Neighbors organize against proposed development abutting Roslindale Wetlands

Roslindale residents have launched an online petition to voice their opposition to a development proposal that would shoehorn up to six condo buildings, 12 units, and a paved driveway network onto 104–108 Walter Street along the edge of the Roslindale Wetlands Urban Wild.

The development proposal is a revival of a nearly identical project proposed in the early 2000s and which was met with overwhelming community opposition. In 2005, then-Mayor Thomas Menino announced a milestone agreement with Feeney Brothers—the developers—that purportedly killed the proposal and left the land as protected open space, giving it a conservation protection subdistrict designation.

Opposition to the development then and now stems from its increasing the threat of flooding from stormwater, damaging an ecologically sensitive area, increasing the likelihood of auto accidents from a new driveway on a hazardous curve.

The city’s climate action plan recommends the “expansion of green infrastructure.... Green infrastructure helps slow the pace of stormwater runoff, support on-site infiltration, and reduce pollutants entering waterways.” The Roslindale Wetlands is exactly that: an asset that serves the whole neighborhood by soaking up rainwater runoff.

Since the previous development proposal was defeated, neighbors have organized numerous work days to remove invasive plants, clean up trash, plant trees and native shrubs, and construct a perimeter trail that is enjoyed by many local residents. The vibrant bird life has made the Wetlands a favorite spot for birders.

The Roslindale Wetlands Task Force is urging local residents to contact their elected city officials and demand that the 2005 promise of no development be honored. In addition to the online petition, the task force urges that neighbors attend the Longfellow Area Neighborhood Association meeting on Monday, March 12, 7:00 p.m. at the Longfellow House Community room at 885 South Street, where presentations about the proposal will be made.



Free tagging: 


NIMBYism as ecological protection

In the Facebook post about this very topic, you (if you manage the Roslindale Wetlands page) led off with "effects on property values" before moving on to the "impact on the wetlands habitat, water and flooding," before ending in the oh so popular "parking, and traffic/traffic safety."

Please stop. You're clearly using environmental protection as a mask for what is clearly NIMBYism.


Way off

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Paved things run off into the adjacent waters and degrade water quality.

You might want to look into the science of these things before you grab your keyboard. Not all environmental concern is NIMBY nonsense.

Nice try.


Hint: once you say "property

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Hint: once you say "property values," it becomes clear that its NIMBYism - restricting supply of housing to increase the value of one's own property.

Another hint

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If your username is "build baby build," we know where you are coming from.


I'm not part of the goup

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And you clearly have no idea where this is located nor have you ever visited it. It is a wetland buddy!


Nice try

I live about 5 blocks from there, and have walked through the wetlands several times over the years.

But keep anon'ing, bud.

Bird habitat

So to be clear, open space here is badly needed for birds but the space needed for the solar panel project a few hundred yards away is just wasted open space that has no redeeming value as open space.



I'd like to know more

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If you scroll in on the Google map below you'll see a large square plot of land where the pointer is. I could see how this would be a bummer for all the surrounding houses. However, you can't really tell how close this is the the actual wetlands (they appear to be above this quite a bit, but that may just be Google's assessment of the location.) It's also interesting to see the outlines of a ton of housing lots that were never built and even streets that were never built.


Your pointer is in the middle

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Your pointer is in the middle of the wetlands. They extend all the way to the houses on Coniston and Walter Streets.

It's right next to the

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It's right next to the wetlands. I don't know the history of the area - but on Google maps there are a bunch of lots that weren't built on. Not sure if they're still designated as lots or are officially part of the wetlands. The parcel is way bigger then what is allocated to it on the map.

I live in the neighborhood and it's not NIMBYism for me - if it were a few blocks south (closer to my house) I'd be OK with it b/c it wouldn't border this special space.

Also - there's a lovely loop trail . If you haven't been I encourage folks to check it out.


I'm going to check this place out

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To see if this is NIMBY or truly an environmental issue.

I remember this coming up a bit after we bought our house. I'm surprised that this has come back again.

The area next to the wetland

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The area next to the wetland has been filled in slowly and periodically over the years, so doesn't reflect the true and original extent of the wetland area. The main point is that in a time of heavy rainfall, all that area gets saturated with water. I would bet that originally the water extended even beyond where Walter Street is, and that the shallow water there was filled to put in the street.

I live in this neighborhood -

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I live in this neighborhood -- closer to the current development on Weld and Centre St than to this proposed development. All of Boston needs increased density and more housing stock. Despite its potential impact on parking and traffic, I am a supporter of the Weld and Centre development for exactly that need to increase housing and density. However, this wetland is an important ecological resource, and increasing density along its boundaries is a bad idea for many of the reasons mentioned in this post.

So please understand that there are legitimate objections to this that are not veiled "NIMBY" complaints. If I were in that camp, in no way would I be OK with the Weld/Centre development, which is practically in my actual back yard.


How wet is it?

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If you are wondering whether this is really wetland, all I’ll say is that if they build those houses they will be able to advertise indoor swimming pools in every basement. That plot is a seasonal swamp. Ridiculous to build there even setting aside environmental concerns (which that should not).


I never went back there......

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Your pointer is in what was my backyard for almost 10 years! It does get pretty wet back there so much that I never went back there. I wonder if my old garden is still in there....

Full support to preserve wetland

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Those who planned new condo should be aware that natural wetlands require substantial protection strip around the entire wetland perimeter. Such a buffer zone should prevent flux of pollutants, audio noise and recreational activity of local people that is proportional to the total population of residents. That is why 12-family condo is NOT a good idea. petition expressing concern around proposed developme

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This link summarizes the goals of the Wetlands Task Force Group.

Basically, this proposed development was discussed, opposed and laid to rest by the City of Boston under Mayor Menino's leadership over a decade ago. That the developers are coming back now in hopes of a proposal similar to the last one is kind of unfortunate since the circumstances and concerns around flooding, traffic and ecological concerns has not changed.

There are already a bunch of new buildings going up in the area - Roslindale Square near the MBTA, on Washington Street and on Centre & Weld. Those at least are built or are being built on solid ground.

It'd do the people opposing

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It'd do the people opposing this development well to focus on the legitimate issues about preserving this important wetlands area and drop the stuff about property values, traffic, etc. The latter stuff is NIMBY bunk, the former is reasonable.