Keep It 100% Egleston Interrupts and Protests at JP-Rox Workshop

What was planned for the sixth JP/Rox Workshop on May 11th, did not go as as expected, as the Keep It 100% for Egleston group led a civil protest. The meeting was held at English High School and led by the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA), but the Keep It 100% for Egleston group threw a wrench into the meeting, which was supposed to discuss the Jamaica Plain-Roxbury area. Keep It 100% for Egleston describes itself as, "A grassroots fight to protect the residents and diversity of Egleston and Jamaica Plain. Real affordable housing, not gentrification and displacement!" on their Facebook page.


Green Street Condo Building Approved by Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council

The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council Zoning Committee unanimously approved a 9-unit, 3-story condominium building at 65 Green St. at its May 4 meeting. Designed by Embarc Studio, an architecture and design firm, the building is unique in three ways; The owner of the property Ricardo Austrich, Sr. not only  has been involved in the planning, but will live in a ground floor unit; It will have the first below-grade car lift parking garage in Jamaica Plain that will include all nine parking spaces on site; And the developer Watermark Development absorbed the costs of changing the design from a contemporary to a traditional design and reduced the height to three stories at the request of abutting resident property owners. In order to reduce the height from 55 feet to 38-feet 6-inches and at the same time address neighbors concerns about parking, the developers designed a car lift in the ground floor garage. The total development cost is estimated to be $4.3 million; the underground parking and car lift line item is estimated at $32o,000 to build.

Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council logo

Twelve Members Elected to Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council

Three hundred thirty-six Jamaica Plain residents went to the polls on April 30 and voted 12 members to the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council. Under the by laws of the Neighborhood Council the eight seats not filled on the 20-member council will be selected by appointment. The first neighborhood council meeting of the new session will meet on Tuesday, May 24 at 7 pm at the Farnsworth House, 90 South Street. This is a public meeting. Interesting note is 14 votes were disqualified. Elected were:

Carolyn Royce

David Baron

Catherine White

Jeffrey Wiesner

Kevin Rainsford

Priscilla Yang

Gert Thorn

Meg Wood

Kyle Smith

Kevin Moloney

Bernard Doherty

Michael Reiskind



Residents Unhappy with Proposed Washington and Green Street Development

Numerous residents let their ire be known about a proposed 6-story, 44-unit rental apartment building on the corner of Washington and Green streets during a community meeting on April 28. The meeting was hosted by the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) as an Article 80 Small Project Review, and Boston Community Ventures' (BCV) proposal at 3353-3357 Washington St. did not sit well with residents. BRA Senior Project Manager Lance Campbell said the recent JP/Rox Plan wasn't meant to create a moratorium on development, contrary to some residents wanting proposals to be stalled until the JP/Rox Plan was finished. The BRA's website describes the JP/Rox Plan as an ongoing planning study to be "actively engaging with the community to create a new vision and plan for the area between Forest Hills, Egleston Square and Jackson Square."


JP/Rox Plan Workshop on May 11 at English High School

The Boston Redevelopment Authority will host the sixth planning JP/Rox workshop on Wednesday, May 11 to present and discuss the refined recommendations for the study area as a whole and for smaller focus areas in the Washington Street Corridor. The public meeting will be held at English High School Cafeteria (144 McBride St.). There will be open house at 5:30 pm, followed by a presentation at 6 pm and then groups will breakdown into focus tables at 6:30 pm. The refined recommendations are based on the considerable detailed public comments that came out of the March 5 workshop at which preliminary ideas were displayed. The Egleston Square and Stonybrook Neighborhood associations are already on record with their concerns and specific preferences for the their two neighborhoods in relation to study.


Chang-Diaz Highlights Two Main Focuses: Early Childhood Education and Criminal Justice Reform

State Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz spoke to the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council on Tuesday night about the two issues she is most focused on -- early childhood education and a comprehensive criminal justice reform. Chang-Diaz said "neighborhood issues are always cooking in my office" but added that charter schools have taken up the majority of her time the last several months, which is an issue across the state. "I'm a big proponent of early childhood education," said Chang-Diaz senator who is chair of the Joint Committee on Education. "My conclusion -- both from the district and state-wide, is that high-quality early childhood education is imperative for underserved children." She said she's filed legislation that would fund programs for "universal state-wide access for very young children to take part in the school system."


Public Meeting About Proposed 44-Unit Building at Green and Washington Streets on April 28

The Boston Redevelopment Authority will lead a public meeting on April 28 about a proposed 44-unit building at Washington and Green streets. The meeting will be held at English High School's cafeteria at 144 McBride St. at 6:30 p.m. The proposal for the 6-story development includes 44 rental units, ground floor retail and 24 parking spaces. Click here for more info on the proposed development.


Egleston Square Shines Even During the Rain Thanks to Volunteers and Residents

Over a dozen tried and true community volunteers came out in the damp to plant flower beds, dig holes for shrubs at the "Stonehenge" sitting park at Washington and Atherton streets, and to clean up the Peace Park at School and Washington streets on Saturday during the annual Boston Shines in Egleston Square. Organized by Egleston Square Main Streets (ESMS) led by Luis Cotto, the planting at "Stonehenge" was funded by a $2,500 Love Your Block grant awarded to ESMS in January. Around 80 plants and shrubs were delivered by ESMS volunteers in the morning during spotty drizzling rain. Earlier City Soil had dropped off a truck load of top soil for the volunteers. For the next three hours volunteers got their hands (and clothes) dirty as they dug, planted and worked the soil.


A Hundred Kids Build Fairy Houses in Franklin Park

It was glorious mild spring Thursday at Schoolmaster Hill in Franklin Park for the Third Annual Fairy House Building Workshop sponsored by the Boston Parks Department and the Franklin Park Coalition. Over a hundred boys and girls scampered over the drumlin collecting branches, leaves and cones to build houses for the magical woodland creatures that reappear in the springtime in New England fields and woods. Storytelling and books from Read Boston and the MassHort plant education tent were also on hand as well as face painting. The workshop showed kids of all ages how to have fun simply using natural items that are just lying around on the park floor under trees and shrubs.