Traffic, Development Updates Presented at JHA Meeting

Updates on various projects and previous business was the subject of the Jamaica Hills Association (JHA) meeting on March 13. Polly Selkoe of the Zoning Committee gave an update on 960 Centre St, saying that the applicants have submitted their application to subdivide the lot into two lots, with a single family home on one lot and a two family home on the other.

They will need to appear before the Zoning Board of Appeal for relief for rear and side yard setbacks, among other things, Selkoe said. “Typically, this association has not been supportive of developing undersized lots,” she said, adding that they have made exceptions in the past. There has been no abutters meeting scheduled yet, and a neighbor came to the March 13 meeting who is “totally against” the project.

At 98 Rockwood Terrace, the developer wants to build 12 units in six buildings on four acres of land, Selkoe said. She said a neighbor has land in JP with a house in Brookline. He is a commercial developer, and does not want any more traffic on Rockwood St., she continued, and said he has requested that all traffic be diverted to Avon St. and Parkside Dr. There has been some discussion about how the traffic will be routed, but “none of this is decided or approved,” Selkoe said. “I think it will come back to us in the near future to show us a real plan.” Plans to complete a traffic study have been agreed upon, she added.


JHA Board member Celeste Walker gave an update on the Emerald Necklace Conservancy meeting. She said the main topic was the Shattuck Hospital site, as they are planning what they are going to put in its place. Walker said that the Conservancy wants the land to be returned to the Emerald Necklace, but the state wants to add more buildings. “What form it will take is up in the air,” Walker said, adding that they don’t know what the main building will be. They are looking into building supportive housing for the chronically homeless on the site.


Walker gave an update regarding the lawsuit that was brought forth against the Zoning Board of Appeal and the developer of the proposed project at 64 Allandale St over a now 16 unit development that is to be built at that address. Walker said that the lawsuit is still pending, and the “decision could be any time and could go either way.”

There is news with the second lawsuit brought forth by Springhouse, however. Walker said that Springhouse is settling with the developer. They have a board meeting on March 13 and a court date of May 23 to “report their progress,” Walker said. “Supporters of the plaintiffs have sent an offer to the developer asking them to remove two units making it 14 units,” she added. “We felt confident doing this. 90 Allandale next door has not been sold to a developer,” she said. She said that the developer has not yet responded to the offer.


As previously reported in the Gazette, the JHA discussed drafting a letter to Manning School principal Ethan d’Ablemont Burnes regarding their concerns with traffic in the neighborhoods surrounding the school. At the March 13 meeting, JHA member Andrea Howley said that the letter has now been drafted and tweaked regarding speeding on the side streets and buses idling on neighborhood streets.

Lastly, the group announced that Chief of Streets Chris Osgood will be the keynote speaker at their annual meeting. They want to ask him what can be done to control traffic issues instead of having police officers on every street. They also discussed having someone from the state police come to the meeting, as they have jurisdiction over several areas of Jamaica Plain. Dottie Farrell said she thinks someone from the Department of Conservation and Recreation should come and leave the state police out of it. “Our main concerns in this neighborhood are traffic,” responded Susan White.  The next JHA meeting will be held on April 10.

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