A Brief History of Fort Point 100-Acres Planning
In 1999, after two years and hundreds of public meetings throughout the City of Boston, the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) published its "South Boston Public Realm Plan".
In 2000, the BRA filed a "Draft Municipal Harbor Plan" (MHP) with the State, to update State waterfront regulations per the Public Realm Plan — to spur development of the South Boston Waterfront. In response to the BRA’s filing, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EOEA) required the BRA to re-submit a more refined plan with respect the Fort Point Historic District.
In response to the State’s request for a more refined plan, in 2001 the BRA initiated a series of approximately two dozen public "Fort Point Working Group" meetings.
In 2001, SAND was invited to present its ideas at a Working Group meeting (click here to read).
By the end of 2001, the BRA had adopted a plan that had been presented by Gillette and the United States Postal Service — the two large property owners with vacant land tracts. (see BRA website)
In 2002, the BRA initiated a series of approximately two dozen public "Fort Point Advisory Committee" meetings.
From 2001 through July 2004, over forty of the public meetings focused on public realm and 2-D concepts for Fort Point’s streets, sidewalks and buildable parcels, with three meetings held between December 2003 and March 2004 to introduce "conceptual" height zones.
The public realm component of the Gillette/USPS plan did not change significantly over the four year period (see BRA website or SAND comments for history of public realm component).
During this process, the Fort Point community diligently attended and was unified in its advocacy of three public realm ideals — as it had presented to the BRA consistently from 1997 (through present day). These ideals included:
- a recreational park in the heart of Fort Point
- greenspace used as a means to invite people from A Street to the Fort Point Channel
- smaller greenspace "pocket" parks and other spaces used to connect the neighborhood with outlying areas.
From August 2004 to May 2005, the City held no public meetings, master planning exclusively in private with large-property owners.
In the summer of 2005, the BRA initiated a series meetings to introduce its massing plan (i.e. height and density) for the first time to the Fort Point and South Boston communities, along with repeated suggestions that the large-property owners were in agreement and ready to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to codify the plan. The plan, including height and density, was in concrete — no changes would be made in response to input from abutters, small property owners or other stakeholders
Your comments as a visitor to the SAND website would be appreciated and forwarded for discussion.