Park, Liff Park, and Back Bay Fens!
We respectfully request the protection of historic, public parklands Back Bay Fens, Justine Mee Liff Park, and The Riverway through the modification of proposed development at 305 Brookline Avenue/Longwood Place.
We the undersigned petition:
Park, Liff Park, and Back Bay Fens!
Sponsored by a coalition of community and park advocates, including Fenway Civic Association
and the Fenway Garden Society.
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(Click image to view agenda and download PDF)
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"The combatants in the shadow wars can reach detenete only if the rules are fair and clear, and no one is left in the dark."
"The enclosed 66 letters and over 700 petition signers are evidence of widespread citizen and stakeholder opposition to the PDA Development Plan for Longwood Place whose 30 story buildings would shade large swaths of the Emerald Necklace parks in the Fenway. Both the size and duration of the shadows would permanently degrade historic, irreplaceable parks systems and deprive people of sunshine in their parks and parkways for several hours of the day and evening." - Fenway Civic Association
"In addition, the guidelines call for a maximum prevailing height(s) of 75, 150 and up to 205 feet (varying by proximity to the named parklands). Longwood Place in its current form casts shadows for more than 60 minutes on large swaths of the Riverway, Justine Mee Liff and the Back Bay Fens Parks. Moreover, the proposed heights in the project are up to 320 feet, far exceeds the area's "interim guidelines." - Emerald Necklace Conservancy
"Shadows of buildings well above the tree line will extend across the Riverway and cover the full width of the Emerald Necklace in this most sensitive section of the Park. Laws regulating height adjacent to parkland were put into place to protect precious public resources that provide respite from urban living. Those laws should be upheld by our government agencies so that the public good is ensured. It should also be pointed out that significantly increased shadows on the park have a direct negative impact on public safety. Not only will shadowed, colder parkland where it is more difficult for plants to grow and water to provide habitat be much less welcoming; snow and ice which accumulates andmelts more slowly will cause hazards to walkers and wheels." - Brookline GreenSpace Alliance
"The heights of the proposed buildings at Longwood Place represent a significant threat to the ecological health, and therefore the historic character, and to the enjoyment by visitors of these recently restored public parks..."
"The likely threat to the health of ecosystems by additional shadows is not simply a matter of opinion; it is reinforced by peer-reviewed academic research..."
"MMOC urges the BPDA to recognize that the heights of buildings recently proposed for Longwood Place will exact significant and irreparable harm on public parks – harm that cannot be undone by the developer's proposed mitigation funding.”
– MMOC's Landscape Maintenance Subcommittee
"The negative ecological outcomes of these shadows on parkland are complex, spanning soil temperature and plant photosynthesis; health of turf and native tree succession; and stabilization of the steep bank along the Riverway -as well as human safety and access. But what is undeniable is simple: that a project that casts shadow onto historic, irreplaceable parkland will do so permanently." - Marie Fukuda
"As the City invitably grows, sunshine protection for our irreplaceable greenspaces should be a priority." - Friends of the Public Garden
Report with comprehensive Reference List of scientific sunlight studies
Televised on Boston City TV (Xfinity Channel 24, RCN Channel 13, and Verizon Fios Channel 962) and live streamed on boston.gov, to consider the proposed Development Plan for Planned Development Area No. 134, Longwood Place, submitted by SCD Pilgrim Road Master Planner LLC c/o Skanska USA Commercial Development Inc. Members of the public may participate in this Public Hearing by registering at https://bit.ly/JanBPDAMeeting or emailing your testimony to BRABoard@boston.gov. Emailed testimony will be read aloud during the hearing.
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Copyright © 2023 by Stephen Baird