Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council Minutes January 31, 2012
Attendance: David Baron, Red Burrows, Erin Colgan-Snyder, Benjamin Day, Oliver DeLeon, Francesca Fordiani, Andrea Howley, Cooper Renfro, Michael Reiskind, Alex Rodruguez, Martha Rodriguez, Hyun Shin, Courtney Snegroff, Jeffrey Wiesner, Joseph Wight
Other Attendees: Richard Health; Peter Shanley, JP Gazette; Jullieanne Doherty, Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services; Valerie Frias, Councillor O’Malley’s office; Olu Ibrahim, Rep. Sanchez’s office; Sarah Freeman, Sam Sherwood, Arborway Coalition; City Councillor Matt O’Malley; Chris Helms, JP Patch; Noah Maslan, Katie Provencher, Urban Edge; Jessica Taubner, Councillor Pressley’s office; Nathanael Shea, Sen. Chang-Diaz’s office; David Johnson, JP Citizen; Helen Matthews; Heather Perez, Councillor Arroyo’s office; City Councillor Felix G. Arroyo
Meeting called to order by Ben Day at 7:02pm at Curtis Hall, Jamaica Plain. I. Introductions:: Members present introduced themselves.
Members and audience observed a moment of silence to remember the passing of former Mayor Kevin While.
II. Additions to/subtractions from Agenda: Approval of November, 2011 and December 2011 added.
III. Announcements: See attached Announcements incorporated herein, with the following additions: Community meeting tomorrow, February 1 regarding the proposed MBTA fare hike; February 3rd is Wear Red Day to raise awareness of heart disease in women; the Mayor’s office is requesting that anyone with information regarding potential youth jobs should contact Jullieanne Doherty; February 7th: BPD seminar on reducing odds of becoming victim of crime – at Curtis Hall.
IV. Approval of minutes: Motion to approve November, 2011 and December, 2011 minutes by Red Burrows, seconded by Alex Rodriquez. Passed 14-0-0. (1 late)
V. Presentation by City Councilors Felix Arroyo and Matt O’Malley on Plans for the Upcoming City Council Session and Q&A: Each Councillor reviewed major accomplishments and priorities for the upcoming year. Topics included the Arborway Yard, asian longhorned beetle, snow removal routes, traffic calming measures, pedestrian and bicycle safety, youth issues, asthma, Invest in Boston ordinance, proposed T fare hikes, youth jobs and Sedgewick Library renovation funding. Ben Day and Francesca Fordiani asked questions to both Councillors on behalf of the JPNC regarding community process relative to City Council redistricting. Both agreed that continued attention to community process is important going forward.
VI. Discussion of Plans for Jackson Square Ice Skating Rink with Katie Provencher and Noah Maslan from Urban Edge: This was a followup to a presentation made to the JPNC by Urban Edge in March, 2011. JPNC and Roxbury Neighborhood Council have both approved the
JPNC Minutes, 1/31/12, p. 2 zoning variances needed for this project and $5.6 million has been received from the state. Project will be a multi-use space including ice, turf, movie nights, farmers’ markets. The goal is to create more recreational opportunities for youth and to create a safe and welcoming space for youth. Planned to be ice for 7 months of the year, turf for 5 months, and there will be a year- round walking track. The plan is to construct a facilty without debt so the fees can be low and the center can be sustainable. Urban Edge is assembling a stakeholder group to act in an advisory capacity re: programming and operating the facility. Ice scraping will go into a pit inside inside the facility and waste heat will be used to melt it. The Kelly Rink will operate until the new facility is built. It has not yet been decided how the current site of the Kelly Rink will be used after moving.
VII. Committee Reports:
a. Public Service – Michael Reiskind reported that the Committee met on the 1st Tuesday of the month. Reiskind requested approval of Committee roster and written initiative for the upcoming year. Roster as follows: JPNC Members: Karley Ausiello, Michael Reiskind, Cooper Renfro, Jeffrey Wiesner. Community Members: Dave Demerjian, Mary Hannon, Jeremy Harold, Jake Hart, Carlos B. Icaza, Louise Johnson, Orion Kriegman, Raymond Soohoo. Motion to approve both the roster and the initiatives by Red Burrows, seconded by Michael Reiskind. Friendly amendment to add Richard Heath and Arlene Rothman as community members to the roster accepted. Reiskind seconded amended motion. Passed 14-0-1.
b. Parks & Open Space: Andrea Howley reported that the Committee’s meeting time has moved to the third Thursday of the month, last meeting was on January 19th. Howley reported that the Emerald Necklace Conservancy has gotten $25,000 to correct erosion problems at the Pinebank site. Howley further reported that there will be a park ranger fundraiser on March 5th (see announcements), that the Committee is awaiting further information regarding a decision or further meetings regarding the Casey Overpass replacement project, and that the Committee will be following up on newly-passed legislation regarding gas leaks. Howley reported that the sign for the Jamaicaway memorializing Georgina Tynan is in process and will need to be erected on private property. She reported the Committee is scheduling parks clean-ups and trying to create friend’s groups for JP parks, in partnership w/Boston Shines.
Howley requested approval of Committee roster and written initiatives for the upcoming year (attached and incorporated herein). Committee roster as follows: JPNC members: Andrea Howley (Chair), Jessica Later, Cooper Renfro, Hyun Shin, Courtney Snegroff. Community members: Sarah Freeman, Gerry Wright, Jay Zoldak. Moved to approve roster and initiatives by Andrea Howley, seconded by Red Burrows. Passed 15-0-0.
c. Housing & Development: Francesca Fordiani reported that the Superior Court has issued a ruling favorable to the developers of the former Barbara McInnis House at 461 Walnut Street in the lawsuit brought by several abutters contesting the zoning relief granted by the BRA under Chapter 121A. Fordiani reported that UMass Boston Maurice Gaston Institute sociology professors are requesting a grant from UMass Boston to study the effects of gentrification on Hyde Square. Fordiani reported that one the of researchers, Dr. Eduardo Siquiera has attended two Housing and Development Committee meetings requesting support. She further reported that this matter had been brought to the Executive Committee, as a letter of support would have been due today. She reported that the Executive Committee declined to send a letter of support, as an Executive Summary had not yet been available. Fordiani requested approval of Committee roster as follows: Joseph Wright (Chair), Martha Rodriguez, Oliver DeLeon, Jesse Wight.
JPNC Minutes, 1/31/12, p. 3 Community members: Steve Laferriere, Pam Bender, Kathy Brown. Motion to approve by Francesca Fordiani, seconded by Red Burrows. Passed 15-0-0.
d. Zoning: David Baron reported that the zoning committee has met three times since the last JPNC meeting: 12/15, 1/5, and 1/18. Baron reported that in the interim he had received approval from the Executive Committee on 1/24/12 for the following matters:
14 Holbrook Street. Request to erect a two-story addition to existing building, exceeding floor area ration. No opposition expressed by the neighbors and that the applicant leafleted the community as the Committee requested. The Committee voted to recommend approval of the requested variance.
46 Burroughs Street. Request to create off-street parking for three vehicles. The space has apparently been used as a driveway and parking area for thirty-five years by the residents of the property, which is a two-unit condominium building. The applicant stated that they did not intend to expand the existing driveway area or to pave it – only to obtain a curb cut and legalize the historical use. The Committee voted to recommend approval of the requested variances.
Baron reported that the following matters went to the BZC in early January: 347-347C Centre Street. Request to change legal occupance from 2 apartments plus restaurant with take-out to 3 apartments plus restaurant with take-out. Variances needed re: insufficient open space, forbidden use: multi-family residential on first floor, insufficient off-street loading. The Committee voted to recommend approval of the requested variances. 431 Pond Street. Request to erect a two-story addition to existing building, which is an extension of non-conforming use. The Committee voted to recommend approval of the requested variances.
Baron requested approval for: 3 Nira Avenue. Request to construct roof over rear egress deck and exterior stairs. Variances needed relative to extention of non-conforming use, insufficient side yard of narrow lot, insufficient rear yard of shallow lot. Baron reported that this request is to replace the roof over a porch that had collapsed for safety reasons. Motion to approve by Red Burrows, seconded by Andrea Howley. Passed 15-0-0.
e. Jackson Square Citizen Advisory Committee: Red Burrows reported on progress at 225 Centre Street: caissons will begin going in in January, excavation to begin in February. There will be union booths set up on the property to recruit minority and female workers. July, 2012 is the target for Columbus Avenue improvements to be done. Burrows reported that the next Jackson CAC meeting is Weds 2/22nd.
f. Centre/South Street Corridor CAC: No report. g. Community Planning Committee for the Arborway Yard (CPCAY): No report. h. Casey Overpass Working Advisory Group (WAG): No report.
i. Burnett/Washington/McBride Advisory Group: Francesca Fordiani reported that there has been no progress on this project and it appears that it will not be moving forward. Fordiani reported that the property had not been sold to developers and Jesse White will represent the JPNC on this advisory group should the project move forward in the future.
JPNC Minutes, 1/31/12, p. 4 j. Communications: Ben Day reported that he and Joseph Wight have met with the web developer to improve the functionality of the JPNC website. Francesca Fordiani reported she would follow up with Karley Ausiello to add administrators to the JPNC Facebook page.
VIII. New/Old Business:
a. Proposed resolutions on City Council redistricting and Congressional redistricting: Ben Day reported that several members of the JPNC had met and proposed the JPNC send a letter to the Boston City Council with requests to encourage open and transparent community-driven process before final decision about redistricting maps be made, and requesting that JP not be split into several districts. Draft letter attached and incorporated herein. Suggestions were made by members to reorder the paragraphs and clarify that the JPNC acknowledges that there has been community process up to this point and that the request is for community process to continue. Motion to approve letter with above noted changes by David Baron, seconded by Red Burrows. Passed: 15-0-0.
Ben Day reported same group has proposed the JPNC send a letter to the MA legislature expressing disappointment with the lack of community process with respect to Congressional redistricting. Draft letter attached and incorporated herein. Motion to approve by Red Burrows, seconded by Andrea Howley. Michael Reiskind suggested change in language to the closing to state: “Thank you for considering these changes for a better process.” Motion to approve with changes passed 15-0-0.
b. Discussion of proposed changes to the By-Laws: Discussion among members regarding language related to election timeline, and related to custody and disposition of nomination papers before and after certification. This will be discussed further at the next JPNC meeting.
Motion to adjourn by Red Burrows at 8:55pm. Respectfully submitted,
Francesca Fordiani Secretary
JPNC Minutes, 1/31/12, p. 5
Announcements a. Wed Feb. 1, 6pm – MBTA Fare & Service Changes Public Meeting, Hennigan
Community Center, 200 Heath St. b. Sat Feb. 4, 1pm – Franklin Park Snow Festival, Franklin Park, 1 Circuit Dr. c. Mon Feb. 6, 6:30pm – JP Centre/South Main Streets Annual Meeting, The Loring- Greenough House, 12 South St. d. Thu Feb. 9, 6pm – 2nd Annual Jamaica Plain State of Our Neighborhood Forum, English High School, 144 McBride Street. e. Mon Mar. 5, 6pm – Friends of the Boston Park Rangers Mounted Unit fundraiser, Jacob Wirth Restaurant 31-37 Stuart Street, Boston
Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council Minutes January 31, 2012