ESMS starts corridor guideline process for Washington St.

August 16, 2013
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Egleston Square Main Streets (ESMS) will focus on creating development guidelines for Egleston Square and the Washington Street corridor following two neighborhood “visioning” meetings and further meetings with other neighborhood groups.

A community meeting will be held in the fall to discuss progress on the project, ESMS Executive Director Betsy Cowan told the Gazette. She said a Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) corridor plan, similar to that recently implemented for the S. Huntington Avenue corridor, is the ultimate goal.

“We’re hoping that these guidelines will assist us in future conversations with potential developers, new businesses, residents and planning agencies,” Cowan told the Gazette this week.

ESMS is working with the Stonybrook Neighborhood Association to advocate for a formal BRA planning process along the Washington Street and Stonybrook corridor in the future, Cowan said.

While the BRA would be open to working with the neighborhood, it has not yet received any requests regarding the creation of a corridor plan for the area, spokesperson Melina Schuler told the Gazette.

“While we’re open to having a conversation about such a request, its scope would need to be reviewed prior to taking any definitive action,” she said.

The area under study spans Washington Street from Columbus Avenue to Forest Hills, but is especially focused on the area between Chilcott Place and Montebello Road. But the hoped-for BRA study would cover the whole corridor, Cowan said.

Over the past two months, ESMS attended meetings with the Chilcott/Granada Park neighborhood association, assisted with the JP New Economy Transition community potluck about the future of Egleston Square, and hosted various discussions about the community’s future. Those talks included discussions on building types, heights and uses, open space and parking. ESMS has also received over 60 responses to a survey in English and Spanish.

According to Cowan, area residents are interested in more development along Washington Street, with a focus on mixed-income housing.

The survey is still available at bit.ly/WashStsurvey2013. ESMS is maintaining a Facebook page for the project at facebook.com/WashingtonCommunityPlan.

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