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Councilor Edwards Calls for East Boston Master Plan, Zoning Review

Councilor Edwards Calls for East Boston Master Plan, Zoning Review

East Boston delegation pushes for comprehensive review of
housing, transportation, zoning & resiliency


City Councilor Lydia Edwards is calling for an East Boston Master Plan - a comprehensive framework to guide neighborhood development and growth while accounting for transportation needs and the ongoing work to make the community resilient to climate change. State Senator Joe Boncore and State Representative Adrian Madaro fully supporting this initiative.


“East Boston is facing intense pressures from development, traffic congestion and sea level rise,” said Councilor Edwards. “In order to preserve quality of life, promote affordability and plan for a resilient neighborhood, and responding to requests from many of my constituents, I am calling for a comprehensive review of zoning, housing transportation and climate planning for the neighborhood.”


“With development taking place in East Boston, this master plan will give residents the confidence that re-zoning neighborhoods will be done in a sensible and strategic way and not on the spot for each project individually,” said Senator Joe Boncore.


“A master plan will provide East Boston with the clarity and guidance to move forward in an age of rapid development,” said Rep. Madaro. “With a comprehensive, community-driven master plan, we can ensure that the fabric and character of our neighborhood are maintained and that private development and public infrastructure work in harmony. This is an important step to realizing a lively, affordable, and diverse East Boston for years to come."


Councilor Edwards will be calling for a hearing in East Boston to solicit input from the community. Mayor Walsh’s administration is invited to discuss recent master planning processes, such in South Boston, have unfolded and how this it could work for East Boston.


Other Happenings at City Council:
This week, City Councilor Edwards joined her colleague Councilor-at-Large Annissa Essaibi-George in calling for a review of Payment In Lieu of Taxes agreements with tax-exempt institutions. Property taxes make up approximately seventy percent of the city’s budget, but nearly half of the land in Boston is tax-exempt.


In Fiscal Year 2017, tax-exempt educational, medical and cultural institutions were expected to contribute approximately $49.5 million in cash and $52.3 million in community programming, those institutions contributed $32 millions dollars or roughly 65% of the cash payment, with several institutions not contributing at all and some institutions charging the City for Boston Public Schools’ use of athletic fields.


Since Fiscal Year 2012, tax-exempt institutions were asked and agreed to submit payments for twenty-five percent of the assessed value of their property, with additional deductions for services they provide to community residents. Despite this, institutions in the PILOT program paid only sixty-five percent of dollars requested in Fiscal Year 2017.


“These are not poor institutions. They use roads and transportation. Their students live in our housing. They’ve placed a burden on the city,” Edwards said, adding she wanted to look into potentially levying extra fees for universities using city services. “We welcome these institutions as part of our community - but today, they’re not fulfilling their part of the deal.”


updated: 5 months ago