Enough with Bicon bashing

March 20, 2009
By

After months of constant complaints from neighbors regarding the Bicon building and its operations, it is time to move on to more significant issues facing the neighborhood. The Bicon building itself is a magnifi-cent architectural structure with its brick facade and cupola cap. The nighttime lighting illuminates the building in a stunning castle-like glow. Surrounding buildings (particularly the odd turquoise-colored house and slightly dilapidated building on Yale Terrace directly behind Bicon) pale in comparison to the eloquence of the Bicon building. As a neighboring resident, I view the Bicon building as an attractive addition to a formerly blighted area. Bicon and its operations will no doubt continue to boost overall property market values in the neighborhood.

As for complaints over the public input process (JP Gazette, March 6, 2009), they are seemingly irrele-vant at this point in time. Whether Bicon offers training courses on site is insignificant—a minor oversight in permit approvals since rectified. The signage and landscaping are also similarly insignificant. While I acknowledge that the city’s Inspectional Services Department (ISD) dropped the ball on some issues regarding the permitting process of Bicon and its various operations, in hindsight, the only issue that needs to be addressed now is ensuring that future ISD oversight of any proposed project is more consistent and open to public input. City Councilor John Tobin asked: “Why is it that this place is getting special treatment?” Bicon’s impressive structural addition to a formerly blighted area, the additional business tax revenue to the city, as well as a likely increase in neighboring property values seemingly answer this question.

More important issues to which we should now turn our attention that will continue to enhance property values and generally improve the neighborhood are:

1. Moving forward on the Forest Hills Improvement Initiative in order to start groundbreaking for yet more architectural improvements to replace the currently blighted area around the Forest Hills T stop. (Hopefully, the Bicon building architect will be involved.)

2. Working with Shattuck Hospital and the homeless shelter, Covenant Congregational Church and the MBTA to reduce unsightly litter left by users of their facilities.

3. Working with the city Animal Control office to enforce licensing and leashing of dogs from homes on Yale Terrace that routinely roam the neighborhood.

Hopefully, Mr. Tobin and other community leaders will divert their attention from Bicon to more pressing community issues.

Glenn Inghram
Jamaica Plain

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