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First agenda item for newly minted Blue Hill Avenue/Cummins Highway Working Advisory Group: Cote Ford property

Posted by Patrick Rosso  September 18, 2013 04:20 PM

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Mayor Thomas M. Menino has announced the 14-member advisory group that will support the development of a long-term strategy for the area surrounding the yet to be completed Blue Hill Avenue Fairmount Commuter Rail station.

The Blue Hill Ave/Cummins Highway Working Advisory Group will support the Boston Redevelopment Authority in its effort to create a plan for business growth, employment opportunities, and housing development in the immediate area, as part of the broader Fairmount Indigo Planning Initiative.

“I am confident that the Blue Hill Ave/Cummins Hwy Working Advisory Group will have a significant impact on the City’s efforts to identify how to best grow this key community along the Fairmount Indigo commuter rail line,” Menino said in a release from the BRA.

Launched in early-2012, the Fairmount Indigo Planning Initiative aims to transform the corridor that surrounds the 9.2-mile rail line, which stretches from South Station to Hyde Park, cutting through Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan.

A separate area-specific group has also been formed in Uphams Corner and advisory groups for the Four Corners Station and Talbot Avenue Station are expected to be announced in 2014, according to Jeremy Rosenberger, a senior planner with the BRA.

“What we are looking to do is promote physical and economic growth in the area,” explained Rosenberger. “I think this is a big opportunity to support the new Main Streets district and improve the station area’s connection to the community.”

Rosenberger added that a priority of the group will be developing a vision for a city owned property on the corner of Cummins Highway and Regis Road. The dilapidated structure, dubbed the Cote Ford parcel, was once home to an auto dealership and is now owned by the city after it foreclosed on the property in 2011 due to back taxes.

At the group’s first meeting planned for late-September, Rosenberger said he expects it to dive into the process of creating a vision for the space, which the Department of Neighborhood Development, the manager of the property, has placed an emphasis on developing.

“In September we will begin talking about that property and what it can be and start the process of generating guidelines for its disposition,” said Rosenberger.

The group will also discuss the property at its second meeting in October. Notes from the two meetings will be used by DND to generate a Request For Proposals for the site, expected to be advertised by early-November.

“We’re hoping this project can continue to add to the square and enhance Mattapan and bring about a vision that people want to see in the community,” said Rosenberger.

Thirty-two were nominated to the advisory group, which is made up of residents, business owners, and area advocates including the Mattapan Square Main Streets, Cummins Valley Neighborhood Association, and the Woodhaven Culvert Regis Neighborhood Association.

A large emphasis will be placed on creating economic connections to the planned station, which is currently at a standstill because of opposition from some neighbors. Currently the plan for the station is being reviewed by Polaris Consulting and no timeline has been set for when construction will begin, according to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

The group will concentrate on the area surrounding the thoroughfares and planned station, but it will report to and work closely with the Fairmount Indigo Planning Initiative Corridor-wide Advisory Group, which launched in July 2012.

The Blue Hill Ave/Cummins Highway Working Advisory Group's first meeting will be held Thursday, September 26, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Mattapan Community Health Center.

Below is a list of the advisory group’s members:

Corey Allen, Cummins Valley Neighborhood Association
Vilma Berarducci, Mattapan Property Owner
Amenyonah Bossman, Mattapan Resident
Greg Burton, Church of the Holy Spirit
R. Kelly Cameron, Mattapan Resident
Lisa Dix, Woodhaven Culvert Regis Neighborhood Association
Dieufort J. Fleurissant, Mattapan Business Owner
Joanne Freeman, Mattapan Resident
Jacques Dady Jean, Mattapan Business Owner and Resident
Brenda King, Mattapan Resident
Lincoln Lamond, Mattapan United
Allentza Michel, Mattapan Resident
Robert Peters, Mattapan Resident
Tina Petigny, Executive Director, Mattapan Square Main Streets

Email Patrick D. Rosso, Follow him @PDRosso, or friend him on Facebook.

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