Some Eastie’s Community Groups Move to Online Format

With the ban on construction due to COVID-19 lifted in the City of Boston and Zoning Board (ZBA) resuming hearings East Boston’s community groups are switching to a virtual meeting platform in order to vote on development projects in the neighborhood.

Earlier this month the Jeffries Point Neighborhood Association’s (JPNA) board held its first community meeting since early March. JPNA became the first community group in Eastie to host a meeting via ZOOM since the entire city and state was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This week Eagle Hill Civic Association (EHCA) President Debra Cave said her community group would follow suit.

“Eagle Hill Civic Association will be conducting the June meeting via ZOOM on Wednesday, June 24,” said Cave. “Due to the ongoing COVID-19 emergency, we have not had an EHCA meeting since February of this year.  With the Zoning Board of Appeals resuming business shortly, we want to ensure that the community has a say on upcoming projects.  With that in mind, our first virtual meeting will be focused solely on development.”

Cave said tonight’s meeting will be limited to Eagle Hill residents and presenters and the ZOOM link will be emailed to members 30 minutes prior to the meeting.

If you would like to attend, Cave said residents can register on EHCA’s website here at https://eaglehillcivic.org/meetings/register.

“The meeting will consist of four projects, and each proposal will be posted on our website a week ahead of the meeting, allowing ample time for review,” said Cave.

Over at the Orient Heights Neighborhood Council (OHNC), the groups secretary, Sarah Plowman, said while the group decided to skip June’s meeting they plan to meet in July. 

“The YMCA is unable to host us at present,” said Plowman. “Additionally, Phase 2 of the state’s  reopening plan does not give clear guidance on an indoor gathering size, although it would assuredly not allow everyone to meet in person yet.”

Plowman said the group has been exploring how to effectively use ZOOM as a community meeting platform.

“Several East Boston neighborhood associations are using virtual options such as ZOOM and we are exploring this possibility as well,” said Plowman.

The OHNC has been taking a poll among members on how to move forward.

“We appreciate feedback from members on the idea of a fully virtual or hybrid virtual/in person model meeting,” said Plowman. “We are also exploring outdoor, physically-distanced meetings.”

Suggestions and feedback can be sent to [email protected]

As for July’s meeting, Plowman said the OHNC plans to meet on July, 20 at 6:30 p.m.

“Location is ‘to be announced’ depending upon the nature of the reopening process,” said Plowman. “It might be in person, hybrid in person/virtual, or totally virtual. Agenda items from March will be prioritized, and nominations for new board elections will be taken up to and during that meeting as well.

Plowman said OHNC also plans to meet on August 17 as a sort of ‘bonus’ summer meeting. “The purpose of the meeting will be to catch up on “lost time” as well as to hold the new board elections,” said Plowman. “New board will be installed in September and will be in place for two years.

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