700-Foot Development Raises Eyebrows

News of a proposal to develop a 700-foot building on Causeway Street and adjacent properties along North Washington Street within the Bulfinch Triangle section of the West End has raised eyebrows.

The proposal prompted the West End Civic Association (WECA)and the North End/Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA) to send a letter to the Boston Planning and Development Association (BPDA) seeking more information relating to the project.

Apparently, plans call for the construction of a multi-used tower that could replace existing renovation of 100—year-old buildings at 251 Causeway and 100, 126 and 132 North Washington Street.

Based on past planning, the zoning code for the Bulfinch Triangle District limited height is 100 feet and the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) is 7.0, even then, only when a project complies with large project review compliance certification according to the letter.

The area being proposed currently fits the architectural and historic framework relating to the manufacturing history of the immediate district the group claims.

The sites are located at the edge of two historical residential neighborhoods, a public school, public water parks, a proposed bridge park currently under construction and the Freedom Trail.

Additionally, the site abuts one of the most heavily traveled and most problematic street intersections and Downtown Boston.

WECA and NEWRA requested open communications with the BPDA and how Mayor Michele Wu will approach the evaluation of development proposals that exceed the restrictions in the zoning code.

Prior to commencing any Article 80 review of the project that would greatly increase density in an already overburdened district, the city should conduct a detailed analysis with public participation to determine if existing zoning should stand or an updated district plan be warranted.

In addition, no Article 80 project review should be commenced until planning is complete

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