Squares + Streets Update – Visioning Workshop right ahead – 29 April 2024 – 6:00 pm at the RCC

We’ve just had an informative zoning session, anchored by a really useful zoning primer presentation, and now we’re on to a visioning workshop. Information pulled from the BPDA’s recent newsletter email directly below. Attendance is encouraged if you can make it!

Roslindale Square Squares + Streets Visioning Workshop Register 
Monday, April 29 | 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM | Roslindale Community Center BCYF | 6 Cummins Highway | Roslindale, MA 02131

The BPDA is hosting an in-person visioning session to collaborate with the community on generating ideas for potential planning and zoning recommendations for the Roslindale Square Squares + Streets  Plan. This session will include a summary of existing conditions analysis, feedback received to-date and community visions for different topic areas, as well as hands-on activities to contribute your ideas for potential recommendations.  

[Learn more about this event]

ATTENTION: Mayor’s Neighborhood Coffee Hour – 25 April 2024 – 9:30 am to 10:30 am in Adams Park

This one snuck up on us, but very much worth attending to connect with the Mayor and City staff and our neighbors. Here’s the official write-up from the city’s website:


Mayor Michelle Wu and the Boston Parks and Recreation Department host the 2024 Neighborhood Coffee Hour Series in local parks citywide from April 22 to June 26.

Mayor Wu’s Neighborhood Coffee Hours are a unique opportunity to speak directly with the Mayor and staff from City departments about open space and their neighborhoods. Dunkin’ will be on-site to fuel the local community with freshly brewed Iced Coffee and Donuts. Dunkin’ will brew up even more fun with gift card giveaways. Residents at each event will also be eligible to win a raffle prize from Dunkin’. In addition, each family in attendance will receive a free flowering plant provided by the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, while supplies last. Fresh fruit will be provided by Star Market. Additional support by City Express.

For more information and updates on possible weather cancellations, please contact the Boston Parks and Recreation Department at 617-635-4505, on our social channels @bostonparksdept on XFacebook, and Instagram, or by visiting the Parks Department website.

Another installment of Squares + Streets Roslindale News – Foundational Zones Adopted by Zoning Commission, Upcoming Zoning Meeting on 24 April 2024, and AHMA’s initial analysis online

Three things to know:

  1. Squares + Streets Foundational Zones Adopted by Zoning CommissionThis past Wednesday, 17 April 2024, saw the Boston Zoning Commission, by a vote of 7-1, adopt the full set of S+S foundational zones – S-0 through S-5 – into the Boston Zoning Code as Article 26, along with a broad range of other modifications to the code. WalkUP Roslindale submitted its own comment letter and your correspondent testified in favor at the hearing, along with District 5 Councilor Enrique Pepen, among others supportive of the proposal. Congratulations and thanks to the city planning line staff who worked so hard to get these building blocks roughed into shape and to Director of Planning Aimee Chambers, to BPDA Director Arthur Jemison, and to Mayor Michelle Wu for supporting this work and leading the effort to get the initial step all the way over the line. Now, we turn in true earnest to the small area planning process here in Roslindale Square to figure out how best to land these zones within a framework of city policies, programs, and ordinances that will make our neighborhood center a better functioning, more welcoming place.
  2. Squares + Streets Upcoming Meeting THIS WEEKZoning Workshop, 6 pm on 24 April 2024, Roslindale Community Center (corner Cummins & Washington). This is going to be an in-person meeting. If you’re reading this, we encourage you to attend for as much of the meeting as possible. BPDA staff describe the agenda and intent as follows: At this workshop, community members will be introduced to zoning as a tool that guides development and will discuss zoning through a community development mindset. The workshop will start with a walkthrough of how zoning works in Boston with a focus on existing zoning regulations in Roslindale Square and proposed zoning in Squares + Streets zoning districts as context. The second half of the workshop will be an interactive, facilitated activity to think about how proposals for community development projects would have to interact with existing zoning regulations in Roslindale Square. By the end of the workshop, community members will have engaged in initial conversations about community development goals that will support future engagement conversations on how the mapping of Squares + Streets zoning districts can support those goals.
  3. AHMA gets the ball rolling on S+S buildout scenarios – Our friends over at Abundant Housing Massachusetts (AHMA), the Commonwealth-wide pro-housing organization, recently released their preliminary analysis of the likely range of new residential units that could result from Squares + Streets in Roslindale Square. Briefly stated, AHMA’s research projects that Roslindale’s Squares + Streets rezoning could result, over the next decade, in 300 to 1700 new residential units. That is a very broad range indeed. AHMA’s projections are presented in accessible PDFs and an interactive online tool. The tool allows users to adjust assumptions and explore rezoning’s impacts on housing production, property tax revenue, and zoning nonconformance. AHMA have also prepared a detailed video walkthrough for navigating the PDFs and interactive tool. AHMA’s analysis identifies underutilized sites on lots larger than 6,000 sq. ft. that are vacant or have older, low-rise buildings, and assumes 25-33% (i.e., up to a third) of these sites will redevelop over 10 years. The most minimal rezoning scenario only studies the transformation of commercial areas into mixed-used districts. By applying the newly adopted S2 District, which permits buildings up to five stories, this could increase Roslindale’s housing stock by 2.5% and Hyde Park’s by 5.7%. The top-of-the-range abundance rezoning scenario explores the potential for mid-to-high density housing and mixed-use projects across the entire Squares + Streets study area. By applying a mix of S2 and S3 Districts, which permit buildings up to seven stories, this could increase Roslindale’s housing stock by 13.4% and Hyde Park’s by 24.4%. More details on the methodology can be found in the PDFs and video walkthrough.AHMA have indicated that they have three goals in releasing these initial housing projections and the accompanying tools:
    • Education – AHMA wants to increase public understanding of how zoning actually translates into building more homes. The better people understand how this process works, the better the chances we can engage in collaborative community planning.
    • Advocacy – AHMA supports the abundance rezoning scenario and believes Roslindale and Cleary Squares can thoughtfully introduce far more homes while maintaining existing residents’ quality of life.
    • Framing the discussion AHMA recognizes that the minimal rezoning scenario fails to adequately address the housing needs in Roslindale and Cleary Squares, but includes it as a plausible lower bound for community discussions.