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News & Updates

BPDA announces new strategic planning and rezoning efforts along Rutherford Avenue in Charlestown and Western Avenue in Allston-Brighton

Jul 23, 2019

Mayor Martin J. Walsh, along with the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) today announced that the next stage of planning studies will focus on the Rutherford Avenue Corridor in Charlestown and Western Avenue Corridor in Allston-Brighton. The goal of each study will be to create a comprehensive vision for the areas, guiding future growth and investment.

“Since 2014, we have focused on community planning efforts to guide inclusive growth in each corner of the city,” said Mayor Walsh. “I am excited to extend our comprehensive community-based efforts to Charlestown and Allston-Brighton, two neighborhoods with distinct character and community. As with every planning and rezoning study, we are committed to fulfilling the individual needs of each neighborhood by both preserving our history and planning together for the future.”

Each strategic planning effort is guided by Imagine Boston 2030, Boston's first citywide plan in 50 years aimed at guiding growth. Imagine Boston 2030 prioritizes inclusionary growth and puts forth a comprehensive vision to boost quality of life, equity and resilience in every neighborhood across the City. To achieve this vision, Imagine Boston identifies places for growth and enhancement that will help the city achieve its goals of becoming more equitable, improving the quality of life, and preparing for climate change. 

Charlestown Strategic Plan - Rutherford Avenue

The planning effort along Rutherford Avenue will focus on the publicly-owned parcels along the corridor, leading a robust community discussion about their future use. The strategic plan will aim to preserve the historic residential core of existing Charlestown by focusing new growth on underutilized properties along the Rutherford Ave Corridor. The formal public process for this effort is expected to begin in early 2020. BPDA staff will begin engaging local stakeholders, including community members, later this summer in order to develop a better sense of what the strategic plan will need to cover. 

Western Avenue Corridor Study & Rezoning - Allston-Brighton 

The Western Avenue Corridor Study & Rezoning initiative will address the increasing development pressure along Western Avenue by engaging local stakeholders and community members to inform recommendations for new or modified zoning. The study will also consider public realm improvements in the area. This effort will work in conjunction with the ongoing Allston-Brighton Mobility Study to explore transportation enhancements to serve this growing corridor. The community engagement process for this initiative is expected to begin in Fall 2019. 

Ongoing Planning Initiatives

The planning initiatives announced today build on the comprehensive community planning that has taken place under Mayor Walsh. Planning guidelines have been passed for PLAN: JP/Rox,  PLAN: South Boston Dorchester Avenue, and PLAN: Dudley Square. The following planning efforts are ongoing: 

PLAN: Glover’s Corner

Over the past two years, the BPDA has facilitated a comprehensive, robust planning process with over 40 public meetings looking at PLAN: Glover's Corner. Based on feedback from the community, draft guidelines have been released, which will:
  • Maintain housing for a range of incomes, with a high proportion of income-restricted housing. 
  • Promote the establishment of a new mixed-use district between Freeport Street and the MBTA Red Line tracks.
  • Create an active, people-centric district by improving the street grid to provide capacity for inclusive growth.
  • Plan for a climate-resilient neighborhood with quality open space.
  • Support local businesses, preserve and grow quality jobs. 
  • Support the cultural diversity of the neighborhood. 

BPDA staff is continuing to review the public comments that have been received for the draft guidelines. A draft planning document is anticipated to be released before the end of the summer for further public review and comment.

PLAN: East Boston

PLAN: East Boston is working with the community in the existing neighborhoods in East Boston that are facing increased development pressure. Community discussions are focusing on preservation of the existing residential fabric, enhancement of the vitality of existing residential communities and businesses, anti-displacement strategies for residents and businesses, connectivity along the waterfront, mobility, and flood protection and climate resiliency. All meetings include interpretation and translated materials for Spanish speaking residents. 

The BPDA has put into place an East Boston Interim Planning Overlay District (IPOD), an interim zoning tool that is used to maintain increased public review and community voice in the evaluation of proposed new development during a planning process.

PLAN: Mattapan

Launched in 2018, PLAN: Mattapan is working closely with the community to create a shared vision to guide inclusive economic growth in Mattapan that will create housing at a variety of income-levels and increase access to opportunity and jobs, while preserving the neighborhood's character.  The BPDA recently hosted a City resource fair based on initial feedback that residents don’t feel connected or know how to access City resources. That BPDA also hosted a transportation and mobility focused workshop, providing residents with the opportunity to discuss how they move around Mattapan and share ideas for better mobility in the neighborhood. 

PLAN: Downtown

The primary goal of PLAN: Downtown is to develop a new framework for the preservation, enhancement, and growth of Downtown Boston, while balancing the importance of livability, daylight, walkability, climate change, access to open space, affordability and a dynamic mix of uses, among others. Over the last decade, Boston's Downtown has transformed from primarily a business district into a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood. A Downtown planning study was identified in Imagine Boston 2030 and through the community process for the 115 Winthrop Square project. With public engagement kicked off in late 2018, the planning study is looking at the Financial District, Downtown Crossing, Midtown Cultural District and Chinatown.

PLAN: Newmarket, The 21st Century Economic Initiative

Community engagement for PLAN: Newmarket, The 21st Century Economic Initiative began in June 2019. The plan will work closely with local stakeholders to develop a vision for the area as a jobs center for the 21st Century economy. With land use as its primary focus, the initiative will also consider public realm, mobility, arts and culture, climate resilience, public health, and open space contributions to a successful future jobs center. This comprehensive plan highlights Newmarket, located on the Fairmont line, as a place for potential preservation of critical industrial uses, increasing job density and strengthening connections to Downtown and adjacent neighborhoods.  

Upham’s Corner Implementation

The Upham’s Corner Implementation process builds on goals established by the community, outlined in both Imagine Boston 2030 and the Upham’s Corner Station Area Plan of the Fairmount Indigo Planning Initiative. The Implementation process focuses on putting those plans into effect by developing strategic parcels in the neighborhood. The City of Boston recently released a Request for Information, which seeks ideas to join the City in our Arts and Innovation District plans to deliver affordable housing, affordable commercial space, a branch public library, and an operator for the Strand Theater. Interested and qualified respondents are encouraged to respond before the deadline on Thursday, August 22 at 4:00 p.m.

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