Readers Strongly Opposed to the Most Recent Version
To the Editor,
We are writing to you in response the recent letter in the Charlestown Patriot-Bridge regarding the changes to PLAN Charlestown. We are both strongly opposed to the most recent version of this plan.
Donna and I have lived in Charlestown for 10 years and our daughter and family for 15 years. We moved here for the sense of community, diversity, history, small locally-owned businesses, and access to the greater Boston area.
By allowing building square footage to increase by 25%, allowing building heights to double and triple, allowing the demolition of historic buildings, and failure to plan for the necessary infrastructure does nothing for the community. It will only create more traffic and congestion (try to get through Sullivan Square anytime during the day), increase parking woes, reduce sunlight, change the historic character of the area, diminish views, and reduce the livability of the area for all residents.
In my businesses, aspirational goals were vital as part of the initial conceptual process, brainstorming and gathering varied ideas. From there we developed clear plans blending our business needs with the existing building and zoning codes as well as the needs of the greater community. When “aspirational goals” are used in the later stages of planning, unplanned and unwanted outcomes result. This essentially gives the developers permission to do whatever they envision, with no consideration to the larger community. The only goals that will prevail are those of the developers. They will be the only beneficiaries.
Having been involved in both distribution and commercial real estate throughout a lengthy career, we do understand business and business owners’ need and desire to profit. Giving developers and businesses approvals that exceed the original plans and stretch or exceed the zoning codes only enriches the developers. It does nothing for Charlestown as a community and historic area, nothing for the residents, and nothing for the livability of the area.
We both ask that you stop this new version and return to the original plans. Reduce the square footage, reduce the building heights, preserve the historic building, and respect our community.
Robert S. McKittrick
Donna T. McKittrick