May 31, 2011
Attendance: Andrea Howley, Pamela Bender, Michael Reiskind, Jesse Abair, Karley Ausiello, Steven Backman, David Baron, Red Burrows, Dave Demerjian, Francesca Fordiani, Orion Kriegman, Steven Laferriere, Stephen Lussier, Peggy O’Connor, Jay Zoldak.
Other Attendees: Gretchen Van Ness, Marianna Bucina Roca, Ellen Donaghey, Sharon Stagliola, Richard Heath, Ian Sample (Councillor Felix G. Arroyo’s office), Nika Elugardo (Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz’ office), Kate-Marie Roycroft (Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez’ office), Jullieanne Doherty (Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services), Chris Helms (Jamaica Plain Patch), Dave Taber (Jamaica Plain Gazette).
Called to Order at 7:11pm at the First Baptist Church in Jamaica Plain by Andrea Howley.
1. Introductions: Members of the JPNC introduced themselves.
- First Thursday festivities will be on Thursday, June 2 from 6:00pm-8:00pm.
- There will be a Whole Foods town hall meeting at the Curley School, 489 Centre Street on Thursday, June 2 at 7:00pm.
- There will be a Boston Public Library Compass Roundtable on Monday, June 6 at 6:00pm at the Connolly Branch Library, 433 Centre Street.
- The Jamaica Plain Forum is sponsoring “ Gentrification: What does it mean for JP?” on Thursday, June 9 at First Church in Jamaica Plain starting at 7:00pm.
- There will be a City Council hearing on the Arborway Yard in the Iannella chamber at Boston City Hall on Monday, June 13 at 4:00pm.
- There will be a Hyde Jackson Square restaurant festival & tasting tour on Saturday, June 18 from 3:00pm to 6:00pm. It will start at the Blessed Sacrament complex.
- There will be a Casey Overpass Open House and Public Meeting on Wednesday, June 29 at 6:00pm at the English High School.
3. Neighborhood Input:
- Presentation of an interim report from the Ad-Hoc Whole Foods Committee by Steve Laferriere, chair of the Committee. Steve Laferriere gave a history of the two public forums (Feb. 8 and Feb. 28) held by the JPNC and the resolution of March 8 which set up an Ad-Hoc Whole Foods Committee and asked that a report be made to the JPNC at its May 2011 meeting. The Ad-Hoc Whole Foods Committee is close to completing its report, but there are still some important issues that need to be worked out. He promised that a draft report will be available after a June 13 meeting of the Committee. The Committee is made up of fourteen members, plus additional volunteers (so there are 30 in all). Their names are on the JPNC website. Steve Laferriere said that he would like to make a statement, as a representative of the JPNC, on June 2 to Whole Foods at their town meeting. The wording was passed out to the JPNC.
- Presentation on Bi-Annual JP Neighborhood Council Election by Red Burrows, chair of the Elections Committee. Red Burrows proposed a timeline for the 2011 election, which will be on Saturday, September 24:
7/8/11- Election packets with instructions to be distributed.
8/5/11- Deadline for signed nomination papers to be submitted.
8/15/11- Deadline for Ombuds Board to certify the signatures.
8/18/11- Deadline for JPNC Chair to advise candidates of their nomination status. Appeal period on signatures begins.
8/25/11- Appeal period on signatures ends and ballot drawing occurs for order of ballot.
9/24/11- Election from 10am to 7pm.
Red Burrows said that this timeline is an expanded one from the sample timeline referenced in the JPNC By-laws. Presently, there are four people on the Ombuds Board. Red will submit their names for certification at the June meeting. There was a question about the time commitment of Ombudspersons. Red said that it was very important that volunteers be recruited from neighborhood organizations. Please send all volunteer names to Red Burrows or to the jpnc.org website. Motion by Francesca Fordiani to approve the election timeline. Seconded by Steve Laferriere. Passed 14-0-1(late).
The minutes from the previous (April 26, 2011) JPNC meeting were then handed out. Motion by Red Burrows to approve the minutes from the April 2011 meeting. Seconded by Steve Lussier. Passed 13-0-2(1 late).
5. Committee Reports:
- Ad-Hoc Whole Foods Committee – Steve Laferriere gave a recap of his previous presentation and asked that the wording of the statement be approved. Motion by Red Burrows to make a statement at the June 2 Whole Foods town meeting and have the proposed statement read by Steve Laferriere. Seconded by Francesca Fordiani. There was a question whether JPNC had invited Whole Foods to meet with the Neighborhood Council. Steve Laferriere replied no, but they had repeatedly been asked too meet with the community and also to attend the two JPNC public forums in February. There was a question on how the JPNC can make a statement when the Ad-hoc Committee’s report is not finalized. There was a question on whether alternatives to Whole Foods use of 415 Centre Street have been worked on by the Committee. Steve Laferriere replied yes, but not a lot because it has not been an interest of most on the Committee. There was a question on whether the Whole Foods lease is a done deal. Steve Laferriere replied that it is unclear until the June 2 Whole Foods meeting. Steve Laferriere thanked his Committee members -some of whom were in attendance – for their hard work. Steve said that sometimes the meetings were held at least once week and were heavily attended. Motion passed 13-0-2(1 late).
- Public Service Committee — Michael Reiskind reported that the Public Service Committee met on May 3 at the Agassiz School. The Committee continued the discussion on how to help remove the billboards in the neighborhood. At the previous monthly meeting on April 5, there was a request from City Feed and Supply at 672 Centre Street for a beer & wine package store license. The manager, Mr. Warner has recently submitted the application to the Licensing Board and it needs to be acted on by the JPNC today. Mr. Warner emphasized that he would have a very small selection of beers and wines to complement his grocery store. He said the area would be in the rear of the store and be closed off when the grocery store is open and retail alcohol sales are not allowed. The neighbors and business community were very supportive of this change. Motion by Michael Reiskind to recommend approval of a beer & wine package store license for City Feed and Supply at 672 Centre Street, with David Warner as manager. Seconded by Red Burrows. Passed 14-0-1(late). The next meeting of the Public Service Committee will be Tuesday, June 7 at the Agassiz School at 7:00pm.
- Parks & Open Space Committee (POSC) — Jay Zoldak reported that the Committee members took part in the annual JP Spring Clean-Up/Boston Shines on April 30, cleaning up various tot lots and playgrounds. The next meeting of the POSC will be Tuesday, June 21 at 6:30pm at JP Licks.
- Housing & Development Committee (H&DC) – Steve Laferriere reported that the MBTA has resubmitted for bids all the parcels in Forest Hills. The deadline for submissions by developers is July 31. Steve Laferriere submitted a draft “letter to developers”, which listed the three different guidelines that the JPNC has developed for housing developments in Jamaica Plain – Healthy Housing Guidelines, Transit Oriented Development and Inclusionary Zoning. Dave Baron was concerned that collaboration between the Zoning Committee and the H&DC on how to implement these three guidelines has not yet been worked out. How the policies are presented to potential developers also seemed to be a concern. Steve Laferriere thought that already-passed JPNC policies should simply be sent to developers. It was agreed that a draft checklist would be sent around to JPNC members. Steve Lussier asked that the letter be rewritten to be friendlier in tone. Steve Laferriere hoped that the policies can go out to the development team that presented at last month’s JPNC meeting. Motion by Steve Laferriere to send these three guidelines to the proposed developers of Burnett Street and to work on the letter with Francesca Fordiani and Steve Lussier. Seconded by Francesca Fordiani. Passed 14-0-1(late). The next meeting of the H&DC will be Tuesday, June 21 at 6:30pm at the Bowditch School.
- Ad-Hoc Outreach/Communications Committee — Dave Demerjian reported that the Committee is working on a better spanish translation of some pages on the JPNC website.
- Ad-Hoc Youth/Violence Committee – Francesca Fordiani reported that members met four or five times over the winter and spring. Youth employment was the most important goal of the group. But no new ideas on how to achieve the goal were reached. There are few resources and no funding available. She said the group will reconvene in the fall. Captain Greland is no longer the commander at the Jamaica Plain E-13 station. The group will have to meet with the new captain about youth and violence issues. Ian Sample from Felix Arroyo’s office said the Councillor will be working on this during the summer.
- Zoning Committee – David Baron reported that the Zoning Committee had two meetings this month – on May 5 and May 19 at which three matters were considered. Two matters went before the Executive Committee: 278-282 Centre Street, a request by Idalia Flores, doing business as “All Checks Cashed”, tenant, acting as agent for the landlord Rafael Benzan, for a change of use to allow the buying of gold. This issue had been heard previously on April 7. The Executive Committee recommended approval with two provisos – that it be provisional for one year, and all identified safety precautions be maintained. The Zoning Board of Appeal denied the request for change of use. 6 Peter Parley Road, a request by Stephen Pitrowski, acting as agent for the landlord Mildred Lopez, to change an existing single-family residence to a three-family residence. This issue had been heard three times previously on, and the developer also had interim meetings with the neighbors The proposal had evolved into one that was acceptable to all sides. Some historical remnants of the house will remain. No JPNC action is needed. 3710 Washington Street; request by Phil Schein, doing business as Fazenda Coffee Roasters Café, seeking transfer of take-out use in former Java Jo’s space. The Zoning Committee recommended approval with the proviso that the take-out use remain with the new tenant only. Motion by David Baron to recommend approval of the one petition (3710 Washington Street). Seconded by Red Burrows. Passed 15-0-0. The Zoning Committee will next meet on Thursday, June 16 at Farnsworth House at 7:00pm.
- Jackson CAC – Red Burrows reported that the next meeting of the Jackson CAC will be on Wednesday, June 8 at 6:30pm at Amory Apartments.
- Centre/South Corridor CAC — Michael Reiskind reported that no spring meetings have been held, but the Boston Redevelopment Authority is hoping to put the draft guidelines from the 2010 planning meetings on their website soon.
- CPCAY – No report. There was a question on what would be the focus of the City Council hearing on the Arborway Yard on June 13. It is thought that the environmental issues around having a temporary MBTA facility at the Arborway Yard for more than the allowed five years would be the main topic.
7. New/Old Business:
There was a report that Parcel S in Forest Hills has been resubmitted for bids by the MBTA.
Motion by Steve Lussier to adjourn the meeting. Seconded by Jesse Abair. Passed 15-0-0. Meeting was adjourned at 8:48pm.
The next meeting of the full JPNC will be on Tuesday, June 28 at 7:00pm at First Baptist Church in Jamaica Plain. The next meeting of the JPNC Executive Committee will be on Thursday, June 23 at 7:30am at Ula Café.
(Minutes submitted by Michael Reiskind)
(Minutes submitted by Michael Reiskind)