Boston proposes redrawing Greenway skyline
Boston officials are rolling out proposed new height guidelines for the city skyline along the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway that would allow only modest-sized buildings closer to the waterfront and a few skyscrapers inland in locations where they would not overshadow public parks or Boston Harbor.
The new proposed rules, obtained by the Globe today, establish a framework for any future development that would occur along the Greenway. City officials identified 19 properties in the corridor from South to North stations that could be redeveloped into larger buildings. In some cases, the new rules would allow for taller buildings than current zoning permits.
The suggested height limits were devised by consultants retained by the Menino administration to examine the effects of proposed development on the Greenway itself. Menino wants more specific building guidelines in place to limit the effect shadows and winds would have on the newly-minted Greenway, which taxpayers have paid billions to create as a result of the Central Artery project.
Kairos Shen, Menino's chief planning officials, said the city's primary goal was not to make it easier--or harder--for developers to make money on new projects, but rather to enhance the appeal of the Greenway and bring more visitors to its parks, which thus far have been under-patronized.
Most of the redevelopable properties would face height limits from 50 to 200 feet, nowhere near the size of some skyscrapers that have been proposed. For example, the city would only allow a maximum of two 200-foot buildings on the site of the Harbor Garage, where developer Don Chiofaro instead wants to put two towers that would reach at least 625 feet in height. Chiofaro told the Globe yesterday he would abandon his building plan unless the city relaxes zoning rules to allow him to construct buildings large enough to make the project economically viable.
He could not be immediately reached for comment today.