Last summer, Mayor Martin Walsh announced Eastie was chosen as one of five neighborhoods that will be part of the Boston Planning and Development Agency’s planning initiative of an Imagine Boston 2030 effort to ‘preserve, enhance and grow’ the neighborhood called PLAN: East Boston.
As part of the initiative, the city has been working closely with community groups, community leaders and other stakeholders here to ensure decisions made by the city are following the guiding principles of “preserves wisely, enhances equitably, and grows inclusively” when it comes to revamping the zoning across the neighborhood.
Comprehensive planning has included a focus on balancing contextually-sensitive development alongside preservation. There is also a focus on supporting existing residents and businesses through increased access to opportunity, affordability strategies, and anti-displacement policies.
One of the highlights in Eastie will be improving the public realm and access to open space and neighborhood-serving amenities, addressing mobility challenges, and supporting neighborhood resiliency and preparing for climate change.
The BPDA’s Kristina Ricco and Jason Ruggiero recently updated residents on where we are in the process.
Ricco and Ruggiero said so far there have been six community workshops that were open to the public that have included–Preserve/Enhance/Grow strategies, OpenSpace, Transportation, Affordable Housing, Inclusionary Development, and Small Business.
The BPDA has also hosted six neighborhood walking tours have covered every neighborhood in Eastie in order to get feedback on how zoning should change in the future.
There has also been a 20-person advisory group appointed that was nominated by the community to work with the BPDA and other city agencies as part of this effort. So far the group has met four times over the last year with BPDA staff to share observations.
“This process is a community-driven, neighborhood-wide planning initiative in East Boston,” said Ricco. “Guided by Imagine Boston 2030 and several city-wide strategic plans, this process will produce a framework to predictably shape the future of East Boston, and identify opportunities to preserve, enhance and grow.”
At the meeting Ricco said the goal is to complete the PLAN: East Boston master planning process by late fall 2020.
In the interim Ricco said the city plans on publishing an Existing Conditions Report in December 2019 that will document the current built environment in Eastie.
Then in spring 2020 the BPDA will focus on scenario-planning for new zoning regulations in the neighborhood.