BRA releases Dorchester Ave plan

The Boston Redevelopment Authority released a draft plan of Dorchester Avenue in South Boston, detailing the results of several months of community meetings as the corridor between Broadway and Andrew Stations on the Red Line changes. The area is still mostly industrial, with warehouses, auto body shops and so on covering much of the ground. The area is also in close proximity to several public housing projects — West Broadway, Old Colony and Mary Ellen McCormack. In total, the study area was 144 acres.

Plan Dot Study Area

The draft report recommends the creation of small blocks similar in size to others in South Boston and that taller buildings be stepped back. Permitted lot coverages would vary dependintg on the area, along with set-back. Guidelines have ben proposed to regulate street frontage to encourage activity.

The report also called for improved walking, biking and transit opportunities along the corridor. Disturbingly, the report also calls for setbacks to facilitate street-widening for the complete streets program. This would be a mistake.

One interesting feature was the idea of granting height and density bonuses in exchange for public benefits, such as more middle-income and affordable housing. According to the report, the development of the density bonus policy is already being worked on.

Dorchester Ave densities

An illustration showing how height and density could be regulated.

The comment period has been extended to June 22.

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