Residents Tackle Mushrooming Forest Hills Development

This section of Forest Hills at the corner of Ukraine Way and Hyde Park Avenue, known as Parcel U, is slated to be home to 121 housing units, 90 parking spaces and retail space.

Chris Helms

This section of Forest Hills at the corner of Ukraine Way and Hyde Park Avenue, known as Parcel U, is slated to be home to 121 housing units, 90 parking spaces and retail space.

A neighborhood advisory group has chosen 10 residents to serve on a committee to address rapid development in Forest Hills.

The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council, an elected advisory board, created an ad-hoc committee on Forest Hills Construction and Development Projects. One tally by longtime resident Bernard Doherty puts the number of new and potential housing units to be built through 2018 at 1,074. In addition to members of the council who serve on it, residents were asked to join the effort.

During the Neighborhood Council’s last full meeting, more than 20 residents turned out to express interest in the Forest Hills committee. There were more people who wanted to be on the group than spots available.

Members of the council held a secret ballot and chose the following 10 people as initial resident members of the committee:

  • Deanna Keene, Wenham Street
  • Tess Pope, Wenham Street
  • Martha Heath, Bourne Street
  • Rachael Mutschler, Paul Gore Street
  • Curtis Woodcock, Yale Terrace
  • Noah Snyder, Hampstead Road
  • Mary Hickie, Martinwood Street
  • Bill Reyelt, Brookline (property owner in Stonybrook) [May need to be replaced because of eligibility rules]
  • Judy Anthony, Woodlawn Street
  • Tim Reardon, Beethoven Street

Council members on the committee are: Doherty, Kyle Smith, Anne Barrett (vice chairperson), Kristy Nardone, Jerry O’Connor (chairperson) and Michael O’Connor.

Jerry O’Connor was upfront with the new group that while they’ll hold no formal power, the group has the potential to build influence in helping guide Forest Hills’ future.

“There’s nobody behind a desk in City Hall waiting to hear from this committee,” he said.

And while the Neighborhood Council chose 10 initial members, Jerry O’Connor said there’s no great distinction between those chosen and interested residents who decide to show up to all the meetings and help with the committee’s work.

The group’s first meeting is set for Monday, July 14 at 7 p.m. at the Farnsworth House, 90 South St.

[Editor’s note: The Neighborhood Council had Chris Helms act as a neutral observer in counting the votes for the 10 resident members of the committee.]