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Ashdown residents fight loading dock proposal, favor trees

MIT Real Estate plans to replace trees west of Ashdown with a loading dock and dumpster, despite disapproval from the Ashdown House Executive Committee (AHEC). According to an email to Ashdown residents from AHEC chair Matt D. Haberland G, MIT hopes the changes will “attract new industrial tenants.”

Haberland explained that Ashdown’s government is concerned the development of the new loading dock and dumpster will bring noise and an “unwelcome change of scenery.” Additionally, the changes would introduce safety risks as delivery trucks on the modified driveway would grant Ashdown access to non-MIT personnel.

Haberland also stated that property lines would likely be redrawn as a result of this project. During Ashdown development, “the area in question was promised to the City to remain a light use green space,” the email said. The AHEC recommended the loading dock be moved in a recent meeting with other local dorm officials, Graduate Student Council chairs, and representatives of MIT Facilities, Housing, and Real Estate, but these suggestions were rejected.

Haberland outlined two options for Ashdown in his email, including blocking construction at the project’s public hearing, which could “break the real estate deal” with the tenant at 281 Albany St., or working with MIT administration to create guidelines for the dock’s construction and use.

The AHEC plans to meet today with representatives from the parties involved to “finalize a mitigation plan.”

Maggie Lloyd