FRIENDS OF THE MALDEN RIVER SEEK BETTER PUBLIC ACCESS TO THE RIVER’S EDGE CITING 1869 WATERFRONT LAW

Here is an article recapitulating the comments: September 2nd issue of the Malden Advocate

Press Release of August 30, 2016:

MALDEN, Mass. – Friends of the Malden River (FoMR), a local advocacy group, is asking the state Department of Environmental Protection to require a Malden property owner to greatly improve its plans for a river path along the Malden River. Together with the Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA), the Friends of the Malden contend that Combined Properties’ plan to redevelop 295 Canal Street fail to meet regulatory requirements designed to promote active use of the Malden River shoreline.

In addition, the group is asking the state to require that an adjoining property, also owned by Combined Properties, be held to the same current regulations. The group bases its position on a Colonial Ordinance first enacted in 1641 and codified as a state statute in 1869, now known as Chapter 91.

In addition, the Friends argue that, because of anticipated use of the path, the increasedon-site parking of over 140 spaces, and the nearby busy intersection, a traffic study should be required to determine appropriate mitigation to ensure the safety of pedestrian, bike and physically challenged users.

Combined Properties, a regional real estate firm, plans to demolish the existing one-story building at 295 Canal Street and replace it with a five-story commercial enterprise. Chapter 91—the Massachusetts Public Waterfront Act—requires public access along a quality riverfront path. Both MyRWA and FoMR seek to have the owner provide a 12-foot minimum right-of- way for accessibility, including benches, lighting, trash receptacles, signage, and landscaping.

The two organizations believe that, with a bit more thought and planning done incollaboration with MyRWA and FoMR, the Combined Properties project can be an excellent neighbor in a neighborhood thirsting to reconnect with its own river.

Friends of the Malden River is a grassroots group of community members—most of them residents of one of the three cities (Everett, Malden, and Medford) that ring the visible Malden River—who are deeply concerned about the ecological and recreational health of the river. FoMR’s mission is “to promote awareness of and interest in the Malden River, improve its water quality, and increase access for public enjoyment.”

Formed in 2012, the group is strongly committed to restoring the Malden River to, and preserving it as, a priceless community amenity and natural resource. For more information about the Friends, visit https://maldenriver.wordpress.com/ or email friendsofthemaldenriver@gmail.com.

The Mystic River Watershed Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1972 by a group of concerned community residents. MyRWA’s mission is to (i) protect the Mystic River Watershed, (ii) restore and maintain clean water and the natural environment in a healthy state in the Mystic basin’s 22 communities, and (iii) promote responsible stewardship of our natural resources through educational initiatives in the watershed. MyRWA accomplishes its mission by forging strong links with citizens’ groups, universities, businesses, and government agencies.

Advertisements