August 15, 2011
Mr. John FitzGerald, Project Manager
Boston Redevelopment Authority
One City Hall Square
Boston, MA 02201-1007
Subject: Fenway Triangle Mixed Use project
Dear Mr. FitzGerald:
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Development Plan for the Fenway Triangle Mixed use Project. 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 stated in the Development Plan, the project is located within the Groundwater Conservation Overlay District established by Article 32 of the Zoning Code. I appreciate the proponents commitment to meeting the requirements of the GCOD. I also appreciate the commitment to obtain a written determination from the Boston Water and Sewer Commission that the plans meet the standards under Article 32. That determination would show that the project is meeting required recharge benchmarks.
In my January 24, 2011, comment letter on the Project Notification Form, I noted that Article 32 also requires that the proponent demonstrate that the project will have no negative impact on area groundwater levels. In response, the project geotechnical engineer, McPhail Associates, provided a letter, dated May 6, 2011 and included in the Response to Comments, to the proponent detailing the steps being taken in the design and specifications to protect groundwater levels. Article 32 requires that this information be provided in a submission stamped by a professional engineer registered in Massachusetts. Like the letter from BWSC, this submission should be provided to the Authority and the Trust prior to the issuance of a Certification of Consistency for the Project.
I appreciate the responsiveness of the proponent to groundwater issues during the preapproval stage of the project and look forward to continuing to work with the proponent and the Authority to assure that the project can have only positive impacts on groundwater levels in the West Fenway.
Very truly yours,
Cc: Kathleen Pedersen, BRA
Maura Zlody, BED