This Thursday night is going to be fascinating. With this strange obsession on bullies, citizens and educators aught to attend this workshop being held at the City Council Chambers at 7:00 when the Planning Board, the Historical Commission, the ZBA and the Affordable Housing Trust meet to discuss the potential development of 120 Merrimac Street (2 Mechanics Court in the National Register of Historic Places’ Historic Survey).
This will be either great fun or an outrage: it all depends on who bully’s who and what viewpoint you hold.
First Issue, 120 Merrimac Street is in a zoning no man’s land. If you don’t believe me, check it out on the City’s GIS map. It will be interesting how the Zoning Board handles this area. WMD means Waterfront Marina Zoning District. The area has no access to the Water and is wedged into a slice of land.
Second Issue, Murphy Construction wants to use the Section 6C provision. Therefore, as I have mentioned earlier, they must show public benefit: affordable housing or historic preservation or perhaps some third way. In one corner, will be the Affordable Housing Trust desperately trying to add more units into the City’s tally. In another corner, will be the Historical Commission wanting to promote the preservation of this very historically significant building. Now, peppered in amongst the Planning & Zoning board are the affordable housing advocates. Also, peppered in are the heritage tourism crowd.
I’m going! How about you?
The only question…will there be blood?