The Secretary of Environmental Affairs has issued a ruling on the proposed changes to the South Boston Marine Industrial Park (BMIP) submitted by the BRA. As many advocates of the MIP (including SAND) had noted, the Secretary has recognized the significance of Wharf 8 to the success of the park and has required further examination of its principal uses before allowing a change in zoning from maritime/industrial to maritime/retail. The Secretary also states that many of the proposed uses (i.e. bar, restaurant, bank) are either banned or inconsistent with "transitional uses" of a Designated Port Area.
Regarding Harborlights temporary siting on Wharf 8, the Secretary stated that the EOEA had not received a formal submission from the proponent and therefore has not pre-judged the project. The Secretary has requested that the proponent enter a formal process including publication in the Environmental Monitor and a public review phase.
The Secretary, in our view, has correctly recognized the potential for Seaport District development to impose on the fragile resources of the Marine Industrial Park. Although our focus is on "neighborhood" ideals within the inner harbor (west of the MIP boundary), we continue to advocate for the strengthening of the industrial park, protections on truck routes, and other issues that impact future expansion of maritime economies.
To read SAND's comments to the Secretary submitted during the public comment phase, click here.