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

Agenda for January 6, 2021 – 7pm (6:45 Zoom practice/social)

Advance registration required: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIof-yoqzMtH9HVoOekkUhyIY8lmjltN2Gc

  1. Introductions
  2. Notes from Dec 2 Zoom
  3. Treasurer’s Report
  4. CSN officers (2021) A slate of candidates was nominated in December: Carol Blair (president), Sara Mitchell (VP), Armani White (secretary), Kelsey Schiller (treasurer), Alyssa Faria (online community coordinator). Are there additional nominations?
  5. Election – 2021 CSN officers
  6. Snow – Schedule permitting, City Council President Kim Janey, and Kim Crucioli from the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services, will talk with us about our experiences with our first snow storm of the year and what the City can do to make sure streets and sidewalks are clear.
  7. Signs for Chester Park – Michael Rodriguez and Mathew Martin have installed “temporary” signs at entrances (see below). We expect proofs for historical signs (installed by parks dept) to be available soon and signs installed in the spring. Shall we plan a dedication event?
  8. Submit your concerns/ideas at ENVISION YOUR STREETS (google.com)

Next Chester Square Neighbors’ Meetings: Wednesdays, Feb 3 & Mar 3

Temporary sign text: “Welcome to Chester Square. We hope you find this space both peaceful and playful. Please do what you can to keep it safe and welcoming for all. Chester Square Neighbors, chestersquareneighbors.org

Monthly Meeting of June 2, 2010

President Ben Garvin called the meeting to order at 7:10 pm.

Item 1Fountain contractor bids.

Another bid for fountain maintenance was received by CSANA.  The bid was slightly lower than the first.  At this time there was no further information regarding contract negotiations and the fountain.

Item 2. Plantings.

Alma Dell Smith will order additional dwarf arbivores to even out the plantings.  James Grady will move the arbivores and variegated plants to make both sides of the Chester Square Parks even.  No more annuals will be purchased until the budget is reviewed.

Item 3. Crime statistics on web page.

Currently there is a link on the webpage to the Boston Police Department’s web site.

Item 4. Update on fundraising.

On June 27th, CRU will host a wine-tasting fundraiser.  James Grady has designed a paper and email invitation.  Joe DiGangi will take care of printing and mailing the invitation to all residents in the CSANA area.  CSANA will cover the cost of postage.  Members of CSANA will approach area restaurants and shops for food donations for the event.  Matina Madrick will post Save the Date postcards in area locations.

Item 5. Browne Fund.

This topic has been tabled until the next meeting.

Item 6. South End Garden tour.

CSANA did not feel that the South End Garden tour will require any additional support or provide a strong platform for fundraising this year.

There will be no meeting in July

Meeting was adjourned at 8:05 pm.