Photo: (c) Vin Catania
The committee’s mission is to help maintain the architectural integrity of our National Historical Landmark district. The committee reviews properties that have submitted applications to the Beacon Hill Architectural Commission (BHAC). The BHAC holds monthly hearings on applications for Certificates of Appropriateness and reviews architectural violations in accordance with Ch. 616 of the Acts of 1955, as amended (the Massachusetts State Legislation that created the Historic Beacon Hill District in 1955). Ahead of each BHAC meeting, our committee reviews the applications going before the BHAC and provides neighborhood input to the Commission.
Parks and Public Spaces Committee
The Parks and Public Spaces Committee focuses on the open, green spaces around Beacon Hill, which are so important to our community’s quality of life. Some of these spaces are big, like the Common, the Public Garden and the Esplanade, and others are quite small, like the Phillips Street Play Area and the Myrtle Street Playground. Over the past year, the Committee has worked to increase attention and care to these spaces and there have been many positive developments. The Committee works closely with the City’s Parks and Recreation Department and the Friends of the Public Garden.
Planning and Oversight Committee
This is an umbrella committee that was established to monitor and oversee the BHCA’s involvement on the various committees and groups in the City of Boston, to ensure that the BHCA has a voice in the planning on all projects or proposals that may impact Beacon Hill, as well as to improve the BHCA’s relations with governmental officials to strengthen the organization’s voice in governmental and community planning on all projects or proposals affecting our neighborhood.
Zoning and Licensing Committee
This committee’s mission is to assist property owners who are making changes to their properties that require variances from the City’s Zoning Code. By hosting property representatives to describe their projects and rationales for requesting variances, the committee provides community input and insight. Each of the committee’s votes is presented to the BHCA board for vote; the board’s vote is incorporated into a letter to the Zoning Board of Appeal. The committee reviews requests by local restaurants and merchants for liquor licenses in a similar manner to the review of zoning variances.
This Committee supports and encourages sustainable living for Beacon Hill residents and businesses, with a primary focus on recycling, green living and transportation. The Committee’s work is part advocacy and part education. The Committee produces articles for publication in the Beacon Hill Times “Green Corner”.
Joint Charles Street Committee
The Joint Charles Street Committee is a collaboration between the Beacon Hill Civic Association and the Beacon Hill Business Association. The Committee works on issues such as the streetscape, trash and recycling pickup, zoning, safety, traffic, and parking. As appropriate, the Committee collaborates with other BHCA committees, as well as the City. The Committee encourages active participation from residents and business owners.
Working with the Boston Police Department and Beacon Hill residents and merchants, this Committee strives to maintain the environment of safety and security on Beacon Hill. Committee members attend the monthly neighborhood safety meetings with the Police Department and develop a communication strategy to educate neighbors on best safety practices.
Traffic and Parking Committee
The Traffic & Parking Committee has three primary functions:
The Tree Committee works to preserve the trees on the streets of Beacon Hill by helping to identify trees that need to be pruned or replaced by the City. It coordinates with the City’s Parks and Recreation Department on related activities like tree removal due to sickness/potential safety hazard, comprehensive pruning needs, and the maintenance of the tree guards and plantings along Charles Street. On occasion the Committee has helped to fund tree replacements and pruning activities when the City funds are not readily available and with prior approval of the BHCA Board. Currently there are two separate funds:
Annual Appeal Committee
The Annual Appeal is the BHCA’s primary fundraiser, providing approximately 50% of the organization’s annual revenue (with membership and fundraisers contributing the remainder). The Annual Appeal is led by the BHCA’s Board of Directors. Committee members make personal contact with key donors to encourage on-going support.
Community Events Committee
The Committee plans and executes events for the neighborhood such as the annual Neighborhood Block Party, Holiday Decorating Days, Evening on the Esplanade, lectures and more. Our goal is to help attract and retain members as well as instill a sense of community. While many of our events are organized by the BHCA alone, we are happy to partner with other non-profits and community organizations to expand the range of activities and events offered to our members.
The Committee seeks to identify and engage potential new members, as well as steward existing members, in the residential, business, and non-profit segments of our neighborhood. When neighbors join together we are all stronger. Membership dues are an important source for our day-to-day activities. We actively seek to expand our membership base, welcoming new members with two receptions each year. Additionally, we produce an annual Neighborhood Guide to provide residents with an information resource and to encourage residents to support the local businesses that advertise in the Guide. Finally, we manage the Merchant Loyalty Program as a way to further encourage members and merchant to support each other.
Public Relations Committee
This committee’s mission is to help position the BHCA’s messages for the most valuable impact. The committee helps with preparing messages for members and external constituents such as the press. Working with the Membership Committee, the Public Relations Committee helps to enhance the understanding of the BHCA’s role in the neighborhood and the reason for joining the BHCA. Working with the Events Committee, the Public Relations Committee helps to build the audience for BHCA sponsored events.
Winter Gala Committee
Annually, the BHCA hosts a gala to bring members together for a fun and festive evening. Proceeds from the event help support our annual operations.