February 24, 2011
The city’s planning agency is proposing to roll Dorchester Ave. – which is zoned separately from the rest of Dorchester – into the rest of the neighborhood. The effort is aimed at correcting inconsistencies in zoning districts, regulations, and usage guidelines that may exist between the current Dorchester Ave. and Dorchester zoning districts, agency officials say.
The Boston Redevelopment Authority is launching a 17-member advisory group that includes local architects, planners, business owners, and residents as part of an effort to reach out to the community about the proposed change. The members include Aileen O’Rourke, a resident and professional planner; Bob Susi, owner of Susi Autobody; Eileen Fenton of Columbia Savin Hill Civic Association; Mike Mackan of the Lower Mills Neighborhood Association; My Lam of Viet-AID; Roseanne Foley of St. Mark’s Main Streets; and Tam Le, owner of Pho Hoa restaurant, among others.
The advisory group’s first meeting is scheduled for March 9, at 6:30 p.m., at Viet-AID on Charles St.
Dorchester Ave., which runs over five miles down the center of the neighborhood, was rezoned in 1992, which split the neighborhood in two. The redevelopment authority is seeking to undo that separation.
“When we look at the codes from 1992, there are some uses that are outdated,” said Jeremy Rosenberger, project manager of the re-zoning.
Residents are unlikely to see any major changes to the street, he said. “This isn’t about making Dorchester downtown or sky-high buildings.”
The BRA board and the city’s zoning board must approve the zoning change before it can take effect. The process is expected to take a year to a year and a half.
Dot Ave. is undergoing improvements funded by federal stimulus funds. The overhaul runs from near the Ashmont MBTA station to the intersection of Dorchester Avenue and Old Colony Ave. in South Boston, and includes upgrades to the intersections at Peabody Square, Glover’s Corner, Fields Corner, and Andrew Square.
More information on the zoning situation is available at dotavzoning.org.