The Stonybrook Neighborhood Association (SNA) met virtually on August 9 to discuss updates on projects in the community.
First, SNA Steering Committee member Jonathan McCurdy spoke briefly about a parcel of land that will be up for sale. He said it is a “landlocked piece of land off of Forest Hills Street,” and the city will let the SNA know when it’s up for sale. McCurdy said that the approximate value of the parcel is $28,000, and a deed restriction for open space has been requested by abutters and other members of the neighborhood.
SNA member Jennifer Uhrhane explained that the subcommittee for the BMS Paper project, which is located at 3390 Washington St., and consists of 160 proposed residential units and expansion of the existing retail space as well as a restaurant space, has been having conversations with the development team “for quite a while now.”
She said that one of the subcommittee members recently had a virtual meeting with BMS Paper owner Bob Harrington to present some “alternative design ideas that we’ve been talking about.” The subcommittee had several issues with the proposed design of the building, so these suggestions were meant to help alleviate some of those.
Uhrhane said that the next step is to have a meeting with Harrington’s architect and the rest of the project team. The Boston Civic Design Commission (BCDC) is also reviewing this building, she said, and held a hearing last month. She said that the BCDC “echoed the subcommittee’s concerns about the trees and the hillside on the back of the property.” Right now, the project proposal calls for the removal of some of the hillside on the back of the property.
Uhrhane said she had reached out to Speak for the Trees, a tree canopy advocacy group, who said that one of their members can do a walkthrough of the site.
97-99 Williams St.
SNA member Scott Glidden reported that last month, the SNA voted not to oppose the proposed project at 97-99 Williams St. to construct condo units on the lots. He said that the Steering Committee will be sending a letter to the Zoning Board of Appeal (ZBA) and the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council (JPNC).
The newly proposed design allows for preservation of trees on the property line, he said, and there is no date set yet for the ZBA or the JPNC. He also said that the subcommittee is asking for a deed restriction to be put in place, as the sidewalk currently comes up to the right of the 99 Williams lot. There are four parking spaces for the six units, three of which will be under the building and there is one additional parking space at the end of the building.
He said that this “leaves 97’s green space intact” and allows for the creation of more green space. The deed restriction would prevent further paving of the green space “anytime in the future,” and would be “in the land deed, not just in the condominium documents,” he added.
SNA Steering Committee member Jonathan McCurdy explained that the proponents for the proposed self storage facility at 75 Stedman St. came before the SNA a few months ago to present their idea.
He said that he and two other SNA members met as a subcommittee a couple weeks ago to discuss the proposal, and they are currently working on a letter to send to the developer.
“We’re going to request that they rethink the proposal,” McCurdy said, adding that PLAN: JP/Rox “advises against the storage facility.”
Jared Egan reported that the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) comment period has ended regarding the Doyle’s proposal, which consists of housing units, a revived Doyle’s Cafe, and a grocery store. He also talked about the letter that had been submitted on behalf of the SNA, which talked about affordability on the site, as well as insufficient parking based on the zoning code, and concerns about traffic.
The SNA also briefly discussed updates on the community room, mural, and garden and park space, which are part of the community benefits from the Extra Space Storage/VITA development on Washington St. The mural process is still happening, and the community garden and park opened in late June. The community room is now under agreement between Extra Space Storage and Volunteers of America Massachusetts, who want to take over the space.