Beacon Hill Civic Association Community Corner

Neighborhood Preservation Committees – Planning & Oversight

The Planning & Oversight Committee serves as an umbrella committee to initiate, monitor and oversee the BHCA’s efforts on long-range issues that affect our neighborhood.  The Planning Committee also tracks the BHCA’s involvement with the various committees and groups in the City of Boston, in order to strengthen the organization’s voice in governmental and community planning on all projects or proposals affecting our neighborhood, as well as to improve the BHCA’s relations with governmental officials and community groups.

Bruce Kiernan, BHCA Director and Planning & Oversight Chair.

The specific issues are varied and include such topics as:  fostering dialogue between developers, institutions and neighborhood residents within our community, to work together to safeguard our unique Beacon Hill Historic District; limiting the effects of short-term rental “hotel-like” uses; dealing with the effects of technologies that are changing traffic patterns on and around Beacon Hill; and increasing voter participation on Beacon Hill from the low election turnout of recent years. The common themes are to ensure that Beacon Hill remains a thriving residential neighborhood into the future; and to maintain the quality of life for neighborhood residents and visitors.

In 2018, we worked with the Alliance of Downtown Civic Associations (ADCO) in a successful effort to enact city and state legislation to regulate short-term rentals. BHCA and ADCO continue to advocate for implementation and enforcement of those regulations. The effects of short term rentals will continue to be an issue of critical importance for our neighborhood.

The Planning Committee also began work with respect to the projects that the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has proposed for Cambridge and Blossom Streets. MGH has proposed a 1 million square foot building for inpatient beds and related services, as well as underground parking. While not within the Beacon Hill Historic District, the project could significantly affect the neighborhood. The BHCA held a well-attended forum for local residents with representatives of MGH. The comments of the residents and the BHCA were submitted in writing to the Boston Planning and Development Agency, addressing the wide range of issues raised. Members of BHCA’s board are also part of the BPDA’s Task Force, which participates in public hearings and discussions with MGH and government officials. The BHCA will hold a second neighborhood forum in the fall, after additional project details become available.

The BHCA is also now involved in monitoring other developments and projects on and around Beacon Hill, including the ongoing redevelopment of the John Jeffries House and Charles Street Garage, and of Suffolk University’s Temple Street buildings.

In the fall of 2019, Boston will hold important elections for our district and at-large City Councilors. A new Eighth District City Councilor will be elected to represent Beacon Hill, the West End, Back Bay, Fenway/Kenmore, and Mission Hill.  The BHCA plans to sponsor, along with the Neighborhood Association of Back Bay and the West End Civic Association if possible, a “Candidates Forum” featuring the candidates. Your participation in the forums and voting in the primary and final elections will help to ensure that issues important to our neighborhood are on the new Councilors’ agenda.

Upcoming BHCA Meetings

Tuesday, June 25: Events Committee Meeting. 74 Joy Street. 6pm.

Other Upcoming BHCA Events

Summer Evening at Otis House – Thursday, June 20th

Young Friends Social – Wednesday, June 26th

Evening on the Esplanade – Wednesday, July 17th

District 8 City Councilor Candidates Forum – Tuesday, September 10th

BHCA Fall HillFest – Sunday, September 22nd

Visit the Beacon Hill Civic Association website bhcivic.org or call the office (617-227-1922) for further details on any of these events, and for information about joining the BHCA.

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