February 6, 2009
Mr. Gerald Autler, Senior Project Manager
Boston Redevelopment Authority
One City Hall Square
Boston, MA 02201-1007
Subject: Berklee College of Music
Dear Mr. Autler:
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Institutional Master Plan Notification Form for Berklee College of Music. The Boston Groundwater Trust was established by the Boston City Council to monitor groundwater levels in sections of the City where the integrity of building foundations is threatened by low groundwater levels and to make recommendations for solving the problem. Therefore, my comments are limited to groundwater related issues.
As is noted in the IMPNF, the entire Berklee campus (except for its one remote building in Allston) is located within the Groundwater Conservation Overlay District. However, unlike its response to other zoning related issues, there is no stated commitment to meeting the requirements of the GCOD as described in Article 32 of the Zoning Code. The East Fens area, where many of Berklees facilities are located, has long suffered from low groundwater levels in multiple locations and has been an area where building foundations have required repair at substantial cost because of damage caused by low groundwater. While compliance with GCOD requirements is important throughout the district, it is particularly critical in this neighborhood.
I look forward to working with the Authority and the College as its plans are further developed to make sure that any construction can only have positive impacts on local groundwater levels.
Very truly yours,
Cc: Kathleen Pederson, BRA
Maura Zlody, BED