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BRA seeks to continue right to take over property in wide swaths of the city

You might not think the South End, Charlestown, the waterfront and the Fenway are still in need of urban renewal, but the BRA would beg to differ. NorthEndWaterfront.com reports on a BRA effort to convince the public it still needs special power over development - which includes the right to take land by eminent domain - across 3,000 acres of Boston. The first meeting on the authority's bid to extend the urban-renewal powers set to expire this year is Tuesday at 6 p.m. in its 9th-floor hearing room in City Hall.

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This has absolutely nothing, I mean NOTHING to do with the Olympics. Just a very coincidental coincidence.

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considering that this is proposing to extend powers granted in 2005, then yes, it appears to have nothing to do with the Olympics.

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Exactly how long are they asking to extend them? 2025!

How closely does that overlap with the Olympics buildup? And the after-Olympics "redevelopment"?

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2005 - 2015 = ten years
2015 - 2025 = ten years

Definitely the illuminati at work.

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Well the first one was 2005, and it is up this year (2015). They are now asking to renew it, so, simple math would say 2015+10 years would mean 2025.

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Has Boston residents learned anything from what happened in the West End years ago, how about ripping down houses in Brighton to clear a path for the mass pike, BRA taking away private property by Eminent domain is a threat. Already they're placing a 16 story apartment high rise on New street in East Boston, is this going to be the norm in congested populated Boston residential areas. Are we becoming Manhattan..

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By what standard, exactly, is Boston considered "congested?" Austin, Texas? If you're ok with stratospherically high housing prices then by all means advocate for suburban style housing in all neighborhoods. But if what you want is a surplus of housing within walking distance of transit, then 6-12 story buildings are the only way to go.

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If one developer gets the ok to build 6 to 14 story buildings in East Boston, then other developers would want to do the same, this is wrong at all levels. Others would want to build higher not just at Eastie's waterfront but the inner part of Eastie Central sq Day sq , OH .Whatever happened to the height restriction rule in this neighborhood.

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this is wrong at all levels

Again, explain why you think that density of development near transit lines in an area where affordable housing is important is so horrifying and wrong.

Please back up your work with examples from the literature.

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Not all the people that will be living in these new apartment/ condo's will take the mbta, look at the border street apartments , the parking lot is packed with cars.You will see the same when they complete other subsidized housing on Decatur, Liverpool and Border Streets. The end result will be more traffic on the streets. This also means increased population growth, with only one supermarket in the vicinity. A much needed additional high end Supermarket would fit right in, right directly on Bremen Street the land that is owned by EBNHC. Sooner or later duck boats will be on Eastie streets touring Eagle hill..

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Yeah, cause dense residential has really lowered prices in NYC and SF...

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Places which still have rent control and snob zoning.

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Yes, the end goal may be to make it easier for the Olympics (tm) to take land but the BRA is required to do this as part of its charter. It's extending its power beyond the original end date (which I think was 50 years, ending 2007 originally?).

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The BRA is not going to carpet bomb whole neighborhoods anymore - the reason they keep urban renewal powers is to maintain greater control of what gets built in those areas - for example, delegating that a supermarket, open space, community center, etc... be built and placing restrictions on other forms of development. That's what "urban renewal" powers are today - I understand why we all draw the link back to the bad old days, but that's the past.

There's a case to be made that the BRA has outlived it's purpose, that it's far to powerful than necessary, that it's a bed of quid pro quo corruption, but I'd rather see an honest debate about what it's powers are and how to better organize development than just make a half-assed attempt at sensationalism based on an out-of-date term (urban renewal).

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No, they won't carpet-bomb neighborhoods, but they will continue to declare healthy properties as "blight" and seize them and pass them along to developers/companies along with a juicy tax break, all without serious community input and accountability, because they're a quasi-independent agency.

I recall only one owner trying to fight it, but he gave up because the cost of litigating was prohibitive.

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Don't forget the theft of Yawkey Way form the public as a wet kiss to the RedSox. Or all the times a developer/billion dollar company had a project area declared "blighted" to get access to tax credits and state funding that they really didn't deserve.

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The BRA can be a very useful tool for the city in combatting certain egregious actions (i.e. Vornado refusing to budge on the "Hole"), but more often than not it's just a tool for connected individuals and developers. However; the city needs some sort of authority, and some sort of power in steering the continued development of Boston, The BRA needs to exist in some fashion - I'd rather have that discussion than dismissing this out of hand due to (granted, horrendous) sins of the past.

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How do we know the 'bad old days' are 'past'? The BRA doesn't answer to anyone, or allow transparent review of its decisions.

If the BRA is funded by developers fees, why would the public think that it answers to anyone but developers?

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Boston Redevelopment Authority BRA Mapping is deficient by not making available with maps the citations of the sources/Authority/Legislation . Cites make it easy to check a map and indicate any error from the source/Authority/Legislation text. Many maps would be easier to read with a different color palette and clear lines.

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BRA would have us believe it is a public agency acting for the public good...but they don't provide the transparency required of public agencies.

Their salary and budget issues are kept from view. They do not comply with public records law and keep their records with the city. BRA operates alongside the City, and asks us to believe they operate for the benefit of the citizens, but do not offer that assertion up to scrutiny. We are asked to take it on faith.

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Color palates are often a matter of, um, taste.

Same thing with color palettes.

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Thank you! For example, Boston ReDevelopment Authority mapping of Boundaries of Boston Precincts and Wards would be easier to read with a different color palette, clear lines. Include Cite for Source/Authority/Legislation confirming the map is drawn from the most recent Source/Authority/Legislation see maps at
http://bostonwardsprecincts.blogspot.com

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I got a response from theszak!
I got a response from theszak!

Never before have I seen such a thing!

/gush

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State Legislators could be asked to deal with Boston ReDevelopment Authority...

Voting
7am-8pm Tuesday 31 March 2015
Election of 1st Suffolk District Representative
Boston Ward 1 Precincts 1-14
http://www.cityofboston.gov/cityclerk/docs/SKMBT_42015031721460-572247.pdf

http://www.cityofboston.gov/news/default.aspx?id=18951

Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Elections Division and City of Boston Board of Elections failed to indicate in a readily available manner how the complete ballot will appear. State and City webpages didn't readily turn up details how the complete ballot will appear.

Adrian Madaro (Democratic) and Joanne T. Pomodoro (Independent) will face off in the Special Election
http://ballotpedia.org/Massachusetts_House_of_Representatives_First_Suff...
https://twitter.com/adrianmadaro/with_replies
https://twitter.com/JPomo13/with_replies

https://www.google.com/search?q=adrian+madaro+suffolk
https://www.google.com/search?q=adrian+madaro+candidate

https://www.google.com/search?q=joanne+pomodoro+suffolk
https://www.google.com/search?q=joanne+pomodoro+candidate

Mapping 1st Suffolk Senate District Boston Ward 1, Precincts 1-14
http://massnumbers.blogspot.com/2013/04/a-look-at-first-suffolk-state-se...
https://malegislature.gov/Images/ProposedRedistrictingMaps/4.jpg

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The hyperbole aside, it seems odd that an unelected governmental body has the authority to in effect grab private property with merely a requirement that they pay a few rubles. If private property is so sacrosanct wouldn't it make more sense for eminent domain to be a power granted only to a body where there is some check and balance (i.e., legislative) as well as being very difficult to enact?

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Look at the on going transformation of downtown crossing and Washington Street an area once the arm pit of Boston for many years , The area was not so much of a sophisticated part of Boston proper, With partnerships with wealthy developers and the BRA this area of Boston will be one notch ahead of Newbury Street SOWA and Seaport district combined when it comes down to residential and commercial bragging rights status. So I have full confidence in the BRA..

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You assume that Newbury Street, SOWA, and the Seaport are areas most Bostonians would brag about. I don't think that's a universally held belief.

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Those are area's to brag about, BMW's, Droptop Rolls Royces , Women with Gucci bags and yuppies sipping on Martini's and eating tofu 1980's style on summer days sitting on the outside sidewalks of Newbury street , soon these people will shift towards Washington St (That's where all the wealthy people will reside and will be hanging out) downtown crossing area. The Newbury street SOWA and Seaport crowd will be following the money trail.

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...the only thing that may keep the south end, or, ahem, SOWA, somewhat normal...

would not be too surprised to see community gardens targeted esp across from castle square on east bezerkely even if it required state legislation...anyone know more about this?

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The BRA broke Downtown Crossing to begin with. It took them 40+ years to fix their screw-up.

The only thing they ever got right was the Prudential and that still took close to 40 years to really shine.

Nearly every ugly anti-urban and anti-human development debacle around the city lies at the feet of the BRA.

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