SNA Hears from Council Candidate Kendra Hicks; Discusses Updates on Projects

The Stonybrook Neighborhood Association (SNA) met virtually on March 8, where District 6 City Council Candidate Kendra Hicks talked about her platform and addressed resident questions, and SNA members discussed updates from subcommittees.

Kendra Hicks

District 6 City Council Candidate Kendra Hicks briefly spoke about her campaign and then opened it up to questions from SNA members and residents.

She was asked how she would “operate differently” from incumbent Councilor Matt O’Malley should she be elected.

“I think that the political conditions, not only in the neighborhood but in the entire country have shifted  where we need people in leadership who have a different vantage point to the issues that are really plaguing ur city and I. Think that my professional experience, but also my personal experience gives me that unique vantage point to be able to create policies that work for many people and not just a few people.”

She said that she believes O’Malley has done  a lot for the district, but she wants to“build” upon O’Malley’s environmental work and get down to the more systemic problems behind some of the issues.

She said focusing on systemic change rather than “individual actions” is important.

“I think that individual changes to behavior are only going to do so much to limit and reverse the damage that we’ve already done,” Hicks said, adding that  the city should be “thinking strategically about how and where we decide to build, decreasing our reliance on fossil fuels, and prioritizing and investing in accessible transit for the entire city.”

      She continued, “I believe that we can be way more proactive in our goal, right now we have a goal to be a carbon neutral city by 2050, and I think that we can speed that up. I think that we need leaders that are ready to act with the urgency that the impending climate crisis really calls for.”

Hicks said she is “supportive” of a municipal Green New Deal, especially when it comes to green jobs, which are “really going to expand employment opportunities for young people and residents who face barriers to employment.”

Hicks said that her policy platform, “The Six for D6,” has recently been released, and “really gets to the heart of the systemic part of the issues,” where she said she believes she varies from O’Malley’s leadership.

More information about Hicks and her platform can be found on her website, hicksfordistrictsix.com.

BMS Paper

Jennifer Uhrhane said that the subcommittee still has issues with the design of the residential building proposed for the BMS Paper site at 3390 Washington St.

She said it is “not great visually,” and digging into the hillside on the back has the potential to damage surrounding apartment buildings on Forest Hills St. She said that the subcommittee has “had good conversations with Bob [Harrington],” who is the owner of BMS Paper, and :he wants to do something to benefit the community.” She added that she believes “he’s not getting what he wants out of his development team and his architect,” and the subcommittee has provided some suggestions about potential changes to the design.

One of those suggestions is to include more larger units with two and three bedrooms for families, instead of so many studio units.

35 Brookley/ 10 Stonley Rd.

Jennifer Uhrhane reported that the proposal at 35 Brookley/10 Stonley Rd. went before the ZBA on February 23 and received approval, which the Gazette reported on.

Uhrhane said that there is frustration, not with the approval, but rather with the process at the ZBA hearing. She said that the “process completely broke down in how they’re doing the review and the community involvement in the review.”

Neither she nor any of the other neighbors were given a chance to make a comment, and she said that instead, the ZBA “asked the developer’s lawyer and the BPDA project manager to speculate on our behalf what our comments were.”

Doyle’s

Paige Sparks reported that the new Doyle’s restaurant and housing/market proposal for 3474-3484 Washington St. has had two public meetings thus far.

The project is gong through Article 80 Small Project review with the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) and the comment period ends on March 26.

Sparks said that the “subcommittee is putting together some of the thoughts about the project and we’ll send that out to the larger SNA when those have been put together.”

The affordability aspect of the project includes both residential units as well as affordable commercial space. The proposal includes three affordable residential units and the “equivalent of eight affordable units that’s being put towards commercial space,” she said.

The Floor Area Ratio is “double what’s allowed there,” Sparks said, and both buildings have “excessive height violations.” The subcommittee also has questions about the restaurant operation relating to the proposed roof deck and noise, capacity, accessibility, and trash details. 

3529 Washington St.—vita, Extra Space Storage, Community Room and Garden

Leanne Manchineella reported on the garden, saying that “the physical construction of the garden and park space is complete, minus the soil for the garden beds.” She said that the “goal is still this year to open up the waitlist and “get those garden plots assigned.”

She said that they are working with the developer to coordinate the delivery of the soil, and the group has also filed to be a 501c3 nonprofit organization, as this space will require funding for maintenance in the future and a 501c3 status will allow them to apply to raise funds and receive them as a group.

Uhrhane reported that the call for entries for the mural will be opened on March 20, after overcoming many obstacles. She said that winners should be announced by the “end of July or early August.”

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