May 25, 2010
Attendance: Andrea Howley, Pamela Bender, Michael Reiskind, Karley Ausiello, Steven Backman, David Baron, Red Burrows, Dave Demerjian, Francesca Fordiani, Ben Knappmiller, Steven Laferriere, Steven Lussier, Edith Murnane, Peggy O’Connor, Daniel Perez Lacera, Jesse White, Jay Zoldak.
Other Attendees: Sarah Freeman, Dr. Lois Lee (Children’s Hospital), Taranjeev Walia (Children’s Hospital), David Foley (Office of Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez), Samantha Roy (Office of Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez), Colleen Keller (Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services), David Taber (JP Gazette).
Called to Order at 7:05pm at Curtis Hall by Andrea Howley.
- Members of the JPNC introduced themselves.
- There will be a City Council hearing on the Parks & Recreation Department budget at 10:00am on May 27 at the Iannella Chambers at Boston City Hall. This is the only time for the public to discuss the parks budget.
- The next Jamaica Plain Centre and South Streets Corridor Transportation and Streetscape Advisory Committee Meeting will be on Thursday, May, 27 from 6-8pm at the Agassiz School.
- First Thursday festivities will be on Thursday, June 3 this month. The Parks and Open Space Committee will have a table at the Loring-Greenough House to raise funds for the Franklin Park Zoo.
- The JP Neighborhood Development Corporation annual meeting will be on Thursday, June 3 at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Hall starting at 6:00pm.
- Egleston Square Main Street’s Annual Meeting and Networking Breakfast will be on Tuesday, June 8 at 7:30am at Spencer House, 2053R Columbus Avenue. Mayor Menino is planning to attend.
- The Hyde Square Task Force Annual Meeting will be on Thursday, June 17 at Cedars Hall on Rockwood Street.
- American Cancer Society’s third Greater Boston Relay for Life will be on June 18 starting at 6:00 pm at English High School.
- The approval of the minutes from the previous JPNC meeting was tabled until next month.
4. Neighborhood Input:
- Children’s Hospital/Community Build Day: Dr. Lois Lee of Children’s Hospital discussed the possibility of a new playground along the SouthWest Corridor, as an injury prevention program. They hope to partner with the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).
- Children’s Hospital will build the playground and DCR will maintain it.
- They looked at different spaces and are proposing the space next to Jackson Square MBTA station, near the basketball court. The basketball and tennis courts will stay, but a play space will be built where the asphalt area is now.
- It is close to both the Bromley-Heath Developments and Martha Eliot Health Center. It is an especially good location given the planned development over the next few years.
- It will be a playground for five-to-twelve year olds, not a tot lot, using both natural and built equipment. It is planned to be accessible for children with both physical and mental disabilities.
- It will have benches and stationary exercise equipment, with a water play area as a possibility. The community will help with design, fundraising and construction.
- The goal is to build it in one six-hour day in May 2011. They plan to coordinate with Mitchell Properties, the developer of this area of Jackson Square, as well as the Bromley Heath Tenant Management Corporation (TMC) and the Parkland Management Advisory Committee (PMAC).
- They have not yet met with the Hyde Square Task Force.
5. Council Business:
- Ad-Hoc Outreach/Communications Committee – Dave Demerjian spoke about the formation of an ongoing Outreach Committee of the JPNC and handed out an information sheet about the Committee with a proposed description, three goals, and ways to measure the Committee’s impact.
- The goals would be to build an on-line presence and drive up traffic at the website, attend events and look into fundraising possibilities, and increase the awareness of the JPNC through general outreach to the community such as signs and the JP Gazette.
- Members thought the proposal feasible and very necessary, especially to advertise underpublicized activities and reaching out to potential non-white members. Some members thought attendance at events might overwhelm the Committee.
- Members asked whether membership on an Ad-Hoc Outreach Committee would count as participation in a JPNC committee as required by the By-Laws, and whether the chair of an Ad-Hoc Outreach Committee would be on the Executive Committee. Dave Baron said that the By-Laws seem to say that all committees count for JPNC member participation.
- Motion by Pam Bender to accept the written proposed Ad-Hoc Outreach Committee description. Seconded by Dave Baron. Passed (17-0-0).
- There was a request by Andrea Howley to have the Outreach Committee submit a list
- of its members by the next meeting.
- Ad-Hoc By-Laws Committee – Dave Baron again summarized the proposed changes that he had sent out in March and April by e-mail to all members. Most of the changes are clarifications, changes in commas or typos, or are changes proposed by Jay Zoldak to keep the By-Laws internally consistent.
- Proposed changes in the intent of the by-laws are: making the JPNC Secretary/Treasurer a member ex-officio of all Council committees, as are the Chair and Vice-Chair, and removing reference to the Health & Human Services Committee.
- Motion by Dave Baron to adopt the March JPNC meeting written amendments to the JPNC By-Laws with the added changes proposed in April by Jay Zoldak. Seconded by Red Burrows. Passed 17-0-0.
- The new By-Laws will be circulated by Dave Baron by e-mail. Motion by Francesca Fordiani to disband the Ad-Hoc By-Laws Committee after the new By-Laws are distributed. Seconded by Dave Baron.
- There was a discussion on whether the JPNC should keep an open Ad-Hoc By-Laws Committee available. Motion passed 16-1-0.
6. New/Old Business:
- Colleen Keller distributed an information sheet about the Boston Fire Department salary arbitration. It is now in the City Council’s hands.
7. Committee Reports:
- Zoning Committee – Dave Baron reported that there were six requests looked at by the Zoning Committee at their meetings on May 6 and May 20.
- 339 Centre Street – request by Mai Phung, as agent for Larry Pavlidis, for an extension of non-conforming use to raise a portion of the roof to add living space. Recommended for approval by the Executive Committee. No JPNC action needed.
- 272-274 Lamartine Street – request by Niles Sutphin, as agent for Paul Donovan, to build two attached single-family three-storey townhouses. Because of negative comments by the community, the applicant will defer. No vote needed at this time.
- 21 Wyvern Street – request by Severiano Perez to change occupancy from two-family to two-family plus day care center. The Committee will hear this again on June 3. No vote needed at this time.
- 17 Park Lane – Neighborhood Design Overlay District (NDOD) review of a proposal to build a new single-family house. Twenty neighborhood residents came and spoke out against the design. Issues of inappropriate garages and porches, a narrow street, and the lack of an architect were mentioned. The Committee wrote comments to the Boston Redevelopment Authority to not accept the current design.
- 3-4 Warren Square – request by Thomas Goodkind, Lucy Marx and Leo Marx to create two off-street parking spaces in front yard. Because the application met the guidelines, the Committee recommended approval.
- 225 Wachusett Street – request by Richard Salemi to combine adjoining parcels and construct one new three-family dwelling. This address has come before the Zoning Committee before with an entirely different two-townhouse design After meeting with the community, the new application is for a three-decker which fits into the street better. The neighborhood is now supportive and thπe Committee recommended approval.
- Motion by Dave Baron to recommend approval on the last three requests. Seconded by Red Burrows.
- Steve Laferriere asked whether the JPNC should be approving comments already made after the comment period has passed.
- Steve Backman thought we should endorse what the Committee did because they were involved in the activity and we should support them. Dave Baron promised to submit NDOD comments to the JPNC or Executive Committee in the future. Friendly amendment by Steve Laferriere to recommend approval on 3-4 Warren Square and 225 Wachusett Street, and not on NDOD. Accepted by Dave Baron and Red Burrows. Passed 17-0-0. Motion by Dave Baron to approve comments of the Zoning Committee on 17 Park Lane. Seconded by Red Burrows. Passed 14-0-3.
- There will be a joint meeting of the Zoning Committee and Housing & Development Committee on June 17 at 7:00pm to discuss implementation of the Healthy Housing Guidelines. Because this is Bunker Hill Day, the meeting will not be at Curtis Hall – probably at Farnsworth House. Pam Bender invited all JPNC member to attend.
- Parks & Open Space Committee (POSC) – Jay Zoldak reported that the Committee had a booth at the Loring-Greenough House to raise funds for the Franklin Park Zoo at the May 1 First Thursday festivities this month. They will continue it at future First Thursdays.
- Red Burrows went to the last Parkland Management Advisory Committee (PMAC) meeting. They are writing a letter to get extracted crime statistics from the State Police classified for the SouthWest Corridor Park area instead of arranged by State Police Barracks.
- The POSC will be doing park clean-ups on Saturdays July 10, Sept. 11 and Nov. 6. Meet at 8:30am at Curtis Hall.
- There will be a possible closing of Francis Parkman Drive for a weekend day in the summer to clean it and have a community celebration of the park.
- The 20th anniversary of the SouthWest Corridor Park is this year and they are planning a celebration, scheduled for Sunday, September 19.
- The Parks Ranger Mounted Unit has been cut out of the FY2011 Parks Budget. The POSC disagrees strongly with this decision, because promises were made last year to the community donors that their donations would keep the unit going for two years. A letter is being drafted in opposition of the Parks Department decision.
- The next meeting of the POSC will be Tuesday, June 15 at 6:30pm at JP Licks. Andrea Howley reminded the Committee that they should submit a list of its members by the next meeting.
- Housing & Development Committee (H&DC) – Steve Laferriere reported that the next big meeting is a joint meeting with the Zoning Committee on June 17 at Farnsworth House. The next scheduled meeting of the H&DC is the third Tuesday of the month, but nothing is yet scheduled this month due to the joint Zoning meeting.
- Public Service Committee – Michael Reiskind reported that the Public Service Committee meeting was held on May 4 at 7:00pm at Curtis Hall. On the agenda was the new initiative working on removal of billboards in the neighborhood. The Committee has done an inventory of those that exist, and is working on asking landlords to voluntarily end the lease with the billboard owners – always Clear Channel in Jamaica Plain. Initial contacts with landlords has been positive.
- Possible upcoming food and alcohol licenses: The J’Way Café at Jamaicaway Books (676 Centre Street) still needs a Common Victualler license and may also require zoning relief. There is a pending request for a beer & wine package store license at 3383 Washington Street at the rear of Royal Fried Chicken. There are requests for two different alcohol license in Forest Hills at adjoining addresses: 3698 Washington Street (former Griffin’s Café) and 3700 Washington Street (a former barber shop). The next meeting of the Public Service Committee is Tuesday, June 1 at English High School at 7pm.
- Jackson CAC – Red Burrows reported that he missed the last CAC meeting, but that local hiring for the project from the neighborhood was discussed, especially how to recruit minority workers. The meeting dates of the CAC have changed. The next meeting will be on Tuesday, June 1 at 6:00pm. The location has not yet been determined.
- Ad-Hoc Outreach Committee – No additional report.
The next meeting of the full JPNC will be on Tuesday, June 29 at 7:00pm.
The next meeting of the JPNC Executive Committee will be on Thursday, June 24 at 7:30am at Ula Café.
Meeting was adjourned at 8:39pm.
Minutes submitted by Ben Knappmiller and Michael Reiskind