The Wharf District Council (WDC) held its November meeting on Tuesday evening at The New England Aquarium (NEAQ) Harborside Learning Lab. A number of notable reports and community updates were included as part of a full agenda.

Bostonia Public House Requests Support for DJ License:

Appearing before the WDC, John P.Connell, Esq. requested support as Bostonia seeks to add a DJ to their existing license, which currently includes a piano and up to five musicians. The Dj would be in use Friday and Saturday nights starting at 10 p.m. and ending at 1:30 a.m. Connell emphasized that the DJ addition would not be used in conjunction with big promoters, but strictly for the entertainment of guests.

The WDC voted in favor of granting a letter of support once the request to file has occurred.

Commercial Wharf Legislation:

Cheryl Delgreco of the Commercial Wharf East Condominium Association (CWECA) and Michael Leon, Esq appeared before the WDC to ask for support on Bill H.833, recently introduced by State Representative Aaron Michlewicz. Leon provided a historical overview of Commercial Wharf and the ongoing dispute with the State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) regarding Chapter 91 requirements. A hearing was recently held at the State House and Commercial Wharf representatives have also appeared before community groups in an effort to increase awareness and provide information on the case.

WDC members voted in favor of supporting preservation efforts following a discussion on what level of involvement seemed most appropriate, with community support being generally agreed upon as reasonable.

Community Preservation Act Presentation:

Thadine Brown, Director of Community Relations for the CPA (Community Preservation Act) delivered a brief presentation on the specifics of the CPA process, how funds are allocated, and how organizations can receive assistance. CPA funds granted to The Old State House, The Knights Of Columbus Hall, and Langone and Puopolo Park were mentioned as examples of how the Act seeks to preserve and make improvements throughout the city.

State Street Project:

Currently in a conceptual phase with a tentative scheduled start date of 2021, the State Street Reconstruction Project was presented by Project Manager Ashley Biggins. Biggins referenced several data collection methods currently being employed to analyze potential next steps. These include traffic counts, parking inventories, synchronous traffic modeling, and a curbside use study, in addition to proposed popups as part of an overall outreach process.

Encouraging participation in an online survey, Biggins requested additional feedback. WDC members asked what thought had been given to the impact of cyclists, loading concerns, and what effect this project would have on other city streets. WDC also emphasized wanting to be involved in a meaningful way as things evolve.

Public Realm Video Preview:

Seen as a vision of what could be the future of the Wharf District, the WDC presented their final draft of the Public Realm Video to members. Guided by the foundational goals of resiliency, connectivity and accessibility, the video will require further iteration.

The next WDC meeting will be on Tuesday, December 17, 2019.


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