Revised drafts of the Design Protocols for Capital Improvements within the Greenway Parks and Open Spaces and the Protocols for Reviewing Proposed Development Projects Impacting the Greenway that were discussed at the public hearing on September 1 are now posted on the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy website. Comments on the original drafts from the hearing participants, written comments sent to the Conservancy through the website, and additional comments from Board and Leadership Council members were reviewed in preparation for developing the current drafts. You may provide additional comments by going to the website as well. The website link is http://www.rosekennedygreenway.org/docs and comments can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The changes: There are some improvements that I applaud including the additional language toward public use and incorporating community review. The sections that encouraged event-related development and exchanges between the Conservancy and developers were clarified to prevent such activities. Many of the protocol sections were completely revamped and I noticed several sub-sections were shortened or eliminated. This is more appropriate for the Conservancy’s purpose as a steward of the parks rather than yet another development authority.
My thoughts: It’s unlikely that I will ever be completely satisfied with where the Conservancy is going with these documents on development or the prior debate on event guidelines. However, these revised drafts are a noticeable improvement to what was presented at the September 1st Annual Meeting. Several of the suggested changes were implemented from my comment letter. While the “proof in the pudding” will be how these protocols are executed, this is a modest positive for those of us that don’t want another development “authority”.
One important area that was not addressed is conflicts of interest, especially with developers. I hope will be taken up in a different manner, perhaps through the Greenway Leadership Council, the body overseeing the Conservancy.
The upcoming meeting schedule is listed here for the Conservancy and the GLC:
http://www.rosekennedygreenway.org/about-the-conservancy/board-members.htm (scroll down). The next public meetings are October 14 (GLC) at 2pm and November 3rd (Conservancy & GLC) at 9 am, both at 185 Kneeland Street. There is speculation that Conservancy is finally moving out of Chiofaro’s International Place to the MBTA building at 185 Kneeland Street.
I encourage residents to attend these meetings and send in their own comments. The changes that were made to these documents at least show there is an opportunity for some change as the Greenway evolves during these early years of its existence.