Monday, September 07, 2009

Jamaica Plain land giveaway details (Mayor loses hundreds of thousands)

Mayor’s Yard Giveaway Program Defrauds Taxpayer’s of Money

At last week’s televised Mayoral Debate Candidate for Mayor Kevin McCrea exposed how the Mayor gave a $100,000 property to BRA/City Hall insider James Rourke for $5,000. The Mayor has claimed that the property is part of a green space program that has Deed restrictions. Today the Boston Globe exposed how those Deed restrictions can be removed and people can end up building on these lots making tremendous profit, while the taxpayers don’t get fair value for their land.

One such example is 26 Dalrymple Street in Jamaica Plain. The Mayor signed off on a deed to Amada Felix on April 9, 1996 which had the restriction that “no structures are to be erected, constructed or installed upon the premises, whether permanent or temporary”.
Ms. Felix sold the property to Domingo Morales. On July 3, 2001 Mr. Morales applied for a permit from the City of Boston to build a three family house for $327,871. He received the permit from the City, after permission by the ZBA and BRA. Mr. Morales built the house and converted it to condominiums, they were sold for:

4/28/2005 unit 1 $299,000
4/28/2005 unit 2 $305,000
10/22/2008 unit 3 $290,000

On May 3, 2005 a fax was sent from Jim McDonough, legal counsel for the Department of Neighborhood Development, to Gary Moccia head of Inspectional Services with the handwritten note “Hold Deed Restrictions”. The taxpayers got $750, the developer made a profit of over $500,000.

Candidate McCrea says: “This shows that in Tom Menino’s Boston there are no rules. Deed restrictions mean nothing, because they can be undone with a wave of the pen. Boston is run like a banana republic. As I have been saying for four years, we need to advertise and sell all vacant pieces of land that the City owns that we are not holding for a specific reason such as for a library, school, or other public use. These properties should all be available online for everyone to see. The City should not be in the business of land banking. We need to maximize the money for our assets, construct on buildable lots, and get rid of our pay to play system.”

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