Ellis South End Neighborhood Association
Development Committee Guidelines, adopted 3/26/2007
Related to applications for major development projects and other projects involving requests for zoning variances, special permits, and Landmarks approvals
The purpose of the Ellis South End Neighborhood Association (the Ellis) is to maintain and enhance “the quality life within the Ellis Neighborhood as an essentially residential neighborhood”(2). The Ellis recognizes that the quality of life in the neighborhood is affected by commercial and residential development projects (and other actions that require zoning variances and Landmarks approvals) that take place within its own boundaries, in surrounding areas of the South End, and in nearby neighborhoods.
To fulfill this purpose, the Ellis will evaluate all applications for development projects, zoning variances, permits requiring community review (e.g., rear and roof decks) and Landmarks approvals that are likely to have a significant impact on the neighborhood.
In response to the results of these evaluations, the Ellis will comment on proposed projects and make recommendations to public authorities that have the power to grant, modify and/or revoke project approvals, monitor and control project-related construction activities, and otherwise regulate the operations of commercial and residential projects.
The Ellis’ criteria for evaluating project impacts will include, but not be limited to, assessments of the project’s impact on a) environmental conditions (including the potential impact of a proposed project on wind conditions, shadows, and groundwater levels in the neighborhood); b) transportation conditions (including vehicular and pedestrian traffic, congestion, and safety); housing quality; c) the economic and social diversity of the neighborhood; and d) parking availability within the Ellis neighborhood. In addition, the evaluations will include assessments of a project proponent’s record within the business community, including reviews of the quality of previous development activities undertaken within the Ellis neighborhood and other neighborhoods and communities. In particular, the impact of a potential project on its immediate neighbors will be an important component of the Ellis’ assessment.
In evaluating a potential project, attention will also be focused on the applicant’s willingness to address short term impacts (e.g., construction-related impacts such as noise, soil or ground vibrations, traffic and parking disruptions, reductions in groundwater levels, dust, pedestrian safety, etc.) that may occur during the planning and construction periods that precede occupancy of the proposed project.
To enable a full review of their proposals, applicants should contact the Ellis Development Committee at least 30 days prior to submitting a proposal to the appropriate government agency. This contact can be made via the Ellis website (www.ellisneighborhood.org), or in writing to the Ellis South End Neighborhood Association, P.O. Box 170731, Boston, MA 02117 - Attention Development Committee. Without timely notification, the Committee may request that the Ellis Board oppose the application based on the lack of time to conduct an adequate review and provide appropriate recommendations.
Following its review of the proposed project, the Development Committee will make a recommendation first to the Ellis Executive Committee. This recommendation will be in writing (if practicable) and include a thorough assessment of the proposed application and a description of the process that the Development Committee used in arriving at its recommendation – including a list of the meetings, if any, held with the project applicant and project neighbors. The Committee’s report should also contain a summary of the proponent’s comments and comments of others with whom the Committee met or from whom the Committee received written or oral comments and opinions.
The Development Committee report should also contain a recommendation that the Ellis take one of following three positions: 1) Not Oppose, 2) Oppose, or 3) Support. In addition, the Committee’s report shall also contain the Committee’s recommendation for any modifications in the application that would either result in an improved impact of the proposed project and/or a change in the Committee’s recommendation.
Following its review, the Executive Committee will decide whether to accept the Committee’s recommendation or to develop and adopt an alternative recommendation.
In some cases, the Executive Committee may determine that a proposal is a ‘minor proposal’ (having limited impact on the neighborhood). In these cases, the Executive Committee may decide to act without the review of the full Board of Directors. In the event of such decisions, the Executive Committee will report to the Board (at the Board meeting immediately subsequent to its decision) on the actions that it has taken on these ‘minor proposals.”
If the Executive Committee determines that the proposal has larger and broader impacts (i.e., the proposal is a ‘major proposal’) that need community-wide discussion, it will take the proposal to the full Board of Directors for review and a vote. In such cases, the Executive Committee will ask the applicant and/or the Development Committee to make a presentation to the full Board, prior to Ellis making a final decision on the application.
ESENA Board Meeting Minutes – March 26, 2007 – as approved by Board of Directors
(2) Bylaws of the Ellis Neighborhood Association, Inc. As amended 3/22/84, 5/25/99, 3/28/2000 and 3/27/2001
The Ellis South End Neighborhood Association: P.O. Box 170731, Boston, MA, 02117