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As one board sits on plans, another board decides not to hear proposal for charter school on Belgrade Avenue for now

The Zoning Board of Appeal today formally denied Roxbury Prep's request to build a new 562-student high school at the former Howard Chevrolet site on Belgrade Avenue at West Roxbury Parkway in Roslindale, a vote that doesn't kill the proposal but which could mean still more delays if it is ultimately approved.

Roxbury Prep first proposed a high school in early 2017. In a process that has now extended longer than for many larger projects, the BPDA has yet to schedule a final vote on the proposal, which initially called for 800 students, but which was shrunk to 562 in the face of often vitriolic opposition from some nearby residents.

At a board meeting today - attended by a number of Roxbury Prep students - school attorney Joseph Hanley asked the board to formally defer any action on the variances it needs for two months in the hopes the BPDA will finally make a decision on whether the school meets that authority's standards. The non-hearing had originally been set after the board deferred action in October.

But board Chairwoman Christine Araujo said it would be in everybody's best interests if the board formally denied the request for variances related to the proposed building's size, height and driveway without prejudice, which would let the school come back for an actual hearing "when you're really ready."

The zoning board typically does not consider larger proposals until after they have won BPDA approval.

The Herald reported earlier this month that the BPDA issued a statement that its review continues apace and that it is dealing with "the significant feedback we have received from the neighboring community on issues including traffic configuration and congestion and neighborhood context."

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Comments

For the neighborhood. We had our voices heard.

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Voting closed 18

You are not the voice of “our neighborhood.”

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Voting closed 29

Don't discount that this poster could easily live in the parts of WR which are near the site although there's plenty of Dappers in Roslindale still.

But don't worry, I'm sure they have a lot of black and latino friends and don't lock their doors when they see some black kids walking down the street. No, really!

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Voting closed 12

Dog whistle nonsense.

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This isn't the greatest place for a school or any building that plans to have over 200 people there a day......

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Voting closed 19

So when they build condos there instead, those hundreds of people coming and going will be just fine?

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Public housing for low income residents would be better for traffic, congestion, etc. I'm not against everything, just a building with high traffic volume from 7-9 and 2-4.

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There's already a school there with different opening and closing times, which is fine and of course this is a high school so these kids will take the MBTA and commuter rail mostly. So not much traffic and far less than Holy Name.

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Voting closed 19

But for a selfish commuter like me it will most likely have an impact.

I'm also picturing a bunch of kids crossing and going to the 7-11, (again selfish reasons on my end)

Also the Needham line doesn't stop at those stops outbound in the morinng (or didn't anyway), and the bus stop is on the other side of the parkway isn't it?

Holy Name doesn't seem to hold up traffic that much because most vehicles seem to go right onto Centre, or even WAZE their way up Church St back to the parkway.

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Voting closed 3

How do you think high school kids get to school? They can only use MBTA or get dropped off. Most are going to take the MBTA same as every other high school in the city.

So because of some more people 30 minutes before school and 30 minutes after, we should just not have a new high school in city limits which is free for residents? Just mind boggling.

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Voting closed 15

And they can't use the commuter rail because it doesn't stop outbound anywhere near there in the morning, and the bus drops them off on the other side of the parkway. The fact that kids have to take a bus or transportation here anyway should be mind boggling to you, not the fact that they want to put a medium size high school in the middle of a commuter intersection with heavy traffic daily.

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Sounds like it would be a real eye opener for you.

Oh no, kids will be riding down a major bus street (Washington) to another major bus street (Belgrade) from a large T station (Forest Hills) - disaster!

I give a fuck about commuters from outside the city why?

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You and I both know that this is a school in one location (Roslindale) that is going to have students from another location (Roxbury) coming to it. These kids are already being inconvenienced as it is and that is 95% of the story. You and I are talking about the 5%. But 95% of this problem is that having the school there is the dumbest idea in the world only because it isn't anywhere near the location of the student body. So yea it kind of is a disaster that these kids have to take any transportation! Like I said, why not put low income housing there so the kids can go to a rebuilt school elsewhere in Roslindale? That shows you where I'm coming from on that.

I also own property on Belgrade Ave. probably closer to that location than you do. And that has nothing to do with why I care about not having a school there. WREC has nothing to do with this or my argument against it (which I already disclosed was for selfish reasons regarding my commute)

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the bus literally stops there - three, actually, 35/36/37. as for crossing, more likely they'll be headed over to stash's

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Holy name does hold up traffic especially that it's right there at the rotary. I definitely avoid it in my morning commute. Holy Name is K-8 where most students get dropped off and picked up after school by parents. Most High School students ride the MBTA to get to and from school. The most that would happen is more buses going to and from Forest Hills...

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Oh I'm glad to hear that the neighborhood would be fine with a new public housing development right there.

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and public housing would be better for everyone. You can put a school anywhere or rebuild one of the ones that already exist.

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Please give me 3 other options. Down on American Legion or...? Most buildable lots are being built as apartments. High schools have pretty big footprints.

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Luckily, there are a million other options for plots of land suitable for a school in Boston

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at an intersection in the middle of a major commuting route?

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Yes, why would we want students to go to a school on a major bus and train route instead of buried in some far off neighborhood where they would need special transportation?

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I'm sure the people harping on the issue of school-aged children's mass exodus from many of Boston's neighborhoods and the general issues surrounding gentrification and yuppie-ization didn't stand in the way of approving this expansion.

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This school is trying to go where more and more kids are living. Roslindale Westie and Hyde Park have all been the only areas in the city to see an increase of kids. Not building here means more long commutes for lots of kids.

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The Small cramped space is not suitable for a school with children. Just look at Belgrade Station’s size. Who is going to take responsibility for all those rambunctious teens playing around the tracks. Setting precedence for schools being on postage sized lots will ruin future schools for all our children. No outdoor space, lot built all the way to the sidewalk, no room for anyone to walk there. Even if you use the dedicated “green” space that should remain green.
2% of the kids are coming Wr/ROS, the rest from afar. What you are asking WR/ROS to do is overwhelm our traffic circle and bridge at that corner and add to already crowded public transportation problems, so that a hedge fund school can set up shop to graduate only 25% of the students. The people surrounding the school have clearly spoken that unless you improve the infrastructure and put resident parking up that lot won’t work.

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There are plenty of signs reading “We support Roxbury Prep” in the neighborhood you speak of. And it’s not “our traffic circle and bridge,” it’s everybody’s. And we, all the people of Boston, will all be better off when there are more new quality schools in every neighborhood.

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Voting closed 19

There are plenty of signs reading “We support Roxbury Prep” in the neighborhood you speak of.

They sure don't stick out. Just that big anti one on Belgrade.

There are, however, a lot of Bernie signs all over Roslindale.

Shine on you crazy diamonds. I hope you win. Bernie is the best hope for the Democratic Party.

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https://www.universalhub.com/2020/city-olds-even-bostons-population-incr...

HP and WR are edging up for kids, Roslindale downwards but without knowing the demographics of those changes, we can't really know if those are Roxbury Prep candidates. To be blunt, most white middle class Parkway parents don't send their kids to charters, they go BPS or parochial.

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The proposed Roxbury Prep location is in Roslindale but the loudest opposition seems to come from nearby West Roxbury residents. And yet when people from equally nearby Roslindale voice support for the Centre Street WR road diet, some in West Roxbury call them "outsiders" who should not have a say. It's even some of the same exact WR residents vehemently opposing Roxbury Prep who then shout down Roslindale road diet supporters. Given the proximity of both neighborhoods to the Roxbury Prep site and Centre Street, I think it's perfectly fine that people in both neighborhoods be heard on both issues, but one cannot help but notice the hypocrisy at play in some circles on these two prominent local issues.

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Interesting fact is that every business at this address has identified their business as beefing in Wesr Roxbury!

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Are you confusing political boundaries with the post office?

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There are 4 bus routes that stop right there and the Bellevue station has a train arriving at 7:24am. And all of these trips are the opposite direction of commuters.

This school has better transportation options than Latin and no one from WR bats an eye at sending their kids there by public transportation.

These would be high school kids, crossing at an intersection with a traffic light. I can also see the T having a stop at the school for the trips around opening time.

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