SNA Provides Update on Flanagan and Seaton site

The Stonybrook Neighborhood Association (SNA) gave an update on several projects that it has been involved with at its monthly meeting on August 10, which was held via Zoom.

The Flanagan & Seaton project, which consists of a community agreement in three parts: a community room, the garden, and the mural, took up much of the discussion.

Leanne and Gopi Manchineella, who are part of a subcommittee for the garden portion of the project, reported that there are plans for the garden, known as the Burnett Street Garden, that have been approved by the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) and the zoning “is ready to go,” Leanne said. “At this point, it’s pending construction.”

The garden consists of 26 raised beds, four of which are ADA reserved beds, that will be available for membership once the garden is established. This area will also eventually be an extension of the Southwest Corridor. The garden also includes a shed and a water supply. The 12,000 square foot park offers benches, a path, and 13 large caliper trees, along with more than 40 shrubs. The design was done by Ray Dunetz Landscape Architecture.

The garden is located in the green space between the ExtraSpace Self Storage building on McBridge St. and the residential building on Burnett St.

Leanne said that the park space is being prepared “for the community to receive it,” and she said that the subcommittee is “confident with the state of our [Memorandum of Agreement] “for both the garden and the park.

The outlying issue is that “we don’t have an organization that will assume liability,” subcommittee member Fred Vetterlein said, adding that the park and garden needs water and materials to keep it going every year.

Vetterlein said they had approached the Trustees, who took on the Minton Stable Community Garden, but it did not pan out.

A City of Boston program, called the Boston Parks Priority Plan, came to the attention of the subcommittee, and Vetterlein said he believes this program could offer the support that is needed to make this park happen.

The City of Boston said on its website that its “goal is to enhance and enlarge Boston’s network of resilient community parks,” and on the page for the Parcel Priority Plan, the City states that it is “prioritizing parcels of land to acquire and protect for public use.”

Vetterlein said they hope to include city councilors, city and state reps, and other stakeholders in the process to find an entity to assume liability.

Leanna also mentioned that discussion has been had about the potential separation of the community garden from the park, but nothing has been officially decided.

SNA member Jennifer Uhrhane said that she “urges” not separating the park from the garden, as it would cause loss of potential of gaining more garden space from the park in the future.

A small community room update from subcommittee member Tobias Johnson said that a meeting was held this week with a nonprofit “prospective managing partner.” The case is similar to that of the green space in that a separate entity is needed to help run the community room space that is located inside the ExtraSpace Storage building.

For the mural, Jennifer Uhrhane said that a conversation has been had with ExtraSapce Storage “about picking up the budget shortfall” for the mural and ExtraSpace will provide an answer shortly.

She also said that the City of Boston’s Office of Arts and Culture has been contacted, as another entity would become responsible for the mural one the 20 year maintenance period is over for the first one.

97-99 Williams St.

Scott Glidden provided an update on the proposed project at 97-99 Williams St., which is being designed by architect Elaine Scales and developed by developer Joey Federico. Glidden, who is a member of the subcommittee for this project, said that he heard back about updated drawings from the team, who wanted to know when they could come back before the SNA for a vote.

“They’ve made significant changes that we had been requesting,” Glidden said. An originally proposed flat roof design had been removed, as well as some other details, “so it sort of fits into the neighborhood better than it did before,” Glidden said. He said a roof deck has been incorporated for owners on the third floor.

Glidden said the subcommittee has not had a chance to meet and discuss the new plans yet, as they had just been sent last Thursday. He said that while positive changes have been made to the proposal, there are still outlying issues and variances “that have not been satisfied or completely addressed,” so he said the subcommittee is “not ready to submit a recommendation to the general SNA prior to the September meeting.”

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