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If at first you don't succeed, sue, sue again: The BRA Long Wharf story

The BRA, um, BPDA, just won't take no for an answer: After losing several legal battles over its attempts to put a restaurant at the end of Long Wharf, the authority is trying yet again to convince judges to let it get what it wants.

NorthEndWaterfront.com reports the BPDA has filed an appeal of a judge's decision last month that once again blocked its plan to turn the Blue Line emergency-exit kiosk into a full-service restaurant.

In March, Suffolk Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Fahey became the latest judge to rule in favor of 10 North End residents who have been fighting the plan, claiming that the National Park Service intended for that part of the wharf to remain parkland forever when it gave $825,000 to the BRA to fix up the wharf in 1980.

Fahey cited a ruling by the federal Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston last September that said a map the BRA had somehow lost - as used to be its practice with inconvenient documents - but which two retired National Park Service workers then found, showed that the kiosk was within the borders of the area for which the park service had paid for repairs.

In her ruling, Fahey wrote:

The Boston Redevelopment Authority can no longer claim either that the 1980 Project Area Map is not the map of record for Long Wharf or that Long Wharf Pavilion falls outside the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act, (LWCF Act) 54 U.S.C. Paragraph 200301-200310, Section 6(f) Conservation Area for perpetuity or that it can proceed with the proposed Project within Long Wharf Pavilion in the future without the National Park Service's (NPS) approval.

Fahey said the BRA could build something at the end of Long Wharf, but only if it offered the National Park Service a comparable parcel - and then only if the NPS agreed to take it.

The BPDA filed its appeal last week.

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Comments

Will someone shut down this rogue agency already? It's clear they aren't accountable to anyone and think the law doesn't apply unless their the ones using it to bludgeon the public.

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A year ago. They punted.

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The 3 Councillors who voted against the extension: Tito, Josh Zakim, Ayanna Pressley.

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Specifically which commercial interest is pushing so hard for this. Someone - developer, hotel, restauranteur, etc... clearly has a plan for this spot and they want the BRA to make it happen for them. I don't buy this is happening without a 'client' waiting in the wings...

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They had a restaurant operator lined up, and that guy (Michael Conlon) had a concept, a name (Doc's Long Wharf) and even a city liquor license (granted in 2007). But as the legal actions dragged on, he pulled out and used the liquor license for a new place on Broadway, instead.

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What's the motivation for this determination?

They just really think it's right for Boston?

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Can anyone follow the money for the lease or the restaurant?

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Some restaurateur or developer with deep pockets has their eyes on that plot of land and is also greasing the BDPA's hands ....

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The BPDA just can't take no for an answer.

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Because they are being pushed by someone else to continue to fight this. So maybe it's someone else now who wants the spot...

(and yeah my original reply was snark.. but 8 times out of 10 in this city, it's usually the case..)

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But usually I don't really know for certain that any corruption is going on. It's not healthy to be assuming, nor to get in the habit of accepting corruption.

What we need is trustworthy oversight, and investigations when there is probable cause. Actual corruption would be curtailed, and legitimate activity would not have an unfair taint of suspicion.

People would feel better about Boston, rather than, like now, when we cynically accept suspicion of widespread corruption.

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This agency's past behavior makes the presumption of corruption, the ONLY reasonable way to view any and all of their activities. The BPDA is a PAY TO PLAY operation. The interest of the residents of Boston are repeatedly cast aside in favor the developers who donate, the unions who donate and the Mayor, who appoint the BPDA personnel,
and who takes money in the form campaign donations.
The zoning the neighborhoods spent endless meeting attending to reach a consensus, are routinely dismissed
in favor bigger, higher and denser projects all with single purpose of more profit for the developers who move on and leave the residents to deal with mess left behind!

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It's not often you get to create new waterfront property for yourself in an old city. The Bpda will make big bucks from this, no matter who the end user is. I disagree with the idea there is one developer pushing this.

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IMAGE(http://www.universalhub.com/images/2016/king-waves.jpg)

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Harborside dining at its finest!

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catch your own fish restaurant!

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Built on pilings over 300 years ago.

Great photo Swirly, but fairly meaningless if not disingenuous. Your photo shows the far tip of the wharf that steps down 3-4 feet from the rest of the wharf. The Blue Line emergency access a few feet away isn't flooding constantly.

You know as well as I do that the end of wharf could be elevated and flood mitigation technology put in place. For the envisioned development and to protect the existing structures, including the Blue Line access.

You're kidding yourself if you think the City of Boston is going to cede Long Wharf to the rising tides. Ain't gonna happen.

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That part of Long Wharf is currently a barren wasteland. It's not a park, nor is it useful in any way. Putting a restaurant there is as good an idea as any, given the fact that it is currently nothing.People opposing it are your typical old-school Boston residents who just knee-jerk say "no" to everything, regardless of whether it will actually improve the city. Kudos to the BPDA for continuing the fight.

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I actually like the end of Long Wharf and find it very useful - just not in a way that you would, I gather. It's a great, calm place to just sit down and watch the water and the boats (and as somebody whose skin goes straight from, um, alabaster to bright red in the sun, I appreciate there's a kiosk there with shade). If I ever feel like excitement, I can always go down the wharf to that tourist bar - or even better, just stand right in the middle of the plaza in front of the Aquarium.

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Huh? You like it? It's not a park - with not enough seating for anyone to really enjoy sitting there and serenely enjoying the harbor views. Instead its a big blank space with concrete and cobblestone. I ride my bike down there and like hanging out but they either need to make it a real place for people to enjoy the open spaces or let someone develop something interesting there.

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Yeah, it could deal with some more seats, perhaps (a couple years ago, somebody snuck in a picnic table to the kiosk), but I dunno, I like just sitting down on the concrete blocks at the end and looking out (and I've only lost one lens cap to the briny deep there). Yes, the giant compass is just a big blank space, but, eh, the point is really to be on the water, not doing something "interesting." There's always Christopher Columbus Park if you want something more active to do - why can't us passive types have a place to just sit?

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