This past October, the owners of the deed-restricted housing complex at 230 Stuart St., called South Cove Plazas, brought a lawsuit against the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) in response to the passage of the zoning variances for the proposed 212-222 Stuart St. tower in Bay Village.
The ZBA approved the building in August after a long, drawn-out process between the developers, Transom Real Estate, and the residents of Bay Village.
Now, that the building is stuck in limbo until litigation is solved, Bay Village residents want to give a nudge in support of the developers to get the ball going, especially since a new development is starting to take shape across the street at the Motor Mart Garage.
“The 212 Stuart Street developers really listened to the neighborhood, and in the end, they got pretty strong support from us,” said Sarah Herlihy the Senior Vice President of the Bay Village Neighborhood Association (BVNA). “The owners of this building [South Cove Plazas] have succeeded to stop the project from moving forward, but we don’t want it to stop the project from moving forward.”
At a BVNA Executive Board meeting, on Monday, February 5., Herlihy asked the Board if they should push the project forward – despite it being stuck in litigation.
Suggestions included writing letters to show their support of the building to the corresponding city agencies . City Councilor Annissa Essaibi-George suggested contacting the project manager from the Boston Planning and Development Agency to see if there are any updates. It is common practice for City agencies to not meddle in private litigation matters.
Other members wanted to send a letter out to the owners of South Cove Plazas to invite them to share their side of the problem with the community. Despite attending some of the community meetings held to discuss the 212 Stuart St. development, they never publically said they were upset with the plans.
“The Motor Mart development could go up, and we would still have that lot,” said Herlihy. “I don’t want another building like [South Cove Plazas] where we will be staring at another brick wall.”
There is a fear that the litigation will stall the project long enough that the upward building boom in the city would go on a downturn, making the project economically unfeasible. It could take several years to get the issue fully resolved.
Bethany Patten, the president of BVNA, said she wanted to do some research on what the neighborhood association has done in the past in terms of getting involved in a litigation problem before they proceed writing a letter. She is open to receiving more ideas on how to best move forward in this process.
“I just don’t think we can sit by and do nothing,” said Herlihy. “Because five years from now there could be something else there… I don’t want a missed opportunity to go by.”
Crosswalk Upgrades Coming Soon!
Alana Olsen, the chief of staff for At-large City Councilor Annissa Essaibi-George, gave an update on the safety measures being implementing at the only crosswalk in Bay Village, located at the intersection of Arlington Street and Isabella St.
Olsen said that Essaibi-George has fought to get funding to upgrade the crosswalk to have safety measures similar to the new crosswalks that have been implemented along Tremont St. in the South End.
Some stuff has already been installed but this spring, Bay Village residents will notice more permanent changes.
The Chief of Streets Chris Osgood or another representative from the Boston Transportation Department will attend next month’s hearing to discuss what residents would like to see at the crosswalk in the future.
Currently, residents have problems crossing the busy intersection that is the main route to the highway from downtown. They would like to seek traffic calming measures and are still working on reversing the direction of Isabella St., to stop cars from cutting over on a small residential street.
Where did the Bigbelly go?
A few months ago it became apparent that the bigbelly trash receptacle along Isabella St. had disappeared, leaving Bay Village residents bewildered as to where it went.
After they figured out that the City took it out, residents have asked that it be returned but in a new location that is closer to the bus stop.
One resident said he might be the one to blame for it being taken out in the first place. An avid trash picker-upper he would fill multiple bags of street trash and place them next to the bigbelly if it was already full. He would then simply send a 311 alert saying it needed to be picked up and city crews would come by within an hour and a half and pick up the trash – problem solved.
But, he had no idea that it would lead to the bin’s disappearance. He noted that if he doesn’t pick up the trash, the street just looks horrible.
Nancy Morrisroe who is on the City Services/ Traffic Committee said that after calling the City, she learned, “It was one the most abused trash bins in the city.”
Bay Village residents asked their City Councilors Ed Flynn and Annissa Essaibi-George to work towards restoring the bin so that trash can be kept off the street.