The Boston Conservation Commission has ordered Constellation Wharf to remove the gate at the entry of the residential complex at Pier 7 of the Charlestown Navy Yard. Representatives appeared before the commission to gain approval for wharf maintenance, including repairs and upgrades to existing deck drains and electrical conduit, although most of the discussion was about the gate.
Constellation Wharf has five public viewing areas accessible from Pier 7 where a gate and guard are currently situated at the entrance.
Chair Vivien Li introduced the gate issue as a condition of approving the maintenance work at the pier. Li is also Executive Director of the Boston Harbor Association, an advocate of the Harborwalk. Constellation Wharf’s Chapter 91 license does not prohibit the gate, but the commission felt it was not in keeping with public access requirements. The gate is open during the day, although Li said her contacts indicate that it was often closed and dissuading pedestrian access.
Representatives from Constellation Wharf raised a public safety concern, especially at night. They cited incidents of youths jumping off the pier, vandalism and break-ins. Li dismissed the concern saying that other condos manage these issues. Specifically, she identified the Fairmont Battery Wharf, a luxury hotel and residence complex, as meeting the Harborwalk’s desire for public access. In a unanimous vote, the Boston Conservation Commission approved the maintenance work subject to the prompt removal of the gate.
At this week’s meeting, the Boston Conservation Commission also voted in support of legislation that would allow long-term leases for businesses to operate eateries or other facilities in shuttered buildings on parkland in Boston Common (Pink Palace) and the Back Bay Fens. More information.