A city zoning rule that bans more than four undergraduates in an apartment isn't working, city officials said today, so they've begun looking at changes that would let them start levying fines on landlords who persist in overcrowding their units. Read more.
Home 'n' hearth
City Councilor Matt O'Malley (Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury) today proposed a property-tax exemption for residents who convert their homes to solar power. Read more.
We've noticed that there is a family of raccoons living in our next door neighbor's attic. They have been seen during daytime although most frequently are out at dusk and night.
There is a major language gap between us and our neighbors, and attempts to discuss it don't really register. Given the state of their house it's quite possible they don't have the means to fix the gaping hole in their eaves from which these raccoons emerge. They keep to themselves and we really only see them when they shovel snow late at night.
I don't typically involve myself in other people's business, but we have a dog and two kids who I honestly don't feel that safe about leaving outside at dusk.
Is this an animal control issue? Is it up to the home owner to remedy the situation? Someone who knows more about the city ordinances and departments who handle this stuff have an idea here?
New York, San Francisco and San Jose beat us, according to the Boston Business Journal, which quotes some Gloomy Gus about how all those new residential units are going to force landlords sooner or later to lower their rents.
Developers have filed plans with the BRA to completely tear down the 62-year-old Whittier Street project and replace it over five years with new buildings with more apartments.
Separately, the Boston Housing Authority this week formally asked developers for plans to turn the Bunker Hill project into a mixed-income development. Read more.
Wendy Blom, Executive Director of SCATV, sits down with Eric Fellinger, Board Chair of Union Square Main Streets, and Esther Hanig, Executive Director of Union Square Main Streets to discuss their grassroots fundraising campaign to help provide farm fresh food to Somerville neighbors in need of Farmers Market SNAP benefits. Support their endeavor: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/20...
Welcome to Dot reposts a query from the Lower Mills Nextdoor group:
Anyone know of a local ceramic shop or thrist store where I can find ceramic fairies?
I know it is a weird request, but I really need a few for the neighborhood kids.
The few I had in my front yard broke over the winter, and at least 3 little girls in the neighborhood feel a real loss because the fairies are missing. One 6 year old girl gave me some seeds to attract new fairies.
Eight people in the Boston area are charged with an identity-theft scheme that prosecutors say let them steal $700,000 from five victim's home-equity lines.
Members of the fraud ring managed to get the victims' phone lines redirected to their own, which they then used to obtain advances on the victims' home-equity lines and have them transferred to their own bank accounts between November 2012 and Feburary, 2013, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney's office.
Matt Karolian asks:
What's the deal with Winthrop? Decent place to buy a joint?
Pete Cannon asks:
Any recommendations for emergency heating system repair this weekend in JP?
The Boston Globe reports on the new Seaport Square development that's now approved to move forward. The project will include 832 apartments (from from 365-square-foot studios to 1,335-square-foot three bedrooms), 30 new shops & restaurants, 775 parking spaces, a 17,000 square foot park and a bowling ally.
96 units will be designated as affordable housing, but whether or not those residents can afford a membership at the new Equinox gym is up for debate.
Boston Homeless Crisis
Get ready for the Tiny House Festival on Sept. 20 at 10 Poplar St.:
Our hope is that a group of tiny houses will take residence in this large city lot in Somerville to create a temporary village from Friday September 19 through Sunday, September 21. While the houses are there, the space will hold several events including a craft fair and festival, an evening documentary screening, and Sunday afternoon building workshops.
City Councilor Tito Jackson (Roxbury) wants to take a look at the role large landlords are playing in forcing longtime residents out of the city.
On Wednesday, Jackson will ask fellow councilors for a hearing to consider "displacement, community stability and neighborhood preservation."
In his hearing request, Jackson writes:
The foreclosure crisis and the surge of residential housing conversion by corporate landlords backed by investors are causing displacement and community instability.
The City Council on Wednesday considers a request to begin looking at possible regulations over online services that let people rent apartments, such as Airbnb - and even Craigslist.
Councilor Sal LaMattina (North End, East Boston, Charlestown) says Boston needs to look at the burgeoning services before Boston's residential neighborhoods are harmed. In his request for a hearing, LaMattina writes:
Mayor Walsh announced today that the Zoning Board of Appeals will start holding bi-weekly sessions to hear zoning requests from homeowners and small businesses.
And unlike regular zoning-board hearings, which are held during working hours, the new hearings - to be conducted by a board subcommittee, will be held in the evenings.
The goal is to help decrease a ZBA backlog that had gotten up to six months between requests for hearings and the hearings.
City officials this evening formally dedicated the rebuilt Alvah Kittredge House, saved through the work of Historic Boston, which took ownership of the long-vacant early 19th-century structure on Linwood Street in 2011 and rebuilt it as five two-bedroom apartments.