2021 Boston Mayoral Race

SuffolkHeights11

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Yeah, what's peoples' general stance on this? I know the BPDA has a muddled history and corruption problems, but does it need full abolishment? Or would some reforms work better?

Is Wu's replacement council much different?
It doesn't need full replacement - in fact the BPDA actually does all of the things Wu advocates for: planning, transparency, communication, etc. Just take a look at some of the project timelines on its website and you'll see years of IAG meetings, neighborhood meetings, city meetings, etc.

The problems Wu highlights should be aimed at the Zoning Board of Appeal and the Zoning Commission, not the BPDA. The ZBA makes decisions based on nothing more than the Chairwoman's preferences, the recommendations of local neighborhood associations and/or mayoral liaisons. It is a complete embarrassment. If Wu or George wants to change how things are done, the goal should be to take as much out of the hands of the ZBA as possible through the Zoning Commission i.e. change the zoning code to allow what the city wants to see as-of-right - no ZBA required. The problem with this easy solution is residents will never allow, dense multifamily housing without parking allowed as-of-right and Wu will listen to them.
 

BronsonShore

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The problem with this easy solution is residents will never allow, dense multifamily housing without parking allowed as-of-right and Wu will listen to them.
I agree with your general point about the ZBA, but this particular statement is ridiculous. Wu has already publicly advocated for (1) eliminating parking minimums, and (2) charging for on-street parking permits. She’ll probably be the most anti-car/pro-transit mayor in Boston’s history

There are a lot of people in here offering opinions on a candidate they dont seem to actually know anything about. And I say this as someone who didn’t vote for her last night.
 
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SuffolkHeights11

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Wu had already publicly advocated for (1) eliminating parking minimums, and (2) charging for on-street parking permits. She’ll probably be the most anti-car/pro-transit mayor in Boston’s history

There’s a lot of people in here offering opinions on a candidate they dont seem to actually know anything about. And I say this as someone who didn’t vote for her last night.
I agree that Wu supports this and I applaud her for that. My point was that when it comes down to actually changing the zoning code in neighborhoods, and the neighborhood strongly opposes it, who will Wu side with? As an example, the residents of Jamaica Plain, one of her political strongholds, still routinely oppose projects under the JP/Rox Planning guidelines even though the BPDA spent years working through that to get height increases in exchange for affordability requirements and lower parking. The next mayor will have to confront this problem where residents who are used to weighing in on every single project might have to relinquish some control if we are going to move forward as a city.
 

BronsonShore

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I agree that Wu supports this and I applaud her for that. My point was that when it comes down to actually changing the zoning code in neighborhoods, and the neighborhood strongly opposes it, who will Wu side with? As an example, the residents of Jamaica Plain, one of her political strongholds, still routinely oppose projects under the JP/Rox Planning guidelines even though the BPDA spent years working through that to get height increases in exchange for affordability requirements and lower parking. The next mayor will have to confront this problem where residents who are used to weighing in on every single project might have to relinquish some control if we are going to move forward as a city.
For sure--fights about parking will never go away. But Wu's entire vision for the city is built around expanding transit access, building more affordable housing, and creating room for more sustainable development (i.e.: denser, walkable, mixed-use, and anti-car). Governing is really hard in a representative democracy and she won't be able to do it all, but she's not going to all of a sudden lie down on the parking issue -- especially in light of the fact that she's about to become a nationwide progressive darling who will one day seek higher office as a candidate focused on climate sustainability.
 
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Bananarama

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That was earlier today. They are still counting. It's close enough that AEG prematurely declared second place. Just going to have to wait.
100% are reporting in now. Wu and George are going to the final.
wwewewewe.JPG
 

armpitsOFmight

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Wu will love raising everybody's taxes to pay for her government expansion programs!
 

DZH22

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4th place for the illegitimate dictator! Now she'll always know she was a phony. "Acting" mayors shouldn't ever have the authority to do things like unilaterally dissolve the harbor plan that took 8 years to come to fruition. Now hopefully we never have to hear from her ever again. It's been an embarrassing 6 months for the city of Boston.
 

tysmith95

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Walsh campaign on reorganizing the BRA, but then just change the name when he was in office?
 
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stefal

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Walsh campaign on abolishing the BRA, but then just change the name when he was in office?
Yes. He had two audits done that concluded that operations were inefficient and information wasn't great/there, and rebranded the BRA and EDIC as the BPDA, even though the two still legally function as separate entities with different employees.

Is your point that, since Walsh fell through on something, Wu will do the same? It's going to be a complicated process for sure, and I imagine this won't go as smoothly as she expects it to, but Wu seems to be pretty adamant about rezoning and planning.

I'll echo SuffolkHeights11 above. Who will she side with when it comes to actually implementing this? The city planning teams that have studied and know how cities operate and how cities should be planned and zoned? (thus also helping her other commitments and promises in transit, access, and sustainability) Or will she stick to the "transparency" and "community needs" platform and side with the community (who's certainly thinking in terms of equity for all, and not their own (growing) wallets)? It wouldn't look great if she sided against the people that just voted for her under that promise. As just one example, alluded to above, NIMBY's want parking minimums on new developments, because it will mean less convenient/available parking if they're not mandated, but Wu (though I haven't read it myself, but will trust Bronson) is for banning parking minimums. She can't make two opposing promises here.
 

BronsonShore

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For reference, here’s what Wu’s website says about zoning. She’s not just about increasing transparency and community input. She wants to densify, reduce auto centric planning, and massively increase TOD around T stops. These are all things that the people on this forum regularly advocate for, and which Anissa (who doesn’t even remember the last time she took the T) doesn’t seem to care about.

As I said, I didn’t even vote for her last night (I thought that Campbell was more aggressive on housing and thought she had a more impressive background), but I have little doubt that, in terms of urban placemaking and transit, Wu will be the best mayor of my lifetime.


Reform Zoning for More Affordable Housing
By implementing structural changes to our development process and creating an accountable public planning department, we’ll move from a one-off approvals process to predictable, accountable, and equitable rules based on community input, fair housing goals, and our long-term resiliency.

  • Exempt 100% affordable housing and public housing projects from parking requirements and most review in order to prevent frivolous lawsuits against affordable housing and reduce legal costs, and wherever necessary, dedicate City legal support to defending critical housing projects.
  • Prioritize higher density by-right near major transit corridors to accelerate new affordable construction while building a more connected city.
  • Enact tiered density bonuses for projects that exceed minimum affordability standards and projects near transit corridors.
  • Replace rigid parking minimums with holistic transportation planning.
  • Ban credit checks for renters applying to inclusionary development and homeless set-aside units by establishing admissions requirements in the zoning code.
  • Reform zoning standards to make it easier and less expensive for homeowners to make small property modifications
  • Allow both interior and detached accessory dwelling units (ADUs) by-right in order to grow our housing stock, help owners cover rising housing costs, and meet the evolving needs of Boston’s multigenerational households.
 

Blackbird

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I'll echo SuffolkHeights11 above. Who will she side with when it comes to actually implementing this? The city planning teams that have studied and know how cities operate and how cities should be planned and zoned? (thus also helping her other commitments and promises in transit, access, and sustainability) Or will she stick to the "transparency" and "community needs" platform and side with the community (who's certainly thinking in terms of equity for all, and not their own (growing) wallets)? It wouldn't look great if she sided against the people that just voted for her under that promise. As just one example, alluded to above, NIMBY's want parking minimums on new developments, because it will mean less convenient/available parking if they're not mandated, but Wu (though I haven't read it myself, but will trust Bronson) is for banning parking minimums. She can't make two opposing promises here.
I can't help but feel that this kind of thinking diminishes Wu's own education and experience when it comes to city government. It's overly cynical to think that she'll be some kind of puppet to either the immediate needs of the community or long-term needs of a major city. She should be qualified enough to walk that line and either create compromises or make crucial decisions when it matters.
 

kmp1284

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4th place for the illegitimate dictator! Now she'll always know she was a phony. "Acting" mayors shouldn't ever have the authority to do things like unilaterally dissolve the harbor plan that took 8 years to come to fruition. Now hopefully we never have to hear from her ever again. It's been an embarrassing 6 months for the city of Boston.
There’s more to elections(and life) than skyscrapers and skylines. Most voters couldn’t give two shits about this kind of stuff.
 

DZH22

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There’s more to elections(and life) than skyscrapers and skylines. Most voters couldn’t give two shits about this kind of stuff.
This one also had to do with economics, and abuse of power when installed rather than elected. It was a knee-jerk decision that hurts the city of Boston in a variety of ways. Yes, I do care about the skyline, but there are other things that matter too and I'm also in favor of smart growth. Replacing a large garage with an environmentally sustainable building that opens up part of the waterfront and will add millions in tax revenue for the city is smart growth.
 

BronsonShore

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This one also had to do with economics, and abuse of power when installed rather than elected. It was a knee-jerk decision that hurts the city of Boston in a variety of ways. Yes, I do care about the skyline, but there are other things that matter too and I'm also in favor of smart growth. Replacing a large garage with an environmentally sustainable building that opens up part of the waterfront and will add millions in tax revenue for the city is smart growth.
Dude, you promised to never again set foot in Providence if the state doesnt agree to pay between $70-100 million just to subsidize a developer’s attempt to buy, renovate, and maintain a single skyscraper. Care to explain how that stance fits in with “smart growth”??

Though you sometimes couch it in other terms, your entire posting history indicates that tall buildings are the only thing you care about in a city. Just move to Dubai already.
 

DZH22

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Dude, you promised to never again set foot in Providence if the state doesnt agree to pay between $70-100 million just to subsidize a developer’s attempt to buy, renovate, and maintain a single skyscraper. Care to explain how that stance fits in with “smart growth”??
You got that wrong. I promised never to step foot in Providence again if they tear the building down. You added in the rest. In that case the building is a source of pride. The Custom House Clocktower had its own struggles due to the extremely small floorplates, but everybody in Boston knew it would be a travesty to lose it. We just need to find some celebrities from Providence and convince them to help save it.

One situation has very little to do with the other. I was commenting on the aquarium garage here. Wanting to replace a garage, and wanting to save a historical building that happens to be a city's tallest, are 2 separate issues.

Your entire posting history indicates to me that you are a child, and also that you contribute very little to the well-being of this forum.

Dubai looks awful. I stress organic growth. Organic means you are filled in enough to start building upward, not building supertalls surrounded by desert (or any other type of empty areas). Boston is one of the densest cities in the country, and shouldn't underbuild by major train stations and in the only areas capable of possibly going tall. I oppose wall like blob buildings, especially ones that directly obscure view corridors of much better buildings. I wouldn't want to see pieces of the North End or Beacon Hill or the Back Bay rowhouses demoed and replaced with supertalls. Boston has wonderful neighborhoods but when you're getting essentially infinite amounts of 200'-250' blob lab buildings, you don't need to add them directly downtown and crowd out the view of the better buildings. The ones next to both the current and upcoming State Street towers are both blights for those areas and can be built to infinity in places like the Seaport, North Point, Kendall, Fenway, etc. Height makes sense in particular for residentials near train stations. If we are going to "tackle the housing crisis" then getting max FAA residentials right next to public transit is the best way to do it. Otherwise you are stuck filling that demand in areas with poorer transit options, contributing to the complete gridlock of our current situation. I shouldn't have to defend these opinions, but I resent the overall dishonest take.
 

kmp1284

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This one also had to do with economics, and abuse of power when installed rather than elected. It was a knee-jerk decision that hurts the city of Boston in a variety of ways. Yes, I do care about the skyline, but there are other things that matter too and I'm also in favor of smart growth. Replacing a large garage with an environmentally sustainable building that opens up part of the waterfront and will add millions in tax revenue for the city is smart growth.
Abuse of power? By whose definition, other than yours? She was an elected city councilor, council president, and by the charter of the City of Boston, the duly appointed mayor.

Stop pretending you care about the city and just admit that it’s all about skyscrapers and the skyline. Here’s what you had to say about the cancellation of Tremont Crossing, a project that would have been an absolute game changer for that part of the city, even if you couldn’t photograph it from Arlington.

This project was dead to me once they not only lowered the heights, but widened the buildings into impenetrable walls. 1 Partners building (Assembly) is more than enough for the whole city. I hate the way that building essentially blocks off an entire neighborhood. Good riddance to this one. We didn't need a couple of 275' huge wall buildings. These were the most overbearing proportions possible and I'd rather they keep a dirt lot of nothing than build this crap.
 

DZH22

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Abuse of power? By whose definition, other than yours? She was an elected city councilor, council president, and by the charter of the City of Boston, the duly appointed mayor.

Stop pretending you care about the city and just admit that it’s all about skyscrapers and the skyline. Here’s what you had to say about the cancellation of Tremont Crossing, a project that would have been an absolute game changer for that part of the city, even if you couldn’t photograph it from Arlington.
Yes, they ruined that project and I was strongly in favor of the original versions which wouldn't have been the equivalent of side-by-side Partners Buildings. They literally appeared twice as wide as the largest superblocks we decry in the Seaport.

What are you even doing here? I get flack for living a couple towns away, but you're literally across the ocean and your singular contribution here is cynicism.
 

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