Councilor Edwards to Explore Community Reuse of Little Mystic Parcel, Height Restrictions in Charlestown
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Councilor Edwards to Explore Community Reuse of Little Mystic Parcel,
Height Restrictions in Charlestown
Little Mystic Status
Councilor Lydia Edwards today announced her intent to work with the Charlestown community and Boston Planning and Development Agency on potential reuse of a parcel of land on the Little Mystic. The land, located off of Terminal Street, has been leased to MassPort for 40 years for one dollar and currently sits within a Designated Port Area.
“The Charlestown community should have the opportunity to realize full use of its waterfront, and that waterfront should be accessible to all members of the community,” said Councilor Edwards. “Currently, property on the Little Mystic does not provide a substantial benefit to Charlestown residents or to the city tax base. As Charlestown’s district councilor, I am asking city and state officials to make this public property available to the neighborhood so that the community can determine its future use.”
To begin that process, Councilor Edwards delivered a letter to the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) earlier this month,notifying Director Brian Golden of her intent to seek a boundary review of the Designed Port Area, which is determined by the state’s Office of Coastal Zone Management. Currently, the Designated Port Area status does not allow for open space uses and would preclude development of a waterfront park or other community amenities.
Hood Park Height Limits
Councilor Edwards has already reached out to the BPDA to work together in a real community process to examine the height restrictions at Hood Park. Last week Councilor Edwards and the Charlestown community successfully blocked the removal of the height restrictions at Hood Park. “I remember the head of Zoning Commission stated that as a leader I had work to do to bring parties to the table. So I reached out and asked that the BPDA come to a community meeting wherein we discuss the pros and cons of removing the height limit. I am open to reviewing going higher but I will oppose an outright removal of any limitations.”
Councilor Edwards is hopeful the BPDA will be willing to work with community to find a height restriction. “But I want to be clear, we are not powerless, we can do more than oppose, we can and will propose our own zoning amendment on height restrictions and make our case to the Zoning Commission.”
Councilor Edwards is referring to the rarely used section of the zoning code that allows for “any person who resides in Boston or owns property” to petition the Zoning Commission to adopt an amendment. “I did my research. I really want Charlestown to be leading and to be an example. I think it would be incredibly powerful for the community to submit an amendment. I can’t think of a more powerful example of community led development. But for now, let’s see if we can’t work this out.” To date, the BPDA has not responded to Councilor Edwards request for community meeting.