Reporting, Mayor’s Office, ISD bring fresh look at 501 Arborway issues

The saga of the Inspectional Services Department (ISD) permitting process regarding the facility located at 501 Arborway has been going on for a long time. The residents of the Yale Terrace neighborhood appreciate the Gazette’s timely and accurate reporting on the issue.

First, I would like to emphasize what the Gazette reported in the May 1 issue: The community meeting on April 27 was proposed by the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services (ONS). I, at first, declined the invi-tation to meet. I saw little value in spending any more time in meetings and was feeling prepared to declare defeat, conclude my career as an “angry Yale Terrace neighbor” and move on. However, I am glad that we held the meeting, because I thought it produced a very realistic proposed path to resolving the outstanding zon-ing, permitting and quality of life issues, if not perfectly, then in a reasonable and mutually acceptable fashion. So, thanks to ONS and ISD for putting the meeting together.

Second, I would like to thank ISD Commissioner Bill Good and Assistant Commissioner Gary Moccia for taking the time yet again to spend an evening listening to our frank and sometimes vividly expressed concerns. Although we differ profoundly on the substance of the issues and ISD’s handling of the matter, I want the record also to reflect the patience and professionalism of these two gentlemen in all of our personal interactions. Again, I think we put a fair and reasonable proposal on the table as to how ISD could resolve this problem once and for all, and Commissioner Good promised to give it due and prompt consideration. I am con-fident that he will carry out this undertaking as promised and I look forward to a positive next step and a true undertaking by ISD to resolve this issue satisfactorily for all of the neighbors.

Finally, it is deeply embarrassing to me, and very much contrary to the way we live life on Yale Terrace, for us to be seen by the community as a bunch of squabbling neighbors. While we think that this effort has been and remains necessary and worthwhile, I and, I am sure, all of my neighbors are very much looking for-ward to putting this mess behind us. With the Gazette’s able reporting keeping everyone focused, and if the Mayor’s Office and ISD do take a fresh look at the problem and our proposed solution, I am cautiously opti-mistic that that time is near.

Jerry O’Connor
Jamaica Plain

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