By Adam Swift
The PLAN: Charlestown process is continuing with the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) asking neighborhood residents to take part in a survey to provide feedback on a draft vision statement, goals, and principles for the process.
PLAN: Charlestown is a community-driven neighborhood-wide planning initiative that BPDA officials state will create a vision that will help the community thrive over the next 10 to 20 years.
“This survey is informed from the many engagement events and opportunities we’ve had so far, and is just a first draft of each item,” an email from the PLAN: Charlestown team stated.
The PLAN: Charlestown process has been bumpy at times. At an online forum to help tighten the visioning process on Oct. 21, BPDA and PLAN: Charlestown team members were peppered with questions about the scope of the project, about the BPDA’s relationship to developers, and about a sometimes foggy view of what qualifies as historic land within the neighborhood.
Questions about the PLAN: Charlestown process were also raised by several Charlestown Neighborhood Council (CNC) members and residents at a Nov. 4 CNC meeting.
“At the meeting I asked why Plan: Charlestown did not follow the description entered on the BPDA web site. I received no answer of substance but rather was personally attacked,” stated Charlestown resident Gerald Angoff. “ I read from their website: ‘PLAN: Charlestown will establish a comprehensive and coordinated plan to ensure the equitable provision of infrastructure to support future land uses and development, mobility connections into and within Charlestown, parks and open space, climate resiliency, affordable housing, as well as strategies to enhance the existing community and preserve its historic assets. The PLAN: Charlestown team is also in close coordination with an interdepartmental working group across city departments and state transportation agencies.’”
But at the meeting, BPDA community engagement manager Jason Ruggiero said that the PLAN: Charlestown process does comprise the entire community.
Anyone interested in taking part in the survey who has not received an email from the BPDA can visit the PLAN: Charlestown website at http://www.bostonplans.org/planning/planning-initiatives/plan-charlestown or email Ruggiero at [email protected].
The survey itself covers some of the same ground as the Oct. 21 online meeting and seeks to garner input from those who were not able to attend. The survey is open until Nov. 22.
Questions range from the background of the individuals taking the survey and their familiarity with the PLAN: Charlestown process to feedback on the draft vision statement and draft goals and principle.
The draft vision statement reads, “In 2040, Charlestown is a thriving, diverse, accessible, and resilient neighborhood that unites an enhanced historic residential fabric with new affordable homes, jobs, and public parks along Rutherford Avenue and in Sullivan Square.”
The draft goals touch upon transportation, housing, climate and the environment, and jobs and businesses.
The next phase of the PLAN: Charlestown process, in addition to the feedback on goals, will include a deeper dive into issues such as infrastructure, land use scenarios, and preservation tools as outside consultants are brought on board.