Planning is coming to Mattapan, with the latest in a series of localized initiatives set to kick off later this month and introduce the neighborhood to a broad outline of the study.
The PLAN Mattapan project is a city-led effort to work with the community and lay out a vision for the neighborhood that identifies areas for growth, preservation, and potential rezoning. It follows others in South Boston and the Jamaica Plain/Roxbury area, as well as ongoing plans including the Dudley area of Roxbury and Glover’s Corner in Dorchester.
An open house is scheduled for Oct. 25 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Mildred Avenue Community Center. It will include printed materials, interpreters for Haitian Creole and Spanish speakers, and light refreshments.
Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) planners Marie Mercurio and Müge Ündemir said the open house will be the community‘s first official opportunity to become involved with the planning initiative, as well as meet the team leaders who will be working on it. A later meeting this year will be focused more on refining the study boundaries and timeline, and incorporating any feedback from the next few months.
“We know there has been quite a bit of planning done in Mattapan,” Mercurio said, “so we don’t want to leave those behind. We want to reference those and ask folks when we talk about the Fairmount-Indigo Planning Initiative and the Mattapan Economic Development Initiative what things still resonate with them.”
The Glover’s Corner study and the JP/Rox plan saw pushback and feedback from community advocates relatively early in their processes. Ündemir said they received some positive reaction from their neighborhood tours over the summer.
Planners are looking for general input at the Oct. 25 meeting on neighborhood priorities, concerns, and how best to engage with the project, Mercurio said. “Who might be missing from the room and who else do we need to reach out to?”
For the moment, Mattapan writ large is the planning area, but that does not mean they are strictly following the city line on its boundaries or trying to fuss with the zoning across the neighborhood. In some places, the zoning will allow for taller buildings than currently exist, and largely residential swaths may not need to be included in the study for any tweaking.
“We know that much of the neighborhood is pretty much residential. These are areas we do not need to rezone,” Mercurio said. “We’ve heard from folks that there is quite a lot of homeownership that should be preserved, so there are areas that we probably will not study.”
The likely one- to one-and-a-half-year long initiative will be centered in and around Mattapan Square, she said. The open house will have maps for attendees to start narrowing down the scope.
Meeting information and additional resources will be posted on the BPDA website at bostonplans.org/planning/planning-initiatives/plan-mattapan.