Commonwealth’s 150 Seaport Blvd decision favors private developer over public interest
February 2, 2017 (BOSTON, MA) – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) released the following statement today in response to a decision from Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Matthew Beaton rejecting CLF’s petition to reconsider the Commonwealth’s approval of the controversial 150 Seaport Boulevard proposal. In its petition, CLF claims that the Commonwealth’s December 21, 2016 approval of this project is in direct defiance of its public trust obligations under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 91.
“The Baker Administration is now fully complicit in Mayor Walsh’s unlawful effort to enrich a favored developer using public resources,” said CLF President Bradley M. Campbell. “CLF will now turn to the courts to enforce well-established law and ask the Attorney General to fulfill her duty to protect the public trust. Meanwhile, the City’s unwillingness to stand up for the true stewards of our waterfront – the people of Massachusetts – will again delay needed improvements to this treasured public resource.”
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 91, designed to ensure the Boston waterfront remains open and accessible to the public, requires that any new waterfront development be a maximum of 55 feet in height with at least 50 percent of the lot reserved for open space. Meanwhile, the 150 Seaport Boulevard proposal calls for a structure that is 250 feet in height with merely 25 percent open space. CLF contends that Secretary Beaton overstepped his legal authority by approving this extreme and unlawful deviation from Chapter 91.
CLF experts are available for further comment.