Livingstone Makes Return Visit to BHCA Board Meeting

Rep. Jay Livingstone, who previously served as a member of the group before going onto the State House, made a return visit  to the Beacon Hill Civic Association board of directors for its monthly meeting on Monday, June 10, at 74 Joy St.

Livingstone, who has represented the Suffolk 8th District  since 2013, provided an update on his proposed legislation (Bill H.4076, “An Act enhancing the Historic Beacon Hill District”), which would enlarge the Beacon Hill Historic District to include all of the North Slope via the addition of an approximately 40-foot-wide area running from Charles Circle to Bowdoin Street along Cambridge Street on the Beacon Hill side not currently included in the district. (This omission apparently came in response to concerns that including the entire North Slope in the Historic District could impede the city’s plans for the Engine Company 4 and Ladder Company 24 fire station, which subsequently opened  at 200 Cambridge St. in 1965.)

Moreover, the bill would give the Beacon Hill Architectural Commission (BHAC) the specific authority to levy fines for violations of the Historic District’s architectural guidelines for the first time in its history.

The bill was ‘engrossed,’ or passed by the House of Representatives, on April 18. Then, four days later on April 22, it was read by the Senate and placed in the Orders of the Day for the next session. If the Senate passes the bill, it would then need to be enacted by both the House and the Senate before it could be signed into law by the Governor, but Rep. Livingstone said this could come quickly.

In another matter, Rep. Livingstone said he had received countless complaints from constituents regarding mopeds and other delivery vehicles, so in response, he has filed a bill (Bill H.3372, ‘An Act relative to third-party delivery data reporting’), which would require third-party delivery services to provide data to the state and municipalities on a monthly basis, including the mode of transportation for each delivery order; a breakdown of the  cost paid by the restaurant and assorted other fees for each order; the delivery driver’s name and city or town of residence for each order; and the total time it took the delivery driver to pick up and deliver each order in 60-second increments, among other metrics.

Third-party delivery services would also be required to provide registration information for all delivery drivers’ vehicles, ‘including but not limited to, motorcycle, electric motorcycle, moped, electric moped, bicycle, electric bicycle, micro-mobility, or other vehicles,’ as well as provide detailed information pertaining to any accidents or collisions involving such drivers.

“It’s a very frustrating situation for everyone who has walked on a sidewalk,” said Rep. Livingstone of the proliferation of delivery-vehicles, including mopeds and motorized scooters, driving recklessly on city sidewalks.

And with no enforcement now, the problem “has gotten exponentially worse,” said Rep. Livingstone, although State Police just seized 12 delivery vehicles from outside a Fenway restaurant.

Rep. Livingstone also said the House of Representatives had adopted the $6.2 billion Housing Bond Bill, formally known as the ‘Affordable Homes Act,’ earlier this month. He thinks the bill could reach the Senate by next month, and if it becomes law, this Bond Bill would be the single biggest investment in affordable housing in the Commonwealth to date.

While elected officials regularly appeared at Civic Association board meetings before the pandemic struck, Rep. Livingstone was the first elected to make an in-person appearance at one since then, noted Civic Association Chair Joshua Leffler.

(Leffler, who was chairing his first board meeting, previously served as the group’s president while longtime board member Colin Zick has stepped into Leffler’s former role.)

“Beacon Hill is the way it is today because of the people at this table,” Rep. Livingstone told members of the Civic Association. He also offered to return to another board meeting “at any time.”

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