A letter to the mayor and city council on JP/Rox

We are residents and members of neighborhood associations located in the area between Forest Hills, Egleston Square, and Jackson Square. This area is currently involved in a long-awaited planning process called Plan JP/Rox. Led by the Boston Redevelopment Authority, Plan JP/Rox has held a number of community meetings since last July. The goal of Plan JP/Rox is to prepare for new development. A draft zoning plan is expected in May.

With many industrial sites in the area that can be rezoned for residential use, there is the potential for a substantial increase in the number of people living here. We hope the new plan will provide standards for affordability, building heights and setbacks, open space, and street improvements that will help grow the area in a way that is positive, community-friendly, and sustainable. Other community concerns associated with the plan include infrastructure support, community oversight, maintaining racial and ethnic diversity, and preventing displacement of long-time residents.

A serious problem has arisen as a result of developers submitting proposals to the BRA for development ahead of the new zoning and without addressing the community concerns raised in the Plan JP/Rox process, including stronger affordable-housing requirements and other community benefits in exchange for height or density in excess of the current zoning. Even though the new zoning draft plan is coming out within a month, at least two development proposals are going forward, with the cooperation of the BRA, that do not take into account the emerging guidelines and intent of Plan JP/Rox.

We have invested much time and energy in working on what we hope will be a good plan for development. Asking the community to work with one office in the BRA on new zoning while another office in the BRA allows developers to skirt the intent of the new zoning is unwise, counterproductive, and wrong.

We call on the City, through its agencies of the BRA and the Zoning Board of Appeals, to only allow development projects to proceed in this area that are following the emerging guidelines of Plan JP/Rox, including stronger affordable-housing requirements and other community benefits in exchange for height or density in excess of the current zoning. We, as community members, pledge to withhold our support of any project that does not make a good faith effort to incorporate these guidelines.

Joan Becker, co-chair, Chilcott Place Granada Park Neighborhood Association

Leslie Belay, Parkside Neighborhood Association

Bernard Doherty, Asticou Neighborhood Association

Betzaida Fuentes, Parkside Neighborhood Association

Jake Glickel, Parkside Neighborhood Association

Ron Hafer, Egleston Square Neighborhood Association

Martha Karchere, Parkside Neighborhood Association

Isabel Leon, Parkside Neighborhood Association

Reva Levin, Parkside Neighborhood Association

Luis Prado, Egleston Square Neighborhood Association

Susan Pranger, co-chair, Chilcott Place-Granada Park Neighborhood Association

Carolyn Royce, Egleston Square Neighborhood Association

Scott Shear, Brookside Neighborhood Association

Alvin Shiggs, Advisory Group Plan JP/Rox, Egleston Square Neighborhood Association

Diane Simpson, Brookside Neighborhood Association

Dan Thomas, Advisory Group Plan JP/Rox, Chilcott Place-Granada Park Neighborhood

Association

Donna Tremonte, Brewery District Neighborhood Crime Watch Group

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