JP Neighborhood Council Housing Committee Says No to 3353 Washington St.

The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council (JPNC) Housing and Community Development Committee unanimously rejected the proposed 44-unit 3353 Washington St. rental development at its meeting last week. The opposition point of view was summed up succinctly by committee member Pam Bender: "You are doing the bare minimum" for affordable housing and community benefits, she told developer Boston Community Ventures. The May 10 meeting followed a contentious Small Project Review public meeting April 28 sponsored by the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) at which neighbors expressed little love for the project, which would be located at the corner of Washington and Green streets across from the E-13 district police station. The JPNC may register its own vote on the project at its meeting Tuesday, May 24.

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Affordable Housing Advocates Call For 3-Month Delay in Massive Rezoning Plan

Plan B went into full effect at the 6th Plan JP/Rox workshop last Wednesday as 50 protesters marched into the room clapping. Just as the emcee, Senior Planner Marie Mercurio, was concluding  her opening remarks, the protesters grabbed what they called "the people's mic" to "fight not for profit but for the community." For over an hour, "Keep it 100% for Egleston," a well-organized and well-rehearsed group, listed its demands to stop the Boston Redevelopment Authority-sponsored Plan JP/Rox for three months. Plan JP/Rox is a once-in-a-generation rezoning process for the whole Washington Street and Columbus Avenue corridors in Jamaica Plain and Roxbury. The protest group, which is comprised both young people as well as adults, alternated speakers using a call-and-response format.

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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."

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Washington Street Population Could More than Double

If you want evidence why the city has finally launched a long-awaited planning effort for JP, look no further than this eye-popping prediction: Planners expect the Washington Street corridor to see population growth of as much as 2.5 times current levels. That possibility was among the top topics of discussion last Monday as the first neighborhood review of the proposed development guidelines at the Egleston Square Neighborhood Association monthly meeting. Chaired by Alvin Shiggs and Carolyn Royce; the discussion was led by Sue Pranger. Marie Mercurio, senior planner for Jamaica Plain and coordinator of Plan JP/Rox, was joined by her colleague Tim Davis, senior housing advisor for the Boston Redevelopment Authority, to answer questions and clarify concerns about the draft development guidelines. The planning push is a once-in-a-generation effort to shape the neighborhood's future.

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Six-Story Apartment Building Proposed for Green and Washington Streets

A developer who is familiar to Jamaica Plain has proposed to build a six-story apartment building at Green and Washington streets. The approximately 46,690 square foot residential building is being proposed by Mordechai Levin, who among other projects, is known for building the Stop & Shop plaza on Centre Street in Jackson Square. Levin says the project would cost $18 million and take 12 months to build, according to a development proposal submitted to the Boston Redevelopment Authority. The proposed start date of the project is during the first quarter of 2017. Zoning relief would be required by the Zoning Board of Appeals because among other reasons, the building would exceed the 35-foot height limit.

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