New Details on Affordable Housing Project

(This letter from GGTA President Bill Hannan was sent to all GGTA members with email on Tuesday, Nov. 25, but concerns the entire neighborhood.)

Dear GGTA board members –

At last night’s meeting of the affordable housing working group, Tom Radulovich of Livable City advised that Planning Code section 145.1 applies to Seawall Lot 322-1, the site of the proposed project at Broadway and Front.  As I understood Tom, this code section requires that any on-site parking be set back 25 feet from any street, with “active uses” facing the streets.

This should reassure those who are concerned that an on-site parking garage would result in “blank walls” along the sidewalks (like Washington Street between Battery and Davis) that would be bad for the neighborhood.  The Port’s preliminary papers indicate there will be no “blank walls” longer than 20 feet, but there has been continued concern because the Port insists on-site public parking will be needed to support retailers or other commercial ground floor users such as offices.

Tom also advised that underground parking would be prohibitively expensive to build and maintain, but that stacked parking may be possible.

Future meetings are set for 12-9, 1-8, and 1-22.  The MOH and the Port want to complete their draft RFP and present it to the Port Commission in February or March.  We are continuing to look for a possible funding source for moderate-income housing at this project.

– Bill Hannan