Image courtesy of Heffner Architects

Lincoln Property Co.’s proposal for a nine-building multifamily development in Boston’s Hyde Park neighborhood is being sent back to the drawing board.

In a letter to the Texas-based developer, Boston Planning & Development Agency Director of Development Review Michael Christopher, Director of Planning Aimee Chambers and Senior Project Manager Caitlin Coppinger directed the 990 American Legion Highway project be substantially revised before development review proceeds further.

Lincoln had originally planned 270 apartments for a 14-acre hillside former quarry next to a Stop & Shop-anchored retail plaza using a largely suburban-style complex of 2- and 3-story buildings, along with an amenity building and 415 parking spaces.

The project met strong opposition from residents, though, who complained the project would result in clear-cutting of the many trees that had grown up on the property since the quarry was closed some years ago. The property is one of the few large, undeveloped parcels in Hyde Park.

The BPDA’s memo to Lincoln criticized the company’s unwillingness to modify its design into something more “sustainable” that required less earth-moving and tree cutting and had more than one entry/exit point and less surface parking. Lincoln’s proposal, the memo claims, went largely unchanged in the face of residents’ and officials’ concerns.

The project’s approach to site design is problematic in a multitude of ways. The site design proposes clear-cutting a largely forested site and replacing the existing urban wilds with a gated community. On an environmental scale, the design is exacerbating the urban heat island effect, increasing storm-water run-off, and reducing the urban canopy in a neighborhood that is an environmental justice area with largely communities of color,” the memo says.

The memo also complains that renderings presented to date do not clearly show how much cutting and fill work will be necessary for the building, that developers flouted BPDA tree survey requirements, did not adequately describe how they would minimize stormwater impacts on neighboring properties and had not provided a blasting plan since being asked a year and a half ago.

BPDA Rejects Hyde Park Multifamily Project

by James Sanna time to read: 1 min