Frequently Asked Questions
Have you reached out to Mt Ida College to initiate a dialogue?
Yes, in December we met President Brown, and he assured us he'd take our concerns seriously, talk to the developer, and work with us towards a solution. The next day we sent him a draft proposal with the ideas we had discussed and next steps. However, he has subsequently refused to meet or talk to us.
Will the Mayor's Open Space commitments be kept for these woods
We certainly hope so, as this case is a poster child for the Open Space and Preservation commitments Mayor Fuller made as a candidate. So far she has been a good listener and we sincerely believe she is capable of stewarding all parties towards a viable solution.
Who is the developer, what kind of waivers has he requested?
The developer is Brendon Properties, and he has requested 14 waivers from the City. These waivers relate to setback lines, grade elevations, storm drainage system, underground utilities, gas supply lines, design and calculation of walls, protection of trees, excavation and fills, slopes in embankment and in earth excavations, grade for the roadway, and road construction, among others.
What's the concern over the 14 waivers sought by developer?
These waivers concern us deeply, in that each one adds to the risk of flooding that we inhererently face in OHP, as they relate to key factors such as the storm drainage system, grading, walls and slopes This comes on top of having this buffer, with its own natural drainage system, completely eliminated. What people don't understand (or don't want to understand) is that already the 600 homes of OHP are in a high water table. The profits they seek from their properties will ultimately come at the expense of ours, yet we will still be here dealing with the consequences long after the current decision makers have moved on.
How are Mt Ida's policies affecting your safety daily?
This southern tip of the City was never designed or meant to absorbe the dramatic increase in people, cars, traffic, and buildings being pushed by Mt Ida's current administration. Who would have guessed that this relatively isolated corner of a suburban city of less than 100,000 would one day boast a top 5% crash hotspot within the Boston-metro area? It's bad enough that our families have to cross these highly dangerous crash hotspots several times a day. In addition to the 500 more people, cars and crossings that it has has added to this area over the last 5 years, Mt Ida's administration now wants to add a housing complex, a church, and a 200-car parking lot. Are we supposed to accept the increased risk to our families that all this will add to our already crash-prone intersections? This is outrageous; we should be solving this problem, not making it worse, even if the College can't continue to grow as dramatically as its current administration would like.
Were you notified of all this as required by law?
No, we weren't. Eight months went by since the day they submitted the project and application for the waivers to the City, enough time for them to work out the details and obtain permits without residents knowing anything about it. Mt Ida filed its "Definitive Plan of Land, Proposed Carlson Avenue" on April 7, 2017, and we were only shown what was coming, on November 28.
Is this project breaking the law?
Other than the notifications matter, the project is not breaking the law, but it creates conditions that make our properties more likely to suffer flood damage, and our families more likely to incur in an accident due to the density of cars and traffic generated by the College's policy of "dramatic growth".
Additionally, it is simple common sense that the green buffer surrounding a college was placed there by the City's urban designers for good reason, and that it shouldn't be destroyed to the detriment of neighbors, Oak Hill Park, and the City at large.
Who enforces urban design and orderly growth in the City?
We are working on this.