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Ross: Some Boston Streets Shouldn't Have First-Floor Banks

City Councilor Mike Ross said Charles Street on Beacon Hill is an example of a business district where retail is being strangled by too many street-level banks.

Clusters of banks can strangle the retail vitality of certain Boston streets, warned City Councilor Mike Ross.

Ross said Charles Street on Beacon Hill is an example where too many "big box banks" are buying up storefronts at inflated prices mom and pop shops can't afford. The resulting row of banks deadens what could be lively retail zones.

"It’s not right for every street to make this 'No Bank First Floor' zoning change, but I believe it’s right for Charles Street on Beacon Hill," said Ross, who represents District 8.

Ross said that banks close at 5 p.m. and aren't open on weekends, all of which has a deadening effect for the neighborhood businesses.

He made his remarks at Wednesday's . The matter will be taken up by the Committee on Government Operations.

In other news from the meeting:

  • Councilors Tito Jackson and Felix Arroyo put forward a resolution to ensure that Boston Public Schools include the history of African-Americans, Hispanics and Asians in the core curriculum.
  • Jackson said the city must create comprehensive disaster plans for high-rise senior housing buildings. He cited the days-long blackout Boston suffered earlier this year and its effect on the elderly residents of Symphony Towers: "Those folks were told to stay in the building the whole time while their food spoiled and they were not evacuated." A hearing will be held on the issue.

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