Protect the Emerald Necklace parks—please don't take our sunlight away!

Protect the Emerald Necklace parks—please don't take our sunlight away!

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Steve Wolf started this petition

In 2003, the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) created design guidelines to protect historic parks and boulevards in the Longwood Medical Area. These include the Emerald Necklace parks adjacent to the district and the Riverway and Fenway parkways. The Boston Planning & Development Agency, the renamed BRA, hosts the guidelines on its website.

The guidelines state that ”no project will be approved if it casts any new shadow for more than one hour on March 21st on the Emerald Necklace…” 

The 305 Brookline Avenue project, proposed by Simmons University and Skanska USA, would introduce 5 buildings, ranging in height from 170 to 320 feet (roughly 17 to 32 stories). The current scheme creates more than 410,000 square feet (9½ acres) of new shadow that lasts far longer than one hour on three Emerald Necklace parks: Riverway, Justine Mee Liff, and Back Bay Fens.  

On January 19, the BPDA board will vote on creation of a planned development area (PDA) that would codify the project’s reduction of sunlight reaching the parks. The board holds in its hands the power either to protect these historic parks—and the environmental and health services they provide—or to approve a plan that produces private profit by degrading public land. We hereby petition the board to follow its own guidelines and insure that the developer  comply with existing restrictions on new shadows in the historic Emerald Necklace.

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