Boston College - No more Mr. Nice Guy

Check out Mike Pahre's blog for a full review of the BRA's Scoping Determination in response to Boston College's new Master Plan. The Globe has a story in today's paper where BC's spokesman drops the "Not In My Backyard" charge against the community and opposes the Mayor's stated position on BC's expansion. Considering the extent to which BC is already in Allston and Brighton's "backyard" this seems like a difficult accusation to justify.

Hub urges BC not to build dorms on former property of diocese - The Boston Globe

Mayor Thomas M. Menino said yesterday that BC should limit new dormitories to the traditional campus. "I say to them, why can't they build the new dorms on the campus they already have?" he said. "We want to see more housing on the present campus."

Boston College spokesman Jack Dunn said neighbors' complaints about the location of student housing, in light of longstanding demands to house more students on campus, amounted to "a question of NIMBYism. Everyone wants to see college students live on campus, unless they happen to live close to campus."


  1. Anonymous9:14 AM

    It is NIMBYism. You buy a house within a few hundred yards of a college you better expect to have college students in the area. Obviously, the neighbors on Lake St. thought the church would always own the land. Times change and BC needs the space to put their students on campus. I'd rather see them put academic buildings on the seminary property, but BC owns the land and they should be given the right to develop it.

    It's also rather hypocritical that the BRA tells BC to put more student housing on the lower campus but don't put it on Shea Field.

  2. Yes, times do change. The question is - who benefits from the change?

    There is a libertarian ideal that property owners should be able to develop land they own as they see fit, but that is not what the law allows - there is no such "right". To the contrary, in 1926 the Supreme Court ruled in Euclid v. Ambler that zoning laws that restrict development are a valid exercise of municipal authority.

    The claim of hypocrisy brings to mind this excerpt from the Euclid decision:
    "A nuisance may be merely a right thing in the wrong place, like a pig in the parlor instead of the barnyard."
    To many people, more student housing on BC's campus is the right thing, but BC has proposed putting it in the wrong place.

  3. Anonymous9:05 AM

    Harry, It is the wrong thing for the neighbors. It may be the right thing for Brighton. The neighbors did not want dorms where the old law school was. That was on campus. You can't have it both ways. I respect your opinion because you put a lot of thought into it. Most people use NIMBY.
    Tom Hilton

  4. Harry,
    I'm trying to find out what happened at the Allston community meeting Wednesday night when Councilor Ross was going to talk about limiting the number of students that could live in a single off-campus apartment. Were you there or have you heard what the Councilor said about it?

  5. Anonymous10:15 AM

    Maybe BC will decide its not worth it, sell the land to a developer for a profit, and the neighbors will have a conveniently located Macy's/Wal-Mart/Target on their hands. I'd love to see that.