Washington St. master plan kicks off July 28

July 24, 2015
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The long-awaited master plan for the Washington Street corridor is kicking off on July 28 with an open-house meeting. And the plan’s scope has been expanded to include a stretch of Columbus Avenue as well.

The Boston Redevelopment Authority is nicknaming the project “PLAN: JP/ROX.” It will cover the zoning of Washington Street between the Arborway and Egleston Square, and Columbus Avenue between Egleston and Jackson Squares.

The zoning master plan is among the first the Boston Redevelopment Authority has done in years. It ultimately will tie into Mayor Martin Walsh’s proposed citywide master plan—something Boston has not had in decades.

The planning effort follows years of requests from Jamaica Plain residents for a Washington Street plan. The BRA long expressed interest, but has undergone many changes of its own, including ongoing reform under Walsh’s administration.

Under former Mayor Thomas Menino, the BRA did not conduct master plans. JP inspired a rare exception in 2012, when the BRA conducted a small-scale S. Huntington Avenue plan under pressure from residents during a redevelopment boom.

Earlier this year, some local and visiting officials conducted a walk-through of Washington Street and issued a report about possible redevelopment plans and goals. While some BRA officials were involved, that was a totally separate event—a distinction that was not clear to many residents. The BRA has said that walk-through may inform the master plan indirectly.

The July 28 open house will run 5 to 8 p.m. at the Brookside Community Health Center, 3297 Washington St. Residents can stop in at any time during that period to learn about the plan’s scope and give input on how the process should work.

The BRA is also seeking nominations for people to serve on an official advisory group for the plan. The nomination should give the person’s name, address and email, and list their organizational affiliations and a brief statement about their qualification to serve as an advisor. Nominations are due by 5 p.m. on Aug. 7 at marie.mercurio@boston.gov.

For more information about the plan, see bit.ly/planjprox.

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