Roslindale residents have launched an online petition to voice their opposition to a development proposal that would shoehorn up to six condo buildings, 12 units, and a paved driveway network onto 104–108 Walter Street along the edge of the Roslindale Wetlands Urban Wild.
The development proposal is a revival of a nearly identical project proposed in the early 2000s and which was met with overwhelming community opposition. In 2005, then-Mayor Thomas Menino announced a milestone agreement with Feeney Brothers—the developers—that purportedly killed the proposal and left the land as protected open space, giving it a conservation protection subdistrict designation.
Opposition to the development then and now stems from its increasing the threat of flooding from stormwater, damaging an ecologically sensitive area, increasing the likelihood of auto accidents from a new driveway on a hazardous curve.
The city’s climate action plan recommends the “expansion of green infrastructure.... Green infrastructure helps slow the pace of stormwater runoff, support on-site infiltration, and reduce pollutants entering waterways.” The Roslindale Wetlands is exactly that: an asset that serves the whole neighborhood by soaking up rainwater runoff.
Since the previous development proposal was defeated, neighbors have organized numerous work days to remove invasive plants, clean up trash, plant trees and native shrubs, and construct a perimeter trail that is enjoyed by many local residents. The vibrant bird life has made the Wetlands a favorite spot for birders.
The Roslindale Wetlands Task Force is urging local residents to contact their elected city officials and demand that the 2005 promise of no development be honored. In addition to the online petition, the task force urges that neighbors attend the Longfellow Area Neighborhood Association meeting on Monday, March 12, 7:00 p.m. at the Longfellow House Community room at 885 South Street, where presentations about the proposal will be made.