The Long Wharf legal case comes back to Superior Court this week. The action follows a March 2013 Supreme Judicial Court ruling against a North End citizens group arguing for open space protection, under Article 97. The ruling supported a 2007 Boston Redevelopment Authority lease for “Doc’s Long Wharf,” a proposed 4,655 square-foot waterfront restaurant with outdoor cafe tables.
On Tuesday, May 7, 2013, the parties are having a case status review conference in front of Judge Fahey. At issue this week are remaining questions about Chapter 91 provisions that were remanded back to the lower court.
The Boston Redevelopment Authority has moved to dismiss the case based on “lack of standing” by the citizen group, known informally as the “North End Ten.” In response, the group argues it indeed has “standing” including some members that live very close to Long Wharf, including one at Mercantile Wharf. Another affidavit from a Lincoln Wharf resident says:
During our 23-year residence at Lincoln Wharf, we have directly experienced how sound travels over the water. We already hear noise from waterfront bars and party boats, especially in the evening and at night. Based on our long experience, I believe that we would hear noise from a restaurant/bar with outdoor tables at the present location of the Long Wharf Park Shade Pavilion.
The North End Ten further amended their complaint to include alleged BRA wrongdoings based on its own contracts for the space and a National Park Service map showing the seaward end of Long Wharf is protected under the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Act. In the affidavit of Sanjoy Mahajan:
On December 20, 2012, as the best Christmas present that I have ever received, the National Park Service in Philadelphia sent me the LWCF 6(f) boundary map for LWCF Project #25-00295 (Long Wharf), dated March 27, 1980, showing that the entire sea- ward end of Long Wharf, including the project site, is within the 6(f) boundary area. (See more here on the map)
Attached is the North End Ten answer to the BRA’s motion to dismiss, including the amended complaint and brief: Plaintiffs’ Opposition to Defendant BRA’s Renewed Motion to Dismiss (pdf)
The BRA has responded against the amended motion and continued standing of the North End Ten.
Plaintiffs claim standing in mandamus based on, inter alia, evidence of contracts between government entities from almost thirty years ago. Plaintiffs are not parties to either contract nor are they intended beneficiaries of either contract. Therefore, Plaintiffs do not have standing to enforce either contract.
The BRA and State Department of Environmental Protection also argue against the LWCF map being brought into the case, noting that it is old and should have been found before. The BRA’s reply is attached here: Defendant Boston Redevelopment Authority’s Reply to Plaintiffs’ Opposition to Renewed Motion to Dismiss (pdf).
Update: The Superior Court judge scheduled a hearing on June 18th (2pm), regarding the “standing” issue, amended complaint and the Chapter 91 license.