BRA Director Brian Golden has a stated commitment to transparent process. This has not been followed. The rush for approval is unsurprising as the longer this project is open to review the more apparent its serious flaws become.
There is a clear pattern of unanswered community concerns Regarding the proposed density of the project, buffer for the woods, and environmental remediation. By clear, significant majority, the public has expressed concerns. Beyond individuals, this includes the three surrounding neighborhood associations, nearby institutions (Springhouse Senior Center and Faulkner Hospital) and conservation groups.
Inappropriate attempt to influence support: Although the developer will not address the true concerns groups have raised about the woods, such as putting any land in conservation easement even though all other institutions along the woods have done so, the developer wished to make a one-time $50,000 contribution to Friends of Allandale Woods. We never requested this and have declined this offer. We see it as a blatant attempt to use petty funds (relative to the scope of the $20 million project) to mislead the public. We will use all means at our disposal, including legal action, to protect the most ecologically significant land in Boston and advocate for development that responds to community concerns and zoning precedent.
There is no case for hardship: There has been no articulated basis for disregarding zoning norms. The laws as they stand should be observed to protect the woods.
Rushed process: The BRA did not update its website to include relevant documents until 3 days before the public comment period ended. People who were unable to attend the hearing had very little time to weigh in. In this recent, 2nd, round of community review, of the very few proposed changes, some were conveyed verbally but with no supporting engineering plans. So the public cannot assess the adequacy of the proposed environmental protection measures. The BRA has decided to hold a hearing for approval only 2 working days after receiving public comments, with only 3 days of lead time before the hearing. This makes it unlikely that public comments will be carefully reviewed or that members of the public can easily attend the hearing.
Attend the BRA hearing at 3:30pm on Thursday at City Hall, Room 901 (The BRA does not allow the public to speak, but we can silently protest) Email the Mayor firstname.lastname@example.org Stay in touch and get involved via allandalewoods.org, email@example.com, on Twitter @allandalewoods, on Facebook by befriending Allan Dale Woods