Councilors want developers to stop chopping down so many trees

The City Council agreed today to look at ways to make developers take trees into consideration as they transform Boston into a denser city.

City Councilors Tim McCarthy and Matt O'Malley, who represent some of city's leafiest neighborhoods (Hyde Park, Roslindale and Mattapan for McCarthy, Jamaica Plain and West Roxbury for O'Malley) said the city is falling far short of a 2020 goal to plant 100,000 new trees, and that developers too often clear-cut first, then just try to build as much as possible on the lots they buy to take advantage of one of the largest building booms in city history.

McCarthy said this cut-everything-down approach has been a particular problem in his district.

One possible answer would be to require developers to look to save existing trees and even plant new ones, they said.

O'Malley said building up the city's tree canopy is not just a way to fight climate change and pollution but is actually a money saver because homes on particularly leafy streets are just naturally cooler thanks to the shade they provide. "You have trees, you are going to save money," he said.

O'Malley did point to the work to replace the Casey Overpass in Forest Hills with a series of street roads as an example of what could be done - the roads have been accompanied by the planting of a large number of new trees.

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Keep adding to the cost

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and amount of red tape, im sure it will bring down housing cost and increase stock.

Idiots!

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Not to mention..

All the trees in my neighborhood that are planted, die, get replaced, die, get replaced, die....

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Eliminate details

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That is a parasitical cost. That will bring down the cost of new housing.

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Someone has a one track mind

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Up the road from me, at Ye Olde Mary Baker Eddy Homestead, they recently put up a building with 4 units of housing while rehabbing the other 4 units. There were no details associated with the project.

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There were several meetings

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There were a number of community meetings held over the details and landscaping plans.

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Preserving many trees are

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Preserving many trees are important not just housing costs.

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See: https://www.universalhub

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See: https://www.universalhub.com/2018/developer-wins-approval-replace-single...

Among the reasons the project needed a zoning variance - in addition to the fact the lot is not zoned for multi-famiy use - was that it didn't have enough open space and had too much of the lot dedicated to an "accessory" use - parking. O'Sullivan's attorney, George Morancy, said that's because O'Sullivan agreed to a neighborhood request to provide 18 parking spaces - two per unit - and that providing that much parking meant making a trade-off with the open-space requirement.

The proposal was backed by the mayor's office, City Councilors Mark Ciommo and Annissa Essaibi George and the Brighton Allston Improvement Association. Only the BPDA spoke against the proposal, because of the dearth of provided green space.

Take your pick: lots of off-street parking or trees. You can't have both.

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BTW

I misconstrued your comment in that other thread about Brighton - my apologies. I thought you were complaining about the development of the lot in general, not about the elimination of trees to create parking.

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Read the actual remarks of City Councilors...

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Read the actual remarks of City Councilors... Public Funded Stenographic Record can be requested via https://www.boston.gov/departments/city-council/andrea-campbell the more complete, more accurate Document than flawed lacking inaccurate transcript of video captions for hard of hearing folks.

Feedback, comment, suggestions, questions on Councilors' remarks can be sent via https://www.boston.gov/departments/city-council

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Jesus. Keep the trees! They

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Jesus. Keep the trees! They provide oxygen which is badly needed. Too much hot air around here.

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Plant more street trees

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Check a google satellite view near the Boston/Brookline border. The difference is staggering, and it's largely due to street trees.

Boston needs to spend far more money each year planting, maintaining, and watering street trees. It also needs to create larger pits by, yes Martha, encroaching into the vehicular right-of-way, at the cost of on-street parking spaces.

And yes, this may also require burying more utility lines, since they often obstruct quality street tree canopies.

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Anti-NIMBY's LOVE chopping

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Anti-NIMBY's LOVE chopping down trees in favor of greedy developer urban density, luxury new condo development for the 1% and foreign investment buyers, and lower quality of life for us lowly city residents whom they suburbanites despise.

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Cities are for people, not trees

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Ok, that's overly simplistic. But if there is a tradeoff, I'd rather have lots of quality affordable housing and fewer trees, vs more trees and not enough places for people to live.

And it's a lot different if we're talking about Roslindale vs the North End.

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False dichotomy

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That a false dichotomy. There can be a lot of trees and quality affordable housing.

People move in and out. People can adapt. Trees can not move and by and large can not adapt. Many people take more than they give; trees always give more than they take.

Want a gross city where kids grow up believing the world is filthy and degrading it with litter, noise and violence is okay? Keep the kids in neighborhoods where those conditions prevail. Want kids to grow up to have a better chance of being decent, mature adults, even when raised by dysfunctional parents? Let them grow up where there are trees, open space, neighborhoods that are people centered, not developer centered. At least in that kind of neighborhood they have a better chance of escaping the diseases of addiction, alcoholism and violence.

When a store doesn't want kids hanging out in front a technique to keep the kids away is to play classical music. For reasons I don't understand the result is that kids leave and hang out elsewhere. Is it because adolescents only want to be around noise? Or does bona fide high quality high value music push them away?

I believe that an analogy is applicable to the quality of life in a neighborhood and how it affects children. Growing up surrounded by asphalt and concrete, trash on the street and violence around the corner. That supports personalities that can be described as hard and deadened as asphalt and concrete. Self-worth and self-confidence that is measured against trash. A perception of violence as the normal way of life.

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Dan buddy

You think teenagers would love classical music if only they hadn't been raised in the wrong environments? That's a spectacular conceit.

I grew up in the country, surrounded by trees and natural beauty and knew plenty of great people and plenty of garbage people. Living in the city, I see the same. We should all have access to green spaces but it won't change our character much.

But you keep fighting the good fight with your WCRB tote bag clutched in your fist. If only we were as wise and cultured as you and didn't listen to popular music. Maybe someday, you'll find that town from Footloose and you can move there.

"Bona fide high value music" - hilarious!

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Green of greed grows faster than the green of trees

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At Call and McBride, on a lot sold by the MBTA, there was a mature, healthy mulberry tree. The fruit was tasty; it fed humans, birds and for better or worse, probably squirrels. The developer who suffers from greed-itous killed it along with most of the other trees on the lot.

If the MBTA had people whose imagination was worthwhile they might place a restriction. The tree was at the fence and was beneficial to anyone walking in that area.

Plenty of other mature trees were killed over the past few years by homeowners more interested in the health of their wallets instead of the health of their communities. Wallet green meant far more to them than leafy green.

I am glad that the johnny come lately, typically rump city council may do something. But then Walsh could have taken action as well.

When money talks everybody else is falked.

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Two trees

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for every parking spot they don't supply. The City would look like Teton National Forest.

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Working people forced out of

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Working people forced out of the neighborhoods because of developers and you talk about trees. Shame , shame, shame.

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That's rich coming from

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That's rich coming from McCarthy, who had an urban wild in his district reclassified as a building lot and got the city to transfer it to a big campaign donor in a no-bid, below-market sale, allowing the donor to cut down (almost) all the trees in order to build a business where there was a park.

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Where though?

Who's the developer, where's the lot, etc...

Receipts please.

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Receipts?

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Heck, I'd be happy with an address. Everything else can flow from there.

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Cool proposal

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The other anon perhaps missed the part where it was noted that it is not a public park but rather an abandoned lot owned by the Department of Neighborhood Development that is being disposed of to an urban farmer who will improve the site and create something closer to an actual park.

I was running really close to there this afternoon. If only I saw this before, I would have checked it out.

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I am the same anon as the

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I am the same anon as the other posts in this thread, though I have a username and comment regularly on this site. I have to log out to talk about Tim McCarthy, because he's threatened me in the past.

It's true that the parcel was technically administered by the DND, but people in the neighborhood believed that it was parkland, and it has been used as a park for at least 50 years. This is not a former industrial site like so much of Readville, it's been a forest for as long as anyone can remember. At least until a few months ago, when Timmy's donor friend cut down most of the trees, filled part of the marsh with gravel, and built a small greenhouse. He promises that more, larger, more industrial greenhouses will follow.

This is not improving the site, and it's not creating "something closer to an actual park." It's destroying an existing park in a quid pro quo for bundling donations and hosting fundraisers.

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Ah, parkland

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Which is administered by the Parks Department or the DCR. If they don’t control it, it’s not a park. At best, it’s an abandoned lot.

Looking at the proposal, everything looks on the up and up. The DND gets rid of parcels all the time, and since typically they are turned into housing, I still don’t see the what the gripe is.

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Natural gas leaks killing trees

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In the wake of the North Shore natural gas disaster, it's important to note that for years, arborists were reporting the link between our thousands of underground natural gas leaks and dying trees. That said, I thought there was a law on the books making it illegal for government to cut a healthy tree, not sure if that includes the MBTA.

Regardless, oil heat and clean coal is best.

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Clean coal

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Does not exist.

Certainly does not exist for residential use, pops.

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DEVELOPRES

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Developers could care less about trees or people, it is all about money. Go to a Board of Appeals hearing session at City Hall it is a joke all the same faces donors, lawyers and developers. Variances blah blah....approved.... next. Political Grandstanding at its finest.

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Developers should care about

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Developers should care about trees though! Tree-lined streets have been shown to have higher property values than streets with few or no trees. If they want to maximize their profit, they should be figuring out how to include trees along with their buildings.

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Tree Cutting

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I live in a two family home that my elderly mother owned in West Roxbury for 40 years. On JULY 3, 2018 my son was facing a hostile contractor at the back door who entered the house claiming he just purchased the house from my 92 year old mother.

We are in housing court trying to fight this case without a lawyer, because we can't afford one.

This past Thursday we came home from housing court to find that the contractor hired a tree cutting company to chop down a big beautiful tree that was in our back yard while we were in court. The stump that is left measures at about 30-40 inches in diameter depending. I called City Hall in Boston and was told there are no laws to protect trees in Boston. Even the conservation people said the address doesn't fall under conservation land.

I know the tree is gone now, the big beautiful three story high tree that offered sanctuary to so much wild life throughout the years as well as shade and visual pleasure to anyone who was near it; so many baby animals and birds were born in our yard I couldn't even say how many. I just can't believe that Boston has no tree cutting rules or laws, especially in West Roxbury that is not really in the city part of the city.

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