Monday, May 02, 2005

roslindale: the city that never forgets

from the LANA (Longfellow Area Neighborhood Association) newsletter I found stuffed unceremoniously into my mailbox this afternoon:

"The Arnold Arboretum (as part of Harvard U) wants to put research facilities on 14 acres of open space at Walter, Weld, and Centre Streets.

. . .Forty years ago, the City gave the Hebrew Rehabilitation Center permission to build a facility for seniors at the nine-acre Joyce Kilmer Park on Centre Street. After promising to protect the remaining open space at that site, the City later allowed the Rehab Center to double in size in 1973. Most of the remaining parkland was subsequently paved for cars in violation of public deed restrictions on the property.

The lesson of Joyce Kilmer Park [currently Park-ing lot] is that once an institution gets established in a location, there is little a neighborhood can do to limit its eventual expansion."

Later in the same newsletter, LANA appeals to me (and my neighbors) to do something about a developer's evil plan to build five big nasty condos on a wetlands parcel of land, adjacent to the Arboretum.

OK. This is one of those issues I tend to react to before I have all the facts. It seems to me that somebody is trying to build stuff where 14 acres of Arboretum land, plus a few more acres of local wetlands, currently stand. This is very bad news, right?

Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while know how I feel about the Arboretum.

Before I go chain myself to a tree, though, I feel like I should at least make an attempt to get the other side of the story. What's going on here? What, exactly, does Harvard want to build? How much green space will be lost, and how many new roads/parking lots will be added along with the actual structures? And how do you stop developers from building condos that will disrupt a wetlands ecosystem (however small) just to cram yet another condo into a neighborhood that's already chock full of condos for sale?

If you know, you'd better let me know soon. There's a hardware store right in the Village that I'm sure can outfit me for an extended protest just as soon as I march my morally outraged butt down there, bright and early tomorrow morning.

In the meantime, here are the phone numbers of city officials who can do something about the developers (although not Harvard, unfortunately. . .):

Maggie Goedecke, Boston Redevelopment Authority: 617.918.4253
Dave McNulty, Mayor's office: 617.635.4830
Chris Busch, Boston Conservation Commission: 617.635.3850
Councilor Rob Consalvo: 617.635.4210



Blogger Brother Roy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:38 PM  
Anonymous Siobhan Kelleher said...

It looks like it's been a while since you posted this, and hopefully you've learned more about it since then... Basically, the Arboretum has negotiated in bad faith with the neighborhood and is trying to squeeze in a ton of development (initially a 45,000 s.f. facility, with more than double that proposed for the future) with no promise of open space protection. See for details.

There's a public hearing on this on January 31, 2007 at 6:30 pm at St. Nectarios Greek Orthodox Church in Roslindale Village. The public comment period has been extended through February 9, and the Boston Redevelopment Authority needs to hear from the neighborhood! E-mail your comments to Gerald Autler, Senior Project Manager/Planner at

Siobhan Kelleher
Roslindale resident

12:18 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home