CSANA 6/1/2016


Hampton House: 155 Northhampton St

Meeting Minutes: Miren

7pm                       Meeting opened by Carol.

May meeting minutes were approved.

Treasurer’s Report: Sara

  • Current Budget $3045.71
    • Includes reimbursement for Boston Shines ($324.91)
  • Sara proposed that a budget could be created for future purchases
  • A motion was passed that going forward all purchases for CSANA would be pre-approved at the monthly meetings.
    • This excludes petty cash expenses up to $150

`Neighborhood Crime Report: Officer Schoulla:

  • Sgt Taxter to follow up on scooters
  • Officer Schoulla cautioned residents on having scooters or else having a really good lock
  • Shawmut/West Spr stop sign compliance: will bring to Sgt Taxter

Comet Place:

  • Replaced Stop sign
  • Residents to petition City of Boston to exclude trucks from Northampton St
    • Tashia, Jim, Phil and Sara to help get signatures

Boston Shines Expeditures: Mark

  • Costs were s the result of mulching and planting done over 2 different days (“Boston Shines 1 and 2”)
  • Park fence in need of repair on Northampton side
  • West side of the park also needs upkeep assistance.

Park Lighting/Park Upkeep

  • The proposal to try to obtain year-round lighting for Chester Sq park was discussed.
    • It was agreed to have predominately white lighting with festive lighting for holidays.
  • This led to a discussion on how to get the neighborhood involved in the upkeep of the park and garden so that it did not fall on just a couple individuals.
    • It was agreed that CSANA would be ultimate authority on decisions in order to make sure everyone is involved and has a say.
  • Michelle proposed that 10 minutes of each meeting could be dedicated to determining that month’s “garden plan”, which could be communicated to the remainder of neighborhood by email.
    • It was agreed that to accomplish this, first the park and surrounding area would need to be surveyed to assess existing conditions.
    • From the survey CSANA will be able to come up with a plan to address the whole neighborhood area’s assessed needs including a  budget plan and allocation of labor.
    • Michelle and Josh will present the completed survey in the September meeting for further discussion.


558 Mass Ave: Historical Site Falling Apart

  • Mark will write letters to get city, state and federal legislators involved to see about funding for repairs
  • Suggestions were also made to get the South End Historical Society involved, and to reach out to caretakers and owners of the building to express CSANA’s interest in providing assistance with requesting funding.


Next Meeting: 7/6/16 7pm at Hampton House

Police Report

Proposal to subdivide 527 Mass Ave. create 223 Northampton, build new 9-unit house

Fall Event

New liquor store?

Police report

Northampton St truck traffic: draft and signatures for petition

South End Parking Task Force Recommendations

Northeastern University: John Tobin, Vice President, City & Community Affairs

Chester Park & Street Trees

  • Boston Shines expenses, winter lighting
  • master plan, budget, fundraising

Events – summer stoop parties? grill & lemonade? annual park event?

Should we link our website to Amazon

Hampton House has recommitted to our neighborhood, extending our contract to use their community room for meetings through April 2017.

Boston Shines: 15-20 people, including 5 Victory House residents, worked together to clean up the neighborhood and plant Chester Park.  We’ll request more mulch to treat street trees.

Neighbors also brainstormed ideas for winter lighting and outdoor events. We’ll be putting together some ideas for the Mayor’s Office to review for possible funding.

Expenses incurred for Boston Shines led to suggestions that we begin planning, budgeting, and fund-raising for Chester Park and the neighborhood. Look for this on June agenda.

Northampton St truck traffic:  Carol will work with the Mayors office on a petition to the City to exclude truck traffic from Northampton St. If you’re concerned about noise and safety on Northampton St, please contact info@chestersquareassociation.org. We need signatures from our neighbors.

CSANA 4/6/2016


Hampton House: 155 Northhampton St

Meeting Minutes: Miren

7:04pm                 Meeting opened by Bud and introductions.

Last meeting’s minutes were reviewed and approved at 7:06pm.


Treasurer’s Report: Sara

  • Current budget: $3,370.62
  • Sara would like to have 3 committee members to assist in drafting a fundraising letter, with the objective of beautifying/lighting the park, as well as events for the whole year.
  • This will be put on the agenda for next month’s meeting

Boston Shines April 30th

  • Bud will talk/email Sam Chambers re: mulch and will know how much mulch is needed, and how much mulch will be available to us
  • Miren: will handle getting wheelbarrows (preferably two)
  • We will do flyers that mention FB and website
  • Start time will be 10am. VH clients will be available to help starting at 9am


Alexandra Hotel

  • Nothing new, down to 5 contenders/potential buyers from 52


Mass Ave/Shawmut Store Vacancy

  • What do we want to see there?
  • Coffee shop, ice cream/frozen yogurt place
    • Something that adds to the community


  • Randi has requested that this be moved to May’s agenda
  • As an aside: Sara would like to have owners of Tropical Foods to come to a CSANA meeting and share how we can support them

Comet Place-

  • waiting on info from Sam Chambers

Ideas for Beautification, Activities and Safety in Chester Park

  • It was suggested to look into a 3 month lighting opportunity in park (like in Franklin Park)
    • Idea is to light trees 2/3 way up
    • This could be done to trees around the fountain or all trees
    • Both sides of park will support lights, as well as flood lights that will not shine into residences
    • Idea will be to Increase safety and decrease drug use in area as well as beautification
    • Likely will need a “partner” to sponsor Chester Park to make this happen (going back to Sara’s request for a fundraising committee)
  • Wesley suggested approaching art schools in area about doing an installment
  • Overall everyone agreed that the following needed to be determined:
    • What do we want
    • Who to partner with
    • What do we prioritize
  • As a result the following was decided:
    • Subcommittee: Bud, Mark, Wesley, Sam
    • Prioritize working on planters first
      • Mark has done inventory on dead and missing trees and will send to Boston Parks Dept to be rectified
    • Daffodils on median: Done by Mark
    • There was a motion by Sara to determine how much money CSANA would spend. It was agreed this would be discussed again next month after inventory of supplies is completed.

South End Forum

  • At most recent meeting there was a discussion about traffic, Bud communicated that Mass Ave has worst traffic in the South End.
  • There was a digital speedometer recently installed on Mass Ave on odd side of the park.


  • Wesley has volunteered to help
  • Julian paid domain fees and will need to be reimbursed

Next Meeting:  Wednesday 5/4/16 Hampton House @7pm

Visit with your neighbors and work together

Meet at Chester Square Park on the East side of Mass Ave. for coffee and equipment.

Update and wrap-up for April activities

Comet Place progress

Petition to exclude trucks from Northampton St

Police Report, including Shawmut Ave stop sign enforcement

South End Forum

Next (Events, Beautification, Fundraising)

BPD report: crime is down. Tip for building managers: wood astragals (covering gap between double entry doors) should be secured with screws. Burglars easily pry off astragals fastened with finish nails to card the lock.

Proposals for development between Massachusetts Ave and Melnea Cass Blvd may interest/concern our neighborhood in a variety of ways, including loss of trees and open space, loss of parking, and increased population and activity (with consequent loads on infrastructure and environment). Ben volunteered to contact Northeastern University, a significant player in the area closest to CSANA, to invite them to our meeting.

Concerning a South End Forum proposal for a moratorium on new social services in the South End, CSANA agreed as follows:

  • We want to support programs and services already part of the neighborhood.
  • We can support expansion of existing services.
  • We need to require coordination between services and programs.
  • New services should be sited in other neighborhoods.
  • Programs must be supported by medical community in some way (MGH, etc.)

SE Forum also proposed a security camera rebate (City of Boston to subsidize cameras installed on private property). CSANA voted rebates should only be granted in case of financial need.

Sam Chambers (Mayor’s Office) reported

  • Northampton St is actually not a truck route. We are invited to petition BTD to restrict trucks on the street.
  • BTD is reluctant to try to ban air brakes on Mass Ave, because it’s a state road.
  • BTD has determined that visibility of stop signs on Shawmut Ave is adequate. We should work with BPD on enforcement.
  • Boston Shines clean-up will take place April 29/30. City will provide tools upon request.
  • BTD has agreed to sign Comet Place for one-way traffic, entering from Northampton and exiting to Shawmut.
  • Sam will contact code enforcement concerning accumulated trash in the alley behind 505 Mass Ave.

Douglass Williams hopes to open new restaurant Mita (“generosity” in Italian) in late June.  We voted to provide letters of support for a full liquor license and for outdoor seating. We asked Douglass to bring seating plan to next meeting.

Report from City Hall (Street cleaning, stop sign compliance, Comet Place, truck traffic & engine braking)
New restaurant – Douglass Williams will ask our support for full liquor license and renewal of patio license.
Development – (5 community meetings in one week!) As density and levels of activity explode, what do we need to preserve and enhance quality of life? More space for tricycles, bicycles, pedestrians, trees; …?
No More? South End Forum offers specific language to stop siting service agencies for people on the margins of society in the South End, and to require other neighborhoods to host these critical services.
Police Report & Graffiti

After considering possibilities for the Alexandra, the meeting voted the following: “CSANA would endorse the restoration of the Alexandra Hotel as a boutique hotel for the neighborhood with community engagement opportunities”

Considering safety concerns and the recommendation of abutters, we agreed to request Boston Transportation Dept sign Comet Place for one-way traffic entering from Northampton St and exiting to Shawmut Ave.

Charlotte Fleetwood, Boston Transportation Dept, presented Vision Zero, a program to eliminate fatalities on Boston’s streets. She described a number of measures that might be quickly implemented to make streets safer for driving, walking, and cycling. To add your concerns to the map, go to Visionzeroboston.org.

New restaurant at Tremont & Mass Ave: Douglas Williams envisions a neighborhood restaurant, “Italian influenced/American executed”.At our March meeting, he’ll ask our support for a full liquor license. He hopes for a May 1st opening.

Responding to South End forum’s question – given that the South End has more than its share of services for those on the margins of society, shouldn’t new services must be located in other neighborhoods? we tend to agree that it is time for others to step up. But we also support these services and, before voting a position we need to see specific language proposed for the Forum vote. We also considered what could be done within our own neighborhood, and committed to reaching out to strengthen relationships with organizations here within the Chester Square Area.

Sgt. Taxter distributed a detailed accounting of recent BPD activity; noting that engaging with your phone may make you/your phone an easy target. To assist in neighborhood watch efforts, he also described a common illegal/drug transaction (a “meaningless ride” where a person gets into a car and gets out nearby).


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