Beacon Hill Civic Association Committees
Every spring, the Beacon Hill Civic Association publishes its Annual Report covering committee accomplishments during the past year. We’ll be sharing the committees’ reports here over the next weeks.
Planning & Oversight Committee
The Planning & Oversight (“Planning”) 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.
The specific issues are varied and include such topics as: fostering dialogue between developers, institutions and neighborhood residents within our community, working together to safeguard our unique Beacon Hill Historic District; limiting the adverse effects of hotel-like, short-term rental uses; dealing with the effects of technologies that are changing traffic patterns on and around Beacon Hill; and increasing voter participation on Beacon Hill. 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.
The BHCA’s leadership and the Planning Committee continued work with respect to the 1 million square foot project the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has proposed for Cambridge and Blossom Streets. While not within the Beacon Hill Historic District, the project would significantly affect the neighborhood. 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 seek additional participation from the neighborhood during 2020, after additional project details are released.
The state has announced plans to redevelop the Hurley Building, at Cambridge and Staniford Streets, into a large, high-rise office building. In the fall of 2020, the state is expected to issue a solicitation for a private partner to redevelop the site. The BHCA is working to ensure residents take an active role in shaping the guidelines and process for the redevelopment.
The BHCA is also now involved in monitoring other developments and projects on and around Beacon Hill, including the ongoing redevelopment of the Charles Street Garage and Suffolk University’s Temple Street buildings; the proposed redevelopment of the West End Library; and the proposed expansion of Mass Eye and Ear.
In September 2019 the BHCA sponsored, along with the Neighborhood Association of Back Bay and the West End Civic Association, a “Downtown Neighborhoods Candidates Forum” featuring the candidates for Eighth District City Councilor (who represents Beacon Hill, the West End, Back Bay, Fenway/Kenmore, and Mission Hill). The Forum, organized by Rob Whitney, was well-attended, and very engaging and informative. Your participation in such forums, as well as voting in the primary and final elections, helps ensure that issues important to our neighborhood are on the agendas of our elected officials.
In November 2019, the BHCA again hosted “Downtown Schools Night” to allow families to learn about six public elementary schools which serve students in the downtown neighborhoods. Current parents shared their views and experiences with the Eliot (North End), Warren-Prescott and Harvard-Kent (Charlestown), Quincy (Chinatown), and Blackstone and Hurley (South End) schools.
If you haven’t yet become a member of the BHCA, we invite you to join online at www.bhcivic.org/become-a-member.
Your input in quality of life issues on the Hill is important to us, and we rely on you our neighbors to bring your comments and concerns to our attention. By joining our membership, you strengthen our numbers and add credibility to our purpose as advocates for Beacon Hill. Please call our office at 617-227-1922 or email the BHCA Executive Director at [email protected] with any questions, comments or concerns, or to learn more about how you can get involved in your community.