Yesterday, the Boston City Council hosted a hearing of McCourt and Pritzker planning proposals for Fan Pier. Both developers presented their respective plans. Additional testimony was provided by the Conservation Law Foundation (supporting McCourt) and the Boston Redevelopment Authority (supporting Pritzker).
The presentations and questions from City councilors were essentially for confirmation and review of information already available -- no new information was presented.
A number of City Councilors expressed a strong interest in the availability of linkage payments and job availability to respective communities. Fan Pier planners indicated that they intend to supply approximately $14 million in linkage. McCourt planners did not have a linkage estimate on hand.
A number of City Councilors expressed disdain for a potential lawsuit by the CLF.
Councilor Hennigan asked a question with regard to improving the Pritzker plan -- whether or not the developer would be willing to remove the office tower at the foot of the cove to create a signature park. Fan Pier planners did not directly answer this question, restating existing plans for providing greenspace.
At 5:30 PM, after 2 1/2 hours of presentations, testimony and questions from City Councilors, a brief citizen testimony period (20-25 minutes) was provided. Most City Councilors and dozens of attendees retired from the chamber before the public comment period began. During this public comment period, citizens were asked to keep remarks to one minute (all citizen testimonies were held to approximately 1-3 minutes).
Approximately eight public commentors testified to the thinned audience and the few Councilors who remained -- Councilors Jim Kelly, Peggy Davis-Mullen, Paul Scappichio and Maura Henningan. [Councilors: let us know if we overlooked your attendance].
Three SAND members, residents and business owners of South Boston's Fort Point neighborhood, spoke in favor of elements of the McCourt plan, as did the founder of the Boston Natural Areas Fund. A Fort Point resident/artist spoke in support of the McCourt plan. The Boston Chamber of Commerce commended recent efforts by the Mayor's office to increase greenspace on the Pritzker property, and appealed to for the planning process to move forward. One testimony was from a commentor who supported the Pritzker plan with a few modifications (swapping the ICA parcel with a residential parcel). A final commentor spoke regarding possible violations of the Pritzker's Fan Pier plan under existing State Chapter 91 waterfront regulations.
To read SAND's recently submitted position letter regarding McCourt plan, click here.
Your comments as a visitor to the SAND website would be appreciated and forwarded for discussion.