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Friends of the Public Garden on Winthrop Square Garage tower

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‘We find it disingenuous’

The Friends of the Public Garden emailed a statement from Elizabeth Vizza, the nonprofit’s executive director, regarding a key City Council vote April 26 that furthers a plan for what would be Boston’s tallest primarily residential tower.

Developer Millennium Partners would replace the city-owned Winthrop Square Garage at 240 Devonshire Street with a 775-foot spire. Opponents of the plan, including the Friends of the Public Garden, worry about the shadows such a tower would cast.

The City Council vote furthers the possibility of an exemption to state laws prohibiting such shadows at certain times. In fact, things are now in the legislature’s hands. Vizza’s full statement below. And here’s Millennium Partners’ statement.

The Council’s action today sets a precedent for future tradeoffs of money from developers for city approval of luxury skyscrapers that will cause damage to our landmark parks. It is naive to think that another developer won’t put millions of dollars on the table to entice the city into more exemptions to allow more shadows and cause more damage.

As stewards of the Boston Common and the Public Garden for the past 47 years, we have deep knowledge of the stresses on them. We find it disingenuous of the city to disregard our concerns and minimize the impact this building will have.

We support the revitalization of the Winthrop Square Garage site, but the proposed 775-foot skyscraper violates the shadow laws 264 days of the year on the Boston Common, and 120 days on the Public Garden.

The state’s shadow laws have worked for nearly three decades to strike an appropriate balance between allowing development to continue and protecting the Boston Common and the Public Garden. We will take our case to the State House to ensure this balance will not be jeopardized.