CNC Starts Talk on Parking Regulations

March 8, 2012
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Charlestown Neighborhood Council member Mark Rosenshein made a point to discuss one of Charlestown’s most talked about issues at Tuesday night’s meeting—regulations for off-street parking .

“We’re talking about changing the zoning by-laws of Charlestown,” Rosenshein said. The CNC Development Committee will be hosting a series of meetings, leading to a joint meeting with the Boston Redevelopment Authority and potential recommendation to the City of Boston Zoning Commission, for modification to specific sections of the Charlestown Zoning By-laws. The current Charlestown Zoning Section 62-29 Off-Street Parking regulation requires one off-street parking space per unit for each new single-family unit in a project, for projects of one to three units. The requirement for parking obligates the City of Boston to allow developers to install curb cuts and remove on-street parking spaces without community input or review.

Essentially, zoning could be changed to make the parking requirement a conditional use. Certain actions and votes have to be taken, but there is a strong emphasis on getting a consensus from the public.

“We’re trying to get community input,” Rosenshein said. “What I’m looking for is people who want to speak on this issue so we can lay out some possible answers…The main thing here is outreach,” he added.

The purpose of the meeting will be to review this condition and determine if the Zoning by-law should remain as currently written, be modified to a conditional use requiring community input on a case by case basis, while not changing the parking ratio requirement, or remove the requirement for the parking space and require a variance for the installation of first floor garages and parking space. There will also be a discussion to determine if there are other zoning issues, which should be considered for revision by the community during future meetings.

Rosenshein was clear about the meeting staying on point, and specific to the issue at hand. He did not want a general complaints discussion about parking in the city. For those wishing to participate.

The first meeting will occur at 7 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus hall on Thursday, March 21.