March LANA Meeting

Monday, March 12, 2018


  • Roslindale Wetlands Task Force

presentation on our local urban wild

  • 104-108 Walter Street Development Proposal

POSTPONED – date to be determined

Longfellow House Community Room
885 South St, Roslindale, Massachusetts 02131



Proposed Changes at Arboretum’s Weld Hill

LANA has long been involved in preserving open space and natural habitat within the neighboring areas of the Arboretum.  Years ago we negotiated a legally binding agreement to keep Weld Hill scenic and landscaped.  We now find the Arboretum and the City of Boston have chosen ignore the agreement to install solar panels in the middle of the meadow.  As your neighbors; we ask you join us to keep the area preserved as Frederick Olmsted intended.
The Compromise That Led to a Change in Zoning at the Arboretum’s Weld Hill
Prior to 2007, a significant contingent of abutters and neighbors were opposed to any zoning changes that would have permitted the Arnold Arboretum from erecting a new institutional complex on Centre Street on land not zoned for institutional uses. The Longfellow Area Neighborhood Association brokered a compromise with the surrounding community, the Boston Redevelopment Authority, Harvard University and the Arnold Arboretum to allow the Arboretum’s proposed research facility to proceed only if the neighborhood could be guaranteed long term open space protection on the surrounding parcel. Why?
Joyce Kilmer Park Was Paved for Joyce Kilmer Parking Lot – in Violation of Deed Restrictions
In 1957, the City granted permission for the construction of the Hebrew Home for the Aged over Joyce Kilmer Park at Centre and Walter Streets. After promising to protect the remaining open space at Joyce Kilmer Park, the City in 1973 (only 16 years later) violated its commitment to the community and allowed the Hebrew Rehabilitation Center to double in size. Most of the remaining parkland was paved for cars and a large concrete parking deck in violation of deed restrictions on the property governing allowable uses and setbacks.
Commitments Made by Harvard and the City to Roslindale Neighbors of the Arnold Arboretum
To avoid a repeat of the Joyce Kilmer Park fiasco and future violations of open space protections by creeping institutional expansion, the community demanded legally enforceable open space protections for the no-build portion of the Weld Hill parcel prior to assenting to any change in zoning at the site.
The Arboteum’s then-director, Robert Cook, committed that the no-build zone at Weld Hill would be folded into the Arborteum and treated under the same protections set to expire in the year 2882.
Dr. Cook committed, and the community agreed, that the only allowable use of the no-build zone at Weld Hill would be a nursery for growing plant material for research purposes.
The development controls language governing the no build zone was written to exclude and prohibit the installation of any solid fence around a future nursery that would block public views of open scape or obscure the natural and open condition of the landscape. This was agreed to by all sides.
During negotiations, when the Arboretum and the BRA claimed that a toolshed may need to be placed on the no build zone temporarily, for construction purposes during the building of the research facility, language was written to allow a temporary tool shed while prohibiting any permanent structures.
The Commitments to Preserve Open Space at Weld Hill Are Protected By Law
The development controls are legally binding. The deed restriction cannot be compromised, reversed or changed by the landowner, or by the City of Boston, or by the public, except by an act of the Massachusetts legislature by a two-thirds majority vote.
Call Your City Councillors, the Mayor and Your Neighbors
Tell them to uphold the deed restriction protecting open space at the Arboretum’s Weld Hill.

Bulletin on LANA Annual Meeting

Thank you to the West Roxbury/Roslindale Bulletin for covering our annual meeting held last week. We appreciate Councilor Tim McCarthy joining us with updates from the district. We also thank Charlotte Fleetwood of the Boston Transportation Department (and a Longfellow area resident!) for discussing Walter Street crossings and bus stops with us – more to come on that in the months ahead.

The next LANA board meeting will be Monday, July 10th at 7:30 pm at the Longfellow House, 885 South St. The board will elect new officers at that meeting. We are also still seeking new board members for those interested.

LANA Annual Meeting 6/12

LANA hosts its annual meeting for residents on Monday, June 12th at 7:00 pm at the Longfellow House, 885 South Street. LANA will be joined by Boston City Councilor Tim McCarthy for a discussion. Representatives from the Boston Transportation Department are also attending to discuss plans for traffic calming and creating safe crossing points on Walter Street as part of ongoing LANA efforts there. LANA is seeking residents to serve as board members for new two-year terms to commence at this meeting.

RVMS/BCYF Volunteer Fair Saturday 04/29

Roslindale Village Main Street and the Boston Center for Youth and Families host a volunteer fair this Saturday April 29th from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Roslindale Community Center, 6 Cummins Highway.

There will be over thirty civic organizations present from Roslindale and across Boston with information about volunteering with them and giving back to the community.

You can see the entire list of organizations here.



Mayor Walsh Coffee Hour May 16

Mayor Walsh will hold his annual Roslindale Coffee Hour on Tuesday, May 16th from 9:30-10:30 a.m. at Fallon Field.

This will also be the grand opening and ribbon cutting for the new Fallon Field playground.

All participants will enjoy coffee and breakfast treats provided by Dunkin’ Donuts and fresh fruit from Whole Foods Market. In addition, each family in attendance will receive a flowering plant grown in the city’s greenhouses as a gift from Mayor Walsh. Residents at the event will also be eligible to win raffle prizes from Dunkin’ Donuts.

874-878 South Street Community Mtg

The Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services invites residents to a community meeting regarding a proposed residential development at 874-878 South Street.

Tuesday, March 28, 6:30 – 7:30 pm

Roslindale Community Center, 6 Cummins Highway

The current site has a 4-unit commercial building (3 units vacant) and a 2-family home on it. Current plans call for demolishing the existing structures and constructing a 9-unit residential condominium building. The property owner and his team attended last week’s March meeting of the LANA board and residents. Current iteration of the plans are 874-878 South Street – Plans – March, 2017.

Abutter Meeting Flyer (03-28-17)