BLC determines community meeting process insufficient for 44 Robeson demo delay hearing

The Boston Landmarks Commission (BLC) was set to hear a demolition delay application for the building at 44 Robeson St., but determined that the community process had not been sufficient, so the hearing could not continue.

       The first step in a demolition delay hearing is to determine whether or not the community meeting requirements have been met regarding notifying the community of the proposition to demolish a building. In this case, several neighbors spoke up saying that they had not been notified about the hearing until someone else had told them about it.

       Terry Mason, a resident on Peter Parley Rd., said that she knows of a couple of abutters “who did not know about this at all. I happen to have identified one yesterday when I went to look at the site itself.” She said she knocked on the door of the people who live behind 44 Robeson, and “they had no idea,” and neither did the residents who live across from the property.

       Chris Collins, who lives on Sigourney St., said that “we didn’t receive anything.” He said that someone reached out to him over the phone. “That was the first any of us had heard of it,” he said.

       Charles Deutsch said that he’s “in the same position,” and “44 is right at our backyard. We’re going to be highly impacted by this.”

       Rosanne Foley, Executive Director of the BLC, said that “it sounds like we really need to take a look at the spreadsheet of addresses that was submitted to us by the applicant and look at a map and see…because it sounds like people didn’t get the flyer the first time, which doesn’t have anything to do with my decision to not flyer the second time. It sounds as if we would need to look at re-flyering and re-doing the community meeting process, unfortunately.”

       Commissioner John Freeman agreed that he thinks the “proper thing to do here is to err on the side of caution and make sure that a proper meeting takes place.”

       The BLC unanimously decided that the community meeting requirements had not been met.

            “I’m sorry about this, but we’ve determined that the community meeting requirements have not been met,” Smiledge said, which will require a second community meeting to be scheduled.”

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