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CAPS Somerville AAB #C10 264 Mtn4Reconsider


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CAPS filed a Motion for Reconsideration with the MA Architectural Access Board on March 5, 2012 after the AAB's Compliance officer failed to track down certain details.
The AAB thereupon sent the City a copy of this Motion, requesting those details.

7/13/12: CAPS has still not received any follow-up from the AAB on whether the City provided the requested information

Published in: News & Politics, Business, Design
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CAPS Somerville AAB #C10 264 Mtn4Reconsider

  1. 1. From: Community Access project <>Subject: Motion for reconsideration: Somerville AAB #C10-264. Date: March 4, 2012 12:39:27 PM EST 2 Attachments, 144 KBsent via email on March 5, 2012To:Thomas Hopkins, Executive Director, Massachusetts Architectural Access BoardDonald Lang, Chair, Massachusetts Architectural Access BoardMassachusetts Department of Public Safety, Architectural Access BoardOne Ashburton Place, Room 1310Boston, MA 02108RE: C10-264, Concord Square (Traffic island). Motion for ReconsiderationDear Executive Director Thomas Hopkins, AAB Chairperson Donald Lang, and Members of the Board,Following a City of Somerville Variance hearing on January 6, 2012, AAB Compliance Officer Dempsey conducted asite visit regarding #C10-264 on February 16, 2012 .On March 1, the Community Access project received a copy of correspondence to Mrs. Campbell-Hegarty andsigned by Mr. Dempsey, AAB Compliance Officer, dated February 29, 2012 regarding this site visit.The February 29, 2012 AAB correspondence/site visit report states that the designated City of Somervillerepresentatives in attendance with Mr. Dempsey were: "Carlene Campbell-Hegarty, Director of Community Relations,Robert T. King, PE LEED AP, Director of Engineering, and, David Giangrande, P.E., President, Design Consultants,Inc.."We have reviewed this correspondence and believe that necessary and sufficient information regarding the scope ofwork that would trigger the authority of 521CMR for the curb cuts cited in AAB #C10-264 was not made readilyavailable to Mr. Dempsey prior to issuing the AABs 2/29/12 correspondence, signed by Mr. Dempsey, whichincludes the following declaration: "This complaint against the City of Somerville is hereby DISMISSED."Therefore, CAPS submits the following grounds for a Motion for Reconsideration on the stated dismissal of AAB#C10-264.RE: AAB #C10-264, Concord Square (Traffic island). Mr. Dempseys letter states, "The inspection revealed the following: The curb cuts noted in the complaint are outside of the scope of the work that was done on Concord Street." All three curb cut violations cited in C10-264 involve architectural elements within the pedestrian route of travel at the traffic island at Concord Square (image is below). This traffic island underwent significant renovations in 2004, including removal and haul-away of old, large
  2. 2. cobblestones; reconstruction of a bus stop waiting area adjacent to the existing curb cuts; and Landscaping installation. Based on the image, below, showing the location of all three curb cut violations cited in C10-264, we ask the following two questions: a. Did the City of Somerville provide the AAB with documentation sufficient to prove that this Concord Squaretraffic island facility had not been renovated since at least December, 1968 (or, prior to the AABs jurisdiction)? b. With the statement and decision, "The curb cuts noted in the complaint are outside of the scope of the workthat was done on Concord Street... This complaint against the City of Somerville is hereby DISMISSED." is the AAB stating a binding precedent that, UNLESS architectural elements were altered during the"scope of the work that was done on Concord Street" during the 2006 Construction season, the current City ofSomerville administration has no obligation to ensure 521CMR compliance for such elements at this Concord Squarepedestrian/traffic island (currently also the location for the outbound Newton@Concord Somerville MBTA bus stop)until such time as they may be altered in the future? note: Pedestrian and transportation elements at this facility include curb cuts, walkways, sidewalksand signs. If the answers to both a. and b. are "no," then we do not understand the basis for the stated dismissal of #C10- 264 at this time. We submit this Motion for Reconsideration on #C10-264. We rely on the points numbered 1., 2. and 3. below, as sufficient grounds to sustain a Motion for Reconsideration on #C10-264. We request that the AABs final decision on C10-264 not be issued until sufficient documents, costing information, building permits (if any) and any other information pertinent to alterations of this traffic island since December, 1968 have been provided to, and reviewed by, the AAB; with reliance upon at least the following evidence, considerations, and 521CMR provisions: 1. This traffic island is a public facility and, as a result of the renovations performed in 2004, it may triggerconsiderations based on 3.1 SCOPE All work performed on public buildings or facilities (see 521 CMR 5.00:DEFINITIONS), including construction, reconstruction, alterations, remodeling, additions, and changes of use shallconform to 521 CMR. 2. Published information stating that the Concord Square traffic island was renovated in 2004 is found inCity of Somerville PR (September 29, 2004) at portuguese-community and also (September 30, 2004). These announcements state, in part: “The city has recently renovated the traffic island between Concord Avenue and Newton Street, replacing cobblestones with new grass and adding flowers and small trees.” 3. In particular, we rely upon the following provisions of 521CMR: "3.3.2 If the work performed, including the exempted work, amounts to 30% or more of the full and fair cashvalue (see 521 CMR 5.00) of the building the entire building is required to comply with 521 CMR. a. Where the cost of constructing an addition to a building amounts to 30% or more of the full and faircash value of the existing building, both the addition and the existing building must be fully accessible."
  3. 3. The purpose of the Community Access project, Somerville is to pursue every potential and legitimate opportunitywithin our capacity, in order to ensure that public facilities and services are made and maintained accessible to,functional for, and safe for use by persons with disAbilities. Neither I nor any member of CAPS receives any paymentwhatsoever for this work.I look forward to reviewing these questions with you in a timely manner.Thank You.Sincerely,
  4. 4. Eileen Feldman, directorCommunity Access Project, SomervilleCAPSom@verizon.net isnt possible without EqualityThe Community Access Project based out of Somerville, MA is an all-volunteer organization of persons of all ages, living with disAbilities, andworking to ensure that equity, integration and accessibility are not merely rhetorical promises made to ensure continued funding and nodding heads.We provide surveys, recommendations and reports, per the requests of very low-income community members, to promote and increasedocumentation and actions towards more inclusive community planning and implementation. note: CAPS does not endorse that any of our membersprovide their knowledge, proven skills, talents and lifelong experiences within settings where we will be exploited as free labor, or as "disabilityvolunteers," by agencies, organizations or individuals who wish for, or require, skilled consultation on disAbility rights issues in order to apply for,certify compliance with, or continue funding for, programs, services and activities.from 521CMR Section 4:4.2 COMPLAINTSInitiating a Complaint: Any person who has knowledge or evidence that any other person orentity has not complied or is not complying with 521 CMR, may complain in writing to theBoard on a special form available from the Board.4.2.1 Board Action: Upon receipt of a complaint, the Board shall investigate the complaint, and may:a. issue a stipulated order indicating the date compliance must be achieved.b. schedule a conference to consider the simplification or clarification of the issues, thepossibility of obtaining stipulations and agreements, the possibility of an agreementdisposing of all or any of the issues in dispute, and any other matters as may aid in thedisposition of an adjudicatory proceeding. Those matters agreed upon by the parties shall beelectronically recorded and/or included in a written document and shall be signed by theparties, and shall thereafter constitute a part of the record.c. commence an adjudicatory hearing in accordance with the provisions of M.G.L. c. 30A and801 CMR 1.01 or 1.02: Standard Adjudicatory Rules of Practice and Procedure, as stated inthe hearing notice.d. dismiss a complaint at any time after notification to the complainant.4.4 REOPENING HEARING, MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATIONThe Board on its own motion, or on motion of any applicant, complainant or aggrieved person,may reopen the hearing in order to receive additional evidence which was not reasonablyavailable at the time of the hearing. The request for reopening shall summarize such evidence tobe presented.4.4.1 The Board shall notify all persons who testified at or received formal notice of an initial hearingof a decision to reopen a hearing to take further testimony or receive further evidence.4.4.2 Within ten days from the date the final decision is received by the applicant or complainant, anapplicant, complainant, or aggrieved person may file a motion for reconsideration, setting forththe grounds or statutory provisions relied upon to sustain the motion.4.5 APPEALSAny party aggrieved by the final decision of the Board may appeal such decision to StateSuperior Court in accordance with the provisions of M.G.L. c. 30A, § 14.