November Meeting Minutes
Community Crime Update
Substituting for Officer Keany, Tai Skeene, an 18 year veteran of the Boston Police Department, presented the monthly report to the membership.
There were two Bank Robberies at the Santander Bank located on Gallivan Blvd. The first robbery took place on the early afternoon of October 21st, and the thief took off with $2,600. The second robbery was committed on November 9th. This time the robber got away with $12,000. Interestingly enough, someone had just made a deposit of $9,000. The police do not think the two incidents are related. In addition the second offender seemed to have an understanding of bank procedures and lingo.
Officer Skeene reported two accidents in the neighborhood: A collision occurred near Beantown Athletics. No one was hurt, although no one in the car had their license either. In another incident, an elderly woman was involved in an accident where she inadvertently hit the gas instead of the breaks. After review her license was not taken from her.
884 Adams Street
Dennis Keohane, a developer who has been in front of the CGCA several times, presented his revised plan for 884 Adams St. Mr. Keohaneâ€™s original demonstration called for six units. The membership, particularly the abutters, were opposed the shear size and number of units. After going back to the drawing board, he returned to present a bi-level four unit project. A hand vote was called, and the motion was approved unanimously. It was approved by the City at the ZBA hearing on Tuesday 11/24.
The prospective owners of the building Gerardâ€™s -- Chris Roche, Ed Brooks, and Russ DeMariano, came before the membership to present preliminary plans for their new restaurant: Landmark Public House. They intend to renovate the entire building including the restaurant, store and offices. The owners envision a rustic style family friendly eatery. The menu will be traditional fare, including the shared plate concept similar to tapas. There will be a bar, however the owners stressed their focus is on the food and the restaurant, and do not view this as a night club.
With respect to the store, they intend to keep it open but are studying different options, i.e. a yogurt store, fresh produce market. They referred to a walkable village, where a mixture of businesses are available to consumers. With regard to the office space, they are keeping the number of rentals the same, (10) and will be offering space to the current tenants. Rents have yet to be determined. In addition, the aim is to keep all existing employees
The next steps for the trio are to apply for the myriad of licenses and variances necessary to go forward with construction. A motion was made to have a membership vote in January on the restaurant, which will include hours and live entertainment . A licensing hearing was held on November 18th before the City of Boston and they were granted a full liquor license until 12am where there hasnt been a vote by the association yet. The precedent has been set in the neighborhood for 12am. The proponents will be back to request a 1am closing time.
815 Gallivan Blvd
Proposal to demolish existing two sided billboard and erect a digital monopole billboard at Neponset Car Wash. The CGCA Eboard opposed the billboard and supported a deferral to continue a neighborhood process as there are many outstanding factors to this proposal. Owner Derek Mourad agreed to request for a deferral at his ZBA hearing on 11/24 to have neighborhood wide discussions on this proposal. The deferral was granted.
The major item on the November agenda was the plan put forth by the Boston Traffic Department to address concerns raised at recent meetings. A flyer was distributed throughout the neighborhood, specifically the areas of Granite Ave up to Hallet Street and Gallivan Blvd across to Hilltop. In addition the plan was emailed to all Cedar Grove members. While only 20 people responded to the email, the meeting for the Cedar Grove Civic Traffic Issues was well attended with over 200 people in the hall. CGCA appreciates everyone's attention and attendance.
So each street could have a voice in the discussion, the membership was divided into "street" groups. A spokesperson was selected to speak on behalf of the street. This proved to be an effective means to ensure fair representation. It also created a comfortable environment for open and respectful discussion.
The overwhelming consensus among each group was â€œIf it ainâ€™t broke, donâ€™t fix it. (there were a few exceptions which will be discussed below). Many described the plan as confusing. Below are some specific responses from neighbors:
- This was done about 20 years ago and it has worked. Keep it the same.
- The plan has Milton Street with five traffic changes. It will only cause confusion.
- If we are to make Milton a one way, the hill will cause serious problems in the winter, same for the reverse of Cedar Grove Street.
- The folks on St. Brendan Road regretted the removal of the signs, the folks on Rita Rd and the rest of the membership were pleased.
- There was acknowledgement the area is a cut though coming off of 93.
Although the overwhelming sentiment was to reject the proposal there was agreement there are areas that need to be addressed:
Rockne Ave and Hilltop Street - Residents expressed serious concerns with the speeding traffic coming off the expressway
Belton St - Residents want the street to be a one way. They cite traffic and congestion and the street is simply not big enough to accommodate two way traffic where cars are already only parking on one side of the street. Open to either way to work with BTD.
Changes were suggested to alleviate what all agree are serious traffic concerns, through the placement of stop signs and traffic enforcement and the implementation speed bumps. It was indicated that speed bumps are not an option due to snow removal issues. However the concept of removable speeds bumps were presented as an option.
As a result of the meeting, CGCA President Lauren Woods made a request to BTD and the Mayor's Office for the following as a start:
- Place stop signs at the end of Whitridge Street at the intersection with Milton, at the intersection of Hallet-Davis and Milton, and on Milton St at Myrtlebank Avenue.
- Install â€œNo Left Turn Sign on St. Brendan Road facing Rita Road.
- Install a raised Platform crosswalk at the intersection of St. Brendan and Milton.
We've also requested enforcement from BPD of speeding and corner parking.
We look forward to hearing from them and will share the outcome with the CGCA membership.
Shout out to the newest recipients of the CGCA Newsletter.
Cedar Groveâ€™s very own men and women who serve and protect our country in the armed forces:
Cpl Dillon Emery, USMC
Cpl Nolan Nee, USMC
LCpl Jack Oâ€™Toole, USMC
LCpl Sam Emery, USMC
FN Anna Sweeney, US Navy
Spc Colin McCarthy, US Army