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Jamaica Plain city-council candidates back senior housing on Washington Street; urge withdrawal of brewery lawsuits against it

Three candidates for the District 6 City Council seat Matt O'Malley is giving up all called on landlord Monty Gold and his tenant, John Lincecum of Turtle Swamp Brewing, to drop their lawsuits against a proposed senior-citizen apartment building next door to the brewery.

Kendra Hicks, Kelly Ransom and Mary Tamer responded to a query by Robert Orthman about their feelings on the suit - and on a proposal by O'Malley and Councilor Kenzie Bok of Beacon Hill to amend the city zoning code to eliminate minimum parking requirements for affordable-housing projects. Gold and Lincecum allege the 39-unit building, which was approved by the BPDA and the Zoning Board of Appeal without parking would create parking problems along Washington Street.

Hicks said she supports the O'Malley/Bok proposal and adds: "I have less nice things to say about the lawsuit."

Ransom agreed, said she's particularly concerned about the impact on El Embajador restaurant, which former site owner City Realty wanted to move next door but which was allowed to stay when the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corp. bought the site, and which was then promised space in the new senior-housing building there. She adds:

I am worried about stalling much-needed supportive affordable housing for seniors during a housing & homelessness crisis AND hurting an immigrant-owned legacy business (30+ years!) in Jamaica Plain. Can we work together to identify creative solutions that support the entire community's needs?

Tamer wrote:

This is a good project and we need more affordable housing for our seniors and others in Boston and D6. I would hope that those with concerns would be good neighbors and withdraw opposition that has the potential to hold up this project.


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Turtle Bay would have joined their landlord in this suit. Especially right now. The negative PR of the soundbite story of “brewery opposes affordable senior housing”, while a gross oversimplification, is what gets legs under it.

At the end of the day, the landlord will still own the property and continue to have a reputation as a litigant and fly in the ointment in the community process.

But the business, it’s owners, employees and loyal customers will now expend huge amounts of energy discussing the nuances of story when what they probably want to be doing is trying to get business back to normal and steady as people are re-emerging.

The suit was never going to be settled in 90 days, couldn’t the brewery have sat back and signed on to the case in the future?

Voting closed 31

I think there's a few factors. The vast majority of their clients are not going to be aware of this issue, at all, nor care if they did. It might be better to be friends with the landlord vs. throwing in with his opponents on this issue and finally while I don't have too much sympathy but they are going to be bigly impacted by this.

Voting closed 20

of Turtle Swamps profits.

This ALL lies on Gold and that empty husk he calls a soul.

Voting closed 20

How about changing the zoning code for everyone, not just for you chosen people. Get rid of parking restrictions and raise the allowable height. The free market will take care of the rest and housing will be more affordable for everyone.
But that's not gonna happen. Strict zoning laws ensure rent-seeking. And rent-seeking is fundamental to political power.

Voting closed 51

So, basically Ransom and Hicks support removing parking requirements from affordable housing, but Tamer didn't answer that part. Good to know.

Voting closed 21

Yep, noticed that too.

Voting closed 19

On what standing does the brewery have to sue the developers of the neighboring plot? Provided the developers got permits for everything, why should the courts care that the brewery isn't happy? (Honest legal question here.)

Voting closed 6

This is a straight forward case of a negative-externality(collateral damage). In this instance, a big developer gets all the gains of constructing a new building, and a third party, a small local business, has to bear costs without due compensation.

Negative externalities are common in all spheres of a complex economy (especially when dealing with undefined rights over common property). The correct way to deal with negative-externalities is to mitigate harm when possible, and to provide due compensation. The planning process should have addressed concerns raised by the brewery and its landlord. The planning process did not do so. So the only recourse left, is to sue the planning authority and the large developer.

There have plenty of standing, both legal and moral.

Voting closed 49

they didn't have a delivery zone, but now they need room for deliveries?

Voting closed 21

They always needed room for deliveries, and shipments for that matter. It’s a farce to assume a brewery that needs raw materials and needs to bring their product to the market wouldn’t. It’s kind of astounding to me that the drawings for the new building completely ignore this and even put a tree in right in front of their delivery door. They also use that space for food trucks, enabling other small businesses, but now won’t be able to do so as that whole space has been turned into a walking path.

Regardless of what you think about the landlord, the new building plan doesn’t even attempt to consider the existing business needs and in my opinion that’s the real issue here.

Voting closed 20

Just look at their webpage.
Bunch of young-upward-better-than-thou's drinking overpriced beer.
IDGAF about their problems.

Give the benefit to the seniors
who are only going to be in this world a short while.

Voting closed 24

Old people have been in this world a long while. And they are the ones who have created the housing shortage, plus climate change and a million other things that young people now have to deal with.

Voting closed 23