started 3:26 am; MBTA helped with buses
    • Crime
      • Motor vehicle crimes happening more frequently taking advantage of unlocked cars – please lock your car and keep valuable items in the trunk
      • Catalytic converter theft occurring 
      • Commercial vehicles after 9pm must be removed – recommends calling 911 to have police come remove vehicles
    • Scams involving gift cards and bitcoins are still happening – if unsure, please hang up
    • Community service phone number: 617-343-4752
  • Open discussion
    • Loftel: will ask to have the group provide update in the next meeting
    • Question about separate JPNA and Gove St. associations: started 3 years ago because of the large number of developments and constructions
    • Nathalia can share monthly updates on developments; each association has its own process – anyone that lives within 300 ft of building joins the abutters meeting
    • Breakdown of wards and zones: https://www.cityofboston.gov/maps/pdfs/ward_and_precincts.pdf 

Meeting recording

https://us06web.zoom.us/rec/share/R0LgBbTHLiKOpez_N6_GtLiZnwALWXksF6ZHOOh_qVzQ3j3IB3aHjwfqbumcmQ.A7nqNCAE11EDtI8l

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