Charlestown residents sue BPDA over Navy Yard affordable housing project

Charlestown residents are demanding the Boston Planning & Development Agency rescind approval of an reasonably priced housing venture on the Charlestown Navy Yard as a result of the group says officers ignored issues over potential “significant adverse impacts” to the neighborhood.

The BPDA in December accepted an software from city-based nonprofits, the Planning Office for Urban Affairs and St. Francis House, to rework the previous Constitution Inn into 100 reasonably priced housing models for people dealing with homelessness and psychological well being and substance abuse points.

The 11 residents who filed the swimsuit in Suffolk Superior Court this week say the BPDA’s determination is “based on errors of law, is unsupported by substantial evidence, and is arbitrary and capricious.” Plaintiffs allege that the company ignored “the existence of over 100 letters and emails” submitted to the company outlining neighborhood issues.

Residents additionally contend that the BPDA disregarded evaluate necessities outlined within the metropolis’s zoning code and “bypassed and waived the public review requirement and failed to allow the assembly of an Impact Advisory Group.”

“Most egregiously,” the swimsuit states, “the BPDA’s conduct in precluding the general public to take part within the evaluate course of quantities to a violation of the Plaintiffs’ proper to assemble, proper to free speech, and proper to have interaction in petitioning exercise, as assured underneath the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

The venture appears to be like to offer 100 models of 100% reasonably priced dwelling alternatives, 52 of that are completely reasonably priced for households chosen by means of a lottery system. The remaining 48 are for everlasting supportive housing flats leased to 32 girls and 16 veterans who’re decided to satisfy eligibility necessities, in keeping with paperwork.

Officials, responding to public remark, highlighted how they felt the proponent “engaged in a thorough community process.”

“The project team has taken every opportunity to meet the neighbors to discuss the details of this project,” officers said in late November. “After a year of in-person and virtual large group and small group meetings, the Planning Office for Urban Affairs, Archdiocese of Boston and St. Francis House submitted their formal proposal that addressed several concerns raised through the community process over that period of time.”

Residents raised issues over security and safety of the world, a scarcity of parking and the way the venture might result in the “overburdening of the local medical system,” amongst others.

“Medical professionals have expressed opposition to the Proposed Project, as Charlestown does not have the requisite resources or services to support the homeless population,” the swimsuit states, “the majority of which have complex health problems—both mental and physical— and are often dealing with substance abuse, and it would overburden an already severely taxed medical system in the Charlestown area.”

But in a December memorandum, officers highlighted how the venture is “close to existing rapid transit, transportation, and bus routes for residents, allowing for easy access to various amenities.”

“Moreover, with the range of incomes and backgrounds the completed Project will serve,” officers wrote, “this redevelopment plan will strengthen and build to the socioeconomic diversity of the neighborhood and increase the client or customer base for the resources in the area, while setting residents up for success.”