The Wharf District Council (WDC) held its November meeting on Tuesday, November 17 via Zoom. A number of notable reports and community updates were included as part of a full agenda.
Verdant Cannabis Dispensary at 150 State Street
Former Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson, Founder and CEO of Verdant Medical Inc, gave a detailed presentation on his company’s proposed cannabis dispensary on 150 State Street.
Comprising several floors including a basement kitchen, two showrooms, and a secure vault, Verdant seeks to offer infused baked goods and assorted products. Describing security systems, procedures, and practices, Jackson spoke about a “contract with the community” that clients would be expected to sign prohibiting public consumption, excessive loitering, and littering.
Feedback from the WDC came primarily from the Friends of the Christopher Columbus Park represented by Joanne Hayes-Rines and The Greenway Conservancy’s Marketing and Community Affairs Manager Rachel Lake, each expressing similar concerns on how to effectively enforce the proposed “Community Norms Agreement”.
Jackson responded by citing the research and operational planning work undertaken by Verdant, going on to commit toward refusing to sell single pre-rolls.
Next steps for Verdant will involve a mandated community meeting run by the City’s Office of Neighborhood Services, with Jackson confirming that an application has been filed.
Climate Ready Boston Briefing on Coastal Resilience Strategies
Sanjey Seth, the Climate Resilience Program Manager for the City of Boston delivered a Coastal Resilience Solutions briefing to the Wharf District Council that summarized intelligence contained within the recently released Climate Ready Boston reports. Seth was joined by Joe Christo, the BPDA (Boston Planning and Development Agency) Senior Waterfront Resilience Planner.
Following the briefing , WDC members inquired on next steps. Seth pointed to the current phase of implementation strategy exploration, with Long Wharf being identified as a potential catalytic project site.
State Street Renovation Project
State Street Renovation project manager Ashley Biggins reported on the new virtual public presentation and pilot program updates before engaging in discussion with WDC membership regarding the controversial decision to potentially convert State Street from two lanes of traffic to one.
Restating the WDC’s position on the issue as “an impossible hardship for Wharf District residents attempting to commute out of the area” and adding that the WDC had initially been told the proposed conversion would not happen, WDC President Marc Margulies requested a two-lane version of the project plan.
Biggins replied that due to the geometry of the street, “there is no possible configuration for consistent two-lane traffic that would meet basic guidelines” because of the pinch point which could cause a potential bottleneck.
Susanne Lavoie proposed holding a separate community meeting that would potentially take place in early December.
John Romano, Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services
North End/West End Neighborhood Liasion John Romano briefed the WDC on some important City of Boston updates:
Romano spoke about the latest COVID-19 statistics released by the City of Boston as well as mobile testing site availability, the Commonwealth’s Thanksgiving celebration guidance for families and college students, and gave a reminder on the November 30th liquor license renewal deadline.
Boston Harbor Cruises
Matt Murphy, Managing Director Business Development for Boston Harbor Cruises, referenced the MBTA’s Forging Ahead initiative and expressed wanting to advocate against cutting ferry services, citing the potentially debilitating effects the suspension would have. WDC membership are considering drafting a letter of support, but may opt for individual petitions instead.
Rachel Lake provided a link to an upcoming virtual event focused on the Greenway’s Public Art Program on December 10th. Click here to learn more.
Harbor Garage Project Update
The Chiofaro Company continues to await the BPDA scoping determination findings.
Friends of Christopher Columbus Park
There will be no official ceremony marking the lighting of the Trellis Lights and no New Years Eve fireworks on the harbor.
The next Wharf District Council Meeting will take place December 15th 2020.
To view the full November meeting, click here and use password: B67@BUV&