November 29, 2022 Minutes

Saint Mark’s Area Civic Association (SMACA) Meeting Minutes
November 29, 2022 7:00pm
Basement of St. Mark’s Church
Minutes by Kendra Beaver, Secretary

Attendees (including speakers): 14
Police Report — Officer Mike Keaney
● Nov. 6 - Armed robbery at 1724 Dorchester Ave
● Nov. 9 - Arrested two women at 5 Semont Rd who had crack/cocaine on them
● Nov. 23 - Unarmed carjacking at intersection of Dorchester Ave/Mather St
● Nov. 28 - Shots fired at 31 Lindsey St; one victim hit
● C-11 will be having a Christmas party that’s “by invitation only”; trying to hold it to about 100
kids (ages 1-12); if you know a family in need in District 11, let Officer Keaney know
Representatives of Elected Officials updates & answers to questions
● Brianna Millor ([email protected]), Chief of Community Engagement for the Mayor’s
○ Oversees Boston 311, the Office of Neighborhood Services, Office of Civic Organizing,
SPARK Boston Council, & Boston Senior Safe Program
■ Get support for weatherizing your home: 617-635-HOME
○ Boston Community Choice Electricity: opt-in to get a more reasonable price for your
electricity compared to Eversource’s basic rate, including the option for it to be 100%
renewable energy: 617-635-3850
○ Connor Newman will be the new point of contact until George’s successor is hired
● Colleen Lofgren (774-225-1320), Representative Daniel Hunt’s office
○ No updates; please reach out with any questions/concerns
● Lisa Searcy ([email protected], 617-635-3115), City Councilor Erin Murphy’s office
○ The Royal Family will be in Boston Wednesday-Friday; keep traffic restrictions in mind
○ Join Councilor Murphy’s newsletter:
○ Public hearing about Mass & Cass on December 1st
○ Call 311 with any non-emergency constituent issues, and make sure you get your case
number so you can follow up
Neighborhood Development Proposals
1. 45 Dracut St
a. No show; no vote
Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP)
● Mark McGonagle ([email protected])
● IDP started in 2000 as an executive order under Mayor Menino
● A home rule petition a couple of years ago allowed Boston to put affordable housing into its
zoning code
● A certain percentage of all residential buildings of 10 units or more must set aside a certain
percentage of those units as deed-restricted with an income limit and a rent cap
○ IDP only applies to private development; privately financed
● Many updates since then, but most important one: Update in 2016 reinforced the 13%
minimum limit for all onsite units + created 3 zones (Zone A which is downtown Boston, Zone
B: South Boston, East Boston, Allston/Brighton, etc., Zone C: includes Dorchester)
○ A lot of projects are voluntarily doing 15-17% instead of the minimum 13%
● Rare to see an offsite option, but some developments can do offsite housing under IDP ranging
from 18%-15%
○ 15% in Dorchester
○ Offsite housing has to be a half-mile within the project
● Buyouts - Developers can also “buy out” their required “affordable” units by contributing
$200,000+ (depending on the Zone) per unit to a City affordable housing fund instead of
building actual affordable units (e.g. ultra-luxury buildings in Seaport); this is extremely rare
● Approximately 5,000 units created through the IDP program
● Linkage fees - All commercial develop (e.g. office buildings, lab buildings [not restaurants or
retail]) that’s nonresidential have to pay $15.39/sq foot
○ $13/sq ft goes to affordable housing fund; the remaining change goes to job training
programs in Boston
● Area Median Income (AMI) - regional figure for fair housing laws; AMI is $98k/yr for a single
individual in our area
○ Rental IDP program: for most rentals, tenant’s income is capped at 70% AMI (today is
no more than $68k/yr); 80% AMI (most of condos) is $78k/yr for a single individual
○ Boston Housing Authority AMI typically goes no higher than 20%, so they really serve
the most in need
● IDP program is a moderate income program; most federal and state assistance comes in the
low income range
○ 56% comes from federal programs (e.g. CBDG program); 27% comes from state (e.g.
Section 8 program); 17% percent comes from the City
● Mayor Wu hired a consulting firm to craft potential new policies; appointed a 13 member
commission in April to look at if the 13% minimum IDP percentage is good and/or if we should
lower the 10 unit trigger number
● Boston has the highest percentage (20%) of deed restricted units than any other city in
● Resident question: Concerned about biohazards and BPDA’s stance on it:
○ Level 4 (extremely rare and dangerous and no known cure); only one in Boston (in the
South End) > Level 3 (curable but nasty) > Level 2 (more common; diseases that have
known cure) > Level 1 (chemistry lab in a science class)
○ Recommends reaching out to Boston Public Health Commission and speaking on the
details of this at a future meeting
○ After expert consultation, BPDA board is comfortable approving Level 2 labs or below
in all neighborhoods (fire department & health commission have to also approve)
○ All existing level 3 labs in Boston are tied to existing hospitals
● Resident question: Are the lab booms starting to creep into Boston plans?
○ Imagine Boston 2030 chose areas throughout the city that had the greatest potential
and developers were already active in; e.g. large areas of underutilized industrial land
(e.g. Glover’s Corner)
○ Go Boston 2030 as well
SMACA Survey results
● SMACA will share the final survey results report once it’s available to us
● Survey was sent out to 210 people online (entire mailing list) and to 22 people via snail mail →
64 completed surveys (31% response rate, which is pretty good in today’s survey research
● Demographic results:
○ Average age: over 40% 65+; 33%+ ages 41-64
○ 65% of respondents were female
○ Overwhelmingly white (no hispanic respondents at all)
○ Pretty highly educated group; almost 50% had more than a college education + almost
20% college graduates only
○ Close to 64% have lived in the SMACA area more than 10 years
● Meeting questions results:
○ 40% of respondents never go to meetings
■ Why? Time, busy, not convenient, can’t find babysitting; nothing really stood
out as surprising
○ What are the most important parts of the meeting?
■ Voting on developments were most important
■ 40% thought police report was important
■ 25% said guest speakers
○ Not important?
■ Police
■ Voting
■ Kind of mixed bag; some people thought X thing was really important while
others thought X thing wasn’t
■ 66% of people thoughts most of the items were important or very important
○ What would make the meetings better?
■ Virtual meeting options
■ Better control of timing
■ Not having people ask the same question more than once
■ Better member representation and engagement and being more inclusive
○ Future discussion topics?
■ Building/construction concerns
■ Greenspaces
■ Rising housing costs
■ Crime in the neighborhood
■ …all of the above got 40%+
○ Respondents were satisfied with SMACA: 40% were very satisfied; 51% somewhat
satisfied = 90% somewhat or very satisfied
○ Outside meetings?
■ 65% want to do things with each other outside of going to meetings!
○ New businesses on Dot Ave?
■ Winners were a lot of food things (e.g. coffee shops, restaurants that serve
breakfast, sandwich shops), book stores, thrift stores
○ Higher percentage of owner respondents than renters
Community Announcements
● Come to the SMACA holiday party on Tuesday, December 13th, from 6-9pm at Jim & Doug’s
house (21 Cheverus Rd, Second Floor)
● 24 Dawson St was approved by the ZBA
● 110R Lonsdale St was approved by the ZBA
● Please share our SMACA flyers by forwarding it to a friend virtually or posting them in your
neighborhood by printing them out
Meeting adjourned at: 8:43pm

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published this page in Meeting Minutes 2023-01-27 20:38:14 -0500
St. Marks Area Civic Association
The St. Marks Area Civic Association is a group of community conscious residents who want to improve the quality of life in our section of Dorchester. We meet in the lower hall of St, Marks Church, at 1725 Dorchester Ave on the last Tuesday of each month