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December 4, 2006 Boston Redevelopment Authority One City Hall Square Boston, MA 02201 Attn: Gerald

December 4, 2006

Boston Redevelopment Authority One City Hall Square Boston, MA 02201

Attn: Gerald Autler

Re: Harvard’s Allston Science Complex PNF

Dear Mr. Autler:

Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) has reviewed the Project Notification Form (PNF) for the above mentioned project (the Project) submitted by Harvard University (Harvard) and offers the following comments to assist the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) and Harvard as the planning process moves forward.

At the outset, our general concern remains that Harvard’s decision to proceed with the review process for the Science Complex before completing a new Institutional Master Plan (IMP) makes it difficult for the public, and regulators, to review the project in an appropriate context. Harvard’s campus expansion plans are extensive, and will radically transform this part of the City. Appropriate design of the Science Complex – building massing, transportation infrastructure, water resources, and open space – is dependent on and significantly impact the surrounding neighborhood. The IMP process is intended to provide a meaningful context in which project-specific decisions can be made. Since Harvard has filed a PNF for this project without a new or amended IMP in place, the BRA needs to fundamentally restructure the requirements for its Scoping Determination for the Draft Project Impact Report (DPIR) so as to include information that would customarily be detailed in an IMP.

We are aware that Harvard is in the process of preparing a new IMP, as well as amending their existing IMP. But these documents are not available for review, so the burden is upon Harvard to provide all of the information that members of the public, and regulators, need to evaluate the Project as a part of the DPIR. In these comments therefore, we highlight several areas where significant, detailed information is needed in the DPIR. We urge Harvard and the BRA to ensure that the DPIR includes a clear indication of how the Project will fit into the larger campus plan, and indeed, into the restoration efforts for the entire neighborhood. It is particularly important that the Science Complex, a major new construction, will not be simply incorporated into the existing IMP as a stand-alone project. This would contradict the scope, purpose and function of the BRA’s IMP process.

Infrastructure planning for the new campus is particularly important and should not be considered only at the site-specific scale. All three projects covered under the Amendment must be evaluated within the larger context of the overall campus plan, and the infrastructure planning, design and development should match the long-term needs of the campus and the neighborhood. Economies of scale are especially relevant, and opportunities should be sought through the planning process to design infrastructure improvements for a long time scale and a large spatial scale. CRWA therefore believes that the DPIR should contain sufficient detail on how the Science Complex ties into the larger infrastructure network for the campus and the neighborhood so that the design of the site fits within a more comprehensive planning context. Design of the building and the landscape for the Project should thus include consideration of open space corridor plans; transportation networks; utility plans; energy planning and stormwater management at a sub-watershed or a larger watershed scale.

The scope for the DPIR should require Harvard to address how the Project is promoting environmental restoration at a neighborhood scale rather than simply mitigating the impacts at the site scale. Instead of addressing sustainability as a stand alone section, the scope for the DPIR should require Harvard to spell out how the guidelines and indicators for sustainability will be incorporated in each of the areas that the project will impact:

transportation, environmental protection, urban design, historic resources and infrastructure. Specific standards need to be adopted both at the site specific level as well as at a campus-wide level for a variety of environmental quality aspects, and metrics must be developed to reflect how impacts are being measured and the strategies being adopted to achieve these standards cumulatively. It is crucial that the Allston Sustainable Design Guidelines inform the design of the Science Complex and thus the DPIR should not be filed before the work on the guidelines is completed and the appropriate sustainability standards established for both the Project and the overall campus. CRWA’s specific recommendations are as follows.

Science Site and Planning Context The PNF does not provide enough detail on how the Science Complex fits into either the new campus master plan or the planning framework laid out by the North Allston Strategic Framework for Planning (NASFP). CRWA is concerned about the lack of commitment

expressed in it to the larger planning concepts that have been agreed to in principle by so many stakeholders during the past several years. The language used to describe the relationship of the Project to the Campus Wide Concept Plan is very vague and full of general vision statements without a commitment to specific strategies or action plans to

welcoming and environmentally conscious

campus” 1 . The DPIR needs to provide more details regarding specific projects that the Science Complex will initiate as a part of the Project’s commitment to public realm improvements and “…to enhance the area’s open space system and to develop new community amenities with the participation of neighborhood representatives and the support of city and state officials and public agencies” 2

implement these visions of a “

green,

1 PNF for Harvard Allston Science Complex. Pg 1-10 2 Ibid

Transportation and Parking The detailed transportation analysis that will be submitted as a part of the DPIR and IMP Amendment should include studies and data collection undertaken to not only alleviate the concerns voiced by the residents of the surrounding neighborhood, but also address more regional traffic impacts. Since transportation infrastructure and parking (especially given the extent of underground parking being considered) have huge impacts on stormwater management, these two aspects of the master plan should be designed in tandem to ensure that the opportunities for integrative planning are maximized to the extent possible, and that there are no unforeseen long term impacts. The design and construction of the new Stadium Way and Rena Street extension needs to be very carefully planned to not only minimize traffic impacts in the surrounding neighborhood, but to also ensure that appropriate Low Impact Development (LID) best management practices are incorporated in the design of the streetscapes.

The design and construction methodology adopted for the below-grade parking structure needs to be detailed out in the DPIR to ensure that it addresses important environmental issues both during and after construction. The location of this project in close proximity to historic tidelands that were filled, and the ongoing problems throughout many areas of the City with groundwater levels, make it all the more important that this aspect of the project be designed with the utmost care and in anticipation of any potential impacts. Also, since a major stormwater trunk line (36-inch) would need to be re-routed or redesigned due to the underground parking, details of this system and how it’s tied into the surrounding infrastructure layout needs to be included in the DPIR.

Environmental Protection In addition to documenting the impact of the Project on various elements such as wind, shadow, daylight, solar glare, air quality, water quality, wetland, flooding, geotechnical and groundwater, solid and hazardous waste, noise, construction impacts, and wildlife habitat, the DPIR should focus on how each of the elements is being improved or restored (to approximate pre-development conditions). Given that a major part of the land under Harvard’s ownership was marshland and there are now major drainage issues stemming from the way the area was developed, a restorative approach is critical to ensure that the drainage problems are not further exacerbated and that past mistakes are remedied to the maximum extent possible.

As a part of evaluating the Project’s impact on the Charles River, the DPIR needs to put together a Stormwater Management Program to ensure that every effort will be made to protect the River from flooding and water quality impairments. It is our hope that the DPIR will study various alternatives for impact mitigation and demonstrate how improvements will be made over the existing conditions. As a part of its efforts to mitigate its impact the River, CRWA would also encourage Harvard to consider retrofitting not only its own campus but also sections of the surrounding neighborhood’s public realm with LID best management practices. The retrofits would not only help with stormwater treatment but also provide infiltration to recharge groundwater levels in the area. These improvements can be easily designed and implemented in concert with other pedestrian safety improvements that Harvard is committed to implementing with the City of Boston.

CRWA would like Harvard to initiate the development of a Stormwater Management Program at a sub-watershed level for all of North Allston in coordination with the various City agencies like Boston Environment Department (BED), Boston Water and Sewer Commission (BWSC) and Department of Public Works (DPW) and other stakeholder groups before filing the DPIR and the new IMP.

Urban and Landscape Design In addition to addressing concerns regarding the height and massing of the Science Complex being voiced by the neighboring residents, each and every aspect of the design and planning for the Project and the campus, whether it relates to public realm improvements or the open space framework, should take into account the functioning of the natural landscape and the hydrologic systems that govern it. Accordingly, the interface of land and water, both on the surface and underground, should guide development from improvement of existing conditions to creation of new buildings, streets and open spaces. The contemporary architectural vocabulary for the Science Complex which incorporates state of the art building systems and façade needs to be complemented by a landscape design that is more interpretive of the site’s history. A more progressive and interpretive approach to landscape design will not only go beyond simply replicating the traditional “Harvard Yard” aesthetic but actually contribute to improving the ecological functionality of the open space. The DPIR should therefore include specific guidelines that would address how the Project seeks to restore the natural hydrology and landscape processes at the sub-watershed level. CRWA strongly believes that environmental restoration should be at the heart of the building and landscape design approach for the Project and would like to see detailed landscape plans and recommendations for it included as a part of the DPIR.

Open Space and Public Realm While there isn’t a separate section included in the PNF, on open space and public realm, it is one of the most crucial aspects of the development that needs to be addressed both in the DPIR as well as in the IMP Amendment that will be filed soon. The Project offers not only an opportunity to provide open space for the Harvard community but also a means to integrate the Science Complex with the rest of the neighborhood through a greenway that ties the resident community through the Library Park to the Charles River Parklands. The DPIR should therefore include an overall open space plan (with appropriate urban and landscape design details) which explicitly provides the above connection for both pedestrians and bicyclists. The DPIR should also include public realm improvement guidelines that include provisions for street “greening” 3 . Whether it’s the design of new streets like Stadium Way or Rena Street extension or retrofitting existing streets like Western Ave, North Harvard or Travis Street, LID best management practices need to be incorporated in their construction/ reconstruction. This would not only improve groundwater recharge, control stormwater runoff and improve water quality in the River, but also provide for very attractive urban streetscapes and increased public health benefits.

3 According to the “Green Streets” manual published by Metro OR, a “green” street is designed to incorporate a system of stormwater treatment within its right of way so as to minimize the quantity of water that is piped directly to streams or rivers. It makes visible a system of “green” infrastructure that maximizes the use of street tree coverage for stormwater interception as well as temperature mitigation and air quality improvement.

It is therefore critical that stormwater management be an important consideration in the design and landscaping of the new “Yard” at the Science Complex as well as the other open space, parking areas and streetscape improvements that are going to be made throughout the campus in the near future. CRWA also suggests that Harvard work with the BRA, the Boston Park and Recreation Department, and the Allston Brighton Green Space Advocates to develop a program to provide support for the community-wide effort that is underway to create new open space, improve access to existing open space network and retrofit various hard-scaped sites to make them “greener” and more ecologically functional. This contribution could be made as a linkage payment (as a part of the public benefits package) or through the implementation of a specific capital improvement project for improving access to and maintenance of the parks and for environmental restoration projects in North Allston as a whole.

Infrastructure It is not appropriate for the PNF to address infrastructure at the site specific level only. To ensure a system-wide planning for infrastructure, the DPIR scope should require an analysis of neighborhood-scale infrastructure, and detail what upgrades, improvements or redesign may be needed to accommodate not only the Science Complex, but the total anticipated campus needs over the coming decade. The infrastructure assessment should include an analysis of what opportunities there may be to reduce impacts on infrastructure, either through conservation measures, alternative infrastructure elements, or innovative technologies on a more comprehensive level.

We suggest the following be required in the DPIR and the IMP:

1 Water Supply:

an institutional water audit; an assessment of options for reducing demand; techniques for managing peak demands;

finding alternative water supply sources for irrigation and other non-potable water uses;

assessment of the potential for reuse.

2 Stormwater Management:

assessment of existing stormwater runoff conditions (quality and quantity, for the 2-, 10-, 20- and 100-year storms) from the areas included in the Amendment and the final IMP;

potential stormwater management designs at the Science Complex site to minimize pollutant loads and runoff volumes from the areas included in the Amendment and the final IMP; current watershed science suggests the most effective stormwater management program provides water quality treatment for the 1 year storm and flood control for the 25- and 100-year storms. potential retrofits or larger scale stormwater management approaches to manage stormwater runoff from all of the area covered under the IMP amendment and the final IMP;

identification of opportunities for shared stormwater management projects with potential partners including BWSC, DPW and the Department of Conservation

and Recreation (DCR). The DPIR should include specific, detailed information and alternatives analyses of stormwater management on the site. Stormwater management should aim to maximize infiltration, slow runoff from the site, maximize the use of vegetation, capture rooftop runoff for irrigation, and minimize sediment and nutrient loading.

We suggest that the scoping for the DPIR and the IMP require more documentation about the proposed Stormwater Management Program including:

Detailed information about the final design of the proposed stormwater management plan, including both “green” and “gray” infrastructure. The plan should include site-specific information about surface stormwater management features such as swales, biofiltration areas, rain gardens, green roofs, stormwater planters, permeable pavement or vegetated storage areas. It should identify the location and design of proposed catch basins, particle separators, drains, and additional water quality structures, as well as details of the storm drain system (owned by Harvard, by the City of Boston, the DCR, or any other owner) that any flows discharged from the site will discharge into.

An assessment of how the site would meet DEP’s stormwater management policy

in its entirety, not just “to the maximum extent practicable;” A plan to minimize the primary pollutants of concern for the Charles River, bacteria, nutrients, metals and toxic sediments;

A maintenance plan for the stormwater management plan.

3 Stream Daylighting: The DPIR should include a detailed version of the analysis done by Harvard's consultant team Nitsch Engineering, on the Allston Creek daylighting through the Science Complex, based on which the recommendation summarized in the PNF was made. The DPIR should also include details of the various alternatives that are currently being studied for daylighting through the campus and how the Science Complex is tied into the proposed alternatives. It is not appropriate that the design of the Project be done independent of the design of the Allston Creek Daylighting, since the Science Complex site is a key contributor to how the inflow and outflow system for the stream from both the engineering and landscape design points of view. It is thus imperative that daylighted stream form and integral part of the building and landscape design for the Project and details of the design be included in the DPIR, in addition to details on other BMP’s like green roofs and bio swales that form a part of the overall hydrologic cycle on the site.

4 Wastewater: The DPIR needs to include a detailed assessment of wastewater generation; assessment of existing wastewater infrastructure and opportunities to improve carrying capacity, reduce Inflow and Infiltration (I/I) and reduce loading during potential CSO events; an assessment of the alternatives for wastewater management, including potential construction of small-scale package treatment plants, wastewater greenhouses, and other innovative wastewater management technologies. The DPIR should analyze opportunities to recycle and reuse various components of the wastewater stream, and to capture roof runoff for infiltration and/or storage for slow release to recharge groundwater levels.

5 Groundwater: The Scoping Determination for both the DPIR and the IMP should include an assessment of groundwater flow directions, as well as a determination of whether those directional flows change seasonally. If the Project shows any potential for altering flows, either slowing or reducing flows into the Charles River, or conversely reducing flows back into the ground during periods of high groundwater, or causing any groundwater “mounding,” the DPIR should document a mitigation plan for any such alterations. In addition, the DPIR should specify what source of water would be used should groundwater recharging be necessary during or after construction. Incase on-site infiltration of stormwater is not possible the DPIR should evaluate the possibility of seeking off-site locations for groundwater recharge and stormwater infiltration. Finally, a detailed plan for the treatment and disposal of water from dewatering activities should be included in the DPIR.

6 Other infrastructure: energy and transportation infrastructure should be evaluated in the context of the numerous alternative design approaches that may be taken. In addition to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and Low Impact Development (LID), other ‘green’ approaches may significantly reduce the demands on the energy, water and transportation infrastructure as the new campus develops. It is thus not only imperative that green infrastructure BMP’s be put in place at the Science Complex site, but the overall infrastructure system be designed so as to meet sustainability standards for the site, the overall campus and the entire system of impacted sub-watersheds, which would include section of the residential neighborhood.

While each of the above categories represents specific realms of water management, it is CRWA’s recommendation that a comprehensive Water Resource Management Plan be developed at a sub watershed level that would incorporate the above categories as part of a single system that would replicate the natural hydrologic cycle in comprehensive manner.

Sustainable Design While there is some discussion on sustainability goals and the Allston Sustainable Design Guidelines in the PNF document, the DPIR should provide specifics on what kinds of best management practices and technologies will be incorporated at the building/ site, the campus and the overall neighborhood level. The Scoping Determination for the DPIR and the IMP need to explicitly define what the Project aims to achieve in terms of standards for environmental sustainability on the three levels mentioned above.

CRWA would encourage the proponents to consider a green roof for not only the new Science Complex, but also as a retrofit for all other existing buildings that it owns in North Allston. Green roofs would not only provide cleaner roof runoff, a habitat for birds and insects and an aesthetically pleasing amenity for the building occupants but also provide long term public health benefits for the neighborhood. Green building standards should also be adopted for wastewater reuse for flushing toilets etc. (through double plumbing the building) as well as capturing, filtering and storing roof run-off.

While the LEED system provides one metrics for incorporating green building standards

and requirements, there are only limited credits available for stormwater management in the LEED system. Therefore CRWA would encourage the proponents to go beyond the LEED rating system, when considering “greening” strategies for the buildings/ sites. This project offers a huge potential to expand the purview of green practices from individual building scale to looking a “greening of infrastructure” at an overall neighborhood level. Through retrofitting the entire campus area with LID best management practices, the proponent can achieve a much larger impact than the cumulative impact of a collection of individual green buildings.

Given that the Allston campus “…can and should represent Harvard’s strongest expression yet of its commitment to sustainability” 4 , the University needs to not only set the bar high in terms of the standards that this project and the rest of the campus will need to meet, but truly commit resources and time to working with various stakeholders to develop partnerships for an ongoing conversation on sustainability. CRWA appreciates the opportunity to comment on this project through the Article 80 review process and we look forward to working with the BRA and Harvard as the planning moves forward. Please feel free to contact either of us if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

contact either of us if you have any questions. Sincerely, Kate Bowditch Director of Projects cc:

Kate Bowditch Director of Projects

cc:

Senator Steven A. Tolman Senator Jerrett T. Barrios State Representative Kevin G. Honan State Representative Michael J. Moran City Councilor Jerry P. McDermott Allston Development Group Harvard Green Campus Initiative Allston Brighton CDC Allston Civic Association City of Boston Environment Dept. Boston Water and Sewer Commission Boston Parks and Recreation Boston Department of Public Works

Parks and Recreation Boston Department of Public Works Pallavi Kalia Mande Urban Restoration Specialist 4 PNF

Pallavi Kalia Mande Urban Restoration Specialist

APPENDIX 3 COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC

Mr. Autler,

I'm writing in regard to Harvard's proposed plan for building a science complex on Western Ave. in Allston.

1)I am concerned about the proposed heights of the buildings. The building heights should conform to the North Allston Strategic plan. 2)Green space There is courtyard proposed in the plan which I am concerned is not going to be made available to the community. There should be more green space planned next to the street on Western Ave and the buildings set back from the street. The proposed indoor gardens (green space) in the buildings sound wonderful, however will the Allston community have access to those indoor gardens? 3)Will the residents be allowed to come into the retail space? 4)Harvard needs to provide free parking to the construction workers during the construction of this building so that the workers don't park on the resident streets. 5)How are the transportation issues going to be handled? Parking, traffic and public transportation. Harvard should allow Allston residents to use the Harvard shuttles (which are currently not available to us even though the business school is in our neighborhood).

ONE of the biggest benifit I think that Harvard can provide is form a partnership (with substantial funding) with our neighorhood school, Thomas Gardner School. I would like Harvard to come into the school NOW and do a needs assessment and come up with a strategic plan for the school. The money they give to the school should be on the scale of the plans that are in place for the science complex. These benefits should come NOW, if not before Harvard breaks ground for the science complex.

Sincerely, Rita Vaidya 15 Athol Street Allston, MA 02134

December 15, 2006

Gerald Autler Boston Redevelopment Authority One City Hall Square, 9 th Floor Boston, MA 02201 Gerald.Autler.bra@cityofboston.gov

Re:

Comments on Harvard Allston Science Complex Project Notification Form (PNF)

Dear Mr. Autler,

I am writing to you regarding the Harvard University Allston Science Complex Project Notification Form that was submitted to the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA).

1. This project is outside of the current, approved Institutional Master Plan (IMP) of Harvard University for the Allston area, and so this PNF should not be approved. I propose that the PNF be “re jected without prejudice pending approval of a new (or amended) IMP”, meaning that Harvard could re-submit the same PNF verbatim after the IMP (or its amendment) is approved. There is no reason to approach Harvard's massive Allston development in a piecemeal manner; let's get the big picture straight, and then fill in the constituent parts.

2. The design of the interior courtyard of the complex is not according to best practices for drawing neighbors into the greenspace. According to the “Pe et's Coffee Park” (former marketplace in Harvard Square) criterion, this design is pedestrian and neighbor unfriendly. Instead, the building layout should be modified to have the greenspace directly accessible from Western Avenue, thereby providing a link between Harvard and its immediate neighborhood and neighbors.

3. The road surfaces within several blocks of the proposed site are in a terrible state of disrepair and should be resurfaced prior to any construction activity

commencing. The section of North Harvard Street between Western Avenue and the

Charles River is the worst –

causes daily damage to automobile alignments. There is no reason to wait 25 years for all Harvard Allston construction to be complete before re-paving such streets – especially since they will see increased traffic due to construction and detours. Here's a good motto: pave it now, do your construction work, and then pave it again.

it is horrendously dangerous for bicyclists, and probably

traffic, should be brought back to the table over any nonsensical objections of the Boston Transportation Department. A similar design should be adopted for Western Avenue from the Arsenal Bridge to the Western Avenue Bridge. Any street parking spaces lost could easily be accomodated by having Harvard build equivalent off-street parking spaces.

5.

Harvard's Allston development must deal with improving traffic into and out of the Allston area along major routes for the employees expected to use their proposed facility. This includes access routes on Cambridge Street and Everett Street, in addition to North Harvard Street and Western Avenue that they seem to only be considering. The employees for their new complex will primarily not drive cars to work: the small number of academic and research faculty will be heavily outnumbered by the post-doctoral researchers, graduate students, technicians, administrative, and facility maintainance staff. For example, parking in Harvard Medical School's Longwood campus has such a long waiting list (around seven years!) that only the faculty members there generally drive to work. Their plan must deal with improved bicycle, pedestrian, and mass transit (bus and commuter train stations) that will be servicing the vast majority of their expected employees.

6.

Improved access between the Allston neighborhood and the Charles River should be a top priority of their development. Currently, the intersection at North Harvard Street and Soldiers Field Road (on- and off-ramps) is very dangerous to pedestrians and bicyclists (despite limited re-paving) due to inadequate painting and pedestrian-activated lights, the intersection at Western Avenue and the Storrow Drive/Soldiers Field Road off-ramp is moderately dangerous due to limited pedestrian- activated lights, and the intersection at Cambridge Street and Storrow Drive is probably

the most dangerous one within a three-mile-radius. I urge you to visit the latter intersection yourself on foot and try to cross every street which enters it: I guarantee

your heart will be beating at least 150 bpm by the end of the exercise.

These are the

routes that Harvard students and employees, as well as the neighbors, take to access the Charles River (or cross it). Do they need to die like the tragic recent case of a BU student on Memorial Drive? If you yourself are too frightened to cross these streets on foot, then why should the BRA approve any PNF or IMP without requiring its improvement?

7.

Harvard should endow a neighborhood foundation that will, in perpetuity, alleviate the impacts of their development on the neighborhood. I believe that this foundation should encompass all of Allston-Brighton, and include contributions from the major organizations subject to the PILOT program: Boston University, Boston College, St. Elizabeth's Hospital, WGBH, and Harvard University. The one-time payments into the endowment are in addition to any annual PILOT payments made to the City of Boston. The value of the contributions to the endowment could be a simple formula: a one-time fee based on the commercial tax rate (currently 1.950%), or $3.9M for a $200M project.

If you have questions, please feel free to call me directly at (617)216-1447, or contact me at pahre@comcast.net.

Sincerely,

Dr. Michael Pahre 76 Foster Street Brighton, MA 02135

(617)216-1447

pahre@comcast.net

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From: Home100 [home100@comcast.net] Sent: Monday, December 04, 2006 7:18 PM To: Autler, Gerald Cc: home100@comcast.net Subject: comments on the Science Complex Project Notification Form

Importance: High

Dear Gerald,

Below you will find my comments. I reside in 12 Hopedale Street, Allston, and therefore I will be directly affected by the Science Complex development

Traffic: Traffic both in North Harvard and in Cambridge Street is right now very heavy and

quite dangerous. The entrance/exit to the Mass Pike by the Genzyme Buiding is quite congested. Traffic both through the construction and once that the Science Complex is functional is only going to make the traffic situation worse. The idea in the plan as proposed of the new Allston Boulevard and how to get the traffic from the Mass Pike to the new Complex is not acceptable.

2)

free in North Allston streets. Harvard idea of promoting use of public transportation by subsidizing MBTA passes and charging for parking is good in principle. But a lot of Harvard students and employees don’t want to give up the commodity of driving to work and/or to classes and rather park for free than paying. This situation is only going to get worse when the construction work starts since Harvard plans to charge contractors for parking. The City should not approve Harvard plans unless Harvard designates some of Harvard’s properties for Parking spaces and implements shuttle services to the construction areas. Also once that the Building is occupied parking would also be a problem. The City needs to demand from Harvard a solution before it approves the plan.

3)

1)

Parking: Currently all Harvard Business School Students and most of the employees park for

Public transportation: The only bus that runs through Harvard in Allston and links to Harvard

in Cambridge and other parts of the City is the 66 bus. Right now buses are very often full and don’t stop to pick up passengers. That makes us residents have to wait for ever. The amount of people that will have to use this bus will increase dramatically with both students and Science Complex employees. Harvard should approach MBTA and subsidize this route and/or come up with a solution. Also the Harvard shuttles own by Harvard should increase their frequency and should be open for free to North Allston neighbors showing proof of residency.

4)

is forcing all businesses to move out from Allston. At the same time Harvard is exempt and will be exempt from paying taxes. Is the City of Boston going to seek the money that is loosing by increasing the property taxes of the long time residents of North Allston? As one resident and person paying taxes on my property I am deeply concerned about this subject.

5)

digging is safe for our houses. I don’t want my foundation to start moving and developing cracks. Also rodents control is very important. I don’t want sewer rats and other animals running through my back yard and my garden.

6)

walk and take care of errands. Among proposed businesses in the Western Ave area and in the Science Building is not enough to have coffee shops and similar venues for students. We _the neighbors_ need to have dry-cleaners, grocery stores, flower shops, newspaper stands, bakery… It needs to be safe both for pedestrians, and for bikers. And most importantly for our children.

Property taxes: The City of Boston is going to lose a lot of revenue from taxes since Harvard

Safety during digging/rodents control: Harvard needs to offer guarantee that all drilling and

Walking neighborhood: This neighborhood wants to keep its identity. We want to be able to

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Thanks very much. If you have any questions and/or comments do nt hesitate to contact me by e-mail at home100@copmcast.net or by phone at (617) 275-5567. Sincerely,

Blanca Lain

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From: Priscilla Anderson [panderson@hbs.edu] Sent: Monday, November 27, 2006 1:06 PM To: Autler, Gerald Subject: Harvard University PNF comments

November 14, 2006

Gerald Autler Boston Redevelopment Authority One City Hall Square, 9th Floor Boston, MA 02201

Dear Mr. Autler:

I would like to submit some specific comments in response to the Project Notification Form recently

submitted by Harvard University for its Science Complex. I understand that it is a preliminary planning document and that it refers only to the Science Complex (not to the whole master plan), so my comments are limited to that scope. As you stated in the last HATF meeting (11/13/06), your response will ask for more information, further studies, and clarifications. I hope these thoughts

may be useful to you in writing that response.

I am a home-owner in the neighborhood, a parent of a small child, and an employee of the Harvard

Business School. As a Harvard employee, I have participated tangentially in two other construction projects at Harvard, and I’m familiar with the kind of struggles Harvard has with the residential communities it abuts. Unlike some of my neighbors, I do not view Harvard as an enemy, but I do want to make sure that the residents’ needs, rights, and preferences are taken into account when Harvard does its planning. As a parent, I want to do everything in my power to ensure that my child’s neighborhood is a safe and friendly place to grow up.

1. I’d like to see a more exact street plan for the streets bordering the Science Complex, both during

construction and after occupancy. It has been implied but never explicitly stated that Windom Street will become a dead end (I am in favor of this, but I’d like to see it on the plans). I want to see how pedestrians and cyclists from the Windom/Hopedale street area might still be able to access Western Ave. I would like Harvard to ensure that my neighbors and I have access by foot both during construction and after occupancy, since Western Ave and the #70 bus are major transportation routes.

2. During construction, Harvard plans to have its construction trucks go over the Cambridge Street

overpass (speed limit 40mph!), then make a very tight right/U-turn into their property off of Windom Street, then turn immediately left onto the theoretical Allston Way. I think this is a bad idea because: 1. a heavy truck could tip over doing a tight U-turn at high speed; 2. It will cause even worse

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congestion at the intersection of Windom and Cambridge than there already is due to increased truck traffic; 3. Running trucks close behind two blocks of Windom Street houses every morning at 7am is sure to annoy those residents. I’d like to suggest that Harvard look at alternate routes for its construction trucks, especially Western Avenue to Hague Street, or perhaps using the now un-used connector between the Mass Pike ramp (near Genzyme) and Hague street along the truck yard property. This would keep unnecessary noise, dust, and disturbance out of our quiet residential neighborhood, and would do a lot to improve the abutters’ feelings toward Harvard’s construction projects.

3. Construction workers need to carry heavy tools and equipment, they often drive long distances to

get to the jobsite, and therefore they should not be expected to ride public transportation or to pay for parking when they get to the site. Harvard should provide free, convenient parking for them so they don’t clog our narrow neighborhood streets with their large vehicles during construction. I support restricted parking in our neighborhood, but this will take years to accomplish, so Harvard

should take effective steps to mitigate the parking problem during construction.

4. I’m concerned about public protests, both legal and illegal, against the stem cell research building.

In August 2004, a pipe bomb exploded at a stem cell research facility in Watertown. There have been numerous protests at biotech firms around the country. I’d like to know that Harvard’s security plan for this building includes ways to keep protesters away from the neighborhood side of the Complex. And I’d like to see the plans take into account the possibility of explosions (either illegal or accidental), constructing the building so that toxic chemicals are not released into the neighborhood’s air.

5. I’d like Harvard to specify which portions of the Science Complex will be publicly accessible (the

document is quite vague, with lots of “maybe” language). Specifically, I’d be grateful for public access to all outdoor green spaces and to at least one of the “winter gardens”, and a couple of slots in the daycare center slated reserved for neighborhood children.

6. There was no mention in the document about geothermal heating/drilling, although at other

presentations Harvard has suggested that this is how it intends to heat/cool this building. The plans do indicate four floors of below-ground space. I’d like to see a study of the potential impacts on the neighborhood from drilling, digging, blasting, or whatever they have to do in order to remove such large quantities of earth.

7. Regarding biological research, I would like Harvard to publicly specify what if any highly toxic/

contagious substances will be used or studied in this facility. Although I’m confident that Harvard’s staff will handle and dispose of such things legally, accidents do happen and I think we have a right to know what we may be exposed to. I applaud Harvard’s effort to make the building as sustainable as possible, but I’m also concerned that the ventilation systems might release toxic fumes and dusts

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into the neighborhood air. I’d like to see both particulate and solvent-level filtration of any air that is being returned to the neighborhood.

8. The loading dock and other noisy/smelly facilities have been located in the southern building,

closest to the residential area of the neighborhood. Harvard should consider moving these activities at least to the eastern side. If not, I’d like to see studies of noise and air quality impact, and what Harvard will do to mitigate those problems.

9. Drainage along Windom Street in the area currently adjacent to the large WGBH parking lot has

always been a problem. Will Science Complex construction take up the task of improving this?

10. Regarding improving public transportation, Harvard stated last night that the MBTA will be

unlikely to modify existing bus routes to accommodate the Science Complex staff. In order for Harvard to carry through on it’s commitment to increase public transportation use, I’d like to see concrete plans for more Harvard shuttle buses going to this area from Harvard Square and Central Square, and not just during rush hours. The current shuttle system (I’m now speaking as a Harvard employee) is quite inadequate in serving the HBS campus, since it does not run all day long. To build some good will with the residential community, I suggest that these shuttles also be accessible to the public.

11. I’d like to see a detailed timetable of when Harvard proposes to begin demolition and

construction. Other presentations have suggested that they plan to begin demolition in April of 2007

(only four months from now). Does Harvard need approval of this Project Notification Form plan before they begin demolition? If so, then that is a frighteningly ambitious timetable, and makes me suspicious that Harvard is moving too quickly for the neighborhood to have adequate response. If not, then is there a separate approval process for demolition? Is that plan available to the public?

I also have two procedural questions not specifically related to the PNF:

A. When studies are done to document traffic, noise, air quality, etc, does Harvard choose and pay

for those consultants? If so, what in this process guarantees that this data is interpreted objectively?

B. I would like to know when public meetings will be held regarding the amendments to the Master

Plan that Harvard plans to submit later this year. As you could see from the community turn-out at the last HATF meeting, there are a lot of people interested in participating in this process. We would like to have ample time to review the documents that Harvard submits, then be informed of future meetings with enough time to hire babysitters, etc.

Thank you for your attention to these few of the many details that I’m sure your job requires.

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Sincerely,

Priscilla Anderson 30 Windom St Allston MA 02134 617.254.3132 phone Email: panderson32@hotmail.com

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From: Jon Holmes [jonholmes@rcn.com] Sent: Monday, November 13, 2006 12:13 AM To: Autler, Gerald Subject: Public comment on Harvard PNG of October 27, 2006

November 12, 2006

Gerald Autler Boston Redevelopment Authority One City Hall Square, 9th Floor Boston, MA 02201 gerald.autler.bra@cityofboston.gov

Dear Mr. Autler:

Jon Holmes 29 Hopedale Street Allston, MA 02134-1212 (617) 987-2123 jonholmes@rcn.com

I appreciate this opportunity to comment on the most recent version of Harvard University’s plans for our

neighborhood. As you know from my previous comments I am distressed with the historical dishonesty of the university’s approach, the paucity of actual planning reflected in their documents and the reactionary attitude they have shown to community comments and suggestions.

My conclusion from the most recent Project Notification Form (PNF) of October 27 and the endless hours I have spent listening to their ever-changing positions expressed in community forums is that Harvard has no plan at all. The BRA should refuse to accept this PNF as an amendment to their current Institutional Master Plan (IMP).

Instead BRA should hold Harvard to the same standards as other developers. If BRA has a process that demands

a ten-year plan, then Harvard should project its activities for the next ten years and let the community judge what

kind of neighbor they propose to become. We already know what kind of neighbor they have been so far. In addition, any proposed IMP for North Allston—and Task Force supervision—must include all of Harvard’s holdings, including the stadium, athletic facilities, office space and retail which BRA has so far refused to include.

Specific to the PNF, I have these questions and comments:

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Cover Page

Harvard referred to this project as a “science building” up until the Harvard Allston Task Force (TF) meeting of April 26, 2006, when it was revealed to be a “Science Complex”. Even that is disingenuous, since only a couple of sciences will be pursued in this site. Perhaps it could more properly be called a “cloning complex”, since that is the research to be carried on there.

No doubt the actual naming rights will belong to a major donor (or four donors for four buildings), according to a process as convoluted as that by which the Kennedy School and its buildings have been named.

1.3.1

Ø

This PNF states that “Harvard’s Allston campus contains approximately 140

acres”. This is a gross understatement of the extent of Harvard’s holdings in North Allston, much of which has been acquired by stealth using shell companies and duplicitous individuals over the years. The neighborhood needs to know exactly what properties are in their hands and their plans for those properties.

Ø

Harvard’s description of the neighborhood fails to consider or characterize

many retail facilities, though there are, of course, fewer now that Harvard has used its power to buy up so many and shut them down as a way to pressure the holdouts into selling at lower prices.

Ø

Other than a mention of “residential areas”, the PNF does not mention the

people who live here or the property values their actions to date have impacted.

Ø

When the PNF says “the Project provides the opportunity to provide publicly

accessible open spaces”, we are left to wonder what those might be. Certainly they are not described in this document.

Ø

Harvard’s arrogance is clear in the PNF statement that the Project will “provide

a mix of uses more suitable to neighboring residential areas than what currently exists”. Beyond the fact that they have created the wasteland that currently exists, who are they to determine what we think is more suitable?

1.4

The Project Summary is incomplete, listing a cafeteria but not mentioning other proposed facilities. Rumor has it that there will be a restaurant and a tavern on the site.

The interesting thing is that, while Harvard’s April IMPNF page 12 proposes “a new four- to-six story science complex of approximately 500,000 square feet on an approximately six- acre parcel of land”, we are now faced with 6% more development on a lot that is 27% smaller. The buildings, although the PNF never says so except in pictures, have now doubled in height to eight storys at an impressive 125 feet.

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1.5.1

As one of the “long-time residents seeking to remain in the neighborhood”, I am concerned that Harvard is making that impossible for us all. I have seen nothing from the city that alleviates our concerns that gentrification associated with this and other Harvard projects will force us out.

When they talk about “newly-arrived members of the Harvard community” and then say “the Project does not directly impact housing”. Certainly the bulldozers they intend to run through Charlesview will do that job, even if that is not covered in this narrow peek at their plans. What else do they consider “more suitable”?

1.6

While Harvard intends to “envision opportunities”, we in the neighborhood would like to know the approximate cash value of the naming rights for these buildings and the ratio to their annual payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT).

Harvard now characterizes the Harvard Allston Task Force as the IMP Task Force.

1.7

Harvard is disingenuous its description of “a long history of community consultation”, starting its description in the mid-1980s. Few in the neighborhood would characterize the relationship that way, either before or after that date. Most would call it a bald lie.

1.8.3

Harvard expects 1,000 construction jobs and 800 new permanent jobs at the Complex. The City says that between 1998 and 2003 Allston lost one in every five jobs—and two-thirds of our higher-paying manufacturing jobs. That’s 2,282 citizens displaced, with their families placed at hazard. Harvard certainly bears some responsibility for that, yet there is no mention of a single new job being reserved for the affected residents.

1.8.5

Harvard describes the Complex courtyard as “not technically part of the public realm”. If that is so, then where are the “publicly accessible open spaces” mentioned at 1.3.1?

2.2.2

Harvard, at 2.1, lists six fine-sounding principles of urban design. Here, however, they say they say they will be “guided by the five urban design principles discussed above”. What are we to make of this? Are they committed to living by most but refusing to define the one they will skip? Or did they just whip out this latest set of principles to buffalo Boston into thinking they have an actual plan?

They also claim that they have designed according to “the principles of the NANSP”, the North Allston Neighborhood Strategic Plan, which the BRA has already violated with its permitting of the Lincoln Street storage warehouse. Apparently none of these “principles” actually have much glue holding them together.

Then they try to convince us that the courtyard is “publicly accessible but quieter and more intimate than a public park”, though that remains to be seen. They speak of “open connecting spaces at the exterior edges of the parcel” when in actuality, because of the elevated connecting ramps between buildings, only 10% of the exterior edges will actually be open to the sky—and only along Western Avenue. Once again they intend to “extend” what they call the “spatial character of Harvard’s yards” by circling the Voortrekker wagons to keep out the community where they live.

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Table 2-2

The Anticipated Review Processes table makes no mention of applying for liquor licenses or event licenses.

2.5.1

Harvard is careful to point out that this Project use is not allowed within the Allston Landing North Economic Development Area, governed by Article 51 of the Boston Zoning Code. They are careful to list the permitted height (80 feet compared to their 125-foot plan) and floor-area-ratio limits but not that they are in violation. They do claim that once the amendment is allowed they will be free to violate all current Area zoning codes.

3.1.2

What “off-road bike accessibility” is proposed on North Harvard Street? Do they propose to tear down their own buildings, eliminate the sidewalks or reduce the public traffic lanes like they did for the bus stops?

3.1.3

Apparently Harvard people don’t take the bus and do not contribute to the fact that “the Number 66 bus is frequently at capacity and running late morning and evening. Nor, we must suppose, will any of the 1,000 Complex employees, the students and visitors take the bus or “require an increase in the MBTA service”. Instead, Harvard will add new shuttles, bus service and van service for their exclusive use and yet “vehicle-trips along the… roadway are expected to be reduced”.

3.1.4

Harvard lists seven benefits of reducing auto trips and lists programs already in place which will magically eliminate those future trips. The only concrete changes they propose are sheltered bicycle parking, more shuttles, more carpool parking signs, bus shelters at the remaining stops possible additional Zip Car parking spaces. The result of Harvard’s development and its additional traffic will actually lead to the opposite of their benefits:

more neighborhood and regional traffic impacts, more pollution, degraded street life, increased energy consumption, more investment in parking facilities and less integration of the Project into the surrounding area.

3.1.5

The April IMPNF proposes “an underground parking garage with spaces for approximately 1,300 vehicles”, which “will not result in a significant change in traffic generation or parking demand”. Now we are told that 500-700 spaces will do the same job.

Harvard’s numbers say their “automobile mode share” in Allston is 59%. If we assume an honest 1,000 employees, plus students, graduate students, contract employees, conference attendees, museum goers, performing arts rehearsers, service, maintenance and deliveries, and employees and shoppers in the proposed retail uses, this cannot possibly be adequate— especially when we realize that this does not include the museum and arts rehearsal buildings proposed previously but forgotten in this PNF.

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3.1.7

Table 3-2 purports that 1,000 new employees plus all the other new traffic mentioned above will amount to only 2,770 daily automobile trips, entering and leaving. But the most astonishing projection of all is that, according to Table 3-3, these trips, minus the displaced workers at WGBH, will actually result in 243 fewer net new trips daily on the Allston streets. It is easy to believe that Harvard is less in need of a Science Complex than a math department. Perhaps figures don’t lie after all.

p. 3-14

The map, containing the only ingress/egress data in the report, is unreadable. Since it doesn’t state whether this is current or projected, perhaps it is merely meaningless.

3.1.10

Harvard proposes to mitigate construction and contractor employee vehicle impact by renting off-street parking to the construction workers, making MBTA schedules available and giving them access to bike racks and showers at an unidentified location. Anyone who has tried to park or drive on Windom Street or Western Avenue during previous Harvard projects knows that this is either disingenuous or foolish.

3.2.6

Harvard states, “The Project site does not contain any wetlands”. The reason that is true is that Harvard bulldozed, filled and paved over the wetlands during construction of the Harvard Business School. The PNF does not address the present run-off disaster caused by the Business School lots.

3.2.8.1

Harvard makes no commitment to a percentage of wastes to be recycled.

3.2.8.2

The City of Boston’s experience with Boston University biological research facilities makes it clear that hazardous waste regulations are honored most often in their breach, that the regulations themselves are toothless and no one pays for violating them.

3.2.13

Yet another set of Harvard principles claims that the Project will lead to “increasing the diversity of native species. We want to see how that will happen.

They claim that they are committed to “developing tools” to analyze sustainability and support responsible decision-making. We want to know what those tools are, how they have been applied to this Project and what changes resulted.

They claim to be “encouraging environmental inquiry and institutional learning”. We want to know which life sciences faculty have worked on the Project, the forms of support they have received from Harvard and the results they have achieved.

Eventually in that section Harvard says that, while the principles are in place, they have not yet devised any guidelines for their Green Campus initiative and have no goals or metrics to measure progress toward them. Nor, they say, will they be complete before the DPIR for the Complex is filed.

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3.5.1

Apparently our sewers, energy systems and water supply are inadequate (no surprise to a North Allston resident). We understand the detriment to Harvard’s abutters and neighbors as streets are torn up to replace these systems. Two questions: will the community be upgraded to the city’s codes at the same time; and will Harvard pay for this work in PILOT?

3.5.2.2

Projections of sewage creation are fine, but will Harvard have actual usage measurement to gauge future efforts?

3.5.2.3

At 3.5.2.2 Harvard says “the Project will generate approximately 62,000 gallons per day of sewage. Here it says “new wastewater flows exceeding 15,000 gallons per day”. Which is correct? Is one subsumed within the other?

3.5.3.1

Hydrant flow tests, like traffic and many other metrics, are not complete and could significantly imperil the community. Many are not even scheduled for data collection before this project begins construction in April. This community has burned extensively before and has less fire service now than it did then. Shouldn’t we have at least the public safety planning complete before Harvard is unleashed?

3.5.4

What mitigation is intended for the stormwater runoff from the current Harvard Business School parking lots?

Many in this neighborhood are saddened, worried and even angry at Harvard’s failure to plan adequately and constant shifting of positions that have huge impacts on our lives, safety and property values. We are also concerned about the response of the BRA, which seems firmly on the developers’ side and against the community.

Harvard does not deserve an extension of their current IMP. No new projects should be approved until the community can see and be satisfied with what Harvard plans for the next decade. This is about the money or it is about the people. Either we have a legitimate ten-year IMP process or the whole BRA system is just another institutional PR scheme.

Finally, it is hard for us to participate in these hundreds of hours of meetings. We are volunteers in the community, not hired guns. We don’t like being shouted down in meetings, and we are sick of the disrespect shown by government and university. Please help us make this a better neighborhood by demanding a fair and open process where everyone is heard.

Thank you for this opportunity to comment.

Sincerely,

Jon Holmes

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From: Kate Chen [kate_chen@harvard.edu] Sent: Thursday, November 16, 2006 2:51 PM To: Autler, Gerald Subject: Re: Harvard IMP/Science Complex/Task Force Updates Dear Mr. Autler -

I would like to comment on the traffic plan for the new science complex. It is unclear to me from the plan where vehicles will enter the science complex parking garage. Current traffic, unrelated to WGBH employee traffic, has a tendency already to cut through our neighborhood on Seattle and Windom Street to avoid the traffic lights on Western, Cambridge, and North Harvard. Seattle is a very small, narrow street, even more so than Windom, and must not be part of any plans to reroute traffic or construction vehicles. One-way Hopedale Street already suffers from "short-cutters" speeding the wrong way down it, posing a threat to residents, other drivers, and the many children who live in the neighborhood.

Hopefully any entrance to the garage will be located off a large street, whether an existing one, or a new one, and not in the middle of our neighborhood. Also, construction rucks cannot be allowed to pass past residential houses. the noise of construction trucks is unbearable and literally shakes the foundations of the older homes in this neighborhood. I urge you to consider having trucks also enter via large non- residential routes.

Our neighborhood is full of elderly couples who have lived here there whole lives, and new young families (like mine) moving in to establish roots. Without these residents, the neighborhood will turn into the Allston that exists on the other side of Comm. Ave - a noisy, student renters haven of pizza places and nightclubs. This will not serve Harvard's purpose of create an inviting community for researchers, faculty, neighbors, and Harvard students alike. You need to not only keep the families that are here, but encourage more families, faculty, and staff to move here as it evolves into a viable community.

Thank you - Kate Chen

At 02:31 PM 11/15/2006, you wrote:

Thank you for your interest in the Harvard's planning and development in Allston. This e-mail list has been developed to keep you informed of future meetings, updates, and other items of interest.

First, please note that the comment period on the Science Complex Project Notification Form has been extended until Friday, December 15. Please submit written comments by that date to me at the address at the bottom of this message. Comments may be sent in hard copy or by e- mail. Remember, the most useful comments are those that are focused on specific issues about this building that can be addressed by the Scoping Determination, which will set forth the analysis and information that Harvard will need to provide as part of its Draft Project Impact Report on the

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Science Complex. Many of the questions posed at Monday evening's meeting will be answered in the Institutional Master Plan filings that Harvard will be making in December and January, and there will be other opportunities to look at the larger planning issues.

The Project Notification Form, along with other information about the planning efforts and process to date, is available on the BRA's website at:

http://www.ci.boston.ma.us/bra/Planning/PlanningInitsIndividual.asp?

action=ViewInit&InitID=115

Hard copies are available for viewing at the BRA and at the Honan-Allston Library. Some copies will also be made available at the library for interested persons to take home.

The Task Force meeting schedule is posted on the website above. The schedule of meetings through March is as follows:

November 29

December 11

January 8

January 24

February 12

February 28

March 12

March 28

Unless otherwise noted, all meetings will be held 6:30-8:30 at the Honan-Allston Library. All meetings are subject to cancellation or change.

In addition to the regular Task Force meetings, at which public attendance and participation is welcome but which have specific agendas, we plan to hold informational/update meetings and workshops beginning in January in order to ensure that the broader community has opportunities to view and discuss all the information submitted in a comprehensive manner.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.

Regards,

Gerald Autler, Senior Project Manager/Planner Boston Redevelopment Authority One City Hall Square Boston, MA 02201

P: 617.918.4438 F: 617.742.7783

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The substance of this message, including any attachments, may be confidential, legally privileged and/or exempt from disclosure pursuant to Massachusetts law. It is intended solely for the addressee. If you received this in error, please contact the sender and delete the material from any computer.

Kate Chen 46 Hopedale Street Allston, MA 02134

h: 617-782-7506

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Comment on the Harvard University Project Notification Form for the Harvard Allston Science Complex

December 1, 2006 Harry Mattison

Harvard’s development in Allston offers great opportunities for Harvard, the North Allston Neighborhood, and the City of Boston. For all three of these parties to share the benefits of this first project and Harvard’s future growth, there must be openness and clarity around this project and past promises must be honored.

The proposed project conflicts with past agreements made with the City and the Allston community Published in 2004, the North Allston Strategic Framework for Planning (NASFP) was the product of four years of collaborative effort by Allston residents, the City of Boston, and Harvard University. The Science Complex Project Notification Form (PNF) describes this project as being consistent with the NASFP. While there are areas of agreement, the proposed project is directly opposed to the Framework in several ways. These conflicts must be discussed so all parties are confident that the goals of the Framework - a strong residential neighborhood, a vibrant area of economic activity, and an exciting hub of intellectual teaching and research - are not compromised. The Allston community understands that the Framework will not be precisely followed, but deviations such as those proposed by Harvard in this PNF deserve collaboration between Allston residents, the City, and Harvard. A decision by Harvard alone that these aspects of the Framework no longer apply is not acceptable.

The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) said the following in its June 15 Scoping Determination of the Harvard University Allston Campus Institutional Master Plan Amendment:

“The overriding criteria that the BRA will apply to its review of the IMP Amendment is the degree to which the Proposed Projects are consistent with existing neighborhood planning principles, the degree to which they are seen to fit into a broader plan for the Allston campus, and the degree to which they expand, reduce, or maintain planning options.” The NASPF is the clearest and most recent statement of existing neighborhood planning principles. Therefore the Scoping Determination for the Science Complex must instruct Harvard to modify its plans for the Science Complex to resolve these conflicts with the NASFP. Without these modifications the IMP Amendment and this project cannot move forward.

1)

Building Height – The NASFP establishes a height limit of 95 feet at the site of the proposed Science Complex. The Science Complex PNF proposes buildings 125 and 110 feet tall.

2)

Roads and vehicular circulation – The NASFP proposes a system of city blocks very different than what is in the Science Center PNF. New local streets must match the NASFP’s vision of smaller city blocks that create a pedestrian-friendly environment. Harvard’s proposed extended Rena Street and Stadium Way are straight-shot roads that are more engineering and vehicle oriented.

North Allston Strategic Framework for Planning

that are more engineering and vehicle oriented. North Allston Strategic Framework for Planning Science Complex Proposal

Science Complex Proposal

that are more engineering and vehicle oriented. North Allston Strategic Framework for Planning Science Complex Proposal

3)

Connections to the Charles River are a key theme to the NASPF. The NASFP proposes a “river walk” promenade as a tree-lined extension from Cambridge Street along Windom Street, through Harvard’s existing campus to Smith Field. The proposed location of the Science Complex, the proposed new road (Stadium Way) and the lack of any mention of the River Walk suggest that Harvard has quietly rejected this important feature of the NASFP.

River Walk

4)

A portion of the science complex site and the proposed new road (Stadium Way) are in the Allston Landing North Special Study Area defined by the NASFP. This study has not started

and no development should happen in this area until the study is completed.

Allston Landing North Special Study Area

5)

The NASFP identified this location as a potential site for graduate student housing, not for a 500,000 square foot science complex.

Land Use

not for a 500,000 square foot science complex. Land Use Science complex New roads River Walk

Science

complex

New roads

River Walk

complex. Land Use Science complex New roads River Walk Allston Landing North Special Study Area Public

Allston

Landing

North Special

Study Area

roads River Walk Allston Landing North Special Study Area Public Spaces When creating new amenities as

Public Spaces When creating new amenities as part of their upcoming projects, how can Harvard design and program these spaces so that both Harvard-affiliated people and Allston residents can benefit from these resources? What are the pros and cons for Harvard-affiliates and Allston residents of creating these as "secondary" uses in a science building instead of creating larger, dedicated facilities such as a day care, fitness, etc.?

Please provide a complete and unambiguous list of the parts of the building and site that will be open to the public. The PNF says “the project will include various public amenities, which may include commercial and retail space, a science exhibit space, and a cafeteria.” Can the public have access to the roof gardens, bar, and restaurant?

Public Safety Using the Center for Disease Control’s 1-4 scale, what will be the Biosafety Level of the facility?

What is Harvard’s plan for managing protests that will likely given the controversial nature of the stem-cell research and animal experimentation proposed for the site? Will Harvard reimburse the city for protest-related police expenses? How will police response to protest activity not dilute police protection and response for the rest of the neighborhood? Will there be a designated area where protests will be allowed?

The Allston community needs a description of what will happen as part of this project Throughout the PNF are conditional words such as “may”, “might”, “could”, and other terms that give an impression of a certain result but give no assurances abo ut what Harvard will actually do. These terms do not give the community confidence that Harvard’s project will meet the expectations that Harvard implies throughout the PNF. Below are examples of such statements, all of which Harvard needs to clarify. In cases where Harvard is unable to state with certainty what will happen, contingency plans should be offered or the report should discuss the various situations that could lead to a range of outcomes.

1. The Project

2. While not technically part of the public realm, the Project also includes the creation of a central

may
may

generate chemical, biomedical, radiological, and infectious wastes

courtyard between the buildings that make up the Science Complex. This new space publicly accessible

is intended to be

3. Land uses include: WGBH offices and parking (which, as noted previously,

4. Vehicular access to the on-site parking and loading facilities will be from a newly built extension of

should
should

be vacated in 2007),

Rena Street, which will be constructed along the southerly edge of the site and

Street to a proposed street presently referred to as Stadium Way on the easterly edge.

might
might

connect Travis

5. The following buildings currently occupy the site and

may
may

be vacated and demolished to enable the

Science Complex to proceed…

6. Although the Science Complex has sufficient public transportation access for commuters, the University

intends to
intends to

provide supplemental transit services to enhance connectivity between Allston and

Cambridge and Allston and the Longwood Medical Area

7. The Project will include various public amenities, which science exhibit space, and a cafeteria.

8. It is anticipated that construction of the Project increased height.

may
may

include commercial and retail space, a

may
may

increase daylight obstruction values due to

Demolition of Existing Buildings Section 1.3.3 of the PNF lists buildings that may be demolished as part of this project. In future filings for this and other projects, a land parcel map should be included. The parcel ID # and size in square feet should be given for each building and parcel. All street addresses listed should be consistent with Boston’s online assessing database (http://www.cityofboston.gov/assessing/search/). For example, a building at 118 Western Ave is listed for possible demolition in the PNF but that address is not in the City’s database.

The lot area for this project is approximately 200,000 square feet. The total size of the lots where buildings are listed for possible demolition is greater than 500,000. Therefore more than 300,000 square feet (7 acres) of demolished and vacated space might be created around the project site.

Harvard needs to detail specifically what buildings will be demolished, justify all demolition beyond the boundaries of the project site, explain what will be done with this land during and after construction of this project and how this will not detract from the quality of life for Allston residents.

The demolition on these sites should be considered an “institutional use” and these sites should be included in the Institutional Master Plan Amendment before this project can proceed.

168

WESTERN AV

73,133

156

WESTERN AV

15,000

28 TRAVIS ST

273,954

100 WINDOM ST

67,093

140

WESTERN AV

89,756

148

WESTERN AV

26,279

TOTAL

545,215

Location of proposed demolition shown in gray
Location of proposed
demolition shown in gray

Improve distribution of information about this project and future projects

Everyone in the North Allston community should be given ample opportunity to understand these projects.

1)

Many people in North Allston do not read English. Project documentation and notifications should be available in a variety of languages.

2)

It takes hours to review these documents to understand the proposed projects. Having only non- circulating copies of the project documentation at the Honan Library is not sufficient.

3)

A 32 megabyte file cannot be realistically accessed by people with dial-up internet connections

4)

The current websites with information about this project are a combination of incomplete, hard to find, and hard to understand

(http://www.cityofboston.gov/bra/Planning/PlanningInitsIndividual.asp?action=ViewInit&InitID=115 and

http://www.allston.harvard.edu/). The public should have access to a simple, clear, and frequently updated website that explains deadlines for public comment, an overview of the regulatory process, and the projects and plans under consideration.

5)

Current technology makes it easy for Harvard to share rich, three-dimensional information about their proposed projects. The software needed to view this information is freely

The software needed to view this information is freely Three-dimensional model of Boylston Street viewed with

Three-dimensional model of Boylston Street viewed with Google Earth software

available to the public. In fact, downtown Boston has already been modeled and can be viewed in the Google Earth software as shown here. Computer models of Harvard’s planned buildings already exist, but they are not being shared with the public. Harvard should create a model of the existing North Allston neighborhood and make it, and models of their proposed projects, available to the public for review.

http://earth.google.com

Building Height Please provide information about the heights of other buildings in North Allston that most closely match the height of the four proposed buildings. Please provide the height measurements of these buildings, side-by-side elevation drawings or photographs made to scale, and a discussion of each building’s set-back from the sidewalk and other design considerations that affect the perception of their height and visual impact.

The current plan has the tallest buildings on Western Ave and the shorter buildings further from the street. Please discuss the pros and cons of having shorter buildings on Western Ave and taller buildings on the south side of the site. This approach has the benefit of reduci ng the Science Complex’s height impact on the Western Ave public realm. It does bring taller buildings closer to the Hopedale St neighborhood but the impact of these taller buildings could be buffered by future development. Please provide 3D drawings and elevation views such as those below to help us collectively evaluate these two options.

Western Ave Science Future Hopedale St Western Ave Science Future Hopedale St Complex Development neighborhood
Western Ave
Science
Future
Hopedale St
Western Ave
Science
Future
Hopedale St
Complex
Development
neighborhood
Complex
Development
neighborhood

Parking and Transportation How will Harvard insure that there is no adverse parki ng effect on the nearby residential neighborhood? This

explanation should cover the construction of this project and after the project is complete. This analysis should include:

1. Harvard employees, staff, faculty, and students

2. Employees of other companies to whom Harvard may outsource operation of the restaurant, fitness center, coffee shop, etc.

3. Workers who will perform landscaping, cleaning and other regular maintenance

4. Visitors to the facility

5. Conference attendees

Please provide specific numbers for each of these groups and any other applicable groups that show how the parking capacity of 500 will not be exceeded.

What does Harvard expect to charge for parking? Will members of the public unaffiliated with the Science Complex be allowed to park there? If not, what mechanism will Harvard use to enforce this policy? If so, how might this result in a lack of parking capacity for users of the Science Complex?

The PNF states that Harvard will provide “off-street parking at market rates for construction workers.” What is “market rate”? Why does Harvard expect workers will pay for parking when there is unrestricted, free parking in the adjacent residential neighborhood?

Section 3.1.4 of the PNF states that “The Science Complex has targeted an automobile mode share of 50 percent, which is expected to be achievable by continuing the current TDM program and improving the pedestrian, bicycle, and public transit networks to/from the Science Complex.” What room for error is there is in this mode share target? For example, what if the actual automobile mode share is 60%? How will the Science Complex’s parking capacity and the area’s transportation network handle such a scenario? In reality, mode share will vary from day-to-day and across seasons as the Boston weather makes walking or bicycling more or less feasible. The mode share and parking capacity assumptions should therefore use a range of numbers to consider weather conditions ranging from a warm, sunny day when more people will walk or bicycle to a cold, rainy day when cars will be the preferred method of transportation for many.

According to the PNF, the automobile mode share by Harvard’s Allston employees is currently 59 percent. Please provide a mode share percentage specific to Harvard’s employees at Teele Hall and 219 Western Ave, as these locations are most comparable to the Science Center site. Mode share data for existing Allston employees should also be provided by job type (faculty, staff, student) and a job type breakdown for the Science Complex should be provided, as people at different employment levels may be more or less likely to use public transportation.

Please also provide detailed information about the improvements planned for the pedestrian, bicycle, and public transit networks. These improvements should consider that Harvard currently rates the Larz Anderson Bridge and much of North Harvard Street as a “less suitable” bicycle route

(http://www.commuterchoice.harvard.edu/bike_racks_and_routes3.pdf).

What types of traffic calming are appropriate for Windom Street and other nearby streets to reduce cut-through traffic and other negative impacts of the increase in traffic that this project and the build-out of Western Ave will cause?

Please discuss the pros and cons of having access to the parki ng garage on the east side of the building instead of on the south side.

Stadium Way

What negotiations have been held in an effort to eliminate the “temporary” configuration of the road near the end of Hopedale Street? For how many years is this “temporary” configuration expected to be used?

Harvard should provide a noise impact study for residents of Charlesview and the residents of Seattle, Hopedale, Amboy, and Windom Streets. This study should predict the noise impact both at ground level

and 30 feet above the ground (top floor of a 3 story house) at the back lot lines of the houses on the east side of Windom Street and other locations where vehicle or construction noise will be at a maximum. Values should be provided for L 10 and L eq between the weekday hours of 8 AM and 5 PM. Comparisons to the existing noise level should be included.

Please provide 60 foot turning radius diagrams for Stadium Way at Cambridge Street, Western Ave, and the entrance to the parking garage.

If tree planting is planned as part of any mitigation, please include information on the species of tree, tree height at the time of planting, and a detailed planting and maintenance plan.

Please provide a traffic volume report estimating the number of vehicles per hour estimates during morning, afternoon, evening, and nighttime hours. Breakdowns by vehicle type should be included due to the difference in noise generated by heavy trucks (3+ axles), medium trucks (vehicles with 2 axles and 6 wheels), and cars. All data should include estimates for the period of Science Complex construction and after building occupancy.

Please provide an air pollution impact study predicting the affect the Stadium Way vehicle traffic will have on the residents of Windom Street. This should include all pollutants regulated by the federal government.

Proposed Conference Center The PNF includes a 40,000 sq ft conference center. How many seats will there be in this center? How often will conferences be held? What will the parking and traffic impact on the surrounding area be when conferences are held in addition to the regular uses of the facility? Can members of the public rent the facility for non- Harvard related functions?

Animal Storage for Experimentation How many of each species of animal will the vivarium facility be capable of storing?

Construction Staging and Material Storage Where will construction staging occur? Where will buildi ng materials be stored after they are brought to the site? Where will demolition debris be stored before it is removed from the site? Please provide photographs from comparable construction projects or other means to describe the appearance of these areas.

Construction Mitigation What types of construction mitigation are appropriate? For example, sound barrier walls to visually screen the entire site and block noise from reaching the residences to the south and north, tree planting and landscaping around the perimeter of the construction site, grants to neighbors to purchase sound-proof windows to minimize the noise impact of the construction, etc.

Construction of this project will necessarily discourage cars, bicyclists, and pedestrians from using Western Ave. This will force North Allston’s other main arteries to handle additional traffic load. Harvard should undertake a comprehensive study of feasible short-term improvements and implement mitigation measures

before construction starts on the Science Complex site. These measures should include, but not be limited to:

1)

North Harvard Street

a. Repave the street and replace sidewalks north of Western Ave

b. Work with the City of Boston Transportation Department to decrease the number of unregulated on-street parking spaces to facilitate the movement of cars and bicyclists

2)

Everett Street - Rebuild the street with concrete sidewalks and granite curbs

3)

Cambridge Street

a.

Safety improvements for pedestrians and bicyclists and roadway enhancements to increase the

4)

efficient flow of traffic including realignment of the eastbound traffic lanes between Windom Street and Soldiers Field Road to eliminate the right-hand lane drop and merge near the Soldiers Field Road intersection. Franklin Street - Traffic calming and safety improvements near the intersection with North Harvard St

5)

Lincoln Street – Traffic calming and safety improvements

Construction Schedule What is Harvard’s intended schedule to start demolition of the existing buildings? How many years is construction scheduled to last, from the first demolition to the opening of the facility? Please provide as mush detail as possible.

Opportunities for Permanent Employment How many jobs will this project create that will not require a specialized graduate degree? For example, please specify the number of laboratory technicians, cleaning staff, secretarial staff, janitorial staff, landscapers, etc. How can Allston residents be given preference for these jobs?

Opportunities for Construction Employment How can Allston residents be given preference for jobs during the construction of the facility?

Opportunities for Temporary Employment What opportunities will be created for summer internships or other temporary jobs with educational and training potential? How can Allston residents be given preference for these opportunities?

Anticipated Review Processes, Permits and Approvals Table 2-2 of the PNF lists permits and reviews that may occur for this project. Please provide all filings for community review and inform members of the Allston community of all upcoming hearings relevant to this project by sending email to AllstonBrighton2006@googlegroups.com.

Environmental Impact Please provide information about all trees with a trunk diameter greater than 3” that Harvard plans to cut down as part of this project and the associated construction of proposed new roads. For each tree please provide details about its species, approximate age, trunk diameter, and new plantings of comparable trees that Harvard will make to mitigate the removal of the existing trees.

Mr Autler: The primary concerns of my husband and I who live at 65 Hopedale street (corner of Windom) are as follows:

1) Will the buildings cast a shadow on the homes in the neighborhood?

2) How will the traffic on Windom street be affected? We hope that there will be no increase in the truck and construction traffic. Will the access road be built prior to building construction? Our road is already too busy will traffic from people cutting through to the Mass pike and from a local trucking company.

3) Will Harvard provide adequate parking? There will be 2000 people

working, but only 700 parking spots. That seems inadequate. Also, the

market rate parking mentioned by Harvard is ridiculous.

pay parking in Allston except for properties owned by Harvard so why would people pay to park when they can get it free on the streets of our neighborhood? The PhDs won't be likely to use public transportation, nor will they move into the neighborhood, so who will ensure that they won't be parking in front of my driveway? Where will construction workers park? Harvard has adequate space in the lots where the trucking company is located so hopefully you will consider using your own space before infringing on ours. We have a safe neighborhood, and the increase in transient construction workers will bring an atomosphere of less safety in our area, so the less their presence is felt, the happier we will be about the project.

There is no

4)How will security be increased in our neighborhood? With the increase in people working in the area during and after construction, how will Harvard and the city of Boston improve security in our area?

5)If the Hague st. is closed, how will we access Western Ave? There is no good way for pedestrians to get to Cambridge if Hague st is closed. The alternative involves crossing over the exit ramp for the pike. There are no pedestrian crossing lights there.

Lisa Kunze and Jeffrey Schafer

As a life long resident of Allston I see nothing but good things by Harvard's expansion.Realizing that there might be some traffic and or parking problems, I think it will be well worth it after seeing the plans for the science complex presented at the meeting.I am anxious to see plans for future development as I believe it will be good for Allston in many ways.Harvard is a world class institution with world class buildings,programs,museums etc.It will improve the neighborhood aesthetically, financially,educationally and in other ways.

David Strati.

Gerald,

I'm bad with names -- I assume you were the MC of Monday night's meeting, and the man I should send my comments to.

I'm a neighbor of Harvard in N. Allston and have lived in my house for

13 years. I would just like to be a voice crying in the wilderness for

a moment

I'm utterly and completely unconcerned with how much parking Harvard provides, during or after construction, except to the extent they can charge more and provide less of it. Some of my neighbors can be nice, but they're irrational and foam at the mouth when it comes to parking. It is NOT hard to park in this neighborhood.

This is my concern -- I live what should be a 5-minute PUBLIC TRANSIT ride to the Harvard T, and would like some assurance that the new

construction will not make this already atrocious stretch of the Rte.

66 even worse and, hopefully, make it much better. The only way I can

imagine this happening is with the institution of bus lanes on N. Harvard and JFK, and on Harvard Ave. in downtown Allston (it could be done -- Harvard Sq. has one way streets, necessitating inconvenient loops for drivers; so can Allston).

Improved service on the much less congested 70 bus, or diversion of some of the 66 runs to Central, would also help.

But I'd also be interested to hear any other ideas that Harvard might have to solve this problem BEFORE construction begins.

Thanks

max

Gerald,

First, thank you for patiently handling tonight's meeting (or at least mostly patiently). By way of introduction, I've lived at 272 N Harvard

for 2 years now and am a Harvard alum ('97).

past 2 years traveling overseas for work, but now that I'm back in town

I'd love to get more involved in the community discussion.

I've spent much of the

Some thoughts in response to the discussion tonight:

- First, the overwhelming topic was the overall traffic impact of the

IMP. I think that's the right concern. The street layout has to come before the buildings.

- I'd like to see Harvard commit to opening up the shuttle system to

the community. I recognize the challenge of maintaining the shuttle as

an attractive option for students (the primary users) if they are

entirely open to the public, so I'd like to see plans to that effect.

- What does Harvard intend to do to ensure that the community facing

sides of the buildings are not "backsides" complete with the nuisances that entails (dumpsters, oil slicks, idle machinery)?

- Several people commented in effect that this is the moment of

greatest community leverage, and one pointed out that filing an IMP doesn't obligate Harvard to build anything; it merely constrains what

things they can build. They're right, so I think it's appropriate to negotiate that items of community interest happen first or at least in parallel with the first university buildings.

- The topic of private condo development came up.

There are three things that could be done here. Harvard could make a more unequivocal statement about whether they intend to purchase residential land. Two, they could lend their weight to zoning discussions against condo

conversions and property aggregations. Three, they could dampen the market by communicating a clear intent to provide sufficient grad student housing to meet demand.

- I thought the question about stem cell research and public protest was an insightful one.

Thanks again,

Ryan Wise

From:

Heather Knopsnyder

To:

Autler, Gerald;

CC:

Pallavi Mande; Harry Mattison; bostonminstrel@aol.com; Ghirin, Aldo - Parks Dept.; Pollak, Toni - Parks Dept;

Subject:

Harvard Science Complex PNF Comments

Date:

Thursday, December 14, 2006 11:15:44 AM

Attachments:

Mr. Gerald Autler, Senior Project Manager Boston Redevelopment Authority One City Hall Square Boston, MA 02201

Re: Harvard Science Complex PNF

Dear Mr. Autler:

The Allston Brighton Green Space Advocates have reviewed Harvard University’s Science Complex Project Notification Form, and would like to offer the following comments. First, we would like to congratulate Harvard on their effort to create a LEED certified building in Allston and their overall commitment to environmental sustainability. We hope that they continue in their effort to create a sustainable campus and community through engaging various neighborhood organizations in their planning process in a meaningful way.

We are concerned about the lack of detail concerning public realm improvements in the Science Complex PNF. While we realize that Harvard will soon be releasing their campus master plan amendment and their Phase I IMP, which should include such details, it is difficult to comment on the affect this building will have on the neighborhood in absence of this information.

Allston Brighton residents have articulated three priorities related to green space: the desire to make the Charles River more bike- and pedestrian accessible, the desire to create new public green spaces, and the desire

to " green ' the public realm, particularly streetscapes. Harvard’s courtyard system does address our priorities in part by proposing an increase the amount of green space in the neighborhood. We feel, however, that the courtyard system will receive little public use, and thus, will provide little direct public benefit. We ask that the DPIR scope ask Harvard to include information about specific public realm improvements that are consistent with existing planning documents, in which community stakeholders have participated (NASFP, Parks Department Master Plan, Charles River Parklands Master Plan, CRWA’s Building a Blue Allston and the Green Space Advocates’ Allston Brighton Green Space Connections Plan):

- Please include in the DPIR plans for improved pedestrian

conditions on major corridors – Western Avenue, North Harvard

Street, Soldiers Field Road, including improved crossings. Each of these streets represents a major link between the Charles River and the neighborhood and Harvard’s new campus, but are difficult to cross on foot. The DPIR should address how pedestrians shall move across Western Avenue, North Harvard Street, and Soldiers Field Road. What kind of traffic calming techniques will be implemented? How does Harvard intend to address the proposed river walk in the NASFP?

- The DPIR should include a plan for street "greening" on major

corridors – including Western Avenue, North Harvard Street, Soldiers Field Road, and Everett Street. Harvard’s PNF contains few details about the kind of landscaping they are planning both within the

science complex and in the public realm.

advocates have proposed very detailed recommendations on street greening techniques, and would like to work with Harvard University and various City departments (including the BRA, Boston Parks and Recreation, Boston Water and Sewer Commission and Boston Public Works Department (BPWD)) to implement these recommendations in North Allston.

- The DPIR should include plans for improved bicycle access on

major corridors - Western Avenue, North Harvard Street and Soldiers

Field Road - to the Charles River. The PNF states that Harvard intends for a 50% mode share. In order to do so, Harvard must make infrastructure enhancements for all modes of transportation.

The green space

The DPIR should address the kinds of bicycle improvements that will be made to the campus and its surrounding area.

- We ask that as Harvard draws out their campus plans, they

consider allocating active and passive recreation space for the community and their affiliates.

- In addition, we endorse the comments put forth by the Charles River Watershed Association.

We look forward to working with the Task Force, Harvard, and the BRA in the future on this process.

Sincerely,

Heather Knopsnyder on behalf of the Allston Brighton Green Space Advocates

Cc: CRWA, Allston Brighton Community Planning Initiative, Harvard Task Force , Boston Parks and Recreation Department

Heather Knopsnyder Open Space Community Organizer Allston Brighton Community Development Corporation 320 Washington Street, 3rd Floor Brighton, MA 02135 knopsnyder@allstonbrightoncdc.org

(617) 787-3874 ext. 215

December 14, 2006

Boston Redevelopment Authority One City Hall Square Boston, MA 02201

Attn: Gerald Autler

Re: Harvard's Allston Science Complex PNF

Dear Mr. Autler:

The Charles River Conservancy (CRC) has reviewed the aforementioned project (the Project) submitted by Harvard University and offers the following comments to the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) as the planning process moves forward.

Initially, the CRC applauds Harvard University's commitment to strategic planning and sustainable design and is honored to have the opportunity to comment on this Project. Although the CRC espouses the CRWA's comments related to the Project's impacts on water quality, we will focus our comments on issues specific to the Charles River and Parklands.

Overall, we emphasize the need for a collaborative effort between the City of Boston and the Commonwealth to ensure that all aspects of the Project will be evaluated for their impact on the Charles River and the adjacent parklands. The CRC strongly encourages the Commonwealth's direct involvement in the planning process since the BRA is limited to the City of Boston. Incorporating the state at an early stage will allow for a broader range of opportunities that may be associated with this Project.

The CRC encourages Harvard, the BRA, and the Commonwealth to seize the opportunity to provide improved Parklands and greater physical access to, across, and along the River. Improved Parklands along the Charles River periphery will not only offer greenspace for the use of several city neighborhoods, but will also specifically provide North Allston, a community starved for open space, with a unique and precious open space resource.

Additionally, since this Project is the first of a series of successive projects to be submitted by Harvard, the CRC stresses the importance of establishing precedent with regards to community benefits and public realm enhancements. For example, there are a number of improvements that can be made along the Charles River including stabilizing the shoreline between the Western Avenue Bridge and the Eliot Bridge, restoring the Weeks Bridge, and enhancing bicycle access across and along the River. The CRC hopes that when the time comes, the BRA and the Commonwealth will secure substantial mitigation measures and enhancements to the River and Parklands. The CRC would be delighted and honored to participate in future discussions regarding public realm and open space enhancements associated with this Project.

Again, we thank you for this opportunity to provide comments on this Project and we look forward to working with Harvard, the BRA, and the Commonwealth as the planning moves forward. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Renata von Tscharner President, Charles River Conservancy

CC: DCR Commissioner Steve Burrington

Joyce Radnor 59 Hopedale Street, Boston MA 02134 617-787-5192 jradnor@comcast.net

TO:

Gerald Autler, Boston Redevelopment Authority

FROM:

Joyce Radnor, 59 Hopedale Street, Allston

DATE:

December 10, 2006

RE:

Harvard University’s Allston Science Complex Project Notification Form (PNF)

Dear Gerald,

Thank you, once again, for the opportunity to provide the City of Boston with feedback on an important institutional project that will greatly impact our North Allston neighborhood.

As preface, please let me say that I believe Harvard’s proposed development could be the best thing that’s happened to North Allston during my 14 years here, adding a new look-and-feel, new scientific breakthroughs, new activity, new people, new economic and employment opportunities, and new partnerships between the institution we have learned to distrust and a neighborhood eager to restore that trust. In short, this development can and should infuse this neighborhood with a great deal of lifeblood that’s been slowly eroding since Harvard began shuttering our community more than 10 years ago. But, this can only occur if our collective futures are approached with transparency, cooperation, honesty and due diligence.

That said, I hope you will indulge me as I address my observations/concerns in three phases: the process; the building complex itself; and finally, my ongoing and general concerns about the impact of Harvard’s continued expansion on my neighborhood.

The Process:

Gerald, you and I have had both personal correspondence, as well as public conversations, about the review process for the current IMP, the amendment to the current IMP, the Science Complex Project Notification Form, and the forthcoming new-and-improved 2007 IMP. In these exchanges, you have assured me that all community input will be addressed by Harvard before any phase of any proposal is approved by the BRA. Although I am totally confident that you have complete clarity on the seemingly confounding complexities of this process, I hope you’ll forgive my continued confusion (and perhaps cynicism) on this process and how it is playing out during a critical period.

Let me explain. On June 1, 2006, I supplied feedback to you on Harvard’s April 28 Institutional Master Plan Notification Form (IMPNF). Without boring you with repetitive information, my concerns included traffic, parking, security, neighborhood enhancements, and most importantly, a context in which we could view this new and imminent development. You included my input in your Scoping Determination document in July.

Sadly, Harvard’s Science Complex PNF includes no information on the concerns I raised, or those raised by others -- the Allston Task Force, community organizations, fellow residents – during the IMPNF review process. How will this development fit into Harvard’s larger vision for Allston? How does Harvard intend to manage its parking and traffic drains on the neighborhood? How will the university maintain calm and peace around a science complex destined to draw

potentially threatening protestors? What are the specific positive enhancements this development will bring to our neighborhood?

Not only does the Science Complex PNF not address these previously and vigorously expressed concerns, it glosses over the questions with future-looking statements about how the university will report back when it has the answers.

Specifically, in its PNF, Harvard circumvented answers to these critical neighborhood issues:

Section 1.4: Project Summary: “The Science Complex neither proposes new housing, nor precludes the development of housing in the surrounding neighborhood.”

Section 3.1: Transportation: “It is anticipated that a detailed assessment of impacts of the project will be prepared subsequent to the filing and review of this PNF, either as part of a draft project impact report for the science complex, and/or as part of the IMPA filing”

Section 3.1.1: Pedestrians: Harvard plans to enhance pedestrian facilities along the existing and proposed streets near the project so that the facility will be linked to the pedestrian network serving the Allston neighborhood. These facilities have not been designed in detail at this time.”

Section 3.1.9: Traffic Impacts: “Detailed analyses of the potential traffic impacts for the project have not been completed at this time….Traffic impact analyses will be conducted at locations where changes in traffic patterns due to the project and construction of surrounding streets may occur. Harvard anticipates refining the study area for this project with the BTD and BRA. “

Section 3.1.10: Construction Impact: “The construction manager for the science complex will prepare and submit a construction management plan to the City of Boston and BTD in compliance with the City’s construction management program for approval.”

Section 3.2.10: Construction: “As mentioned previously, a construction management plan

in compliance with the City’s construction management program will be submitted to the

BTD for

the project as it moves forward.”

Section 3.2.2: Shadow: “The shadow impacts of the proposed buildings will be studied during the Article 80 review process.”

Section 3.5.5: Heating and Cooling: “The planning for this [heating and cooling] facility is being coordinated with an Allston-wide campus utility component of the overall Master Plan. Additional information on both the distributed energy facility and the utility master planning will be included in the DPIR.”

If there is a constitutional (or institutional) Fifth Amendment for construction, Harvard has found it! The university -- in this 50-page document -- has successfully declined to answer the most important questions that this community has repeatedly asked. As I have said before, it is absolutely inappropriate and breathtakingly inconsiderate to ask a community to approve a 500,000+ square-foot complex that will condemn our neighborhood to construction purgatory for more than five years without answering these fundamental questions.

I, once again, respectfully ask you and the Allston Task Force to suspend this entire process until these questions are clearly articulated to the satisfaction of abutters.

The Science Complex:

First, I must say that I think the renderings of the Science Complex are fabulous. Although I have concerns that the buildings do not reflect the maturity and architecture of the existing neighborhood, I think the buildings themselves are quite attractive, and will certainly be an improvement on the current structures.

I am also impressed with the care and specificity that Harvard has taken with its internal design. The winter gardens, the internal walkways, the green space within and among the buildings, the climate control and sun/shade control are quite nice and I’m sure Harvard’s students, faculty, scientists and staff will enjoy the facilities with great pride and pleasure.

My concerns on the complex itself are simple:

The current zoning for the project site does not allow for a 125-foot, eight story building.

We were originally told the building(s) would not exceed six stories.

purpose in changing current zoning simply to meet one developer’s vision.

I believe there is no

There is simply not enough parking planned for 500,000+ square feet of development. Harvard originally proposed 1,300 parking spaces, and has now whittled those down to 500 spaces. This is simply not adequate, and any cogent person in North Allston can tell you this. Harvard must go back to its original plan for 1,000+ parking spaces, particularly if Harvard has plans for graduate housing in and around the Science Complex (about which it is unwilling to be transparent at this time).

The proposed Stadium Way is completely unacceptable to this neighborhood. Harvard must provide an alternate means to access the Science Complex from the current Western Avenue corridor. Bringing cars and trucks through the Sears site will not only destroy the quality-of-life for those residents on Windom Street whose back yards will become consumed with trucks, cars, carbon dioxide, dust, and noise, but it will also create complete and utter chaos on Cambridge Street where conditions are already marginal, at best.

We have been told that Harvard’s internal presentations on the North Allston Science Complex include a bar, and that the proposed heating and cooling system (about which Harvard is unspecific) will require extensive ground drilling for up to two years. These are things that the community knows nothing about, and I think both would be worrisome to the neighborhood.

General Concerns:

Property Values:

Since I moved here 13+ years ago, property values have increased dramatically. New families have moved in, taking pride in a strong neighborhood, and enjoying the relative quiet of the community coupled with the convenience of the city.

I have every confidence that when Harvard finishes this Science Complex (if done correctly and

with respect to the neighborhood), our property values will be even higher. That’s the good news. The bad news, however, is that for the next five years, our neighborhood will be a sea of construction vehicles, wafting dust, ugly construction fencing, contractors’ vehicles parked on every street and deafening noise. In other words, for the next five years, our property values will plummet. Who would buy a house in a neighborhood like that? I think we all understand that any construction yields short-term negative impact, but Harvard’s refusal to be forthcoming about its

construction management plans is a major concern to me. The institution must tell us, before this PNF reaches its next stage, the following:

Where will contractors park? (FORGET about making them pay for parking. We’ve been down that road every time there’s even minor construction at the Business School. It doesn’t work. Our streets are packed with Maine and New Hampshire pickup trucks idling at 5 a.m. right outside our doors.)

Where will construction vehicles access and egress the site? (It can’t be on a new Stadium Way, nor can it be on the existing Windom Street. We’ve already dealt with that as well.)

In what order will buildings be demolished? Will Harvard raze the entire neighborhood, and then begin a 5+ year development. Or will demolition be phased as construction warrants?

How will Harvard baffle both the noise and unsightliness of its construction? Will mature plantings and attractive fences be installed to protect the neighborhood?

Zoning:

As I mentioned earlier, another general concern I have is zoning. According to the PNF (Section 2.5 Existing Zoning District): “The project site is located in the Allston Landing North Economic Development Area in the Allston-Brighton Neighborhood District, governed by Article 51 of the Boston Zoning Code…The EDA is intended to attract research and development, manufacturing and related uses. Because of its university affiliation, the proposed Allston science complex constitutes “college or university use” which is not allowed in the EDA. Within the EDA, the maximum floor area ratio allowed by underlying zoning is 2.0, and the maximum building height for the site is generally 80 feet.”

However, Section 2.5.2 Proposed Zoning, states: “Harvard will shortly be submitting the IMPA to incorporate the science complex into Harvard’s approved IMP. As part of the new IMP for the university’s larger phase 1 development plans, Harvard will seek to extend the Harvard Institutional Subdistrict to encompass the project site. In the meanwhile, the IMPA, once approved by the Boston Redevelopment Authority and the Zoning Commission, will supersede underlying zoning for the project site. The project will comply with the zoning parameters established by Harvard’s IMP as amended by the IMPA and as otherwise in effect at the time construction commences.”

If I understand correctly, Harvard wishes to extend its institutional subdistrict throughout the Science Complex development to allow the university to construct a 125-foot building fronting Western Avenue. However, it seems it would also allow the same zoning on the Sears site and 100 Windom Street. This is not acceptable to the community. Until Harvard submits plans for the entire phase 1 development (including 100 Windom and the Sears site), I feel strongly that no zoning changes should be made to accommodate this complex.

Gerald, again, thank you for your attention.

My best regards, and happy holidays.

Joyce Radnor 59 Hopedale Street

From:

Lisa Kunze

To:

Autler, Gerald;

CC:

Subject:

Harvard science project

Date:

Thursday, December 14, 2006 6:27:40 PM

Attachments:

Gerald, I have additional concerns about the science project in North Allston as well as the new museum project. 1) Light pollution - I have noticed from my daily work at the Longwood medical area that labs tend to have the lights on 24/7. If Harvard builds a 125ft building and the lights are on as they typically are, the excessive light would pollute the entire neighborhood. The bright lights from Nickerson Field at BU are sometimes annoying, but they are not on everyday. If you doubt that the lights will be on constantly, just drive to the medical area and look around. The lab lights are really on all the time. Consideration in the design need to be made to avoid this problem. 2) Water- When Harvard builds this enormous complex, where will the drainage go? I am afraid that it will be into the currently dry basement of my 106 yr old house. Great consideration needs to be applied to this problem. 3) I am supportive of the museum as I think that it would greatly enhance the neighborhood. However, a bookstore and cafe hardly make up for the lack of useful stores. Now if the museum had a hardware store in it Thanks for you attention. Lisa Kunze 65 Hopedale

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From:

Kathleen Phenix

To:

Autler, Gerald;

CC:

harry.mattison@sutodesk.com;

Subject:

Allston Harvard Development--Comments on PNF for Science

Date:

Complex Thursday, December 14, 2006 5:38:07 PM

Attachments:

Mattison Comments.pdf

Gerald,

I would like to add my voice in support of the document entitled "Comment on the Harvard University Project Notification Form for the Harvard Allston Science Complex" dated December 1, 2006, submitted by Harry Mattison. After reading this document, I believe it to be a thorough review of many of the significant concerns with the PNF submitted and reflects a thoughtful analysis and summary of needed items that should be addressed. I have attached a copy of the referenced document to this email. Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of these items.

Kathy

Kathleen P. Phenix Executive Director Joseph M. Smith Community Health Center 287 Western Avenue Allston, MA 02134 tel: 617-208-1510 fax: 617-783-5514

From:

C.Girvani Leerer, Ph.D,

To:

Autler, Gerald;

CC:

Subject:

Harvard University proposed Science Complex

Date:

Thursday, December 14, 2006 5:23:45 PM

Attachments:

Dear Mr. Autler:

I am writing as a homeowner and resident of Hopedale Street in North Allston

about my concerns regarding Harvard University's Large Project Review for its

proposed Science Complex.

My concerns are about the impact of this project on the neighborhood, and about the process of allowing Harvard to amend the IMP for the project. I feel strongly that Harvard should not be permitted to make amendments based on changes of plans to suit their interests. This represents bad faith in their relationship and agreements with the residents of North Allston and with the City of Boston.

I am also concerned about the impact of increased traffic and parking of vehicles

during both the construction and the operation of the Science Complex. I beleive

the PNF greately underestimates the number of vehicles this will bring into the neighborhood.

Finally, I feel that Harvard needs to make a strong financial commitment to North Allston in exchange for their use of neighborhood land and resources, and for removing such a large amount of land from the tax base. I believe that it is foolish to think that Harvard will give North Allston or the City of Boston money out of the goodness of their heart to do the right thing, and that this agreement must be secured in advance of any construction.Therefore, any long term plan must included an endowment for an Allston Foundation which should be equal to 1% of the value of Harvard construction.

Thank you for the opportunity to provide input. I hope and trust that the City of Boston will not neglect the concerns of the residents of North Allston.

Very truly yours,

Cindy Girvani Leerer, Ph.D. 29 Hopedale Street Allston, MA 02134 cgleerer@yahoo.com

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From:

Brent Whelan

To:

Autler, Gerald;

CC:

Subject:

public response to science complex pnf

Date:

Friday, December 15, 2006 1:27:16 PM

Attachments:

Dear Gerald,

I know you have received comments from many Allston residents as well as from the Harvard Allston Task Force as a whole. I want to add my own personal concerns raised by particular sections of the Science Complex PNF, and trust they will not be altogether redundant. Thanks for all you work in considering these matters.

Yours,

Brent Whelan

1.7 Community Outreach—In this section Harvard grossly misrepresents the

recent history of its relationship with the North Allston community by omitting the major breach of trust it caused through its clandestine and deceptive real property acquisitions. I would suggest that the first paragraph of this section be amended as follows:

…the University’s first IMP, filed in 1989. Harvard unfortunately disrupted its relationship with the community in the mid-1990’s when it secretly purchased large tracts in North Allston using a surrogate realtor, who conducted a series of public meetings with Allston residents for the sole purpose of concealing Harvard’s role as developer and deceiving the members of the community. Since this egregious breach of trust with its North Allston neighbors, Harvard has sought to rebuild a close working relationship …

1.8.1 Workforce development—Harvard suggests it will “continue its

discussions with the community

educational opportunities.” Actually, no such discussions have taken placce—Harvard should initiate such discussions, as soon as possible.

to create workforce development and

1.8

Public Benefits—Actually, this section contains almost no substantial

benefits to the community beyond city-wide PILOT and linkage payments already required under placeCityBoston’s laws. The Task Force has begun to formulate community demands, and Harvard should be committing funds between $5 and 10 million to meet those demands, rather than the modest or unspecified benefits alluded to in this section.

2.2.2 and 2.3 Project Design and Vehicular Access—The essential question

of how cars and trucks will gain access to parking and delivery stations in the complex is entirely dependent on hastily sketched new roads referred to as the “Rena St. extension” and “Stadium Way” or “Allston Boulevard.” Designs for both are unclear and inadequately described, but contain major implications for traffic patterns throughout the North Allston area. This off-handed approach contrasts sharply with the careful specifications for the building’s actual program, and with the traffic analysis found in the Strategic Framework (NASFP), our presumed planning guideline. It must be emphasized that the functioning of the complex is entirely dependent on its orientation to roadways that are sketched in this cavalier fashion, with its implicit disregard for the surrounding community.

3.1.1 and 3.1.2 Pedestrians and Bicycles—Both of these topics are crucial

to the larger design goals of creating a permeable campus and an encouraging environment for walking and cycling, but Harvard makes no commitment whatsoever in these sections to meet those goals. Instead it relies on generalized language (“plans to extend … plans to enhance …plans to provide …could include …” and so forth) while offering no clues as to how the imposing scale of the project, disrupting the residential street grid outlined in the NASFP, could be compatible with these goals. Harvard’s claim to have “shared general concepts … with representatives of the Allston neighborhood” is simply not true: changes in vehicular, pedestrian and bicycle circulation entailed by this science complex alter or violate previous design concepts as represented by the NASFP, and have never been under discussion prior to this present PNF document.

3.1.3 Transit—In this section Harvard uses a flimsy methodology (“recent

field observations”) to produce faulty analysis and an erroneous conclusion. While it is surely true that the major public transit connector, the #66 bus, is “frequently at capacity and running late” at peak hours, the document makes a foolish distinction between north- and southbound buses. Actually (as anyone who either rode the buses or

thought about it would know) the buses run late in both directions, since the northbound bus turns around in addressStreetHarvard Square and runs south (without miraculously making up time during the turnaround). The notion that science complex commuters would go “opposite the critical commuting flow” is nonsensical, as is the consequent conclusion that the complex’s additional hundreds of new riders “would [not] require an increase in the MBTA service.”

Harvard’s proposed enhancements of public service—fewer stops, new shelters, a modified route for the #64 bus—are minor and inconsequential. Its proposal for enhanced private shuttle service is more promising, but mean-spirited in that it makes no mention of access for members of the Allston community other than its own employees. This is in keeping with the nearly absolute exclusion of any sort of public benefit from this PNF document.

3.1.7 Preliminary Trip Generation Estimate—Given the hasty and incomplete

design of new access roads (Cf. 2.2.2 and 2.3), one might question the accuracy of this entire section, despite the appearance of complex and data-driven analysis. Specific doubts include the arbitrary premise that 50% of the science complex employees will not drive, whereas under conditions slightly more favorable to walking or public transit only 40% of placePlaceNameHarvard PlaceNameBusiness PlaceTypeSchool employees use means other than automobiles. Estimates of vehicle trips in Table 3-3 produce the astonishingly counter-intuitive conclusion that employees at the science complex will generate dramatically fewer trips than the similar number of current employees at WGBH and other nearby businesses. Explanations based on the peculiar driving habits of research scientists fail to persuade on several counts, but the larger question of traffic impact is hardly worth addressing in the absence of real plans for the major roadway changes finessed in 2.2.2 and 2.3.

3.1.10 Construction Management—This topic is particularly sensitive to North Allston residents because of the major breach of trust Harvard effected through its purchasing methods (1.7, above), and because of Harvard’s total failure to manage construction impacts only a few years ago during construction of the Charles River Park residences.

Of special concern is its plan for mitigation by “providing off-street parking at market rates for construction workers.” As numerous speakers have made perfectly clear again and again at community meetings, this method has proven completely inadequate as a means to prevent workers from

parking in nearby residential streets. Given the massive problems it generated for Windom and Hopedale St. residents just several years ago, Harvard is insulting the patience of its new ‘neighbors’ by offering this proposal without any further suggestions for enforcement, for free off-site parking and shuttles for workers, for vehicle registration, penalties for infractions, or any other means to improve on its woeful record in this regard.

One can only hope that Harvard’s full CMP will take more seriously the very real concerns of residents with regard to health and safety issues raised by its construction plans, as well as the potential for massive public nuisance.

From:

Jon Holmes

To:

Autler, Gerald;

CC:

AllstonBrighton2006;

Subject:

Harvard Science PNF Public comment addendum

Date:

Friday, December 15, 2006 11:08:53 AM

Attachments:

Jon Holmes 29 Hopedale Street Allston, MA 02134-1212 (617) 987-2123 jonholmes@rcn.com

December 13, 2006

Gerald Autler Boston Redevelopment Authority One City Hall Square, 9th Floor Boston, MA 02201 gerald.autler.bra@cityofboston.gov

Dear Gerald:

Based on your remarks at a Harvard Allston Task Force meeting, I have re-thought my previous public comment on the Harvard Science Complex PNF and prepared this addendum of questions about the project. The PNF addresses none of the concerns expressed by those who commented on the Scoping Determination, so there should be no amendment until a new, comprehensive IMP is complete.

At the macro level, there are a few simple things that Harvard could do to re-establish trust with the residents of North Allston and North Brighton:

1. Harvard could become transparent, operating under its own name in real estate transactions. All properties already acquired under straw names could be published in maps and transaction histories on paper and the Web, updated regularly. A single office could be named to handle complaints about these properties.

2. Harvard could provide the Harvard Allston Task Force with an immediate $1 million budget to allow the hiring of consultants regarding the key issues: parking and transportation, public safety, construction mitigation and the environment.

3. Harvard could form and lead a regional council with business, other institutions and public agencies (MBTA, Turnpike, MWRA, BRA, Zoning, ISD, Traffic, etc.) to develop a comprehensive vision and action plan for the long-term development of the area.

4. Harvard owns the Lower Allston and North Brighton hardscape: the vast asphalt of the truck terminal and rail yard, the retail asphalt of Brighton Mills, the commercial asphalt of the buildings out Western Avenue, the wasteland of parking at the Harvard Business School. Harvard could make much of this green in a heartbeat and at very little cost. Sow it and mow it or use it as a staging nursery for the buildout, it is a simple gesture of goodwill while we work out the details.

5. Harvard could reassign any team members whose names were used falsely to purchase properties. Our negotiations from this point forward should be open, honest and above board.

Resident Questions Regarding the Project Notification Form (PNF) for the Harvard Science Complex

Will there be drilling, blasting or pile driving at the Science Complex? The City and Harvard should be aware that most of the homes in the area have fieldstone foundations, many of Roxbury puddingstone, a fragile composite. Sustained vibration could very well drop every home in North Allston into its own basement. Is Harvard indemnified for such an event? Are NStar, emergency services and the City prepared for such a disaster?

Before we start cutting new streets and lengthening others, shouldn’t we have a plan for what the larger campus will look like and how it will function, including housing and open spaces? I support the Watershed Association proposals from the street to the stream.

Will Harvard’s contractors be allowed to work on Saturday (as in the Riverside project in

Cambridge) or Sunday? What will be the project’s regular and maximum extraordinary work hours? What conditions would trigger the extraordinary hours?

Will Harvard post a project bulletin board with up-to-date of project changes and mitigations? Will there be project-specific information posted on the Harvard-Allston Web site on a timely basis?

Does the City know who are the actual owners of properties in North Allston? Do we know which properties are controlled by Harvard but not held in their name? Please make such a map available or let me know where to find it.

Why did the City name this the Harvard Allston Task Force rather than the Allston Harvard Task Force?

Why are there no Spanish-speakers and only one person of color on the Task Force?

Why is Charlesview unrepresented on the Task Force?

Why does the BRA use Task Force overview for some properties and projects on Soldiers Field Road and Western Avenue but not for other projects like the stadium, Charlesview and Brighton Mills?

Why, in a community as diverse as North Allston, are the PNF and other Harvard documents published only in English? This has been particularly onerous for the residents of Charlesview, where Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Portuguese and Vietnamese are all common and people are genuinely frightened about losing their homes. There have also been insufficient printed copies.

Why are there no translators, especially American Sign Language translators, available at Task Force meetings? Why don’t those meetings take advantage of the built-in sound system in the room?

Is it standard practice for the proponent developer to keep the minutes of Task Force meetings? Has that been the case with the Northeastern, BU, BC and St. Elizabeth task forces? How about East Boston and Fenway?

Why are the project documents split between the BRA and Harvard-Allston Web sites? Why are they so hard to find on the BRA site?

Why can’t we have a preliminary Harvard fund to hire our own visionary (urban planner/ engineer/ architect) to help us envision a community-centered North Allston with

Harvard as a neighbor?

What metrics are used to quantify Harvard’s compliance with the IMP that is currently in place? What are those figures, and will they be used to measure compliance with the current PNF?

Has the BRA/Harvard provided any of the North-Allston-North-Brighton-specific data sets (economic/demographic/ecological) requested with the submission of the amendment last April? Were they delivered to the Task Force? So far we have seen them only for 02134 Zip code, which is not reflective of conditions on this side of the Turnpike.

Why has the BRA not surveyed the North Allston community by phone or mail to determine resident concerns or desirable community benefits?

Thank you,

Jon Holmes

From:

John Eskew

To:

Autler, Gerald;

CC:

AllstonBrighton2006;

Subject:

Harvard Science Complex PNF comment

Date:

Friday, December 15, 2006 3:03:48 PM

Attachments:

Mr. Autler,

I'm writing in regard to Harvard's proposed plan for building a science complex on Western Ave. in Allston. Simply put, I cannot support a building of the proposed size without knowing how it fits into Harvard's complete plan for the North Allston area.

While the existing developed Harvard areas are certainly impressive (such as the Business School and athletic facilities), I'm completely unimpressed by their lack of integration in our neighborhood. When faced with public or private non-Harvard property surrounding or dividing Harvard properties, the university's response in the past has been to erect a fence or hedge, creating what I call the "Harvard force field" - technically not barring entry but not welcoming the residents of the community either. Those days should be left behind in Harvard's new Allston venture - any new developments *must* also have beneficial components for the community and its residents.

The proposed science building by itself seems to have some green space in a courtyard and some retail shops proposed in its ground floor. However, are there assurances that the community is welcome to use those facilities? And even if so, will those benefits outweigh the negative impacts of having an out-of-scale structure on Western Avenue with increased commuting traffic? I don't think the question can be answered without knowing more about Harvard's comprehensive plan for North Allston.

Below is a partial list of community benefits which Harvard could provide for North Allston:

- partnership with and *funding for* our neighborhood school, Thomas

Gardner School

- more public green space

- improved access to the Charles River

- more retail space at the intersection of North Harvard and Western Avenue to give the area a town-center feel

As a resident of North Allston, I urge Harvard to make a positive impact on our community by working with its residents in good faith to improve the area so that all who work or live here will benefit.

Sincerely, John Eskew 15 Athol St. Allston, MA

Gerald Autler, Project Manager Boston Redevelopment Authority One City Hall Square, 9 th Floor Boston, MA 02201

December 13, 2006

Gerald,

The members of the Harvard Allston Task Force respectfully submit the following comments on the Project Notification Form (PNF) for Harvard’s Allston Science Complex.

1. This project differs significantly from the planning principles of the North Allston Strategic Framework for Planning (NASFP) and offers no tangible benefit to the community to justify these deviations.

a. Building Height

We understand that there may be exceptions for exceeding the 95 foot height limit established by the NASFP. Greater height and density can create opportunities for large public open spaces. However, the current proposal does not strike an appropriate balance. We expect to see this project create a significant amount of truly public open space in exchange for buildings of such great height. The proposed internal courtyard divided into small, odd shapes by many pathways and surrounded by Harvard buildings does not meet our expectations in this regard.

b. Road Network

The NASFP creates a street grid of small blocks as part of a pedestrian-friendly and human- scaled extension of the existing neighborhood. The Science Complex proposes instead to create a huge “super-block”. This may create efficiencies for Harvard, but it does not improve the layout and social permeability of the neighborhood. We would like Harvard to consider a system of street blocks consistent with the NASPF before their next filing for this project.

c. Harvard as part of a shared community

The vision statement of the NASFP states:

“Harvard has endorsed a policy of integrating neighborhood and campus to avoid the ‘town/gown’ separation that characterizes other communities that host major universities”

Unfortunately, the PNF and the process leading to its creation show no such integration of neighborhood and campus. The proposed Science Complex does not invite the public into the building or the central courtyard. We would be happy to see details of how the complex will welcome the neighborhood on all four sides. Also, the building program includes several opportunities to integrate the neighborhood and university such as a daycare facility, a fitness center, and a rooftop café. However, none of these are mentioned as being open to the public.

2. We believe that both the proposed Stadium Way connecting Cambridge Street and Western Ave and the extension of Rena Street are inappropriate, not necessary, and should be removed from this project. New roads abutting residential neighborhoods should not be built until we know what Harvard will build on property abutting these roads. The only road associated with this project should be a short connector from Western Ave to the underground parking and loading areas, whose access should move from the south side of the Complex to its east side.

3. Parking is one of the most sensitive issues in North Allston. Past construction and renovation projects at Harvard Business School and Harvard athletic events have repeatedly impacted the community. The Draft Project Impact Report must detail how Harvard will guarantee that during and after construction there will be no negative impact on North Allston on-street parking.

December 15, 2006 Mr. Gerald Autler Boston Redevelopment Authority One City Hall Square Boston, MA
December 15, 2006 Mr. Gerald Autler Boston Redevelopment Authority One City Hall Square Boston, MA
December 15, 2006 Mr. Gerald Autler Boston Redevelopment Authority One City Hall Square Boston, MA
December 15, 2006 Mr. Gerald Autler Boston Redevelopment Authority One City Hall Square Boston, MA
December 15, 2006 Mr. Gerald Autler Boston Redevelopment Authority One City Hall Square Boston, MA

December 15, 2006

Mr. Gerald Autler Boston Redevelopment Authority One City Hall Square Boston, MA 02201-1007

Dear Mr. Autler,

The Allston Brighton CDC has reviewed Harvard University’s proposal for its Allston Science Complex and respectfully submits these comments for your consideration. As you know, we are a member of the Allston Brighton Community Planning Initiative and endorse comments sent on behalf of the ABCPI. In this letter we want to stress our concerns that Harvard’s Draft Project Impact Report (DPIR) on the Allston Science Complex should address opportunities for affordable housing and job training and economic development.

We also echo the same concern raised by the Harvard Task Force, the Hopedale Neighborhood Association and other local residents: How will this development fit into Harvard’s larger vision for Allston? We are concerned that the current institutional master planning process, which is designed for incremental growth, is not the appropriate process for developing a new campus. We believe that the DPIR for the Science Complex should include a framework plan that is developed with and approved by the community that will integrate this and future developments according to the guidelines set forth in the North Allston Neighborhood Strategic Plan (NANSP).

Housing The Science Complex PNF states that the project site was selected “so as to create a buffer from the local residential neighborhood to the south.” The Charlesview Apartments, a complex with 213 families, is across the street to the west and north of the proposed Project and should be considered an abutter to the site. The DPIR should address the Project’s impact on Charlesview both during the construction phase and once the Project is built.

Since this is the first project in the development of Harvard’s new campus, it is appropriate for the Science Complex DPIR to include a framework for developing strategies for community stability and a range of housing opportunities as put forth in the NANSP, as such strategies should develop in tandem with the creation of Harvard’s new campus. Harvard has already shown a commitment to community housing with its $3.5 million donation to the development of the Brian J. Honan Apartments. Given the scale of the development of its campus, it is appropriate that Harvard continue its commitment to community housing well into the future. Our recommendations for housing include

o

25% of new units should be affordable community housing. This figure should exclude any replacement units that might result from an agreement between Charlesview residents, owners, and the general community.

o

The City and Harvard should support a pilot mortgage program to increase the ability of families to become homeowners in Allston Brighton.

o

Forward commitment by Harvard of financial resources for affordable housing as a

way to start affordable housing development in North Allston Brighton.

Linkage and

inclusionary zoning obligations that require future payments could be front loaded to insure that community benefits become visible in the early years.

o

Housing initiatives to support community stability, such as Harvard investment in or incentives for employee housing, including employee housing for non academic Harvard affiliates who have not had access to housing incentives in the past.

o

Desirable sites for housing development (sites with a river view) should be first considered for permanent housing for community members and for Harvard staff, not student housing. Desirable new housing can increase community stability if it attracts permanent residents.

Workforce and Economic Development We are concerned that additional research should be undertaken and actions contemplated to ensure that the economic impact of Harvard’s growth is a net positive for community residents, for area businesses and for the city as a whole. The Science Complex DPIR requires more specificity about Harvard’s workforce development and economic development plans around this Project.

We repeat the need for a planning framework that will integrate not only this Project but future developments with the goals of the NANSP, in particular of its vision for an “urban village.” The University Park development in Central Square, Cambridge is an example of a partnership between a university, in this case MIT, the local neighborhood and business community that integrates housing, institutional and commercial uses within an overall development framework.

As it documents the first project in the long-term development of Harvard’s Allston campus, the Science Complex DPIR must present a framework for an economic plan that protects local businesses and employees and refashions our economic base in a new setting providing jobs for local residents. There should be a policy of no net loss of employment/income in the neighborhood employment market. The good-paying

manufacturing and wholesale trade jobs that until recently had existed in Allston Brighton should not be totally replaced by low paying jobs in the retail and service sectors.

This economic development framework must acknowledge the effect that Harvard’s many property purchases, and its subsequent warehousing of those properties, have had on the neighborhood. Our research indicates that currently some 16 parcels of Harvard-owned land, including residential, industrial and commercial properties, are currently vacant, when 10 years ago they were occupied and contributing to the local economy. We believe that much of the blight existing along Western Avenue is due to Harvard’s property purchases and the forced vacancies of commercial tenants valued by the neighborhood, such as Frugal Fannies, K-Mart, and Office Max. Manufacturing jobs were also lost when companies vacating Harvard-owned industrial properties were never replaced.

The Science Complex DPIR should document the specific economic benefits that this Project will provide locally, both for jobs and other opportunities during the construction phase as well as the long-term prospects for employment and training once the Science Center is developed. This should cover the science, academic and research sectors within the Project as well as the retail and other possibilities proposed for the ground floor. The DPIR must account for the neighborhood’s business and retail needs given the recent shuttering of local retail due to Harvard’s property purchases, and should also examine the effect that new retail might have on Allston Village Main Streets.

We need to ensure that there is commitment to workforce training, ESL courses for immigrants living in North Allston, employment by Harvard of neighborhood residents, support for daycare facilities, and employment and construction contracts for local firms. We urge that Harvard commit resources to fostering a vibrant small business community that includes local ownership and control. To that end, we welcome the establishment of a Career Center in Allston and hope that this institution can be an important resource for the community in providing training and employment for local residents interested in working at Harvard and in other new businesses that develop in the area.

We look forward to working with the community, the Harvard Task Force, Harvard University and the BRA on this process.

Sincerely,

Harvard University and the BRA on this process. Sincerely, David G. Evans President, Board of Directors

David G. Evans President, Board of Directors Allston Brighton Community Development Corporation

December 14,2006

Boston Redevelopment Authority

Attn: Gerald Autler

Re: Harvard’s Allston Science Complex PNF

Gerald:

In the PNF Project Summary, Harvard requests that the BRA issue a Scoping Determination outlining those elements to be studied as part of a DPIR.

It is my understanding that the spirit, intent, letter and a stated purpose of the Article 80 process is to insure that the City and community be treated fairly through INSTITUTIONAL development, and to provide mitigation if needed.

It is evident that the INSTITUTION of HARVARD in it’s master plan of accumulating property in Allston and North Brighton, and it’s activities concerning Charlesview is IMPACTING the neighborhood in numerous areas outlined in Article 80. This appears to be an “element to be studied” as mentioned in the PNF Project Summary, as well as a subject for Harvard/Allston Impact Advisory Group (BRA IAG) discussions.

I urge the BRA to insure the IMPACT of Harvard master planning in these areas be addressed in the DPIR.

Respectfully submitted;

Thomas M. Lally 10 Alcott St. Allston, MA. 02134

December 14, 2006

Boston Redevelopment Authority

Attn: Gerald Autler

Re: Harvard’s Allston Science Complex PNF

Dear Mr. Autler:

Our reaction and comment upon the above PNF focuses on the issue of height and density and the situation in regard to Charlesview Apartments potential relocation.

Harvard’s contempt for the North Allston Strategic Framework for Planning dated May 2005 cannot be overstated in regard to building height. Nowhere in the planning process did residents sign on to or endorse such massive structures overshadowing the roadway at Western Avenue. Several years ago at a Strategice Planning Meeting, not a hand was raised to endorse this concept as represented by the overweening graduate dorm which further canyonizes Charles River. The planning process was apparently three years plus of wasted time. Eight story buildings of 125 feet do not fit in with the character of our neighborhood. All through the PNF there is talk of urbanization. As residents we do not want to be “urbanized” any more than we already are. This is/was a family neighborhood that is sinking fast under the great economic pressure that Harvard has brought to bear on the BRA and the Mayor.

The conflict that exists in the Charlesview tenants versus the Charlesview Board versus the neighborhood with Harvard’s hand in the background and with the political structure’s hand’s folded in their laps, cries out for leadership and compromise that appears lacking at the institutional/political level. Are we to return to the conflicts of the 1960s urbanization?

Here’s hoping that BRA will not simply sign off on Harvard’s intentions.

James & Helena Creamer 59 Aldie Street Allston, MA 02134

617 782-7759

December 14, 2006

Boston Redevelopment Authority

Attn: Gerald Autler

Re: Harvard’s Allston Science Complex PNF

Dear Mr. Autler:

Thank you for your efforts throughout this long and arduous process.

When a process is as long and drawn out as this one, it is easy to lose sight of some important milestones.

I have a copy of the North Allston Neighborhood Strategic Plan, prepared by the BRA in 2002. It is a wonderful plan showing new green spaces and trees; our shopping areas and Charlesview remain intact. This document defines the goal of the planning framework as “to identify realistic and attainable ways to enhance the area’s livability.” It continues, “Over the course of public meetings and workshops that have taken place in the last twelve months, a vision has emerged that translates into broad objectives for a highly livable, human-scaled urban village.”

According to this document, the vision is to be achieved by (among other things) maintaining existing residential scale and uses in and adjacent to neighborhoods.

What happened, Gerald?

Clearly this community-based vision of 2002 has been disregarded in the Science Center planning (and in planning for Charlesview, the art museum, and who knows what else to come). Like many of my neighbors, I can appreciate the opportunities inherent in a Harvard expansion — but not at the proposed scale, and not when neighborhood concerns are summarily disregarded by the University and its planners.

I am deeply concerned by the lack of a comprehensive plan. We now have several major

projects (WGBH, Charlesview, the science center, the art museum) presented separately. Each of these projects brings grave concerns about parking and traffic – and in the latter three there are concerns about building height and water tables. How can we look at any of these projects individually without a clear vision for the “big picture?” It reminds me of the war in Iraq.

I found an on-line version of the Harvard Gazette from January 2006 that states the following:

“Over the coming year, the University will refine its thinking… developing a comprehensive, yet flexible, 50-year master plan for Allston. According to Gordon, Harvard's planning team expects to complete the plan — a framework with future building locations, street and block patterns… in the next year …”

Given that this plan is slated to be available with in the next month, any actions to proceed with the science center as a stand-alone project should be frozen completely and immediately; to take action without a long-term master plan is foolish if not dangerous.

The 2005 interim North Allston planning report (taken from the June 2005 Harvard Gazette) calls for not one, but TWO 500,000 square-foot science buildings. If there are plans for two of

these enormous facilities we need to know immediately.

Like my neighbors, I urgently request greater transparency from Harvard University in this process; to say that information is unavailable is wrong. To ask the community and the City of Boston to proceed without that information is even more wrong.

I stress the urgency of a strict adherence to zoning and height restrictions in defining

acceptable heights and scales of new buildings. It should not be a foregone conclusion that the community should change its laws to accommodate Harvard. The University owns so much property that there is ample opportunity to build across rather than up, plus ample opportunity to provide for open space and adequate parking. Any and all progress in the science center — and other projects — should be frozen until these issues are resolved.

The Harvard mail building on North Harvard Street (at Western Ave.) has constant basement flooding with pumps in place that are in constant use. How can the University expect to install a massive underground structure in the science center just across the way? The Charlesview development also proposes massive underground structuring. Presumably this is being considered elsewhere. Not only is this development completely out of scale with the neighborhood and what it can support, but it does not sound safe.

I agree with Jon Holmes that funding should be provided so that the neighborhood can make it’s own studies of these critical issues, as any Harvard-based study will not focus on community issues.

I moving forward I respectfully suggest that this project, this Harvard University North

Allston Campus, far exceeds anything that can be addressed through Article 80. It requires new legislation that can address the unprecedented scale of this venture.

I thank you again for your diligence in administering this process.

Sincerely,

Ronni Komarow 41 Mansfield Street

Paul Alford

33 Windom Street, Allston, MA 02134

617-254-6520

Gerald Autler Boston Redevelopment Authority One City Hall Square, 9 th Floor Boston, MA 02201

Dear Gerald,

December 15, 2006

As a homeowner in North Allston and an abutter to Harvard-owned property, I am submitting my concerns regarding the Science Complex Project Notification Form (PNF). Before I list my concerns and review of the PNF, I would like to mention a few things. I want Harvard to be successful in its proposed development; it is, after all, our collective future. I would also suggest that Harvard consider a more transparent process and be more “upfront” about its intentions, and that the City of Boston and the Boston Redevelopment Authority will require the transparency that we have lacked from the very institution that purchased those first 52 acres of Allston land surreptitiously more than 10 years ago.

The responses cited below correspond in sequence to their appearance in the PNF.

1.3.2

Development Site Fig. 1-1 does not include the Volkswagon dealer in the complex site (although section 1.3.3 states that site will be demolished). Is the VW dealer going to be demolished, and if so, how long will the parcel be undeveloped?

1.4

Project Summary Previous documents and presentations by the developer indicated 1,300 parking spaces, yet the PNF indicates 500-700 spaces. What has changed? Why the reduction in available parking? A credible parking and traffic study should be completed to determine how many parking spaces would be required. (As I understand it, the developer is also proposing to build a 500+ bed graduate housing dormitory next to the Science Complex and this should be considered when determining adequate parking.)

1.5.2

Transportation Options Is it being proposed to limit truck traffic and other traffic off Western Avenue and divert it onto the (proposed) Stadium Way?

1.7

Community Outreach During this process, we should never forget how Harvard conducted community outreach by using Beale Brothers to purchase the 52 acres surreptitiously.

1.8.3

Employment This section cites 1,000 construction jobs will be generated over the construction period. Where will they park?

2.1

Background/Urban Design Principles Upon review of the first point of Harvard’s urban design principles: How does the project meet the guiding principle if all the yards are internal with no open space outside the complex?

How does this design, with its back of the buildings facing my community and its modern façade facing the Business School, enhance the continuity of the community?

Please explain how this proposed design with an energy facility, the back of a machine shop, a glass washing facility, a clean room, and the only vehicle entrance into the complex – all facing the neighborhood - -will integrate seamlessly into the surrounding community?

Noise, pollution and traffic studies must be conducted. All vehicles entering the Science Complex through my community is not acceptable. All traffic for this development must enter by way of Western Avenue, using existing streets.

Figure 2.6

No additional road should be developed to carry traffic into the Science Complex (Stadium Way). Existing streets (Western Avenue) and other options with CSX and the MassPike should be reviewed before developing any additional roadways.

2.2

Vehicular Access and Loading Western Avenue is a truck route. Why does this PNF propose Stadium Way to be developed to avoid “impacting our residential area.” This makes no sense.

2.5.1

Existing Zoning District Article 51 cites the developer’s location as an Economic Development Area (EDA) intended to attract research and development, manufacturing and related uses. The proposed Science Complex is not an allowed use. No variance should be approved until the developer goes through the Zoning Board of Appeals, and a review by the community.

2.5.2

Proposed Zoning This response by the developer is confusing. If Harvard is asking the City of Boston to re-zone the Science Complex site to mirror that of the institutional subdistrict (Business School, One Western Avenue) on the other side of Western Avenue, that request must be seen as unreasonable. In fact, the North Allston Strategic Framework for Planning (NASFP) is not being considered as a guide in this instance and several others (see above). This proposed zoning request should be rejected and the developer should be required to adhere to the guiding principles of the NASFP.

3.1

Transportation How does all truck delivery and car access to the Science Complex from Rena Street via Stadium Way improve my community? All access to the Science Complex should come from Western Avenue, not through a residential community. No assessment of impacts to the community was submitted by the developer. Why?

3.1.5

Parking Earlier documents and presentations by the developer indicated 1,300 parking spaces. What changed? The PNF indicates inadequate parking and no viable study to justify the reduction of spaces to 500. How is truck parking underground counted, does one truck/trailer equal 3-4 parking spaces?

Why haven’t realistic parking studies been conducted?

3.1.9

Traffic Impacts No traffic impact studies have been conducted. Why?

3.1.10

Construction Management No construction management plan was submitted with the PNF. Why?

The developer should provide free on-site parking for all 1,000 construction workers or else they will find free parking in our community.

Construction workers/contractors don’t take the “T”; they drive pick-up trucks, not bicycles. A realistic study/survey of who takes public transportation should be conducted so that this developer can base its statements in reality. Our experience with the construction of One Western Avenue proved that our community was packed with contractors’ vehicles during construction.

Where are staging and delivery areas? Where is off-street parking (at market rates) being offered? What are the market rates? What are appropriate routes for truck ingress and egress during construction? Where are vehicular exits, vacuums and wheel-cleaning locations?

3.2.1

Wind The proposal indicated that the buildings are taller than the current zoning, and should require wind tunnel testing at pedestrian levels (Article 80; B-3).

3.2.2

Shadow No study on shadows has been conducted, although the proposal indicates that the development exceeds the current zoning. Shadow impacts should be conducted.

3.2.5

Air Quality An air quality evaluation of the impact by the development of the Science Complex must be conducted. The construction of the Science Complex will generate “fugitive dust,” increased traffic of truck, and exhaust. This

community already experiences air pollution from the MassPike, Cambridge Street and Western Avenue.

Please define the exit routes for trucks leaving the construction site with hazardous waste.

3.2.9 Noise A noise impact study should be required by the BRA for this project.

2.1.10 Construction

The BRA must require the developer to submit a construction impact study that addresses: noise, dust, pollutant emissions, waste generation and disposal, and the location of the staging area.

In closing, I believe the BRA should have rejected the Science Complex PNF because it is incomplete – incomplete as it relates to the surrounding residential community and the impacts it may have on the quality of life issues for me and my neighbors. I sincerely hope the developer provides answers to my questions/concerns when it responds to the Scoping Determination. If not, the BRA and the City of Boston should reject this proposal until the developer understands that this community is interested in Harvard becoming part of the neighborhood as opposed to the neighborhood being absorbed into its campus.

Sincerely, Paul Alford 33 Windom Street Allston

Best regards,

Paul Alford

December 13, 2006

Gerald Autler Boston Redevelopment Authority One City Hall Square, 9th Floor Boston, MA 02201 gerald.autler.bra@cityofboston.gov

Dear Mr. Autler:

I have reviewed Harvard University’ Science Complex Project Notification Form and will like to offer the following comments.

General Comments about the Planning Process

As others have commented, I have a general concern that it is impossible to adequately review the appropriateness of the Science Complex without a thorough review and community acceptance of a new Institutional Master Plan. In particular, the potential height and density of the proposed buildings, the transportation impacts, and the amount of open space and public realm benefits of this project can only be fully appreciated in the context of the larger development plans.

My understanding is that the next Institutional Master Plan will only include Harvard's planning east of N. Harvard St., and will not include any discussion of their extensive holdings west of N. Harvard St. nor of their discussions with the EOTC about their property currently being used by CSX. This presents a serious concern to the neighborhood that all of Harvard's extensive property holdings in North Allston are being thought of in a piecemeal fashion to suit the University but not the needs of the neighborhood. One of the prime motivators for the North Allston Strategic Plan was to create a true partnership of the University, the City and neighborhood where the institution, commercial, and neighborhood needs could come together to create an integrated fabric. Piecemeal planning will only continue the tradition of the academic ghetto mentality, which Harvard has already shown in North Allston. For example, the Harvard Business School is a beautiful and welcoming campus for those who work or study there but appears as an unwelcome gated community to those of us in the neighborhood. The same can be said for the chain-link fences surrounding their athletic facilities. I hope that Harvard will not be continuing this tradition in North Allston again.

Specific Comments on the Science Complex

Height and density of the proposed science complex

In the North Allston Strategic Plan there is a description of the desired heights of new buildings: “to the east of N. Harvard St. building heights of 55 to 95 feet would be permitted with taller buildings based on further committee review and commensurate benefits.” As a member of that planning group I specifically remember several

discussions about height and density of new development in the North Allston neighborhood. The planning group was clear that the 55 to 95 feet height recommendations east of N. Harvard St., meant that closer to Barry's Corner the heights would be lower, at the 55 foot range and would only reach 95 foot range, possibly, at the far eastern end of Western Avenue near the river. The proposed Science Complex to be built at the site of the former Pepsi bottling plant being closer to Barry's Corner than to the river would suggest building heights closer to 55 feet. The PNF suggests a possible height of 125 feet (P. 2-9), which far exceeds the intent and spirit of the North Allston Strategic Plan. Given the extensive Harvard property holdings in North Allston it is not clear, again without a master plan, why the science complex building heights and density should be allowed beyond the current zoning regulations at this location. The Scoping Determination for the Draft Project Impact Report (DPIR) needs to clearly make a very strong argument why the building heights need to be over those recommended in the North Allston Strategic Plan.

Transportation Impacts

Harvard has presented at the Task Force meetings that they have a goal of 50% of the trips generated to the Science Complex to be by automobile and the other 50%, to be by alternative means such as bicycle, public transportation, Harvard transit, or walking. This is an ambitious goal, given that Harvard Business School even with its extensive residential component has 59% of the trips generated by vehicle. The PNF states that Harvard has no need to go beyond their current traffic demand management processes. However without a much more disciplined approach to parking and traffic demand management it will be unlikely that Harvard will reach its goal. The end result of course is further congestion on the streets and gateways. I would like to see the following components addressed in the DPIR

1. Parking Demand Management. The goal is to create an environment where more of the staff of the Science Complex use alternative transportation such as transit, bicycles or walking to get to work rather than their automobile. The best way to do this is to restrict the availability of Harvard parking availability, at the same time, protecting the residential side streets from non-residential parking. The first step, which can happen now, is for the City of Boston to put in place residential parking only regulations on all the impacted streets near and around the science complex. Secondly, all of the parking spots on Western Avenue east of N. Harvard St., should be metered and allow a two hour maximum parking limit. Parking should be eliminated, as has been discussed in the Task Force meetings, on N. Harvard St., north of Western Avenue to the river. For the Harvard science complex parking itself the architect has suggested a 550 parking space limit, which seems to be more than adequate. I would also suggest that the parking rate be implemented to include peak hour charging. That is, if a science complex staff person drove their car to or from the site during the peak morning or evening hours, when the neighborhood streets are most congested, they would be charged more for use of the parking lot at those times.

2. Alternative transportation. In order for Harvard to reach its modal split goals, the bicycle and pedestrian facilities need to be vastly improved. In particular, I welcome Harvard's suggestions of an off-road bicycle facility from the river along N. Harvard St and also on-street bike lanes along Western Avenue. Both of these need to be early action items. However, any off-road biking facilities will need to be maintained year-round by the Harvard facilities staff much as they do snow plowing the sidewalks near their buildings in the winter. If Harvard cannot make this commitment then the off-road bicycle facilities will become unsafe from the fall through the spring. In addition, Harvard should extend its shuttle to include North Allston residents. In particular on deadhead runs back to Harvard Square or Central Square should include stops to pick up passengers at the current MBTA bus stops. Finally, all the sidewalks of N. Harvard St from the river to Western Ave., and Western Ave. from Barry's Corner to the river should be upgraded to ensure pedestrian safety and walk-ability. This would include tearing down the chain-link fences along the athletic facilities to create a more welcoming, integrated community.

Public realm and open space

There is insufficient information in the PNF to adequately understand the public realm and open space benefits of this complex. Although there is some description of the inner courtyard to the buildings, again this seems to benefit those who are using the Science Complex and not North Allston residents. The North Allston Strategic Plan discusses many possible options for connections to the river, a lively streetscape, and pocket parks among other public realm possibilities. Without a new Institutional Master Plan it is impossible to know what to suggest for this particular development versus what benefits should be applied to the larger plan. To begin with, the North Allston Strategic Plan calls for a greening (e.g. trees and other landscaping) along all of Western Avenue and the entire length of N. Harvard Ave from the river to Cambridge St. This could be accomplished as an early action item. At the very least, I would like to see the DPIR address greenway connections from the Honan Library and the abutting neighborhood through the science complex with eventual connections to the river. In addition, the North Allston Strategic Plan was consistent in proposing retail at the pedestrian level all along Western Avenue. The DPIR should fully address this issue beyond simply having a restaurant or other small commercial space within the complex.

Community economic benefits

The DPIR needs to be much more specific about the economic benefits of this proposed development for the community and in particular about new jobs to be made available during the construction and later in staffing the science complex. I would assume that all the construction work will be union run and there will be specific preference goals for union members living in the Allston Brighton community, as well as, preference goals for the union halls that are located in Allston Brighton. Secondly, one of the best ways to integrate the North Allston community with the Harvard institution is to have preference residential goals for those staff working in those institutions. That can either come from

hiring current Allston Brighton residents or giving additional benefits to those staff willing to relocate to Allston Brighton. I would like to see the DPIR address this issue.

Thank you very much for this opportunity to comment on this Project Notification Form. I would ask that you, at the next appropriate Task Force meeting, summarize the themes of the issues that you have received from all the respondents and how the scoping determination will address those concerns.

Respectfully,

Jeffrey R. Bryan. 58 Riverdale Street Allston, MA 02134

617-787-0702

APPENDIX 4 EXAMPLE OF DPIR PUBLIC NOTICE

PUBLIC NOTICE

The Boston Redevelopment Authority (“BRA”), pursuant to Article 80 of the Boston Zoning Code, hereby gives notice that a Draft Project Impact Report (“DPIR”) was submitted by the NAME OF INSTITUTION, on MONTH, DAY, AND YEAR. The DPIR

describes the design and impacts of the Proposed Project.

Approvals are required of the BRA pursuant to Article 80 for

PROPOSED PROJECT.

DESCRIPTION OF

the issuance of an Preliminary Adequacy Determination by the Director of the BRA for the approval of the Project.

The DPIR may be reviewed at the Office of the Secretary of the BRA, Boston City Hall, Boston, Massachusetts 02210 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except legal holidays. Copies may also be reviewed at LIBRARIES.

Public comments on the DPIR, including comments of public agencies, should be submitted to Mr. Gerald Autler, Senior Project Manager/Planner, BRA, at the address

stated above or by email at Gerald.Autler.BRA@cityofboston.gov within forty-five (45)

days of this notice or by

, 2006.

BOSTON REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY Harry R. Collings, Secretary