Private developers deliberately obscure the lines between public and private space along Boston’s waterfront – with the goal to make the general public feel unwelcome – even though we all have the legal right to access much of our waterfront lands. It’s time for private developers to become part of the solution to create a vibrant and welcoming Boston Harbor for all.
Amid a raging pandemic, one that is hitting Black and Brown communities particularly hard, already-vulnerable communities find themselves even more threatened by the possibility of a significant storm hitting Massachusetts. That makes it more imperative than ever that we plan now for the storm season still to come.
“It is unacceptable that this plan allows developers to buy their way out of regulations they don’t like,” said Peter Shelley, Senior Counsel at CLF. “The public’s right to access the waterfront has been guaranteed for generations, and officials have singlehandedly undermined that right. The municipal harbor planning process is broken, and we’re looking forward to proving it in court.”
“It is unacceptable that this plan allows developers to buy their way out of regulations they don’t like,” CLF senior counsel Peter Shelley said in response to the judge’s ruling. “The public’s right to access the waterfront has been guaranteed for generations, and officials have singlehandedly undermined that right. The municipal harbor planning process is broken, and we’re looking forward to proving it in court.”
We’ve put together a list of projects and properties that will play the biggest role in shaping Boston’s future. As developers look to waterfront areas beyond the Seaport, we can both protect public access while also creating more open space, parks, and green space to help the region manage the impacts of climate change. And we can create more diverse neighborhoods with quality affordable housing, good transportation options, and amenities for all.
“Given that every resident contributed to the billions of dollars it took to clean up the harbor, we think it’s important that everyone have access to the use of and enjoyment of it,” CLF president Brad Campbell said.
Campbell says CLF is championing this cause because of its role as a watchdog of state waterfront regulations, a responsibility that includes designated port areas. He says CLF has become more involved lately because these industrial parcels, and the jobs they support, are under greater threat amid the heat of the real estate market.
CLF took back Boston Harbor from polluters.
Boston’s waterways are threatened by sewage and polluted runoff. Fixing Boston’s broken stormwater management system was the last unaddressed issue in the Boston Harbor cleanup.
“This plan unlawfully puts the interests of developers ahead of the public’s rights on the waterfront,” said CLF President Bradley Campbell. “Approval of this plan not only violates decades-old laws governing the waterfront, but also sets a dangerous precedent by signaling to developers that they can buy their way out of rules that have balanced public and private development interests for years. The state must stop disregarding the public’s rights when it comes to waterfront development.”