Chester Square Neighbors Agenda October 6, 2021 at 7pm (6:45 Zoom practice/social)

Introductions
Treasurer’s Report
Meeting Minutes – Kelsey taking notes until we elect a new secretary
CSN elections in January – who can we invite to join our leadership team?
Presentations
• Rep Jon Santiago
• Yunnan noodle style restaurant (Equator location)
Events
• Election rallying – Years ago snacks, Sept 14 “Vote Today!”, Nov 2 volunteers?
• Fall clean-up
Ebenezer Church (155-157 W Springfield St)
Anton Cela proposes to demolish the interior and roof of the church and to build 9 market-rate condos over secure parking for bicycles and 8 cars. Neighbors and abutters met with the development team in person, and on Zoom, to hear the proposal and to respond. (April 2021)
The City’s Planning and Zoning Division refused the proposal citing noncompliance with six elements of the zoning code (Aug 2021). The developer has appealed the zoning code refusal and expects a hearing before the Zoning Board of Appeals to be scheduled soon. Recently, Mr. Cela’s team emailed a “summary of changes” which appear to be minor relative to both the zoning code and concerns raised by neighbors (Sept 2021). We have requested, and not yet received, updated plans.
In anticipation of the ZBA hearing on Mr Cela’s proposal, Chester Square Neighbors have a choice. If we support Mr Cela’s appeal (or do nothing), we will have conceded that life has left this “dark” place and deferred to its use as a pedestal for a dramatic structure rising above the roof to accommodate market-rate penthouses with deeded parking.
Alternatively, we could oppose the current proposal with a strong statement of hope for a better plan, offering to engage with Ebenezer Church, their prospective buyer, and his talented RODE architects, with ideas to bring light and new life to this space, and to continue its legacy as a focus for community (windows & skylights, active street-side, affordability, community space, child care, shared office facilities, Zipcars, and other possibilities as might support our new neighbors and our community).
Updates:
• Walk with Tania Fernandes Anderson: Sat, Oct 2 at 5 pm. (meet at fountain near 544 Mass Ave)
• Question #1 on the November ballot would give City Council more power over the budget. Supporters have asked us to go to this link HISTORY – Yes on 1 Boston

Introductions
Treasurer’s Report
Meeting Minutes
– Kelsey taking notes until we elect a new secretary
CSN elections in January – who can we invite to join our leadership team?
Presentations
• Rep Jon Santiago
• Yunnan noodle style restaurant (Equator location)
Events

• Election rallying – Years ago snacks, Sept 14 “Vote Today!”, Nov 2 volunteers?
• Fall clean-up
Ebenezer Church (155-157 W Springfield St)
Anton Cela proposes to demolish the interior and roof of the church and to build 9 market-rate condos over secure parking for bicycles and 8 cars. Neighbors and abutters met with the development team in person, and on Zoom, to hear the proposal and to respond. (April 2021)
The City’s Planning and Zoning Division refused the proposal citing noncompliance with six elements of the zoning code (Aug 2021). The developer has appealed the zoning code refusal and expects a hearing before the Zoning Board of Appeals to be scheduled soon. Recently, Mr. Cela’s team emailed a “summary of changes” which appear to be minor relative to both the zoning code and concerns raised by neighbors (Sept 2021). We have requested, and not yet received, updated plans.
In anticipation of the ZBA hearing on Mr Cela’s proposal, Chester Square Neighbors have a choice. If we support Mr Cela’s appeal (or do nothing), we will have conceded that life has left this “dark” place and deferred to its use as a pedestal for a dramatic structure rising above the roof to accommodate market-rate penthouses with deeded parking.
Alternatively, we could oppose the current proposal with a strong statement of hope for a better plan, offering to engage with Ebenezer Church, their prospective buyer, and his talented RODE architects, with ideas to bring light and new life to this space, and to continue its legacy as a focus for community (windows & skylights, active street-side, affordability, community space, child care, shared office facilities, Zipcars, and other possibilities as might support our new neighbors and our community).
Updates:
• Walk with Tania Fernandes Anderson: Sat, Oct 2 at 5 pm. (meet at fountain near 544 Mass Ave)
• Question #1 on the November ballot would give City Council more power over the budget. Supporters have asked us to go to this link HISTORY – Yes on 1 Boston

Chester Square Neighbors Agenda June 2, 2021 at 7pm (6:45 Zoom practice/social) Advance registration required: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZItdemprzIpG9dIP5VXiHHZd5iP4ufqLZpz

  1. Introductions
  2. Notes from May meeting
  3. Treasurer’s Report – Kelsey
  4. Presentation: 603 Mass Ave – proposal to convert ground floor from retail to residential
  5. May 15 clean-up – Sara
  6. July 21 Festival to dedicate our new historical signs – Around both sides of the park, we’ll have a series of posters, celebrating the history of Chester Square and sketching possibilities for the future. We need donations and volunteers for posters, music, games and refreshments. Mayoral and council candidates will be invited.
  7. Rats – What shall we do?
    Please reply to this email with your observations before this meeting, so we can compile info

Updates

  1. Mayoral & council candidate questionnaire – Armani
  2. Melnea Cass Boulevard trees video
  3. Walk-in vaccinations at Boston Medical Center

Next Chester Square Neighbors’ Meetings: Wednesdays, July 7, August 4

Agenda for May 5, 2021 at 7pm (6:45 Zoom practice/social)

Advance registration required:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYof-muqT0rEtDIBYa8D2NTmGECbg8zqi_v


Introductions

Notes from April 5 Zoom – Armani

Treasurer’s Report – Kelsey

SE Historical Society Collections – Jason Amos, Executive Director

157 W Springfield St (Ebenezer Church) – Anton Cela, developer

May 15 clean-up – Sara

Updates

  1. 603 Mass Ave Abutters’ meeting May 12, 6pm, proposal to convert ground floor from retail to residential
    • Join on WebEx: https://bit.ly/2Ps4fYW Password: 603mass Dial In: +1-408-418-9388, Access Code: 129 981 3912
    • Hosted by Kim Crucioli, South End and Bay Village Liaison Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services (617) 635-4517 | kimberly.crucioli@boston.gov
  2. Dedicating historical signs for Chester Park
  3. Mayoral & council candidate event(s) – Armani

Next Chester Square Neighbors’ Meetings: Wednesdays, June 2, July 7