News Briefs

SET THE CLOCK BACK

Residents are reminded this weekend to set their clocks ahead one hour before going to bed Saturday night. Remember: Spring forward.

Fire officials also remind residents to replace the batteries in their smoke detectors as they change the clocks.

SOUTH END FORUM RE-SCHEDULED

An ambitious agenda was planned for the South End Forum – as usual – this past Tuesday, March 7, but conflicts arose and Moderator Steve Fox said the mainstay meeting had to be rescheduled.

The new day will be Wednesday, March 15.

The agenda so far includes a presentation and Q&A from Chief of Streets Chris Osgood on the Vision 2030 strategic plan, a presentation on the “Rapid Rehousing” program at Pine Street Inn, brief remarks from Mike Shea, the new Roxbury US Postal Service Manager (which serves the entire South End), an introductory discussion with City Intergovernmental Affairs personnel on a proposed municipal regulatory framework for AirBnB and other share lodging operations.

TREMONT DRUG CLOSES

Jamie Fox of the Union Park Neighborhood Association reported on Tuesday that the longtime drugstore, Tremont Drug, would be closing its doors Wednesday, March 8, at 6 p.m.

“I am saddened by this news and troubled that certain regulations and market conditions have made it nearly impossible for a local pharmacy to survive,” said Fox. “Of course, I will miss the convenience that Tremont Drug offered. But, in this era of online purchasing and mega-chain stores, I will miss even more the personal connection that I enjoyed with owner/pharmacist Gary Einsadler and his staff.

I hope everyone will join me in wishing Gary success in his next venture once Tremont Drug becomes part of this neighborhood’s rich history.”

Prescriptions at Tremont Drug were automatically transferred to CVS before closing.

The shuttering of the long time business joins others on Tremont Street that have recently closed, including Emilio’s Pizza. Other long-time businesses and new businesses on the stretch are also rumored to be near closing as well.

BAY VILLAGE HOSTS REP. MICHLEWITZ

The Bay Village Neighborhood Association (BVNA) hosted State Rep. Aaron Michlewitz at their executive meeting held on Monday, March 6. There, Michlewitz spoke of his work to better regulate short-term residential rentals such as AirBnB.

In his filed legislation it asks that any short-term rentals register with both the State and City. Units must be up to code of fire, electrical and safety matters and rentals would have to pay a State and local taxes. It also mandates that rentals have a minimum of $1 million of liability insurance.

Michlewitz said that his proposal could change as it moves forward into a committee at the State House. He hopes that this legislation can act as a guideline for local cities and towns to build off their own rules and regulations.

Bay Village residents voiced concern about the once-a-year inspection, stating that the Boston’s Inspectional Service Department (ISD) already doesn’t have enough resources to be able to inspect all of the short-term residential rentals.

Sarah Herlihy the President of BVNA said that is a huge gap in the law.

“In our neighborhood, we have some great hosts that we trust under AirBnB and then we have people taking housing stock and creating really hazardous situations,” said Herlihy.

Michlewitz said that cities will be able to take up to five percent of tax revenue and will be required to create safety standards and zoning requirements. He said, “By holding the tax revenue as a carrot it will become the incentive.”

Later he also talked about his work in getting better regulations concerning sex offenders. Right now he said there are none. The first bill that he is proposing will instruct the State’s Department of Public Safety to formulate a plan for proper discharges of level three sex offenders to homeless shelters. The second bill would clarify how sex offenders register with local police, mandating that they check in within 30 days of being released from custody.

Both of these proposals he hopes to bring up in the 2017-2018 session.

WHOLE FOODS SOUTH END No.2 IN NATION

The South End Whole Foods management announced at the New York Streets Neighborhood Association (NYSNA) on Tuesday night that it was recently certified as the #2 grossing Whole Foods store in the entire country.

“That’s pretty impressive,” said Assistant Manager Kris Atwood. “That’s number two in the entire country and it’s right off of us being the company’s ‘Rookie of the Year’ store last year.”

The top store was in Brooklyn and the third place store was in Hawaii.

One thing that is being stressed by neighbors is for Whole Foods to begin allowing customers to pick out their items at the store, then have those items delivered to their homes later in the day by Whole Foods.

Resident John Meunier said having such a system could reduce the numbers of people who drive to the store from the nearby neighborhood. Many, he said, want to pick out their own items instead of having someone else pick them out. To do that, they have to drive though. If they could pick out their own items, and then have it delivered, he predicted some parking woes at Whole Foods could be relieved.

“It could be great on so many fronts,” he said.

Atwood said, “I agree. We gets calls for that and web comments that support that. It’s up to us to make this happen. Being the number two store might give us some push to (pilot) it.”

She said they are making a number of changes to the store inside, and one of the recent changes is that the spa operator, Milk + Honey, has left the operation. They have sold the spa operation back to the Whole Foods store, which is hiring its own people and now doing very well.

“We hired a team leader from outside and we hired our own group of people and it’s doing pretty well,” she said.

She added that Whole Foods South End intends to become a regularly attending member of the NYSNA to field concerns and add input as a business member in the community.

BVNA TO HOST 212 STUART STREET

BVNA will host a joint meeting with the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) on the proposed building slated for 212 Stuart Street in the Bay Village. It will take place March 20, at the Revere Hotel at 7 p.m.

The developers will present their new plans after hearing feedback from nearby residents in previous meetings. According to the BPDA, the comment period ends March 13, but Sarah Herlihy the President of BVNA said it most likely will be extended to sometime in April.

Everyone is welcome to join and voice his or her concerns at this meeting.

BLACKSTONE/FRANKLIN PARTNERS WITH NU

Blackstone/Franklin Square Neighborhood Association has partnered with Northeastern University’s (NU) School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs in its ongoing efforts to improve the quality of life in Franklin Square. NU has assigned four talented graduate students to spend a semester analyzing the current state of the park and work with key stakeholders in improving the safety and security.

Blackstone members said they thank the students in advance for their time and look forward to working with them towards the betterment of our neighborhood.

MICRO-HOTEL BREAKS GROUND IN THEATRE DISTRICT

Construction has begun for the 24-story, Moxy Hotel located at 240 Tremont Street according to Bldup.com. The micro-hotel will feature 346 “micro” guest rooms, each of which will be about 175 square feet in size. Amenities will include a rooftop bar and lounge along with meeting rooms, a kitchen and dining area and a fitness center.

There will a two-story brightly light advertising sign that will be constructed at the corner of Stuart and Tremont Streets as part of the Moxy Hotel’s façade, mirroring the style seen in Times Square in New York City.

No new parking will be constructed but the demand will be fulfilled by nearby parking garages according to Bldup.com.

Moxy is a Marriott sub-brand that markets itself as “a boutique hotel with the social heart of a hostel.” The tech-savvy hotel prides itself on having free high speed Internet and will host a bar that is open 24/7. Their website states, “Our lobbies are like living rooms with a bartender.”

Bldup.com says that the Moxy Hotel is expected to open in late 2018.

BVNA SHOUTS ‘HYPOCRISY’ ON CROSSWALK

For close to a decade the residents of Bay Village have been voicing their concerns over the dangerous pedestrian crosswalk that runs along Arlington Street at the intersection of Isabella Street and Melrose Street.

With an on-ramp for I-90 West close by and serving as a route to I-93, many large trucks and cars tend to speed down the intersection without much thought to the pedestrians trying to walk across a not so clearly marked crosswalk.

One resident said that one day a truck’s tire nearly caught her skirt as it zoomed by.

Sam Chambers the Mayor’s Liaison for the Bay Village said that the City is working on increasing signage and possibly shuffling around some parking spaces.

“The Boston Transportation Department (BTD) is going to be increasing signage but in terms of a complete re-design of the crosswalk – it’s unlikely,” said Chambers.

He continued that in order to re-do an entire crosswalk it would have to then comply with the City’s ‘complete street’ design that fits under the Go Boston 2030 safety guidelines.

In order for this sidewalk to qualify for that, it would need new signs and lights that would require the City to dig into the street and Chambers said that BTD doesn’t believe this intersection warrants that.

Even with the reduction of the City’s speed limit to 25 mph and the Mayor’s Vision Zero that is working to stop all fatal and serious traffic crashes in the city by 2030, this intersection continues to warrant unsafe situations.

After voicing concerns of the needed improvements since 2007 to the City, members of Bay Village are dumbfounded that the City will not take further actions to make this intersection safer.

Sarah Herlihy the President of BVNA said, “Bay Village thinks it is hypercritical that the City has had a neighborhood showing them an unsafe intersection for improvements and doing nothing when all they’ve been talking about is Vision Zero.”

BLACKSTONE SWIM TEAM

The Blackstone Sharks Community Center swim team is recruiting kids ages 6-17 for the upcoming season. It is open to boys and girls who want to improve their swimming skills and swim in the “fast lane.” They practice Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6-6:45 p.m. Membership at the Center is required and the fee is $25 per person. For more information, contact the pool staff at (617) 635-5162.

SECOND CAC MEETING FOR 1000 BOYLSTON HELD

The Boston Planning and Development Agency hosted the second Citizen Advisory Group meeting this past Tuesday, March 7, at Saint Cecilia Parish, to discuss the proposed air rights project at 1000 Boylston Street.

The project includes constructing two residential towers with approximately 689,000 square feet of residential space including about 182 rental units and 160 condominiums. There will be about 35,000 square feet of retail space and 303 parking spaces.

There was a public meeting held on February 28 and this will be the last meeting held before the developers file an Environmental Impact Report with both the City and State. Once completed the developers will then come back with another set of public meetings.

The public comment period is open until March 17, 2017.

COMMUNITY CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN FOR PETERS PARK ART WALL PROJECT

Washington Gateway Main Street (WGMS) in partnership with ALA Collective led by artists PROBLAK and Marka27, City Lights Performing Arts School, and Friends of Peters Park/Old Dover announced this week details for a community crowd funding campaign in support of the Peters Park Art Wall Project. The campaign kicks off on March1 at 6 a.m. and will be live for 30 days closing on Thursday, March 30 at midnight. The campaign aims to raise $12,000 to cover the costs of the artist, materials and supplies, as well as stipends for youth.

“This mural will be located in prominent public space in the neighborhood, so it is important that everyone have the chance to contribute, no matter how big or small, to this historically and culturally significant piece of art, ” said Jenny Effron, executive director, Washington Gateway Main Street.

The Peters Park Art Wall was proclaimed a legal graffiti wall in 1986 in an effort to decrease vandalism in the South End. The City, in partnership with area organizations and businesses, seeks to continue the tradition of curating and programming the Art Wall, both for the enrichment of the neighborhood as well as the preservation and celebration of this area’s diverse cultural history.

“For over 30 years the Peters Park Art Wall has stood as a neighborhood icon in Boston’s South End. Artists and community members alike have viewed the wall as a symbol of creative and cultural expression,” said Marka27 of ALA Collective. “ It’s an honor to continue the tradition of cultural expression through murals and street art, collaborating with a new generation of local Boston artists and youth. We are humbled and extremely grateful for all the community support that we continue to receive and look forward to another 30 years of the Peters Park Graffiti Art Wall being painted.”

The Mayor’s Office and Boston Art Commission released an RFP for conceptual designs on January 26 that closed on February 26. The RFP was open to all professional artists, artisans, or teams, with experience in public art, site responsive design, project management, and working with youth.

Individuals as well as corporations and businesses of any size are encouraged to get involved. Interested parties can participate by donating on Generosity or reaching out directly to Jenny Effron ([email protected]rg) at Washington Gateway Main Street for additional information about the program as well as partnership and sponsorship opportunities.

For more information, please visit www.petersparkart.com .

ELLIS WINE TASTING MARCH 22

The Ellis South End Neighborhood Association is pleased to announce a wine tasting tour of Italy. To help guide through this complicated terroir, there will be the expert assistance of George Schwartz, a distributor with deep knowledge and experience of the country and its wines.  We’ll taste a selection of wines (white, orange, rosé and red) from various varietals and gain a sense of the quality and diversity coming from Italy.  Come with an open mind and a willingness to learn as we celebrate the departure of winter with some very classy wines accompanied by appropriate fare. Join your neighbors for this fun, educational event.

The tasting is on Weds., March 22, at 6:30 p.m. at the home of Paul Duffy, Clarendon Street.

By necessity, this tasting will be a smaller group and space will be limited, so reserve now by replying with an email and sending your check for $35 ($40 for non-ENA guests) by March 19 payable to:  “Ellis NA”, c/o Bill Gregor, 92 Appleton St., Boston, 02116 or by paying on the Ellis website: http://www.ellisneighborhood.org/.  Please include the name(s) of those who will be attending. Questions?  Contact Bill Gregor at [email protected]

Sorry, no refunds after March 19.

MASSPORT AIRPLANE NOISE COMPLAINT LINE

Residents who are being disturbed by airplane noise are encouraged to call the MassPort Noise Hotline 24 hours a day. The phone number is (617) 561-3333.

PINE STREET INN GOOD NEIGHBOR HOTLINE

Residents who have any problems or concerns related to the Pine Street Inn on East Berkeley Street and Harrison Avenue in the South End are invited to call the Good Neighbor Line. Security Director Kevin Smith said they are glad to get calls from the neighborhood and would address any matter brought to their attention.

The number is (617) 892-9210.

SOUTH END DATES

  • Friends of South End Library (FOSEL) website hacked…Why would anyone want to hack and destroy a library friends website? If you know, let Marleen Neinhuis know because that’s just the question that her group is asking after someone maliciously destroyed their informative site last week. A new website, with Squarespace, has replaced it at the usual address, www.friendsofsouthendlibrary.org. The webmaster, P.K. Shiu, is still working on the specifics. As soon as it is done, FOSEL will update the site with more detailed posts about events coming up.
  • The Ellis South End Neighborhood Association will host a meeting with the Boston Ballet on Friday, March 10, from 2-3 p.m. at the Ballet School on Clarendon Street.
  • The Eight Streets Neighborhood Association will hold its next meeting on Tuesday, March 14, at Project Place, Washington and E. Berkeley Street. The agenda will include an historical presentation by the South End Historical Society, Alyssa Schoenfelt of Bites of Boston Food Tours, and neighborhood updates.
  • The Friends of the South End Library (FOSEL) will continue an ambitious and exciting winter and spring author’s series. On Tuesday, March 14 is foreign-policy journalist Stephen Kinzer, with his most recent book, the widely reviewed and highly praised inquiry into the roots of our international predicaments, ‘True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire.’ He will be introduced by the incisive WBUR radio host Christopher Lydon, of, once upon a time The Connection, and currently, OpenSource.

The acclaimed novelist Gish Jen will present her latest book of non-fiction, The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Explaining the East West Culture Gap on Tuesday, March 28. Jen examines the different ideas Easterners and Westerners have about self and society, as she did in her 2013 Tiger Writing: Art, Culture and the Interdependent Self. Her widely praised works of fiction include Typical American, The Love Wife, Town and Country and Who Is Irish.

  • Shake it Off: The St. Botolph Neighborhood Association will hold a Winter Party on Thursday, March 16, at the YMCA (316 Huntington Ave.) from 6:30-9:30 p.m. There will be appetizers, a cash bar and raffles. Tickets are $15 per person. RSVP by e-mailing [email protected]
  • The next meeting of the Blackstone/Franklin Square Neighborhood Association will take place on Tuesday, March 21, in the D-4 Police Station at 7 p.m.
  • To commemorate Women’s History Month, IBA has invited Latina artists to showcase their works at La Galería. The group is giving an opportunity to these undiscovered Latin American, female artists to showcase their creative talents with the community. Come to admire and support the unique creations of these undiscovered artists – they could be a local mother, sister, friend, or neighbor – during our Mujeres exhibit. IBA chose five local artists as well to work with its Youth Program Peer Leaders. The exhibit includes installations, drawings, paintings, photography, and more. Experience this multimedia exhibit that is as diverse as our community.
  • Scholarship awards. Scholarships will be awarded to high school seniors who are planning to pursue a college or a technical degree and for students currently enrolled in higher education.

These scholarships include $1,000 Scholarships for Academic Achievement and Community Service and $2,000 Andrew Parthum Scholarships for Outstanding Community Achievement.

Applications are due by Friday, May 19, 2017.

FENWAY COMMUNITY CENTER

  • Death Cafe…Everyone is invited to a lively conversation about a subject that we shouldn’t be so quiet about. The discussion is facilitated by Carol Lasky and will take place in the Center on March 15, 7:15 p.m. Please RSVP.
  • Park Boot Camp…Boston Park Advocates invites supporters of Boston open spaces to gather to network and learn about best practices from peers around the city. Come hone your skills as an effective open space champion. All levels of advocacy experience are welcome. Teens through seniors are encouraged to attend. This training is free, with an optional suggested donation of $10, payable at the door. Saturday, March 11, from 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Breakfast will be provided. There will be an optional lunch-time portion of the day from about 12:45-1:30pm for people to network and share information. The event takes place at the Community Center and registration is suggested by March 3.

TRUSTEE’S GARDNER’S GATHERING

The Gardeners’ Gathering continues to be the annual forum for gardeners to shrug off the winter chill and come together to celebrate urban gardening in Boston. With spring just around the corner, the 42nd Annual Gardeners’ Gathering, presented by The Trustees and the City of Boston, will take place on Saturday, March 18, at Northeastern University’s Shillman Hall and the Egan Center in Boston. Mayor Martin J. Walsh will, once again, attend and present the Annual Community Garden Awards.

SHOP PRU ON MARCH 23

#ShopPru is a free spring shopping event on Thursday, March 23, from 5-8 p.m. at Prudential Center in the Back Bay. Discover spring fashion trends, “one night only” shopping discounts, and indulge in sips and snacks compliments of Prudential Center shops and restaurants. The first 100 guests to arrive will receive a #ShopPru swag bag filled with goodies. Check out pop-ups from the following stores and restaurants:  5 Napkin Burger, Joint Ventures Physical Therapy, L’Occitane, LOFT, Microsoft and Oakley.

#ShopPru is free and open to the public.

WANT A SLOW STREET?

The City of Boston Transportation Department (BTD) is now accepting applications for 2017 Neighborhood Slow Streets projects. Residents, neighborhood associations, and other community-based organizations are invited to apply to have their neighborhood participate in the Neighborhood Slow Streets program which works to use traffic calming measures to improve roadway safety within a defined residential area.

BTD and the Boston Public Works Department will work with selected applicants to plan and implement Neighborhood Slow Streets projects that meet the specific needs of their communities. Selected Neighborhood Slow Streets will be equipped with visual and physical cues to slow drivers to 20 MPH, making each street feel more inviting for people of all ages who are walking, playing, or bicycling. The program emphasizes quick-install and low-cost fixes, such as signage, pavement markings, and speed humps.

More information on the Neighborhood Slow Streets program, including applications, are available at www.boston.gov/transportation/neighborhood-slow- streets.

Deadline to sign up is March 24.

FENWAY/SOUTH END HOURS FOR CONGRESSMAN CAPUANO

Congressman Michael Capuano will hold office hours for the Fenway and South End neighborhoods on the second Thursday of every month at the Fenway Community Health Center, 1340 Boylston St.

The hours are from noon to 1 p.m. and will have a representative from Capuano’s office in attendance.

BPDA APPROVES MAJOR SOUTH END PROJECTS

Harrison Albany Block

The Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) board approved the Harrison Albany Block to revitalize vacant South End buildings to yield cultural, office space and housing at last week’s rescheduled hearing on Thursday, March 2.

This will create 65 affordable units and a $13 million payment to the Inclusionary Development Policy Fund.

The project site is currently made up of five buildings, four of which are vacant, one is currently a surface parking lot.

The proposed design is based on four main buildings that each will have a mix use. Two of the buildings will include 600 residential rental units with the potential for a portion of these units to be used as artist live/ work units. These buildings will also include 8,600 square feet of ground floor retail and affordable cultural space with a two-level parking garage constructed underneath.

The other two existing buildings will be renovated to create new office, medical, and retail space, along with 50 residential rental units.

This project will also yield $500,000 for short and long term transportation infrastructure improvements for the South End neighborhood.

370-380 HARRISON AVENUE

The BPDA board also approved the project for 370-380 Harrison Avenue that sits on the former Quinzani’s Bakery site and the former Ho Kong Bean Sprout Co. site. The project will include the construction of a 356,500 square foot, 14-story mixed use building facing Harrison Avenue and extending between Traveler and East Berkeley Street.

It will have 251 market rate units, 63 affordable units and 425 square feet designated as Affordable Cultural Space. It will have 180 off-street parking spaces in a below grade parking garage.

Through collaboration with the Boston Transportation Department (BTD), BPDA staff has established that this project will provide $400,000 for transportation infrastructure improvements planned for the South End neighborhood. In addition, $250,000 will go towards public benefits that will be established through the BPDA.

BVNA HOSTS STATE REPRESENTATIVE AARON MICHLEWITZ

The Bay Village Neighborhood Association (BVNA) hosted State Representative Aaron Michlewitz at their executive meeting held on Monday, March 6. There, Michlewitz spoke of his work to better regulate short-term residential rentals such as AirBnB.

In his filed legislation it asks that any short-term rentals register with both the State and City. Units must be up to code of fire, electrical and safety matters and rentals would have to pay a State and local taxes. It also mandates that rentals have a minimum of $1 million of liability insurance.

Michlewitz said that his proposal could change as it moves forward into a committee at the State House. He hopes that this legislation can act as a guideline for local cities and towns to build off their own rules and regulations.

Bay Village residents voiced concern about the once-a-year inspection, stating that the Boston’s Inspectional Service Department (ISD) already doesn’t have enough resources to be able to inspect all of the short-term residential rentals.

Sarah Herlihy the President of BVNA said that is a huge gap in the law. “In our neighborhood we have some great hosts that we trust under AirBnB and then we have people taking housing stock and creating really hazardous situations,” said Herlihy.

Michlewitz said that cities will be able to take up to five percent of tax revenue and will be required to create safety standards and zoning requirements. He said, “By holding the tax revenue as a carrot it will become the incentive.”

Later he also talked about his work in getting better regulations concerning sex offenders. Right now he said there are none.

The first bill that he is proposing will instruct the State’s Department of Public Safety to formulate a plan for proper discharges of level three sex offenders to homeless shelters. The second bill would clarify how sex offenders register with local police, mandating that they check in within 30 days of being released from custody.

Both of these proposals he hopes to bring up in the 2017-2018 session.

BVNA SHOUTS ‘HYPOCRISY’ TO THE CITY OVER UNSAFE CROSSWALK

For close to a decade the residents of Bay Village have been voicing their concerns over the dangerous pedestrian crosswalk that runs along Arlington Street at the intersection of Isabella Street and Melrose Street.

With an on-ramp for I-90 West close by and serving as a route to I-93, many large trucks and cars tend to speed down the intersection without much thought to the pedestrians trying to walk across a not so clearly marked crosswalk.

One resident said that one day a truck’s tire nearly caught her skirt as it zoomed by.

Sam Chambers the Mayor’s Liaison for the Bay Village said that the City is working on increasing signage and possibly shuffling around some parking spaces.

“The Boston Transportation Department (BTD) is going to be increasing signage but in terms of a complete re-design of the crosswalk – it’s unlikely,” said Chambers.

He continued that in order to re-do an entire crosswalk it would have to then comply with the City’s ‘complete street’ design that fits under the Go Boston 2030 safety guidelines.

In order for this sidewalk to qualify for that it would need new signs and lights that would require the City to dig into the street and Chambers said that BTD doesn’t believe this intersection warrants that.

Even with the reduction of the City’s speed limit to 25 mph and the Mayor’s Vision Zero that is working to stop all fatal and serious traffic crashes in the city by 2030, this intersection continues to warrant unsafe situations.

After voicing concerns of the needed improvements since 2007 to the City, members of Bay Village are dumbfounded that the City will not take further actions to make this intersection safer.

Sarah Herlihy the President of BVNA said, “Bay Village thinks it is hypercritical that the City has had a neighborhood showing them an unsafe intersection for improvements and doing nothing when all they’ve been talking about is Vision Zero.”

BVNA TO HOST 212 STUART STREET PLANNING MEETING

BVNA will host a joint meeting with the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) on the proposed building slated for 212 Stuart Street in the Bay Village. It will take place March 20, at the Revere Hotel at 7 p.m.

The developers will present their new plans after hearing feedback from nearby residents in previous meetings. According to the BPDA the comment period ends March 13, but Sarah Herlihy the President of BVNA said it most likely will be extended to sometime in April.

Everyone is welcome to join and voice his or her concerns at this meeting.

BPDA HOSTS SECOND CAC MEETING FOR 1000 BOYLSTON STREET

The Boston Planning and Development Agency hosted the second Citizen Advisory Group meeting this past Tuesday, March 7, at Saint Cecilia Parish, to discuss the proposed air rights project for 1000 Boylston Street.

The project includes constructing two residential towers with approximately 689,000 square feet of residential space including about 182 rental units and 160 condominiums. There will be about 35,000 square feet of retail space and 303 parking spaces.

There was a public meeting held on February 28 and this will be the last meeting held before the developers file an Environmental Impact Report with both the City and State. Once completed the developers will then come back with another set of public meetings.

The public comment period is open until March 17, 2017.

BOSTON CITY COUNCIL BRINGS UP JUST CAUSE EVICTION ACT

The Boston City Council brought up an order approving a Home Rule Petition “The Jim Brooks Stabilization Act” at the hearing held on Wednesday March 8. The Council decided to continue studying it rather than vote on it at the hearing.

This Act works to protect residential tenants against arbitrary, unreasonable, and retaliatory evictions, and to ensure tenants are aware of their legal rights and the available resources to help preserve their tenancies.

The purpose of the Stabilization Act is to provide a tool to help direct legal and resource information to tenants at risk of displacement. Landlords who own more than six rental units in Boston will be impacted by the Act.

The Act does not prohibit rent increases and does not limit rental prices in private market housing. It will not prohibit a landlord from evicting a tenant for non-payment of rent but will require the landlord to send the notice terminating the tenancy for non-payment of the Office of Housing Stability.

If the tenant engages in criminal behavior or violates the lease terms they can still be evicted under this Act.

The Office of Housing and Stability will be responsible for sending tenants being evicted housing resources and legal information.

The Act must be approved by the City Council and enacted by the State Legislature.

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