City officials Thursday said they would delay an already-drawn-out plan to rezone parts of Jamaica Plain and Roxbury to encourage new development, amid concerns in the neighborhood that it would ultimately drive up housing costs.
Housing activists cheered the three-month extension, and a pledge by officials with the Boston Redevelopment Authority to “maximize” zoning for affordable housing in the fast-developing stretch of Washington Street from Egleston Square to Forest Hills.
“The battle isn’t over yet,” said Jorge Franjul, part of the group pushing for more affordable housing. “Getting three more months is a small stepping stone to a plan with real affordability.”
City officials had aimed to submit a draft plan to the Boston Redevelopment Authority this summer, but after protests by Franjul’s group will now extend a community review of the Washington St. area at least until October.
“We agree that more time is necessary to continue to work through the components of the plan collaboratively,” wrote BRA director Brian Golden and city housing chief Sheila Dillon.
Some community groups have pushed to slow down approval of new projects until the new guidelines are in place, and the extension could also slow review of developments that have already been proposed for that area..
Draft plans for a similar re-zoning effort on Dorchester Ave. in South Boston, which also started last summer, were unveiled in November and are now moving toward final approval. Similar re-zonings are now getting underway in Dudley Square and the Savin Hill section of Dorchester.