Roslindale neighbors continue to oppose Harvard Arboretum project

For 4 years, Harvard has been trying to get City approval to build a 45,000-square-foot research facility a 14.2-acre lot next to the Arnold Arboretum. It seems like a big project to the neighbors in Roslindale, but it seems so small compared to the ten times larger Science Complex that Harvard wants to build on Western Ave in Allston.

When I attended a meeting about this project last winter, Harvard was offering a 100 year restriction on a part of this lot that would not be developed as part of this project. Kevin McCluskey and other Harvard staff at that meeting along with Jay Walsh (Paul Holloway's boss in the Mayor's Office) seemed to strongly support of the 100 year restriction. Residents who pushed for a much longer restriction were basically told that could never happen and Harvard (or any other property owner) would never voluntarily agree to such an outrageous restriction on their private property.

So the impossible is now the reality! Harvard has gone from offering a 10 year deal, to a 40 year deal, to a 100 year deal, to a 875 year deal!

The story from today's Globe is Neighbors continue to oppose Harvard project:
'We have just, as a private property owner, placed a restriction on the use of
our property for 875 years,' Harvard’s director of community relations, Kevin
McCluskey, said in an interview Tuesday. “Anyone who’s unimpressed by that
really needs to look more carefully at the situation.'
The Bulletin Newspaper wrote a story about the issue back in February:

"Harvard University unveiled plans outlining a 100-year commitment to
protect a portion of land from development near the Arnold Arboretum. Harvard’s
proposed 100-year commitment aims to record a declaration of development
restrictions for the land where the facility is proposed.

In September of last year, Harvard University and the Arnold Arboretum
proposed a 40-year development control commitment for the parcel of land in an
attempt to garner community support for the proposed facility. That term of
commitment was not acceptable to community members at past meetings.

Meeting minutes and the Master Plan are online at:
http://www.arboretum.harvard.edu/aboutus/imp.html

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