Last Thursday at the Ashley Street YMCA City Councilors Lydia Edwards and Michelle Wu held a second in a series of meetings regarding the Eastie Master Plan process.
The well-attended meeting was a first step in creating a neighborhood-wide Master Plan that will provide a cohesive vision for the neighborhood.
Creating a Master Plan for Eastie will allow resident to ‘drive the bus and not be driven by it’ when it comes to development and other issues in the neighborhood.
Edwards said the hearing was about getting together and working on a future all residents want to see and a future where all have a voice in the process.
“This is about creating the neighborhood you want for your kids and for yourself,” said Edwards. “As we move forward we will be presenting what changes residents want to see and it is important to note that if the final plan does not reflect those things or some of the things you don’t want we have to be vigilant.”
The meeting focused on things like development, transportation and traffic and some environmental issues.
Joseph Ruggiero III, local business owner and President of the Orient Heights Neighborhood Council testified last week that he’d like to see more predictability when it comes to development proposals.
“Things that we’ve been noticing and something we would like to accomplish as a community group is having a little more predictability or guidelines of what people can and cannot do with their properties or some sort of community standard,” said Ruggiero. “Right now someone can have a 2,500 sq. ft. lot and one person wants to build three units, another wants to build six units and another wants to build eight units. I understand people have the right to do what they want with their property but should it fit in context with the surrounding area?”
Ruggiero also said the city should start making efforts to preserve commercial spaces in Eastie and focus on attracting more types of businesses to the community.
“I own a commercial property and it sat vacant for months,” said Ruggiero. “I know if I converted it into a two-bedroom apartment I would have had it rented right away. Businesses are being torn down and replaced with residential units and that’s not good for the community.”
Harbor View Neighborhood Association Chair Matt Barison said he’d like to see more done with transportation to improve Eastie’s safety.
“We need to maitane what exists and improve what needs to be improved,” he said. “Roads and streets like Bennington are very dangerous and things can be done to slow down traffic better and make the neighborhood safer. The city’s Slow Streets program is a great program but I think it should be implemented citywide to improve safety and I think we could really benefit from looking at turning some of the two-way streets into one way streets and adding angle parking in order to add more parking to the neighborhood.”
City Councilors Lydia Edwards and Michelle Wu held a second and a series of meeting regarding Eastie Master Plan process.
Last week’s meeting was well attended.
Harbor View Neighborhood Association Chair Matt Barison testifies.