Jay Rourke Boston Redevelopment Authority 1 City Hall Plaza Boston, MA RE: Allston Brighton North Neighbors Forum (ABNNF) comment on the Charlesview relocation Mr. Rourke,

October 13, 2009

The Charlesview relocation offers the City of Boston and Harvard University the exciting opportunity to begin the revitalization that they promised in the 2005 North Allston Strategic Framework for Planning. Unfortunately, the current proposal is deficient in too many important ways. It should not be approved in its current form. We ask Mayor Menino to withhold his approval and require planners from the BRA, Harvard, and The Community Builders to work with residents of Allston and Brighton to promptly resolve these issues. As you know, the ABNNF has proposed development in the Holton Street Corridor and demonstrated that solutions for many of the problems with the current Charlesview proposal are both possible and practical. A summary of this proposal is attached. Many Allston/Brighton citizens have already commented on the following subjects. The ABNNF seconds their concerns and agrees with our neighbors that they must be resolved. In summary, the Charlesview project should have: 1. Public disclosure of construction financing and ongoing budget to ensure that the new Charlesview is built properly and well-maintained 2. More homeownership 3. More public parkland 4. More economic integration 5. More retail on Western Ave. Additionally: 1. An independent inspection should be done immediately to assess the conditions at the current Charlesview. The results of this report, and a plan by the Charlesview Board to resolve all urgent issues, should be published before the relocation is approved. 2. Transportation impacts must be studied and commitments made for necessary improvements before the proposed density is allowed. The proposed Telford Street building has a density of 472 bedrooms per acre (74 units totaling 118 bedrooms on ¼ acre). Setting this precedent for future development along all of Western Ave., without transportation improvements, would seriously damage the quality of life in Allston and Brighton. 3. New streets should be aligned to allow future connections with Raymond and Brentwood Streets (see image). 4. McDonald's should be incorporated into the ground floor a new, multi-story building, either in one of the buildings proposed by Charlesview or a new building on the current McDonald’s site. The current draft of the BRA’s Community Wide Plan proposes a multi-story building at the current McDonald’s site and the BRA should not allow new construction inconsistent with the BRA’s own plan. 5. More family-sized units (3+ BR) are needed. 6. Homeownership units should require owner-occupancy. 7. The new Telford Street should include a 20 foot pedestrian promenade. 8. Detailed planning with specific timelines is needed for the relocation of Shaw’s to Western Ave and the creation of the “major activity center” described in the CWP. Many of the problems with the Charlesview proposal can be solved only if Harvard allows neighborhood-friendly activity on all of its property beyond the boundaries of its 50-year plan. The residents of Allston and Brighton need Mayor Menino’s support to convince Harvard to support reasonable uses now to benefit Harvard, our neighborhood, and the City of Boston. The current situation weakens the community and should no longer be accepted by City Hall. Sincerely, Sara Helen Ayanian, Jason Benzaken, Jeff Bryan, Tom Lally, Harry Mattison, Tim McHale, David McNair, Karen Smith, Brent Whelan

Proposed new streets should be modified to allow the future extension of Raymond and Brentwood Streets Red lines show extension of existing streets that should align with new east/west streets Base image from Charlesview DPIR - Figure 2.1-3, page 45.

The Allston Brighton North Neighbors Forum (ABNNF) believes development should occur on 10 vacant and underutilized acres owned by Harvard in the Brighton Mills Shopping Center area. This land is in addition to the 8 acres in the proposed Harvard-Charlesview land swap. These 10 acres are not included in Harvard’s 2007 50-year plan and would be used for the construction of 120 homeownership units, a 3.5 acre public park, and new roads to connect the existing neighborhoods. The extent of development proposed in Charlesview’s Draft Project Impact Report is shown in yellow. This proposal includes a ½ acre of parkland for approximately 1000 residents. Allston/Brighton has 5 acres of parkland per 1,000 residents and the Citywide average is 7 acres per 1,000. The new housing and public parkland proposed by ABNNF is outlined in red and would be added: • At the intersection of Western Ave & Telford St • At the intersection of Holton St & Antwerp St • South of Holton St


Public Park 3.5 acres

Income Level

Charlesview Proposal in DPIR

ABNNF Proposal adds 120 ownership units @ Brighton Mills and balances economic mix 200 57 70 153 260 220 480 200 57 70 79 260 146 406 42% 12% 15% 32% 54% 46%

Low Moderate Workforce Market Rental Ownership Total Units Low Moderate Workforce Market Rental Ownership Total Units

Brighton Mills & Telford Street sites 200 56% 41 11% 26 7% 93 26% 260 72% 100 28% 360 200 41 26 19 260 26 286 Brighton Mills site 70% 14% 9% 7% 91% 9%

49% 14% +16 17% +44 19% +60 64% 36% +120

Charlesview DPIR Rental/Ownership @ Brighton Mills

ABNNF Proposed Rental/Ownership @ Brighton Mills

Rental Ownership

36% 64%

Rental Ownership

Charlesview DPIR Income Mix @ Brighton Mills
7% 9% 14% 70%

ABNNF Proposed Income Mix @ Brighton Mills

Low Moderate Workforce Market

20% 49% 17% 14%

Low Moderate Workforce Market

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