September 21st, 2010 at 7:09 pm | | Posted by BHB Admin
by Frederica Merrell
This poster from the Beacon Hill Festival in June was covered with stickers that Beacon Hill neighbors used to vote on projects to prioritize in our neighborhood plan update. Photo by Wendi.
The Department of Planning and Development (DPD) has introduced legislation to the City Council for adoption of our neighborhood plan update in Councilperson Mike O’Brien’s committee next Tuesday, September 28. You can download the Action Plan PDF file here. In the past week, they have finally put in all the details that people have been asking to see. Don’t blink, you will miss it!
For comparison, here is the matrix of projects voted on at the Beacon Hill Festival (only the ones that received an average support rating of 2 or higher). Many great ideas are not included in the DPD update.
DPD actions are phased as: o for on-going, p for planning, u for underway, or d for done. There are lots of blanks where they don’t know which phase we are in. I have to wonder why we are getting “done” projects in our action matrix for a ten-year plan for the future? I guess we need a little padding in a few spots! Here is my educated review of the Action Plan:
Goals #1, 2, and 3. DPD has put a lot of emphasis on developing low-income housing. DPD again claims to be developing an urban design framework for us, but I still don’t know what that means. Clearly zoning and land use is DPD’s main interest and expertise area. (It doesn’t hurt that every development project that gets permitted puts money in the department coffers.)
All the actions under the first three goals (housing and commercial district development) are on-going or planned. There is one interesting exception: Resolving litter issues in the town center is listed as done! I am not sure how that has manifested in our town center, exactly.
There are no housing goals, nor is there acknowledgement of the huge amount of multi-family housing going in at the north end of the hill. Rating: OK but incomplete for rest of neighborhood and maybe a little inaccurate on the litter front.
It starts to get weird under Goal 4: Parks and Open Space. They have only two policies: Preserve and support El Centro, and Seek Small Pocket Parks. There is emphasis on the El Centro Civic Gathering Space, an indoor facility, I believe (see Goal 6). The only actions with a planning designation are El Centro’s civic gathering space, El Centro’s children’s play area and an urban design framework element for Jose Rizal Park. In spite of the fact that eight different proposals for open space were submitted to the Parks Opportunity Fund this year, the only one acknowledged by DPD is the El Centro Children’s Play Area project. What about the other five: Lewis Park, North Beacon Central Park, Walker Street, 12th Street View Spot, and the Gatehouse project at Jefferson Park?
DPD pads this section with completed or almost completed projects. Beacon Hill Playground project is listed three times and is already underway, probably to be finished before the end of the year. Under Jefferson Park Master Plan, a small number of projects are underway or done. Why is “recommission the South Reservoir” in there as an action? It was completed over a year ago!
, neighborhood plan update
, neighborhood planning