September 28, 2021 Minutes

St. Mark’s Area Civic Association (SMACA) Monthly Meeting

September 28, 2021

In the Basement of St. Mark’s Church

The first in-person meeting of SMACA since gatherings were suspended due to the COVID pandemic. Thirty neighbors attended.

Sydney Miller chaired the meeting, Kelley Ready took minutes.

Boston Police Community Services Officer Mike Keany from C-11 gave his monthly report on crime in the area. While he felt there had been some “good arrests,” he was baffled by the lack of cooperation from victims. There were incidents at 17 Shepard St, on Adams and Lonsdale (I think), Dayton and Nixon, and Dorchester and Talbot Ave. Several of the incidents revolved around guns (no pun intended). On September 7th a person was shot in the jaw but refused to cooperate. On the 10th a person was seen trying to steal a moped and fled but the suspect was found close by with another stolen vehicle. Police observed a woman trying to break into cars by trying doors that might be unlocked on Nixon and Dayton Streets. On the 24th  of September a man was found with three bags of crack and they found 10 more bags at his home along with a gun.

Officer Kearney ask us not to call the police when there is an incident but no one is hurt. Calling 911 is preferable (but you might want to check with your insurance company).

One of our neighbors pointed to a problem on Centre St where there are four schools and parents are dropping off their kids and making U-turns, almost causing accidents and tying up traffic (see attached summary). She requested that there be a police presence on the street in the mornings. Officer Kearney stated that he would notify the officer in charge of traffic. 

A stabbing on the T is being dealt with by the T handlers.  Suspicions that a growing presence of graffiti in Fields Corner is being fueled by one of the auto parts stores. Officer Mike intends to speak with them about selling spray paint to potential graffiti artists.

Sydney introduced Ben Lee, the architect for 15 Parkman St. who it was believed was coming to get approval from SMACA for the building. But during the course of the discussion, it became clear that they would need more time to address some of the concerns raised. The proposed building would be a duplex with 4 units and 4 parking spaces. According to Mr. Lee, the building would be two stories but during the discussion, it seemed as if he was putting some of the bedrooms in the basement so people raised the question if it was really three or four stories. The total number of bedrooms is 12 with 8 bathrooms. Concerns were also raised about whether there was sufficient (according to code) distance between the house and the property line. He indicated that he was trying to keep the height down. The house is set back 20 feet from the street. Another neighbor encouraged him to avoid painting it grey and white which so many new houses were being painted. Something to create a nice environment, she suggested.

Mr. Lee acknowledged that he would need a variance for the height. He also agreed to putting in six parking spaces. A question was raised if he was exceeding the floor area ratio. One unit would be for the owner and 3 would be rentals. He passed around several boards with drawings of the proposed structure. A neighbor expressed her approval because some of the units would have three bedrooms making them family friendly.

King St and Dorchester Ave

Despite the fact that SMACA voted it down, a four-story apartment building with 25 units and a separate four-story building with 11 condos on Dorchester Avenue on both sides of King Street is under construction and generating complaints. The apartment building will have 12 parking spaces and ground-floor retail space, according to the plans they filed with the BPDA. One of the abutters, whose husband is an engineer, feels that the building is not sound. According the Dorchester Reporter, three of the apartments would be rented as affordable and two of the condos would be sold that way. Problem with rats has become intense in the neighborhood because of the construction.

Mather St

An 80-unit structure has been proposed by Trinity Property Management but it was strongly opposed at an abutters meeting,

Introduction of representatives of elected officials:


George Huynh, Dorchester Liaison for the City of Boston

Called our attention to:

                Small Business Relief Fund

American Rescue Act

Upcoming elections

Julia Brett, Councilor Baker’s representative

Quinn Valchich, Councilor Flaherty’s representative

Issues raised

Need to work on Hemmingway Park

Yard Waste not being picked up


Interest was expressed in having someone come speak to us about the ZBA’s decision making process


Our next meeting is October 26 from 7-8:30 in the basement of St. Mark’s Church

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published this page in Meeting Minutes 2021-10-16 22:30:57 -0400
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