The Montclair/Wollaston neighborhood of Quincy made their feelings clear when they learned about a proposed development project last week. Boston Property Ventures led a community meeting organized by City Councillor Ian Cain to get feedback on their preliminary proposal to build a 65 unit building and 10 townhouses at 0 Harriet Avenue.
The problem? One is that the parcel is in an environmentally sensitive area. In addition to environmental issues, neighbors expressed concern over increased traffic and its impact on congestion and public safety in a densely developed residential neighborhood.
Conceptual design by Boston Property Ventures.
The Neponset River Watershed Association has some significant concerns with the location. Specifically:
- It is located in an Area of Critical Environmental Concern. The Resource Management Plan for the Neponset River Estuary identifies inappropriate development and inadequate treatment of polluted runoff as threats to important resources in the area (for example, salt marshes) and as causes of pollution within the estuary.
- It is within the flood zone. Heavy storms that flood the area are becoming more frequent and more severe as the climate changes. Community members identified storm flooding as a current problem in the neighborhood, and it can be expected to become worse over time.
- It is located within an environmental justice community. That means this densely populated neighborhood is already overburdened by development. The city must seriously consider that and take action to make sure the few environmental resources in the area are preserved.
- The Sea Change Boston initiative, which is analyzing climate change impacts to the Greater Boston Area, estimates the entire parcel will be underwater by 2050 and that storm surges could begin to reach well into the neighborhood by then.
It’s important to note that the plans are preliminary, and the Quincy-based developer has expressed his interest in finalizing a plan that works for the community. However, it’s unclear whether any development could be accomplished on this parcel without harming the salt marshes, wildlife, and water quality or further burdening the neighborhood.
The project will need to be submitted to the Conservation Commission and the Planning Board before moving forward. Interested persons should plan to participate in the permitting process—keep an eye on the agendas, usually published 48 hours before each meeting.
Questions? Please contact Advocacy Director Kerry Snyder