The city released an updated version of the Plan: JP/Rox, including a summary of recent changes, and the Boston Planning & Redevelopment Authority staff will be asking its board to approve the Plan to make it a guiding document for the area.
BPDA and city staff are expected to brief BPDA board members at their meeting on Feb. 9th and seek their approval for the plan. This is not a public hearing, but it is open to the public and is being held at City Hall (9th Floor, Room 900). The BPDA board meeting starts at 3:30 pm and the agenda will be posted Tuesday. The meeting will start at 3:30 pm, but all public hearings start at 5:30 pm. BPDA board meetings can be viewed live on Comcast Channel 24 and RCN Channel 13. You can also view it live and online at Boston City TV.
"The results are new and innovative approaches to building affordable housing, stemming displacement of people and businesses, assisting the businesses that provide jobs and services for our community, and keeping a close watch on future infrastructure needs. The PLAN's framework encourages smart and predictable growth that respects the social and built character that makes JP/ROX such a wonderful community," said Marie Mercurio, senior planner for the BPDA, via email.
PLAN: JP/ROX is a study to actively engage the community to create a new vision and plan for the area between Forest Hills, Egleston Square and Jackson Square, generally bounded by Washington Street, Columbus Avenue, and Amory Street, according to the BPDA’s website. The plan encompasses approximately 250 acres and more than 6,000 residents.
The goal of the PLAN is to create recommendations that will be adopted in a subsequent zoning phase that will involve the community. The PLAN will provide recommendations and strategies regarding affordable housing, jobs, businesses, guidelines for urban design, suggestions for transportation improvements, open space, sustainability and the public realm.
"The PLAN tasks the city to bring additional tools and resources to our affordable housing challenges and to deploy those resources more strategically. The PLAN asks more of our community development partners and more of the private developers building in JP/ROX. And the PLAN asks our residents and business to accept solutions that balance the varied and sometimes competing interests of our neighbors," wrote Mercurio.
Most recent changes to the plan include:
- Text was added to clarify and reflect a commitment to a community based development planning initiative for Arborway Yard land transferred to the city.
- A task force of community stakeholders will be formed to meet regularly on housing stability issues, conduct outreach with at-risk displacement individuals, and continue to create innovative anti-displacement strategies around the JP/Rox study area.
- To meet the affordability goals of the plan, it is recommended that 200 additional affordable units created either through market-rate acquisitions (Acquisition Opportunity Program), or through non-profit development on future parcels, will be needed.
- During upcoming work required to write zoning language that aligns with the plan, the BPDA will explore potential design flexibility in dimensional guidelines (e.g., heights, setbacks, step backs) for projects with greater than 50% affordability.