Cambridge City Council meeting - Feb 11, 2013 - AGENDA
CITY MANAGER’S AGENDA
1. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to the appointment of the following person as a member of the Cambridge Historical Commission for a three year term effective Jan 24, 2013: William G. Barry, Jr.
Feb 11, 2013
To the Honorable, the City Council:
I am hereby transmitting notification of the appointment of William G. Barry, Jr. as a member of the Cambridge Historical Commission for a term of three years, effective Jan 24, 2013. This position is specifically designed to be filled by an architect, per the historic districts enabling statute, Chapter 40C of the General Laws.
Mr. Barry is an architect who is currently a salaried employee of John Canning, Ltd., a Connecticut contractor that does decorative painting and interior restoration. Barry previously worked at Shepley, Bulfinch and Mount Auburn Cemetery, and is a member of the Cambridge Public Library's Board of Trustees.
Very truly yours, Robert W. Healy, City Manager
2. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 12-144, regarding a report on implementing speed control measures at the intersection of Brookline and Erie Streets
3. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to a Planning Board recommendation on the Medical Marijuana Interim Zoning Petition.
To the Honorable, the City Council,
Upon consideration of the City Council zoning petition to establish an interim restriction on medical marijuana uses and testimony taken at its public hearing on Jan 22, 2013, the Planning Board recommends adoption of the petition.
There are numerous questions surrounding how new medical marijuana treatment centers, as they have been defined and legalized in Massachusetts by a recent ballot initiative, will be permitted and regulated in the future. Many of these regulatory issues will not fall within the purview of the Zoning Ordinance. Public health, public safety, licensing and other enforcement actions at the state and local levels will need to be coordinated, along with zoning, to ensure that medical marijuana treatment centers are sited and operated in a manner that is consistent with the new law. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health, which will principally regulate medical marijuana use according to the new law, has yet to promulgate regulations but has indicated that it will do so by the Apr 1, 2013 deadline set forth in the new law.
Zoning is the mechanism that will ultimately define where medical marijuana treatment centers (defined in the new law to mean any establishments that produce, process, acquire or distribute marijuana for medical use) may be allowed and what restrictions on establishment size, signage or other urban design characteristics, if any, should be imposed. Determining the appropriate zoning requirements will rely on land use considerations such as how people will travel to and from the site, what types of activities will occur inside or outside of a building, what is the expected number and size of such uses within any particular part of the city, and what impacts such uses may have on abutting residential or commercial properties. Until clear regulations and a permitting process is established at the state level, it would be premature to evaluate these land use considerations and devise zoning to address them. Therefore, temporarily restricting such uses throughout the city is reasonable while the regulations and permitting process are defined and zoning language is developed to fit within a framework of other state and local regulations.
In the meantime, it will be important for the community to learn more about medical marijuana treatment centers and how they would be expected to operate, including how they would fit within an overall system of medical marijuana cultivation, processing, transportation and distribution, and how such a system relates to the medical professionals who would recommend the use of medical marijuana and the individuals who would acquire and use it. Discussions should have involvement from a wide range of individuals and groups, including public health officials, licensing officials, the police department, the larger medical community, the business community and Cambridge residents, along with potential operators of medical marijuana treatment centers themselves.
As a minor point, the Board suggests that in the final zoning language for the proposed interim restriction, the City Council provide clarity in Section 11.706 as to whether the restriction would be in place for a minimum of nine months or a maximum of nine months, assuming that superseding regulations are not yet enacted.
Respectfully submitted for the Planning Board,
Hugh Russell, Chair
4. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to a zoning petition received from the Planning Board regarding bicycle parking modifications. [Report]
5. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to the appointment of D. Margaret Drury to the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority for a 5-year term, effective Apr 12, 2013.
Councillor Kelley voted NO.
6. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 13-10, regarding a report on installing bike racks at the Peabody School.
7. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative the transfer between School Department statutory accounts, which includes $113,804 from the General Fund School Other Ordinary Maintenance account and $61,700 from the School Travel and Training account to the School Salaries and Wages account ($163,622) and to the School Extraordinary Expenditures account ($11,882) and are related to re-allocations within school department programs.
Councillor Kelley voted PRESENT.
8. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of $23,756 in additional municipal access fees to the General Fund Cable Television Other Ordinary Maintenance account to provide additional payments to Cambridge Community Television (CCTV).
9. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of a donation from the Cambridge Plant and Garden Club in the amount of $25,000 to the Public Investment Fund Water Department Extraordinary Expenditures account which will be used to purchase caliper deciduous trees for planting at Black's Nook, removing and relocating existing granite seating stones in strategic groupings, and topographical alterations to the area around the Concord Avenue entrance of the Reservation.
10. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 12-148, regarding a report on including information in the solicitation letters that donations to the Scholarship Fund are tax-deductible.
11. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 12-151, regarding a report on installing pedestrian crossing traffic cones on Cambridge Street at the intersections of Windsor, Sciarappa and Fifth Streets.
1. That the City Manager is requested to work together with the appropriate city officials including the City Solicitor and report back to the City Council regarding modification of the ordinance (10.12.030) that links the awarding of a one yearlong Visitor Parking Permit per household to the purchase of a $25 Cambridge Resident Parking Permit. [Charter Right exercised by Councillor Decker on Order Number Eight of Jan 28, 2013.]
Tabled on motion of Councillor vanBeuzekom
ON THE TABLE
2. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 12-09, regarding a report on the use of coal and on Cambridge becoming coal-free. [City Manager Agenda Number One of Mar 5, 2012 Placed on Table on motion of Vice Mayor Simmons on Mar 5, 2012.]
3. Urge greater cooperation from the Cambridge Housing Authority to better serve the people of Cambridge. [Order Number Two of Apr 9, 2012 Placed on Table on motion of Vice Mayor Simmons on Apr 9, 2012.]
4. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the Community Development Department and other relevant departments in order to present to the City Council a map of Cambridge that shows, by location and by date, all of the areas where construction is and will be taking place over the coming decade. [Order Number Four of Apr 9, 2012 Placed on Table on motion of Councillor Toomey on Apr 9, 2012.]
5. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item No. 12-28, regarding temporary ramps and obstructions in construction zones. [City Manager Agenda Number Eight of Apr 23, 2012 Placed on Table on motion of Councillor Kelley on Apr 23, 2012.]
6. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 12-35, which requests a report on whether there were any public safety officers that falsified their emergency medical training re-certification while employed by the City of Cambridge. [Charter Right exercised by Councillor Toomey on City Manager Agenda Number Two of May 21, 2012. Placed on Table on motion of Councillor Toomey on June 4, 2012.]
7. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 12-63 regarding a report on safety issues at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Vassar Street. [City Manager Number Twenty-three of July 30, 2012 Placed on Table on motion of Councillor Kelley on July 30, 2012.]
8. That the City Manager is requested to confer with relevant City staff and report back to the City Council on whether a tagging program could be implemented to notify owners of bicycles that have been removed from sign posts by the Department of Public Works and contact information for retrieval of said bicycle. [Order Number Fourteen of July 30, 2012 Placed on Table on motion of Councillor vanBeuzekom on July 30, 2012. Councillor Toomey recorded in the negative on Tabling.]
9. That the Cambridge City Council go on record urging the members of the Massachusetts Committee on House Steering, Policy and Scheduling to pass MA House Bill 4165, "An Act Relative to Speed Limits." [Charter Right exercised by Councillor Decker on Order Number Eleven of Nov 19, 2012. Order Number Eleven of Nov 19, 2012 Placed on Table on motion of Councillor Toomey on Dec 3, 2012.]
APPLICATIONS AND PETITIONS
1. A constable bond was received from Burton Malkofsky for approval of the surety.
2. An application was received from The Academy at Harvard Square requesting permission for a sign at the premises numbered 30 JFK Street. Approval has been received from Inspectional Services, Department of Public Works, Community Development, Historical Commission and abutters.
3. An application was received from The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory requesting permission for temporary banners on light poles in and around the Kendall Square area to recognize 2013 as Draper's 80th year as a research institution. Approval has been received from the Electrical Department.
1. A communication was received from Jay Ash, Chelsea City Manager and Roseann Bongiovanni, Director Chelsea Green Space and Former Chelsea City Councilor regarding another update on Global Companies LLC to transport large volumes of ethanol through communities in Massachusetts.
2. A communication was received from the children of Thomas W. McGee transmitting thanks for the resolution passed by the City Council.
3. A communication was received from Reverend Danny DeGug regarding the seal of Massachusetts.
1. Resolution on the death of Barbara M. (Flanagan) Boyle. Councillor Toomey
2. Resolution on the death of Daniel F. Franco. Councillor Maher
3. Retirement of Andrew M. Hepner from the Cambridge Fire Department. Mayor Davis
4. Thanks to Massachusetts State Representative Marty Walz for her many years of service to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and congratulations on being named Chief Executive Officer for the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts. Vice Mayor Simmons, Councillor Cheung
5. Resolution on the death of Thomas Fitzmaurice Sr. Councillor Toomey, Councillor Maher
6. Resolution on the death of Vigilia (Mendonca) Silva. Councillor Toomey
7. Resolution on the death of Teresa (Dias) Camara. Councillor Toomey
8. Congratulations to the 1369 Coffee House on their successful community-oriented celebration of its 20th anniversary. Councillor Cheung
9. Congratulations to Katie Boiteau on receiving the Prospect Hill Academy's Faculty Spotlight Award. Councillor Cheung
10. Congratulations to Ronnie Slager for achieving a career point record of one thousand points for the Matignon Warriors basketball team. Councillor Cheung
11. Congratulations to the CRLS Wrestling team on achieving the title of league champions of the Greater Boston League. Councillor Cheung
12. Congratulations to Maggie Dillier for receiving the Prospect Hill Academy's Faculty Spotlight Award. Councillor Cheung
13. Resolution on the death of Jane Fialkow. Councillor Cheung
14. Congratulations to Sandy Occil for receiving the Prospect Hill Academy's Faculty Spotlight Award. Councillor Cheung
15. Congratulations to Derrick Barker for receiving the Prospect Hill Academy's Faculty Spotlight Award. Councillor Cheung
16. Congratulations to Carol Saulnier for receiving the Prospect Hill Academy's Faculty Spotlight Award. Councillor Cheung
17. Congratulations to Youth Cities on their recent feature on Boston.com's Global Business Hub for its innovative practices in empowering youth to become entrepreneurs. Councillor Cheung
18. Congratulations to Crashlytics on their successes as a Cambridge-based startup. Councillor Cheung
19. Congratulations and Best wishes to Sunil Dhaliwal on the launch on Amplify Partners, a Cambridge-based venture capital firm. Councillor Cheung
20. Congratulations to the LearnLaunchX team on their recent launch. Councillor Cheung
21. Congratulations to Sookbox LLC on being recognized as a Mass High Tech Company to follow by the Boston Business Journal. Councillor Cheung
22. Resolution on the death of Carol J. (Steeves) Scurini. Councillor Toomey
23. Retirement of Nancy Daly from the School Department. Mayor Davis
24. Congratulations to Indie Game Collective for undertaking innovative practices in game development. Councillor Cheung
25. Welcome Belmont Technology Incorporated to the City of Cambridge. Councillor Cheung
26. Congratulations to Margery Eagan and Jim Braude on continuing their radio show on WGBH. Vice Mayor Simmons
27. Speedy recovery wishes to Laura Kershner. Vice Mayor Simmons
28. Thanks and congratulations to City departments, the Office of Tourism and the businesses that helped to make Cambridge one of the Top Ten Romantic Cities. Mayor Davis
29. Thanks to Senator John F. Kerry for his many years of service to the people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Mayor Davis, Vice Mayor Simmons, Councillor Cheung
30. Congratulations to the fifty CRLS students who were recipients of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Mayor Davis
31. Thanks to the Cambridge Fire and Police Departments for their rapid response to the fire on Pearl Street on Feb 2, 2013. Mayor Davis
32. Resolution on the death of David M. Peterson. Mayor Davis
33. Resolution on the death of Andrew Jackson Spears. Councillor Reeves, Vice Mayor Simmons, Mayor Davis
34. Congratulations to the fifteen teams of CRLS students who participated in the 2013 Glocal Challenge. Mayor Davis
35. Congratulations to the Environmental Action Club and EPA: Environmental Paper Assault for winning the 2013 Glocal Challenge. Mayor Davis
36. Thanks to Education First for their sponsorship of the Glocal Challenge. Mayor Davis
37. Congratulations to the CRLS teams of Invasive Rangers, Environmental Action Club, Environmental Awareness, EPA: Environmental Paper Assault and Devolution whose work led them to the finals of the 2013 Glocal Challenge. Mayor Davis
38. Resolution on the death of George Baccus. Councillor Maher
39. Congratulations to Senator Sal DiDomenico on being named Assistant Vice Chair to the Ways and Means Committee. Mayor Davis, Councillor Cheung
40. Congratulations to the Mount Auburn Cemetery for the creation of the mount Auburn African American Heritage Trail. Councillor vanBeuzekom
41. Congratulations to Georgia Hammer and Stewart Won on their marriage. Mayor Davis
42. Resolution on the death of Ronald K. Souza. Councillor Maher
43. Congratulations to David Phillips on receiving the President's Award from the Cambridge NAACP. Councillor Reeves
44. Congratulations to the family of Les Kimbrough as he posthumously receives the Education Award from the Cambridge NAACP. Councillor Reeves
45. Congratulations to the Friends of CRLS (FOCRLS) on receiving the Education Award from the Cambridge NAACP. Councillor Reeves
46. Resolution on the death of Lawrence Douglas Morris. Councillor Reeves
47. Thanks to City staff, with special thanks to the Department of Public Works, for their continued efforts relating to the snowstorm of February 8-9, 2013. Mayor Davis, Councillor Cheung
48. Thanks to the CRLS students who participated in the February 2013 Cambridge Public Schools Emancipation Proclamation Essay Competition. Vice Mayor Simmons
49. Thanks to the New England Spiritual Ensemble for taking part in the ceremony commemorating the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln issuing the Emancipation Proclamation. Vice Mayor Simmons
50. Thanks to Robert Winters and other exemplary citizens who took care to clear their sidewalks of snow. Mayor Davis
1. That the City Council meeting scheduled for Mon, Mar 11, 2013 be and hereby is cancelled so that the City Council may attend the National League of Cities Conference. Councillor Cheung
2. Support for the negotiated terms of a new contract between the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers and Harvard University as detailed by the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers Councillor Cheung
3. That the City Manager is requested to work with the Commissioner of Public Works to ensure that information from the Feb 5, 2013 meeting between the Department of Public Works and D'Allesandro Construction be made available to the public, specifically to property abutters impacted by the construction at Western and Putnam Avenues. Vice Mayor Simmons
4. That the City Council
sign on to the letter by Environment Massachusetts to congratulates Governor Patrick suggesting on the improvements to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Mayor Davis
5. That the City Manager is requested to meet with NSTAR company officials to establish a firm timeline for maintenance and replacement plans for the transformers and electrical systems that serve the city to ensure that local businesses and residential communities are fully serviced. Councillor Cheung and Councillor Reeves
6. That the City Council call upon members of the Cambridge Congressional Delegation to reject any proposal that seeks to balance the federal budget at the expense of state and local governments. Councillor Cheung and Mayor Davis
7. That the Cambridge City Council go on record as an ardent supporter of measures that seek to ensure gender pay equity in the workplace, including the Paycheck Fairness Act. Councillor Cheung
8. That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to confer with the staff of the License Commission to ensure that taxi drivers are cognizant of the regulation that their identification be clearly displayed in taxicabs at all times for the benefit of the general public. Councillor Reeves
9. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the License Commission to develop new rules and regulations to facilitate the use of mobile technology to order a taxi cab. Councillor Reeves
10. That the City Manager is hereby requested to appoint a special task force of real estate and engineering professionals to assess and evaluate the current condition of the Foundry property and projected capital needs as well as anticipated expenses of maintaining the building. Councillor Toomey and Councillor Maher
11. That the City Manager is requested to work with the appropriate city staff to provide a report to the City Council detailing how the City of Cambridge working in conjunction with the DCR will insure that oversize vehicles not be allowed travel along Memorial Drive so that accidents similar to the sad crushing of the tour bus of prospective Harvard Students do not occur again. Councillor vanBeuzekom
12. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the Director of Traffic, Parking and Transportation to allow free parking for residents at the First Street Garage for the remainder of the week and reduction in rate for the month of February. Councillor Toomey
13. That the subject matter of the role of the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority be referred to the Government Operations and Rules Committee. Councillor Maher
Councillor Kelley voted NO.
14. That the revised Letter of Commitment be referred to the Law Department for review to ensure that it is consistent with other Letters of Commitment that the City has had in similar instances and report back to the Ordinance Committee. Councillor vanBeuzekom
15. That the City Manager is requested to instruct the Law Department to look into the issue of whether the Forest City petition would be considered spot zoning. Councillor vanBeuzekom
1. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, Interim City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Craig Kelley, Chair of the Public Safety Committee, for a public meeting held on Nov 20, 2012 to continue discussions on security cameras in the City.
2. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, Interim City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Craig Kelley, Chair of the Public Safety Committee, for a public meeting held on Jan 16, 2013 to discuss the home improvement program (HIP) and safety concerns of alleged sub-standard work.
3. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, Interim City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Craig Kelley, Chair of the Public Safety Committee, for a public meeting held on Jan 23, 2013 to continue discussions on security cameras in the City.
4. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, Interim City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor David P. Maher, Chair of the Ordinance Committee, for a public meeting held on Jan 24, 2013 to discuss a zoning petition by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to amend the Zoning Ordinance and Map by creating a new Section 13.80 - Planned Unit Development 5 (PUD-5) District, which includes several parcels totaling approximately 26 acres in the area north of Memorial Drive, east of Ames Street and south of Main Street and Broadway, and would also include a parcel at One Broadway. The new Section 13.80 PUD-5 is intended to allow mixed use developments with increased development densities and heights.
5. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, Interim City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor David P. Maher, Chair of the Ordinance Committee, for a public meeting held on Jan 17, 2013 to discuss the zoning petition filed by Zevart M. Hollisian, Trustee of Garabed B. Hollisian Trust and L-Z Realty Trust and Seth D. Alexander, President, MIT Investment Management Company to amend the Zoning Ordinance and Map by extending the Cambridgeport Revitalization Development District from Green Street out to Massachusetts Avenue in the area adjacent to Blanche Street; said petition includes a map and a commitment letter.
6. A communication was received from Paula Crane, Administrative Assistant, Office of the City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor David P. Maher, Chair of the Ordinance Committee, for a public meeting held on Jan 30, 2013 to continue discussions on a zoning petition filed by Zevart M. Hollisian, Trustee of Garabed B. Hollisian Trust and L-Z Realty Trust and Seth D. Alexander, President, MIT Investment Management Company to amend the zoning Ordinance and Map by extending the Cambridgeport Revitalization Development District from Green Street out to Massachusetts Avenue in the area adjacent to Blanche Street; said petition includes a map and a commitment letter.
COMMUNICATIONS AND REPORTS FROM CITY OFFICERS
1. A communication was received from Councillor Craig A. Kelley transmitting copies of letters sent agencies regarding the HIP Program.
2. A communication was received from Councillor David P. Maher, Chair, Ordinance Committee regarding suggested revisions from the Ordinance Committee Meeting held on Jan 30, 2013 on the Forest City Rezoning Petition.
Mon, Feb 11
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Thurs, Feb 14
3:00pm The Neighborhood and Long Term Planning Committee will conduct a follow up meeting on development in Kendall Square. (Cambridge Innovation Center Conference Room, 1 Broadway)
Mon, Feb 25
5:00pm Special Presentation from the Sprouts of Hope. (Sullivan Chamber)
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Tues, Feb 26
4:30pm The Ordinance Committee will conduct a public meeting to continue discussions on the petition by MIT to create a new Section 13.80 Planned Unit Development 5 (PUD-5) District; specifically to discuss the build form, including FAR, Height, Footplates, Open Space and Parking. This meeting to be televised. (Sullivan Chamber)
Wed, Feb 27
4:30pm The Ordinance Committee will conduct a public meeting to continue discussions on the petition by MIT to create a new Section 13.80 Planned Unit Development 5 (PUD-5) District; specifically to discuss Uses, Incentive Zoning, Community Fund, Housing and Sustainability. This meeting to be televised. (Sullivan Chamber)
Fri, Mar 1
9:00am The Community Health Committee and the Housing Committee will conduct a joint public meeting to discuss finding a place to provide free meals on Sundays. (Ackermann Room)
Mon, Mar 4
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Mar 11
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Mar 18
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Apr 1
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Apr 8
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Apr 22
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Apr 29
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, May 6
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, May 13
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, May 20
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, June 3
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, June 10
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, June 17
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, June 24
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
TEXT OF ORDERS
O-1 Feb 11, 2013
ORDERED: That the City Council meeting scheduled for Mon, Mar 11, 2013 be and hereby is cancelled so that the City Council may attend the National League of Cities Conference.
O-2 Feb 11, 2013
WHEREAS: It has come to the attention of the City Council that the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers and Harvard University have experienced difficulty negotiating the terms of a new contract to replace an existing agreement that expired on June 30, 2012; and
WHEREAS: For 24 years, Harvard University and the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers have worked collaboratively to ensure that the needs of both entities are met to the best extent possible. Negotiations that ensure a consistent salary increase program and affordable health care solutions for union employees are essential for the sustenance of Cambridge's local economy, community, and employees therein; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Council go on record expressing support for the negotiated terms of a new contract between the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers and Harvard University as detailed by the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers; and be it further
ORDERED: That the City Clerk be and hereby is requested to forward a suitably engrossed copy of this resolution to Harvard University and the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers on behalf of the entire City Council.
O-3 Feb 11, 2013
VICE MAYOR SIMMONS
WHEREAS: The construction on Western Avenue at the intersection of Putnam Avenue has been underway for nearly one year, is expected to continue for the next two years, and is causing significant traffic problems, parking problems, construction noise beginning at 7 AM, and excessive airborne dirt and construction vehicle exhaust effecting abutting owners and renters; and
WHEREAS: Owners and residents of the 36 affordable units at the Switchhouse (217-229 Putnam Avenue), as well as other nearby property owners, have made extensive calls to the Department of Public Works (DPW) in attempts to address complaints about reduced on-street parking availability, dangerous construction equipment and supplies surrounding sidewalks where children walk and play, and noise, vibration, and pollution; and
WHEREAS: The Department of Public Works has recently informed residents that they would meet with D'Allesandro Construction to discuss these issues on Tues, Feb 5, but that this meeting would not be made open to the public; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to work with the Commissioner of Public Works to ensure that information from the Feb 5, 2013 meeting between the Department of Public Works and D'Allesandro Construction be made available to the public, specifically to property abutters impacted by the construction, so that it is clear what steps are being taken to address concerns raised by nearby residents, and so that those most affected can participate in an ongoing dialogue that addresses concerns in a timely and efficient manner; and be it further
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to report back on this matter, and to disclose information from the DPW's meeting on Feb 5, 2013 that is pertinent to the area abutters, to the City Council at the City Council meeting scheduled for Feb 25, 2013.
O-4 Feb 11, 2013 Amended
WHEREAS: Environment Massachusetts is sending a letter to Governor Deval Patrick urging him to build on his record of leadership to ensure that the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) gets updated and improved in the following ways:
WHEREAS: Governor Deval Patrick and the State of Massachusetts continue to lead with seven other Northeast states on carbon reduction through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) by dramatically lowering allowable power plant greenhouse gas emissions in the following ways:
now therefore be it
RESOLVED: That the City Council sign on to the letter to Governor Patrick suggesting improvements to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative: and be it further
RESOLVED: That the City Council congratules Governor Patrick on the improvements to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative agreement; and be it further
RESOLVED: That the City Clerk be and hereby is requested to forward a copy of this resolution to Governor Deval Patrick and Environment Massachusetts on behalf of the entire City Council.
O-5 Feb 11, 2013 Amended
WHEREAS: Small business forms the backbone of our economy and it is important to support and encourage new and existing businesses to sustain their livelihood; and
WHEREAS: In an effort to ensure that existing electrical infrastructure in the City of Cambridge would be sufficient to support anticipated construction in areas such as Central and Kendall Squares, policy order O-4 (June 4, 2012) called for the City Manager to meet with NSTAR company officials to find out what maintenance and replacement plans exist for the transformers and electrical systems that serve the city; and
WHEREAS: In his response to the City Council dated July 30, 2012, the City Manager report states that, "NSTAR is assured that they have the ability to supply the necessary power to Cambridge now and well into the future. NSTAR gets their energy supply through the Independent Supply Operators of New England (ISO) which provide sources of electric generation from inside and outside the New England areas to assure that all electric distribution companies have adequate supply to meet their demands. NSTAR has reviewed their needs based on future construction anticipated in Cambridge such as areas in Central and Kendall Squares and Northpoint, and are well on their way to make improvements in their distribution system to meet those needs. Areas North of Harvard Square may see some increase in demand but the existing distribution system for this area is adequate;" and
WHEREAS: It has come to the attention of the Cambridge City Council that new businesses arriving to the Central Square area have been unable to obtain additional levels of electrical service that are necessary to fulfill their operational needs; and
WHEREAS: When asked about what processes would be necessary to enhance the electrical service provided to the area, NSTAR officials informed the new entrepreneurs that additional service could not be provided without undertaking a major infrastructure project to replace outdated transformers, a process that they speculated could take over a year to complete; and
WHEREAS: The ability of new business owners to obtain access to the basic resources that they need - including electricity - is crucial to promoting future economic development throughout the City of Cambridge; and
WHEREAS: Furthermore, on Nov 29, 2012, an estimated 17,000 NSTAR customers throughout the City of Cambridge were affected by a power outage that plunged large portions of the city into darkness in the midst of rush hour as a result of a faulty relay signal experienced during the completion of upgrades to a transmission line; and
WHEREAS: As NSTAR makes crucial upgrades to existing infrastructure throughout the City of Cambridge, it is necessary that they are able to develop thoughtful and comprehensive emergency plans to ensure that outages of this nature are avoided at all costs, thereby maintaining the safety and well-being of local residents; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to meet with NSTAR company officials to obtain current and predicted load data for the equipment and to establish a firm timeline for maintenance and replacement plans for the transformers and electrical systems that serve the city to ensure that local businesses and residential communities are fully serviced; and be it further
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to report back to the City Council as to what timeline for electrical infrastructure repair and replacement has been proposed to ensure that the City of Cambridge has the electrical power that it needs to grow and thrive.
O-6 Feb 11, 2013
WHEREAS: The United States government is currently confronting major decisions regarding our nation's budget and fiscal policies; and
WHEREAS: As the American economy continues its slow and inadequate recovery from the Great Recession, cities and towns across the Commonwealth and throughout the nation continue to feel the prolonged budgetary constraints of the economic downturn; and
WHEREAS: Current proposals under consideration by the Federal Government would eliminate current federal government income tax exclusion for municipal bond interests; and
WHEREAS: Tax-exempt bonds are a critical resource for local governments that allow for investments in infrastructure, housing, public works, and other services that heighten the safety, health, and quality of life of residents; and
WHEREAS: A repeal of this exemption would immediately heighten borrowing costs for state and local government by as much as two percentage points; and
WHEREAS: Such an increase would place a huge financial burden on states and municipalities, many of which primarily utilize tax-exempt bonds to complete necessary infrastructure and capital projects; and
WHEREAS: In response to heightened borrowing costs, states and municipalities will be forced to either reduce infrastructure and capital improvement spending, drastically reduce the scope of existing infrastructure and capital improvement projects, or shift the burden onto taxpayers; and
WHEREAS: Though the complexity of the federal government's fiscal challenges is not to be ignored, a proposal that would seek to balance the federal budget at the expense of state and local governments would ultimately exacerbate the fiscal crisis at hand while decreasing the quality of life of citizens across the nation; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Council call upon members of the Cambridge Congressional Delegation to reject any proposal that seeks to balance the federal budget at the expense of state and local governments; and be it further
ORDERED: That the City Clerk be and hereby is requested to a suitably engrossed copy of this order to members of the Cambridge Congressional Delegation on behalf of the entire City Council.
O-7 Feb 11, 2013
WHEREAS: The City of Cambridge has long been a champion of fairness, gender equality and socially-responsible business practices; and
WHEREAS: According to the United States Census Bureau and the National Women's Law Center, women in Massachusetts who work full time earn only about 81 cents for every dollar earned by men, a figure that is persistent across occupations and at all levels of education; and
WHEREAS: Throughout the current economic crisis, women in Massachusetts have experienced higher rates of economic insecurity than men, and are more likely to live in poverty and rely on public benefits; and
WHEREAS: Fair pay in the workplace would drastically improve the financial situations of women throughout the Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS: It has come to the attention of the Cambridge City Council that the Paycheck Fairness Act was introduced on Jan 23, 2013 in both the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate; and
WHEREAS: If passed, the Paycheck Fairness Act would prohibit employers from retaliation against workers who have inquired about employers' wage practices or have disclosed their wages to another; and
WHEREAS: If passed, the Paycheck Fairness Act would clarify acceptable reasons for differences in pay by requiring employers to show that gaps have a business justification and are not made on a basis of sex; and
WHEREAS: If passed, the Paycheck Fairness Act would improve the Labor Department's collection of pay information, establish salary negotiation skills training, and improve equal pay remedies; now therefore be it
RESOLVED: That the City Council go on record in ardent support of measures that seek to ensure gender pay equity in the workplace, including the Paycheck Fairness Act; and be it further
RESOLVED: That the City Clerk be and hereby is requested to forward a suitably engrossed copy of this resolution to the Cambridge Legislative Delegation on behalf of the entire City Council.
O-8 Feb 11, 2013
WHEREAS: The License Commission has the authority to create Hackney regulations that require that the identification of the taxi driver be clearly displayed in the taxicab; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to confer with the staff of the License Commission to ensure that taxi drivers are cognizant of the regulation that their identification be clearly displayed in taxicabs at all times for the benefit of the general public.
O-9 Feb 11, 2013
WHEREAS: With the burst of new technology including iPhones and smart phones there have been many new ways developed to order a taxicab through applications applied to smart phones or iPhones. These new applications such as goCatch, HAILO, Taximagic and Taxi PRO can be downloaded onto smart phones and iPhones; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to confer with the License Commission to develop new rules and regulations to facilitate the use of this new technology that exists today.
O-10 Feb 11, 2013 Amended
WHEREAS: There has been a great deal of interest expressed about future plans for the Foundry building which was deeded to the City of Cambridge as part of community mitigation; and
WHEREAS: The City Council would greatly benefit from an independent assessment of the property prior to making a decision regarding whether to retain ownership of the asset or consider an outright sale of the property; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to appoint a special task force of real estate and engineering professionals to assess and evaluate the current condition of the property and projected capital needs as well as anticipated expenses of maintaining the Foundry building; and be it further
ORDERED: That such a task force present a detailed report of their findings to the City Council within three months; and be it further
ORDERED: That such an assessment should include but not be limited to ADA compliance, soil contamination, structural integrity including roof, foundation and masonry, HVAC, plumbing, electrical, best use of open space be incorporated, and other operating needs; and be it further
ORDERED: That the report should include estimated revenue projections that the City could expect to collect if the building is held as well as an appraisal that a potential sale would net taking into account a possible deed restriction that would require that a new owner to meet the requirement that a minimum of 10,000 square feet of the building be used for community use; and be it further
ORDERED: That the committee should advise and consider possible best uses of the building and their potential impact on capital renovations.
O-11 Feb 11, 2013
WHEREAS: On Feb 2, 2013, a 12-foot tall chartered tour bus from Pennsylvania carrying prospective Harvard University students crashed into the Western Avenue Bridge while traveling along a portion of Soldiers Field Road which then flows into Storrow Drive; and
WHEREAS: There was significant damage to the crushed bus, possibly the bridge, and most seriously many injuries to the dozens of individuals riding within the tour bus; and
WHEREAS: The main reason for this accident is that the maximum 10-foot vehicle height of bridges that overpass the scenic drives along both sides of the Charles River are less than the height of many modern buses and trucks; and
WHEREAS: For a variety of reasons drivers consistently fail to observe and heed signs warning of a 10-foot height limit along the Storrow Drive and Memorial Drives. For example, a Jan 4, 2013 Boston Herald article reported police responded to the Mass Ave Bridge overpass around 6:30am, to find a too-tall Ryder rental truck in the eastbound lanes wedged under the overpass and with smoke pouring onto to Memorial Drive; and
WHEREAS: It is understood that the scenic drives along both sides of the Charles River are under the jurisdiction of the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and that the Cambridge side scenic drive - Memorial Drive - is within the boundaries of the City of Cambridge; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to work with the appropriate city staff to provide a report to the City Council detailing how the City of Cambridge working in conjunction with the DCR will insure that oversize vehicles not be allowed travel along Memorial Drive so that accidents similar to the sad crushing of the tour bus of prospective Harvard Students do not occur again.
O-12 Feb 11, 2013
WHEREAS: Residents that took advantage of the First Street Garage during the snowstorm have found that parking options back in the street are severely limited due to the many snowbanks; and
WHEREAS: This leaves residents that moved cars off the street in order to make snow clearing easier find themselves with limited or no options for their vehicle; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to confer with the Director of Traffic, Parking and Transportation to allow free parking for residents at the First Street Garage for the remainder of the week; and be it further
ORDERED: That the already reduced rate of $100.00 for the month of February be reduced further to provide resident and seniors that do not have a parking space because of the snowstorm an affordable option.
O-13 Feb 11, 2013
ORDERED: That the subject matter of the role of the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority be referred to the Government Operations and Rules Committee.
O-14 Feb 11, 2013
ORDERED: That the Forest City Petition and the Letter of Commitment which appears as Attachment A in Committee Report #6 of February 11, 2013 be referred to the Law Department for review and report back to the Ordinance Committee; said review include continuity and adherence to City Ordinances with special attention to the language in the Commitment Letter relating to the affordable housing component.
O-15 Feb 11, 2013
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to instruct the Law Department to look into the issue of whether the Forest City petition would be considered spot zoning.
TEXT OF COMMITTEE REPORTS
Committee Report #1
The Public Safety Committee held a public meeting on Tues, Nov 20, 2012 beginning at 5:32pm in the Sullivan Chamber.
The purpose of the meeting was to continue discussions on security cameras in the city.
Present at the meeting were Councillor Craig Kelley, Chair of the Committee; Councillor Minka vanBeuzekom; Vice Mayor E. Denise Simmons; Deputy City Manager Richard Rossi; Steven Williams, Superintendent of Police; Fire Chief Gerald Reardon; and Interim City Clerk Donna P. Lopez.
Also present were: Nancy Murray, Education Director, ACLU; Gloria Leipzig, Director of Operations, Cambridge Housing Authority (CHA); and Dave Degou, Chief Security Officer, CHA.
Councillor Kelley convened the meeting and explained the purpose. The issue of security cameras came up at the City Council meeting a couple of years ago. The City received money for the installation of surveillance cameras from the Department of Homeland Security. While these cameras have never been used, security cameras are a touchy subject. His hope is that the City Council can set up guidelines for surveillance and security camera use by City agencies. The default, when the City has no policy, is that cameras are not installed. His fellow Councillors have asked him to continue this discussion. He hopes the Cambridge Housing Authority and the School Department will tell him what equipment they have. He asked the Cambridge Housing Authority Housing to explain what equipment they have and how they manage the equipment.
Dave Degou stated that he serves as the public safety administrator for the CHA. In this capacity he checks the CHA security cameras. Public safety is the main issue. Security cameras are installed or removed where needed. He gave examples, such as illegal dumping, to prevent vandalism and at Jefferson Park which has illegally parked autos. Cameras are used at elderly apartments in the elevators and in the hallways. The cameras are internal and can be moved around as crime moves. The elderly feel secure with the cameras. Deputy City Manager Rossi asked if the system is still used in elderly housing building where the resident can use their TVs to see who is ringing their bell. Mr. Degou responded that this is still done in all elderly buildings. Intercoms are also used.
Fire Chief Reardon stated that security cameras used by the Fire Department are internal and are on the outside of the buildings. Superintendent Williams stated that the police use the security cameras the same way. Exterior cameras will provide footage of nearby public space like sidewalks or streets depending on how they are aimed, but that is ancillary.
Nancy Murray, Education Director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, 204 Erie Street, addressed the committee. She stated that the ACLU has 1300 members in Cambridge. She then gave general information regarding the implementation of security and surveillance cameras and outlined general principles which should guide decisions about when and how to use them. She read a prepared statement (ATTACHMENT A). ACLU does not oppose use of surveillance cameras at highly sensitive areas such as housing developments. There must be buy in by the residents on the use and the installation of security cameras. Cameras in schools do present problems. Students do not shed their rights at the school house door. ACLU has not opposed cameras at all schools. There must be buy in by students and parents. She has seen no proof that cameras have stopped violence in schools. ACLU urges that cameras only be used if there is a problem in school and there is buy in by students, parents and staff. She noted that a Newton school had problems with surveillance cameras. She cited a study about London, where lots of money is spent on cameras, that one crime is prevented for every 1000 camera installed and Great Britain seems intent on more camera use, setting up a Camera Commission and upgrading cameras to get facial recognition at 0.5 miles. The mission creep associated with cameras allows them to be upgraded with RFID, facial recognition and other capabilities. It is outrageous that people are treated as if they are committing a crime. The ACLU has opposed cameras in public spaces because of the threat to the expectation of anonymity and the lack of a real drop in crime. San Francisco study indicated that there was not a drop in drug dealing, homicides and so forth after camera installation, though property crimes seem to drop. She spoke about face recognition and the use of technology and its connection to public service data bases that can be used to track the location of people. This information can be stored, shared and monitored. Technology is changing rapidly. 30,000 security drones are expected to be in US airspace by end of this decade. A Massachusetts police group has asked to use drones, some of which can read license plates at 15 miles away, see through walls and carry grenades. Cameras can be abused by users, to include the FBI where agents used cameras to check out girls trying on prom dresses. Cameras can be used for demographic carve outs. Now there are cameras that can recognize faces at 400 feet, license plates at 300 feet and read papers at 50 feet and the data may be stored on hard drives for two weeks or more. ACLU was pleased that the Cambridge City Council rejected the use of cameras in 2009 and the fact that the cameras have not been turned on. ACLU is worried that captured data can be used by the fusion center. Crowds should not be scanned unless it is to track a wrongdoer.
She outlined four principles on camera use:
Councillor Kelley stated that the School Department runs their own facility. There are signs at the schools stating that cameras are being used. He has no idea what cameras are used for. Technology is moving rapidly. Vice Mayor Simmons suggested putting questions in writing about the camera usage for the School Department to answer.
Councillor Kelley asked what are non-cameras used for. Chief Reardon stated that they are backhaul to get signal back. Verizon is paid for leased line to bring back radio signals. This has been a significant cost savings of several thousand dollars a year. Microwave dishes are used to transmit information. The cameras are used for traffic; they are not high tech, cannot pick up a license plate number and would not capture facial recognition. They are like what you would see on a TV traffic report. Superintendent Williams added that the cameras were for monitoring traffic during critical incidents.
Councillor vanBeuzekom asked whether any of the other eight communities in the Urban Area Security group had the cameras updated. Chief Reardon stated that some had upgrades, but it only changed who viewed the information. Verizon wired system is not keeping up with the infrastructure and the City would like move away from some of these vendor supplied, in ground systems. Councillor vanBeuzekom asked if the other towns that installed the cameras are using them. Chief Reardon responded that all use them but he wasn't sure what they used them for. Councillor vanBeuzekom asked if the cameras are used for evacuation. Cambridge wanted to use the cameras for traffic. He could not speak for other communities.
Vice Mayor Simmons asked what external cameras CHA has. Mr. Degou stated that the CHA has 185 cameras - mostly in elevators and hallways. There are five external cameras; three at Willow Park, on at Jefferson Park and one at Clifton Street. Councillor Kelley asked if the one external camera at Jefferson Park captures information. Mr. Degou replied in the affirmative. At locations were cameras are installed crime moves away from the camera location. Mr. Degou stated that there are forty cameras in Jefferson Parking mostly in the parking areas, community room, health center, dumpsters, by the railroad tracks, lobby and the elevators. There is one camera outside the building on Rindge Avenue that captures the scene on Clifton Street. The camera is facing the street. The information captured is kept by the CHA for thirty days. The property manager has control of the cameras and the cameras are not monitored. Councillor Kelley asked who has access to view the information on the camera; what is the CHA's policy. Mr. Degou stated that if there is an incident the property manager will view film. Ms. Leipzig stated that the property manager will view the tape if there is a complaint about, for example, marijuana use or congregating in public areas. The CHA can bring tenants in on lease violations or complaints. Generally the property managers do not monitor cameras unless there is a complaint. The information cannot be remotely accessed. There is no written policy about surveillance cameras.
Councillor Kelley asked if the CHA has license plate recognition capabilities. Mr. Degou stated that this technology is only installed at the entrance to Jefferson Park and it is not really plate recognition technology. The camera records the license plate at entrance of health center. No information is checked and the whole car is pictured, not just the license plate. It's just that the license plate is readable if there is a complaint that warrants review. Councillor Kelley inquired what is done with this information. Mr. Degou informed the committee that complaints are received by the CHA for drive-through and loud noise. Councillor Kelley asked if the license plate information is run against a state-wide database and digital recognition. Ms. Leipzig responded that the camera is a moving camera that captures the whole vehicle. Ms. Murray asked what happens to the image when a picture is taken. Mr. Degou stated that the information stays there. Vice Mayor Simmons stated that her understanding thus far is that a car enters Jefferson Park, the camera takes a picture of the license plate, and the CHA can view the image and identify the car and then find out who owns the car. Mr. Degou stated that if the CHA receives a complaint the CHA would contact the police to see who owns the car. Vice Mayor Simmons asked are there adjacent cameras in area other than the camera zoomed on the parking lot. Mr. Degou and Ms Leipzig responded in the affirmative.
Councillor Kelley asked how the CHA communicated to the residents about the cameras. Mr. Degou stated that the community meetings were held with the residents. The residents were happy about the cameras, or at least did not seem to care. If a resident wanted to know the location of the cameras that information would be provided by the property manager. Cameras were installed in the elderly housing developments for safety; the other developments were done for security issues. Putnam Avenue Apartments and Woodrow Wilson Court do not have cameras.
Councillor Kelley asked how the CHA keeps up with technology changes relating to the cameras. Mr. Degou stated that the Manning Apartments had a camera technology upgrade and shows a crisper image. It is expensive to install cameras, more capable cameras are very expensive, and there are costs associate storage and clarity issues.
Relating to the shooting on Willow Street Councillor Kelley asked why a camera was not installed. He asked Superintendent Williams what role the camera would take with a warrant. Superintendent Williams stated that if there was community concern and a wish for the installation of camera to monitor an area the police would concur, but the cost of camera mounting is expensive, especially if it is not wireless. The police would not be adverse to camera installation. Vice Mayor Simmons commented that in the past few months there is camera surveillance on Willow Street. Councillor Kelley asked how difficult to install temporary cameras it is. Superintendent Williams stated that the process is quite involved. Chief Reardon added that nothing is stored in the camera. There is new technology to install cameras at hot spots, but installation and maintaining equipment is expensive. Councillor Kelley requested that the police craft criteria for the temporary installation of camera equipment.
Vice Mayor Simmons stated that the City needs to figure out how to use and regulate the camera equipment, noting that the City wants people to be safe but rights need to be protected and "safe from who?" needs to be answered. People are suspicious; there is distrust for people who represent the government. Communities of color have reasons not to be trusting. Mr. Rossi stated that CORI review could be a good start to discussion on how this issue would work. There would need to be tight reins and clear repercussions. At the Occupy Harvard event there was a professional employee with a digital camera taking pictures of the crowd. Chief Reardon stated there is new technology coming out for temporary use during disasters- "quick deploy" cameras were becoming more affordable but were not really covert. And CPD has handheld cameras for recording specific events.
Councillor Kelley asked if Russell Field has cameras. Chief Reardon stated there are cameras on the Field house looking at the perimeter of the building.
Councillor vanBeuzekom asked if the CHA has a consent form for the tenants. There is no CHA consent form stated Ms. Leipzig. Mr. Murray stated that it would be good to have this information in the lease agreement. Mr. Leipzig responded that cameras are installed in public areas. Most people know that cameras are installed; word travels fast.
Councillor Kelley asked Ms. Murray if there is a standard for public notification. Mr. Murray stated that she does not believe so, but she will ask.
Councillor Kelley thanked all those present for their attendance. This is going to be an ongoing issue. He does not want to continue these meeting if there is no need. There will be more meetings. He would like to meet at CHA buildings. Ms. Leipzig asked if HRI and Winn Management have security cameras. Vice Mayor Simmons stated that 243 Broadway has cameras on the door. She further stated that the crime on Willow Street emanated from a building that the city did not own. HRI, Just A Start and Winn Management all use management companies to manage their buildings. Councillor Kelley asked if the house on Willow Street was declared troublesome and a camera was installed and the information stored what would be the cost. Chief Reardon stated that the cost depended on the sophistication level wanted. Mr. Rossi stated that someday it may be valuable to the clarity of a photograph for a traffic concern versus a camera that looks at a license plate so that it is understood what is being debated. The police have cameras on the perimeters, the Finance Department has cameras, and the Fire Headquarters have cameras around the perimeters and no cameras on the other fire stations. Mr. Rossi further stated that the Inspector General suggested cameras be installed at the golf course were money is kept. The Water Department has cameras and there are no cameras at the youth centers.
The meeting adjourned at 7:03pm.
For the Committee,
Councillor Craig Kelley, Chair
Committee Report #2
The Public Safety Committee held a public meeting on Wed, Jan 16, 2013 beginning at 5:32pm in the Sullivan Chamber.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the home improvement program (HIP) and safety concerns of alleged sub-standard work.
Present at the meeting were Councillor Craig Kelley, Chair of the Committee; Councillor vanBeuzekom; Councillor Cheung; Chris Cotter, Housing Director, Community Development Department; Ranjit Singayagam, Commissioner, Inspectional Services Department; and Interim City Clerk Donna P. Lopez.
Also present Bob Costa, Senior Project Manager, HRI; JAS Board members, Ruby Pierce Donohue and Peter Munkenbeck; Susan D. Roberts, 10 Berkshire Place; Rose Ann Gilmer, 297 Rindge Avenue; Marietta M. Sbraccia, 18 Perry Street; Diane Ghartey,464 Windsor Street; Aminda Nicoloro, 15 Harding Street; Maya Gonzalez, 17 Seventh Street; Dick Clarey, 15 Brookford Street; John Henn, 6 Walnut Avenue; Van Spanos, 1035 Cambridge Street; Loretta Haynes, 14 Upton Street; John Hixson, 41 Norris Street; Alan L. Johnson, 135 Western Avenue; John J. Dunn, 1 Allston Court; Steve Nadis, 500 Franklin Street; Stephen Camelio, One Seventh Street; William L. Cobham, 131 Fayerweather Street; and Monica Raymond, 57 Brookline Street.
Councillor Kelley convened the meeting and explained the purpose. He announced that the meeting is being recorded with audio and visual devices. He gave an overview of the issues. He submitted documentation to be included into the record covering the period 1996 - 2012 (ATTACHMENTS A-1 - A-12). He stated that City staff will be heard next and then the meeting would be opened to public comment. This is the first of a comprehensive series of meetings. He understands there is pending litigation. The Home Improvement Program (HIP) is a city-sponsored program that goes through JAS and HRI. There are 98 JAS mortgages, worth millions of dollars, that he has located, though he is not sure how many are HIP related. The program offers assistance and low interest loans to those who qualify. A release is signed by the homeowner who contracts with a contractor for work and the nonprofit organizes the work. He asked what the City's role in the program is.
Chris Cotter, Housing Director, Community Development Department (CDD) stated that the City's role is that JAS and HRI receive funding from City from CDD block grant program. The city coordinates the use of the funding through each agency. Neighborhood Revitalization Agencies exist where the income level is 120% of median income, in other parts of the City it is 80% of the median income. JAS and HRI offer deferred and low income loans throughout the City for low income homeowners who would be unlikely to qualify for traditional loans. Low interest (no higher than 3$), deferred financing and technical assistance is offered through the program. Loans for rehab work may be deferred until house is sold. Eighty percent (80%) median loans are paid back with flexible terms. HUD funding is offered to low income homeowners to do work such as paint house, upgrade electrical, fix foundations, install senior safety and access items like ramps and grab bars. Homeowners are referred to general contractors through multi-bid process and the work is organized from the program. Rehab staff helps put the scope of work together with the property owner, reviews the work for appropriateness and provides oversight of the work itself. The Inspectional Services Department is also involved. A building permit is needed. HIP staff work with homeowners who work with contractors and work permits are obtained.
Councillor Kelley questioned if the homeowners select the general contractors. Mr. Cotter responded that staff works together with the homeowners to find general contractors but the homeowners select the general contractor. Councillor Kelley questioned if the general contractors ensure that the work of the subcontractors is done. Mr. Cotter stated that homeowners may want work to be done by specific subcontractors; but this is the general model, that the GC hires its own subs.
Commissioner Singayagam stated that JAS and HRI agents are treated the same as any other homeowners who are having work done on their homes. The building code standards are complied with. The expect stamps when structural work is planned. He further stated that a rough inspection is done, and then a final inspection is done as requested by the licensed building contractor. JAS and HRI personnel have licenses and sometimes apply for the permits. Councillor Kelley stated that he is confused with the role of general and subcontractors. Commissioner Singayagam informed the committee that plumbing and electrical permits are pulled by those who are doing the work.
Councillor Kelley asked what HIP provides. Mr. Cotter explained that applicants will work with rehab staff to see if there are any code violations and make upgrades. A lot of applicants are seniors. One of the main tenants of the program is to make funding available. Accessibility modifications are done. Scope of work, cost estimates and funding are all reviewed. Moderate to middle income can receive low flexible loans. Staff makes available funds through a revolving fund called the Second Chance program for those who do not qualify for conventional loans.
Bob Costa, Senior Project Manager, HRI, explained that when a homeowner applies for HIP program, if eligible, an intake representative is sent to see what work is needed and help decide if there is funding for the work. Specifications are done. If the homeowner approves the specs HRI invites small general contractors to do work who bid on the specs of work. Bids are reviewed with the homeowner and staff assists owner with the contractor. A contract is signed between the homeowner and general contractor and HIP inspects the job. General contractor is invited to work on the project. General contractors organize the work to be done. Councillor Kelley asked how HIP pays for itself. Mr. Cotter responded that the HIP program is a City-funded program and the staff to run the program (as opposed to the construction work itself) is paid for with CDBG funds from HUD. Owners make repayment of loans to this fund. Future funding is in flux and with decreased funds; less money is going into the loan funds. He distributed Five Year Summary of Programs and Outcomes for JAS (ATTACHMENT B-1), Case Studies of JAS HIP Program (ATTACHMENT B-2) and letters from JAS Homeowners (ATTACHMENT B-3).
Councillor vanBeuzekom asked if the mortgage instrument is between the city, the homeowner and HRI. She spoke of the complexities of the funding. Mr. Cotter stated that federal HUD money comes to City and contracts are between the City and HRI and JAS for these two agencies to run the HIP program. Community Development approves the funding for rehab work. Loans issued by each agency are managed by the agencies. No HIP funds are issued by the Affordable Housing Trust and there are no deed restrictions to keep properties affordable. Councillor vanBeuzekom inquired about second chance funding. Mr. Cotter stated that second chance funding was instituted by the Cambridge Savings Bank with JAS for many years. JAS manages this fund. This program is under $1 million. Deferred loan program is a great program for seniors and it is used successfully to help people to age in their home with the use of this funding as it does not impact cash flow because the loan is guaranteed by the value of the house and is paid when the property is sold. One senior didn't have plumbing for five years until JAS helped him with this program.
Councillor Kelley asked Mr. Costa how HIP staff provides oversight as projects goes forward. Mr. Costa stated that once rehab work starts a rehab specialist is on the job daily to inspect the work. Councillor Kelley asked if the project is being inspected how sub-standard work is happening. Mr. Costa stated that money is not released to general contractors from homeowners until the work is completed to the specifications and the homeowner approves. Mr. Costa added that money is held in escrow by the agencies. Contractors only get paid for work done. The Rehab Specialist requests funding for work minus 10%. This 10% is collected at the end of the job when the work is done to specification. Councillor Kelley asked when work is done according to specs - where the general contractor and ISD fit in. Commissioner Singayagam stated that a preliminary and a final inspection are done. Mr. Costa added that the general contractor is doing work to the spec and the Rehab Specialist is ensuring that the general contractor is performing the work to the specs. Inspections by IS are a parallel process. If plumbing or electrical work is done these require specific permits. When issues arise the staff addresses the issues as they arise. The contractor does not walk away from the work when they are still owed money. These are small local contractors who do this work. They want to work for HRI. They can't afford to leave money on the table. Councillor Kelley asked what the homeowner's recourse is if there is an issue about the quality of the work. Mr. Cotter stated that the issue is resolved between the homeowner, contractor and agencies. What happens if a house is damaged asked Councillor Kelley. The issue is worked out between the homeowner and the contractor.
Councillor vanBeuzekom asked is there a home repair license and is there state funding for this type of work. Commissioner Singayagam stated that contractors who are working on houses with 4 or less units should have a HIC license (Home Improvement License). They are also required to have home improvement insurance. If there is a complaint with the State the license is cancelled. Councillor vanBeuzekom asked is there a manual check for contractors on a suspended contractors list. Commissioner Singayagam stated that his department checks to ensure that the license and insurance is current.
Councillor Kelley asked if there is a record of Rehab Specialist checking the progress of the work. Mr. Cotter stated that there was no consistent way of the rehab specialist reviewing projects. Mr. Costa stated that it depends on the inspector and that their rehab specialists note issues mentally and write it up later. HRI inspectors go out and do a summary of the work over a few days of work. Is there a form to ensure that the project is ongoing? Mr. Cotter stated that the Rehab Specialist documents what is going well on the job.
Councillor Kelley stated that HIP is an important program and we need to come up with a way to make it work. Did anyone have any ideas? With all this HIP oversight he does not understand the stories he has heard over the last 16 years of sub-standard work. Councillor Kelley noted a letter from Leslie Borden, 12 Saginaw Avenue who praised HRI work (ATTACHMENT C). He is struggling with how this is not working. He asked how this program can be run so that there are no horror stories.
Councillor Minka asked Mr. Cotter about affordability requirement. Mr. Cotter stated that applicant's sign agreements that tenant will not be assessed larger rents but there is no deed restriction. This is a HUD requirement to assist low and moderate income homeowners. Councillor vanBeuzekom asked that the commitment letter be put into the record (ATTACHMENT D). Mr. Cotter stated that Community Development wants to hear about homeowners who have complaints about the work and mistreatment by agency staff and that he has not had one complaint about this program. Community Development will look into these complaints to the satisfaction of the homeowner. There have been 200 units that have been served in the last 5 years under the HIP. Councillor vanBeuzekom asked how much money is spent to support the two agencies. Mr. Cotter responded that the agencies received $600,000 this year. Councillor Kelley added that the average mortgage held by JAS is $51,000. Councillor vanBeuzekom asked if there is a maximum amount for deferred financing. Mr. Cotter stated that there is a limit on City funds for each homeowner. Other public funds and loans from banks are also accessible. Mass Housing is recommended for the lead safe program.
At 6:35pm Councillor Kelley opened meeting to public comment.
Ruby Pierce Donohue, 24 Cedar Street, stated that she is on the JAS board. She is on the board because of the work done by JAS. In the last 5 years JAS has served 500 families and 900 units of housing and made available of $14 million for construction.
Peter Munkenbeck, 33 Sparks Street, JAS board member and committee chair stated that JAS is proud of its role in administering the HIP program. Loans are in the range of 0 - 3%. The Rehab Specialists work directly with the homeowner and homeowners hire the contractor. Contractors are not paid until work is done. JAS has never evicted a homeowner. There are 202 loans in the repayment phase. He supplied case studies done by staff. He highlighted the case history. The cases are primarily elderly and low income.
Sue Roberts, 10 Berkshire Street, spoke about her JAS experience. She read a prepared statement (ATTACHMENT E). Her home was total redone. She supported the program. In 2008 she was on short term disability and was granted a 12 month deferral. In 1986 - 1987 there was a snow storm and there was water seeping in her basement. She panicked. She called JAS and stated she needed help soon and in 30 minutes JAS personnel came to her house. A sump pump was purchased by JAS personnel from Home Depot. He gave instruction to move the pump. Her roof needed repair and JAS personnel came through. She complained about paint work and reported it to JAS and in 3 days the work was repainted.
Rose Ann Gilmer, 297 Rindge Ave., stated that she did not have a good story to tell. She applied to the Homeowners Rehab Program, but was made to start at the lead safe program. She stated that she had to leave her house for 3 week and when she returned home her house was painted wrong color and the windows were constructed with bad wood. Her work was not inspected and was not insulated. Some work was corrected. The lead safe work destroyed her house. HRI made her go to lead safe first. The Rehab Specialist works for the contractor, not for the homeowners. Her house was built in 1860. She stated that there is no accountability for these programs.
Marietta M. Sbraccia, 18 Perry Street, stated that she is a retired Cambridge teacher. In 1994 she purchased a triple-decker. Her contractor abandoned her project to the tune of $70,000. This contractor had fudged his license. She praised the assistance given to her by JAS. The follow through was excellent. JAS supports diversity.
Diane Gharty, 464 Windsor Street, stated that JAS assisted her with a sewerage problem in her house. She has used JAS expertise over the years. When issues come up she calls JAS and they help. JAS services are invaluable. Safety concerns were pointed out and she addressed them. With JAS help she has been able to maintain her property.
Aminda Nicoloro, 15 Harding Street, stated that when her parents passed away she had no experience with property ownership or maintenance. She explained the help that JAS provided. They provided contractors. She was taught how to maintain her three-family home. Her two rental units are rented. She has a property that she can sell and now she has options. She had a problem with her furnace due to a defective piece and it was replaced.
Maya Gonzalez, 17 Seventh Street, stated that she lives in a single family row house. Two buildings on Seventh Street were rehabbed. She was eligible for the HIP program. She has been completely satisfied with the JAS program. An electrical line was cut by a contractor when she was out of town and she called Jas and it was fixed. She listed the work she has had done. Respectful, thorough and proactive were the words she used to describe JAS. She qualified for a historical preservation grant. She was informed about the weatherization program by JAS. She is going to use the Youth Build crews because they are supervised and do exceptional work.
Dick Cleary, 15 Brookford Street, member of the North Cambridge Stabilization Committee, spoke about an incidence in 2002 where a home was severely damaged by work done by HRI. He mentioned the commonalities. He spoke about the legal document used by HRI and JAS. Ms. Graham has had a "gag order" placed on her. He would ask JAS to waive the gag order. The public was barred from courthouse in this case. ISD inspectors refuse to help with the complaints.
Loretta Haynes, 14 Upton Street, stated that she is a 5th generation Cantabrigian. In 2006 work was done on her parents home. JAS renovate the basement and made the bathroom handicapped accessible. The home did not have a mortgage for over 50 years and her parents were reluctant to proceed. Proceed they did and her parents were not allowed in their home for 8 months. She checked every day the work being done. Being a lay person you do not know if the job is being done right - this is where JAS responsibility lies. JAS dropped the ball, the work was not done properly and the house was damaged. An additional loan needed to be taken out. The contractor disappeared and was paid for work that was not done. Insulation work was not done. Two years ago her water meter froze and she had to call the Fire Department because there was no insulation. Her mother passed away unhappy with leaving her daughter with the financial burden of the home, especially upset about the second, $14,000 mortgage with JAS to fix what should have been done right the first time.
John Hixson, 41 Norris Street, stated that he is an HRI Board member and on the HIP committee. He stated that whole street, neighborhoods and the city benefits from this program. Things do go wrong and we try to prevent this.
John Dunn, 1 Allston Court, stated that he had to have his house fixed or go to jail. He went to JAS and was told that work could be done. Everything turned out good. His house is almost complete. He has a house to live in for the rest of his life and he is happy.
Steve Nadis, 500 Franklin Street, stated that his JAS experience was favorable. He bought his house 20 years ago and it was run down. JAS was helpful with work suggestions on a limited budget. His loan was 3%. A construction plan was made. The painter was substandard, but was replaced. He needed structural work done recently and did not qualify for HIP and was helped by JAS. JAS provides a great service to Cambridge. The statistics that the City Council gets is segued on the negative end.
William Cobham, 131 Fayerweather Street showed pictures of his house. He went through the lead safe program. He is happy to stay in his home. Electrical and roofing work he did on his own. He is happy with the help he received from JAS.
Councillor Kelley closed public comment at 7:23pm.
Councillor Cheung asked Councillor Kelley where he wanted to go with this matter. Councillor Kelley responded that he wants to know where things went wrong. This program should be an absolute fail safe program. He wants to make sure the program has no failure. Councillor Cheung stated that HRI and JAS are critical programs for the community. These agencies are taking on the most difficult homes. It would be more surprising if there was not a problem. He wanted to look at the program and continually make it better rather than starting with the perspective that the program is broken is not the right way to go.
Councillor Kelley stated work done for Ms. Ford did not go right. He does not understand how work was not done right. It is not a perfect system and he wants to make sure mistakes do not happen.
Councillor vanBeuzekom spoke about the interplay that make all the pieces work. These properties at times are problematic. Permits not pulled because they are small projects. ISD is involved with permits and this is a complex issue with the CBGD funds and the lead safe program. The program is working as good as it does is a tribute to the program. She has not become buddies with contractors that work in her home. Better to talk to make sure that there is no systematic problem that is being overlooked. There are ten projects that did not get the best outcome, but she was happy with the positive response to the program overall.
Councillor Kelley thanked all those present for their attendance. He stated that the following communications will be made part of the record.
Communication from Liz Seelman, 25 Richard Avenue, recommending HRI to seniors who are homeowners (ATTACHMENT F).
Communication from Phyllis Newton, 24 Jackson Street, thanking HRI and the City of Cambridge for helping her with her home project (ATTACHMENT G).
Communication from Patricia B. Stewart, 193 Rindge Avenue, in support of HRI (ATTACHMENT H).
Communication from Elizabeth T. Snyder, HIP Client, in support of the program (ATTACHMENT I).
Communication from Stephanie V. Morris, 6 Eaton Street, in support of HRI (ATTACHMENT J).
The meeting adjourned at 7:40pm.
For the Committee,
Councillor Craig Kelley, Chair
Committee Report #3
The Public Safety Committee held a public meeting on Jan 23, 2013 beginning at 5:33pm in the Sullivan Chamber.
The purpose of the meeting was to continue discussions on security cameras in the City.
Present at the meeting were Councillor Craig Kelley, Chair of the Committee; Richard Rossi, Deputy City Manager; Superintendent of Police Steve Williams; Deputy Superintendent of Police Christine Elow; Deputy Superintendent of Police Paul Ames; Deputy Fire Chief Gerald Mahoney; James Maloney, Chief Executive Officer, School Department; David DiNapoli, Chief Safety Officer, Cambridge Health Alliance; Matt Nelson, Chief of Staff to Mayor Davis; and Interim City Clerk Donna P. Lopez.
Also present were John DiFava, Chief of Police, MIT; Nancy Murray, Education Director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, 204 Erie Street; Sidney, a student from Boston University; Mark Levy, Cambridge Day; and John A. Hawkinson, Staff Reporter, The Tech.
Councillor Kelley convened the meeting and explained the purpose. He met with the Police Department and was shown the security cameras and camera technology. He hopes that a policy will be established to answer the question on security cameras. The City has no formal camera policy, but there are cameras all around the City. Fixed cameras can do amazing things and the technology will only get better. This issue will be brought to the City Council for a formal decision, at some point, about what sort of policy the City will have about surveillance camera use or if such use is simply something the City Council does not want the City doing.
Councillor Kelley asked Mr. Maloney about the cameras at the School Department. Mr. Maloney stated that seven years ago video tape cameras were installed in all school buses. There was push back came from bus drivers, who now like them. The technology helps solve disputes on the buses, whether it be the behavior of students or of the drivers. A new contract for the latest technology was approved last week. The cameras are reviewed once a month. Students and parents know that the cameras are on the busses.
With the renovation of the High School four years ago, a district-wide security review was done by Standing Stone which recommended the cameras. HMFH employed a sub-contractor for security cameras and staff; there are 55 cameras installed throughout the CRLS complex - main building, arts building, war memorial and some external spots focusing on doors. There is a posting that cameras are present in the school; they are not in intrusive areas where privacy is expected or in classrooms. The school had had computers and other computer technology stolen and with millions of dollars worth of new equipment installed associated with the renovation, CPS wanted more protection. Since the cameras were installed no theft has occurred. Students plug in their devices and sometimes forget their equipment, but with the cameras the students feel comfortable about their equipment not being stolen. The cameras are not monitored 24 hours, but are reviewed as needed (about once a month). Stolen articles have returned to staff and students with the use of the cameras. No student has been expelled when caught in an act unbecoming to the school but there is a disciplinary process. All principals have requested cameras in the elementary and secondary schools as what they have now are just for monitoring the main entrances without storage capability. Most principals have worked in districts where surveillance cameras are used, though money may be an issue. The Field house at Russell Field has had cameras installed but they are in need of maintenance at this point and are not working. Cameras are not monitored and are not intrusive to the privacy of students. CRLS has a variety of odd-hour uses and far-flung places where staff and students work that security staff can't effectively monitor. He hopes cameras are deterrent to the threat to school staff. Especially relevant to safety perceptions are the cameras in the garage and he feel they are a deterrent against anything happening. No concerns have been expressed by students or staff.
Councillor Kelley asked how long the data is kept. Mr. Maloney stated that the data on the bus cameras, which includes audio, is swept every 72 hours. The data at CRLS, which does not include audio is not kept long, but will get back to committee on this. Councillor Kelley asked who has access to review the information. Mr. Maloney responded only the principals, safety officers, dean and the parents of the student who has an alleged violation. Transportation staff and CPS lawyer are involved in reviewing bus footage. This information cannot be review by other staff. The High School information is centrally stored; school buses information is stored individually on bus, though new contract may change that. Elementary Schools only have cameras at the entrances. Russell Field has a separate server for the information. Councillor Kelley asked if the cameras at CRLS are mounted outside. Mr. Maloney stated that cameras are mounted at the main entrance facing the door and on the outside walls, on the Broadway Street side facing the doors and facing the day care center at the Teen Center, all along the exterior wall at the Rindge Arts Building, the War Memorial and the Cambridge and Ellery Street garage. All are attached to the doors and would pick up some activity on street.
Councillor Kelley asked who owns data until release. Mr. Maloney responded that the data is owned by the district and also includes the bus records. Councillor Kelley asked if access is wanted would a subpoena be required. Mr. Maloney explained that a parent of an involved child can view the data, but cannot take the data unless done through court order. He did not think there has been a legal request for such information. Councillor Kelley questioned if the buses record audio. Mr. Maloney responded in the affirmative, but it is difficult to hear and there is no intelligible sound. The cameras are set up looking back over the rearview mirror, so audio is most likely to pick up people in the front like the driver. Mostly footage shows infraction or lack thereof. The buses do have monitors, but not always as monitors are a hard position to fill and to find subs for folks who are sick, etc. The buses used for field trips are buses from Eastern Transportation and they do have cameras. There are far less behavioral issues on buses used for field trips. Councillor Kelley asked if the bus driver is captured on the camera. Mr. Maloney responded in the affirmative. The camera is activated by the key in the ignition. Councillor Kelley asked if Special Ed buses have cameras. Mr. Maloney said ‘no' and informed the committee that SPNR is the vendor used for Special Ed vans, they are smaller and there are monitors on the vans. School-based cameras are stationary and the range could be changed. The School Department is looking to protect against improper entry into the school buildings. The High School is an open campus and an intruder could come in. Councillor Kelley commented that cameras are a deterrent after the fact. Mr. Maloney stated that when it is known that an area is monitored the cameras are a deterrent because people don't want to get caught. The cameras monitor the incident. The camera pictures at the High School and on the buses are clear. They are clear enough to identify an individual, especially if the individual is a student as staff knows most students. If an issue is reported, safety staff reviews the relevant camera footage at the relevant time.
Councillor Kelley stated that he wants to find a policy that works and see if his peers buy into the policy and then end this discussion. At the Police Station the cameras are outside. The technology is good and improving and can do much. He suggested a policy he might get behind would be if certain conditions are occurring the police could install cameras. He wants defined access, storage and a clear definition when cameras could be installed. He stated that when cameras are installed crime moves away from the cameras but might not actually stop. We do not want to move problematic behavior by installing cameras; we want to stop problematic behavior. Police see camera as a vital tool. He wants a narrowly formed policy; what do various departments need to effectively do their jobs, which could include things like park monitoring to determine usage types and levels.
Mr. Rossi commented that City departments would create a narrative why they want to do this and give Councillor Kelley a policy drafted by Police and Fire Departments and see if can be accepted. Councillor Kelley commented on figuring out how Russell Field is being used to collect data. Mr. Rossi stated that there could be notice posted to make people aware that data is being collected and the times that the data is being collected.
Superintendent of Police, Steve Williams, stated that a policy should be more inclusive in the beginning including public safety and then pare it down with the City Council wishes. Mr. Rossi spoke about public security piece. Superintendent Williams stated that the policy will include use, purpose and data retention.
At 6:16pm Councillor Kelley opened the meeting to public comment.
John Hawkinson stated that he heard that the police do not employ pole mounted cameras for investigation; how would this differ from federal law. Superintendent Williams stated that the Police rely on detective surveillance; visually looking at the area. Police have access to cameras when there is a problem with the detective doing surveillance. There is an in-house process to review whether the cameras are necessary and will be installed. There could be situations where there maybe more than one camera up at one time. Cameras are primarily used where detectives do not have access. Detectives are watching the cameras once they're installed, but he is not sure about recording.
Nancy Murray, ACLU, asked about cameras in classrooms. She stated that she would like to know more about the current software capacity at police station and the introduction of biometrics. Mr. Maloney stated that there are no cameras in the classrooms. Only Photoshop-type software is used and there is no interest in biometrics.
Superintendent Williams, responded to a question by Ms. Murray, stated that the City does not have automobile license plate readers. The state police have automobile license plate readers in some cruisers and other communities also have them. The Cambridge Housing Authority has license plate aimed cameras (which don't ‘read’ the plate number but do make it visible to humans to read) to identify who enters CHA property.
Mr. Hawkinson cautioned about the policy being written to mislead citizens about the jurisdiction of police within Cambridge. Just because Cambridge Police are not using cameras does not mean the State Police or any other non-City agency is not using cameras.
Councillor Kelley stated that all appropriations for funding are approved by the City Council; this includes grants. If the Council is concerned about use of Homeland Security money, it should pay more attention to those relevant grants.
Councillor Kelley thanked all those present for their attendance.
The meeting adjourned at 6:28pm.
For the Committee,
Councillor Craig Kelley, Chair
Committee Report #4
The Ordinance Committee held a public hearing on Thurs, Jan 24, 2013 beginning at 4:45pm in the Sullivan Chamber.
The purpose of the hearing was to discuss a zoning petition by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to amend the Zoning Ordinance and Map by creating a new Section 13.80 - Planned Unit Development 5 (PUD-5) District, which includes several parcels totaling approximately 26 acres in the area north of Memorial Drive, east of Ames Street and south of Main Street and Broadway, and would also include a parcel at One Broadway. The new Section 13.80 PUD-5 is intended to allow mixed use developments with increased development densities and heights.
Present at the hearing were Councillor David Maher, Chair of the Committee; Councillor Minka vanBeuzekom; Mayor Henrietta Davis; Councillor Craig Kelley; Councillor Leland Cheung; Vice Mayor E. Denise Simmons; Brian Murphy, Assistant City Manager for Community Development, (CDD); Susan Glazer, Deputy Director, CDD; Jeff Roberts, Neighborhood Planner, CDD; Iram Farooq, Project Planner, CDD; Stuart Dash, Director of Neighborhood Planning, CDD; Jason Alves; Neal Alpert; and Interim City Clerk Donna P. Lopez.
Also present were Israel Ruiz, Executive Vice President and Treasurer, MIT; Steve Marsh, Managing Director, Real Estate MIT Investment Management Company (MITIMCo); Paul Paravanno and Sarah Gallop, Co-Directors, Community Relations, MIT; Jesse Baer-Kahn, City Retail; Jarrett Barrios, Chief Executive Officer, American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts; and Lauretta Siggers, Regional Chief Operating Officer, American Red Cross,139 Main Street; Mike Connolly, 20 Harding Street; Carol O'Hare, 172 Magazine Street; Peter Fisher, 13 Cornelius Way; Brian Spatocco, 170 Pacific Street; Nathaniel Schafheimer, 3 Ames Street; Nancy Seymour, 170 Harvard Street; Richard Goldberg, 170 Harvard Street; Terrence Smith, Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, 859 Mass. Avenue; Loc Vo, 1A Raymond Street, Boston; Robin Lapidus, Central Square Business Association, 130 Bishop Allen Drive; Jonathan King, 40 Essex Street; Stephen Kaiser, 191 Hamilton Street; Barbara Broussard, 148 Third Street; Kristen vonHoffman, 205 Walden Street; Tom Stohlman, 19 Channing Street; Heather Hoffman, 213 Hurley Street; James Williamson, 1000 Jackson Place; Gary Dmytryk, 2440 Mass. Avenue; Eric Quadrino, 500 Technology Square; Robert Simha, 6 Blanchard Road; Tim Rowe, 64 Gorham Street; Bettina Hein, 350 Third Street; Sam Voigt, 222 Third Street; Carole Bellew, 257 Charles Street; Charlie Marquardt, 10 Rogers Street; Rudy Belliardi, Wellington-Harrington; John Hawkinson, The Tech; Anthony Galluccio; Charlie Teague, 29 Edmunds; and Robert Winters, 366 Broadway.
Councillor Maher convened the hearing and explained the purpose. He stated that the meeting is being recorded with audio and visual devices. All e-mails received by the Council and the City Clerk will be made part of the meeting. He stated that this petition was previously submitted in 2011 but needed more work and the petition expired. This petition before the City Council is a new, different petition. He stated that the petitioners will give a presentation first, and then Community Development Department staff will give an update.
Steven Marsh, Managing Director, Real Estate, MITIMCo, stated that this is a new, better zoning petition. There have been 40 meetings held on this planning process. Last week MIT went to be heard before the Planning Board. He stated that in his presentation he would walk through zoning language and provide an update on student housing will be provided by Israel Ruiz, Executive Vice President and Treasurer, MIT. The committee will also hear from Jesse Baer Kahn, a retail consultant who is working on this project and has worked on several other retail projects in Cambridge. A copy of the PowerPoint presentation is attached (ATTACHMENT A).
Mr. Israel Ruiz spoke about MIT and the Innovation Economy. Innovation is in MIT's DNA. He outlined the planning considerations as the dynamic relationship between campus and an enhanced mixed-use district, redevelopment and growth in the campus and large scale, specialized research facilities and the need for connection, interaction and collaboration at the building level. He spoke about MIT graduate and undergraduate housing. Of 4,363 undergraduate MIT students, 98% live in residence halls. MIT houses 39% of its graduate students. There have been 1300 new graduate beds added since 1997 in the northwest sector of the campus. A chart comparing MIT housing to other colleges and universities is found on page 9.
Mr. Marsh reviewed the zoning language. The purpose of Section 13.80 is to advance Kendall Square as a world-renowned center of innovation, create a vibrant mixed-use district and enable MIT's academic mission. The PUD-5 district is 26 acres and is broken into subdistricts. The four Subdistricts are the Main Street Subdistrict, Third Street Subdistrict, the Transitional Height Subdistrict and the Memorial Drive Subdistrict. He highlighted the allowed uses in Section 13.82. The maximum FAR for the entire district is 3.9 and ground floor retail is excluded from the FAR. The ground floor area (GFA) limitations are found on page 15. The minimum size for the development parcel is 25,000 square feet with a setback 16 feet and above 85 feet in height along Main, Third and Broadway. One new building in the Main Street subdistrict and one in the Third Street Transition Sub district is allowed a height of 300 feet, if the use above 250 feet is residential. Additional residential square footage above 250 feet is subject to a moderate income housing requirement. The minimum open space across the PUD-5 district is 15%. The parking for automobiles is consistent with the recommendation from the Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department in the K2 report. The proposal will include a shared parking study. Below grade parking is required for south of Main Street, but extension of above grade parking at One Broadway is allowed. Temporary parking provisions, loading flexibility and bike parking are proposed. The residential construction (240,000 square foot) will commence before the commercial construction (600,000 square foot). The residential GFA is subject to the Inclusionary Housing. The commercial GFS is subject to the Incentive Zoning contribution. The district must include innovation space that is 5% of the new commercial GFA. He listed the sustainability issues as found on page 23. The PUD-5 must comply with the Sign Ordinance. Mr. Marsh stated that active uses are critical to the district. A Community Fund will be established with a 7 member committee. At the Certificate of Occupancy a $10.00 per new GFA will be paid. The Community Fund would be targeted for open space, transportation improvements and workforce development
Mr. Ruiz provided information on the existing conditions and uses in the MIT East Campus. This petition is about development of seven parking lots shown on page 35. The historical buildings are along Main Street. Third Street into Kendall Square is an important extension to the East Cambridge area.
Mr. Marsh spoke about the conceptual commercial build out and highlighted the differences between the MIT proposal and the K2 recommendations. He spoke about the 7 parking lots. The height and density are similar. Another variation is that retail has been planned along the Broad Canal. He stated that 2500 units of housing have been developed, 3500 additional units are in the pipeline. Kendall Square is at the center of activities and connects the community and the campus. The success of these connections depends on public realm. Active sidewalks are the glue to the community. Lower Third Street is a critical connection to East Cambridge. One Broadway is a natural connection. There are four key integration opportunities. Mr. Marsh now asked Mr. Baer-Kahn to discuss the retail.
Mr. Baer-Kahn outlined the main retail opportunities in the area. In 2007 the neighborhood was in a far different place; there was only one retail establishment. There was an effort to activate the retail landscape at the lower Third Street. Today, retailers want to be in Kendall Square. Retail development in Kendall Square is still disjointed and incomplete. There is no retail core in Kendall Square yet. There are two main retail corridors planned for Kendall Square. Desired retail will be small local businesses with more affordable retail with lower price points. The plan is to create an exciting, diverse, spill out, day and night activity and showrooms and playrooms. There were 50 retail uses indexed for Kendall Square to see how they interact with each other. This approach is good and reasonable. He is excited for retail and the public realm. Kendall Square will be a more livable, walkable space.
Mr. Marsh concluded his presentation by stating that this petition has evolved and has received great deal of input from the community. MIT looks forward to additional community feedback.
Assistant City Manager for Community Development Murphy stated that this has been a process where CDD has been engaged in with MIT. The Planning Board heard this petition on Jan 15, 2013. There have been some refinements that have taken place. This is consistent with the K2 process. The Planning Board will have an additional hearing on Feb 19, 2013.
Councillor Cheung stated that he was happy that the innovation space has been put back into the petition. He is pleased with the retail and housing component. He spoke about the need for graduate housing. He is supportive of the task force doing the study. The task force letter dated Jan 24, 2013 (ATTACHMENT B) states that students are pushed into the rental market and this heats up the housing market. He asked if there is innovation space in the plan for One Broadway. Mr. Marsh stated that they are trying to work on lab deal outside of the PUD. At the base of One Broadway there is space. MIT will continue the pursuit of innovation space. Councillor Cheung asked if micro housing is part of plan. Mr. Marsh stated that this is a pioneering aspect and it can be done at One Broadway. The units would be smaller. Councillor Cheung asked about the Red Cross building and the set back issue and urged MIT to work with the abutting building to make things work. Mr. Marsh stated that MIT intends to work with Red Cross building on setbacks.
Mayor Davis stated her concerned about housing for aging in the community. This housing demand is growing for baby boomers and for empty nesters. If the student graduate community is growing will the housing demand for graduate student housing grow. Mayor Davis stated that the conclusion of Silver Ribbon Commission was that residents want to be in active vibrant spaces, closes to the T and ability to walk to retail. Mayor Davis commented that micro units be built with sound proofing. Mr. Ruiz stated that when he arrived as a graduate student in Cambridge in 1999 he was unable to get housing. Graduate students have increased about 50%.
Councillor Kelley stated that once the zoning petition is received discussion ceases and he does not see micro housing. He wanted to see something more concrete such as no car housing; he is not seeing any of this in the petition. If MIT is given a value why should we wait for payment? The City Council is giving you a right (zoning change) and it is up to MIT to make the payment. He sees no innovation for housing in this petition and it must be before we continue discussions on the other aspects. Mr. Marsh stated that micro housing will continued to be worked on.
Councillor vanBeuzekom stated that MIT is responsible for spawning innovative companies. She also thought of MIT as a campus. This petition is for 26 acres owned by MIT and only proposes 240,000 square foot of residential. Councillor vanBeuzekom felt that open space could be increased to 20%. Green buildings should take into consideration the wind from the river. In the innovation space clause any existing space will count, but where is the other innovation space that will be counted. The Community Fund is unclear what the funding can be used for; a committee designates the funding. Transferable rights are a topic that was thought about by C2. Mr. Marsh stated that the petition is to change the zoning to make sure building will fit in the PUD. He suggested that the City Council provide guidance regarding the Community Fund. Priorities from the public were heard for open space, transportation and workforce development. Councillor vanBeuzekom stated that she thought that funding would go back to PUD. Mr. Marsh stated that MIT is open to all suggestions. MIT is working on innovative space outside the district. Councillor vanBeuzekom stated for the retail space to work people need to live here.
Vice Mayor Simmons commented that she does not want the history of Kendall Square to be eliminated with it being the center of innovation. She expressed her concerns about the Community Fund. She expressed hope that the funding will come back to the abutting communities. She asked what the 240,000 square foot of residential means in housing units. Mr. Marsh responded this is 300 units of housing. It would be more units if micro units are added. The housing is broad based and the goal is to open the housing to the market. Vice Mayor Simmons stated her wish that MIT has conversation about the Red Cross building and the orientation of the building. She asked how many jobs will come to the City and wanted to make sure that the employment bounty will include Cambridge residents and that MIT is committed to using union standards. She expressed her concern that the retail is affordable. Kendall Square is upscale; how are you going to have diversity opportunity. We are working on affordable food establishments for Kendall Square. Mr. Marsh stated that MIT wants to unify the community; not divide. Vice Mayor Simmons stated that she wanted community based organizations added to the Community Fund. She stressed the continuation of the meetings and that the meetings are held in East Cambridge, Area 4 and the Wellington-Harrington neighborhoods.
Councillor Maher thanked the presenters. The City is entering a conversation with petitioner that will be fruitful. The structure of the Community Fund is an issue for him. The City is struggling to develop a mechanism for community funds to go back to the community. He wants to intertwine these; he does not want two separate processes. Micro units were built for seniors in the 1960's and they are deplorable. People do not want to live in small units. He is excited about housing and retail mix and innovation is a great way to do this. He stated that MIT holds property that is underutilized and he wants these parcels that MIT owns outside this PUD that could be addressed as part of this process. There are spaces for affordable, good sized units in the community. Vice Mayor Simmons spoke about parking lot in Area 4, also known as "The Port," which is isolated; she wants this lot to be in this conversation. Put this parking lot on the table - it is time for development. Vice Mayor Simmons suggested a scholarship for the Maynard School. Councillor Kelley commented that community benefits get messy.
At 6:56pm Councillor Maher opened the meeting to public comment.
Jarrett Barrios, Chief Executive Officer, American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts, 139 Main Street, highlighted the work done by the Red Cross. He stated that the Red Cross headquarters is located in a historic, five story building in Kendall Square. The headquarters is located adjacent to one of the parcels whose zoning would change if the petition were adopted, the Parking Lot. The Red Cross is not well endowed and its major asset is the building. The proposed MIT building will devalue this asset. Reducing the value of the build jeopardizes the continuity of the work done by the Red Cross should there be a financial crisis. The Red Cross might be forced to leave if this building is built. The petition states that there will be no side set back. The proposed 300 feet building, the Third Street parcel, is the only place there the building can be build. It would be built toward the back of the lot. He submitted a prepared statement (ATTACHMENT C).
Mike Connolly 20 Harding Street stated that he has concerns with the petition because it does not include graduate student housing. There is a severe rental housing shortage. He requested that MIT be asked to come up with graduate student housing which is in addition to the proposed housing. This will open housing units for residents.
Brian Spatocco, 70 Pacific Street, stated that he served on the Kendall Square Advisory Committee and is a graduate student of MIT. He stated that there is a housing crisis and MIT has done nothing to alleviate this. We do not know how much housing is needed. No city-wide studies have been done. MIT acknowledges the problem and will do an analysis. He asked the Community Development Department to expedite its housing study.
Nathaniel Schafheimer, 3 Ames Street, PhD at MIT, stated that a city-wide analysis for housing is ideal. There are 6,500 graduate students. He stated that it is vital that lab work employees live near campus. There is a safety concern with graduate students leaving alone late at night. Housing around MIT is getting expensive. Doing nothing will not solve the problem.
Nancy Seymour, 170 Harvard Street, stated her support to just say no to MIT.
Richard Goldberg, 170 Harvard Street, represented the Area 4 Coalition, stated that Central Square is becoming Kendall Square. He stated that this development is not for Cambridge; it is for the MIT Corporation. He supported letting MIT build on the land banked parcels they owned.
Terry Smith, Director of Government Affairs, Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, stated that the chamber board and its members support the MIT zoning petition. This is the first step to convert parcels into mixed use. This supports open space, innovation and will improve pedestrian access. He urged the Ordinance Committee to pass this petition.
Loc Vo, l Raymond Street, Boston, stated that he operates a food truck. He stated that one of the most vibrant things about this area is when people come to the food truck, they are students, CEO, taxi drivers who are enjoying affordable food. The food trucks have been on MIT for 20 years. MIT is a fantastic partner to work with. He supported what MIT is planning to develop in Kendall Square.
Robin Lapidus, Central Square Business Association, member of C2 Advisory Committee, stated that this petition is an investment that links and supports a strong Central Square and the city at large. CSBA supports this petition.
Kristin vonHoffman, 205 Walden Street, spoke about low income housing as it relates to Kendall Square. She understands the economic incentives. She supported all the sustainability issues. She asked if the low income housing is enough.
Jonathan King, 40 Essex Street, stated that he taught at MIT. He submitted a prepared statement (ATTACHMENT D). Research is funded by taxpayers. Biomedical researchers spent long hours in the labs. The reason high tech companies want to come to Cambridge is because of the researchers; not the building. Graduate students have identified for years that housing is critical.
Tom Stohlman, 19 Channing Street, Architect and MIT graduate, stated that MIT moved to Cambridge in 1916. He is not against the increased height and density in the petition. The Central Square design guidelines should be incorporated into the petition. There should be a stronger connection made between Kendall Square and the Charles River. He submitted his comments (ATTACHMENT E).
Steve Kaiser, 191 Hamilton Street, stated that he attended MIT. He stated that there should be a traffic study done; none have been done by city or MIT. He stated that there will be 4 petitions from the K2C2 process. He submitted a written communication (ATTACHMENT F).
Heather Hoffman, 213 Hurley Street, stated that a 300 foot high build next to the Broad Canal will cast shadows over the boardwalk which was an amenity that the community fought for. The Sign Ordinance applies to all. She spoke about institutional pressure. The campus is a treasure.
James Williamson, 1000 Jackson Place, stated that innovation is not just buildings; it is people. Early retail was affordable and hospitable. The new retail spaces are inhospitable. He asked what the definition of "local" is. On housing you need a degree in numerology to figure the housing in the petition. MIT made a previous commitment to house 50% of their students. None of community benefits should have anything about transportation.
Gary Dmytryk, 2440 Mass. Avenue, stated that this was a great discussion.
Eric Quadrino, owner of Mexicali Burrito, stated that he is low cost local business. He believes in the vision of what Kendall Square can be. He supports the MIT petition.
Tim Rowe, stated he is an MIT graduate, President, Kendall Square Associates, and creator of the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC). Now CIC has the largest number of startups. This proposal will strengthen Kendall Square as an innovative center. He supports the petition.
Bettina Hein, stated that she employs 20. She is a tenant at the Cambridge Innovation Center. She stated that the startup entrepreneurs are in danger in Kendall Square. The innovation space is important to entrepreneurs. She requested support for the 5% innovation space.
Sam Voight, 222 Third Street, spoke on behalf of the innovation startup space. The innovation space in the proposal is important. People in the innovation space feed off of each other. He expressed support for the proposal.
Carol Bellew, 257 Charles Street, stated that she is happy with the changes made to the petition by MIT.
Charlie Marquardt, 10 Roger Street, spoke on the importance of housing. He was excited to see the middle income housing. He stated that the need for more local retail is imperative. Kendall Square is in a great location and a great place to bring people together. He submitted a photograph of the Clem property in 1998 (ATTACHMENT G).
Public comment was closed at 8:25pm on motion of Vice Mayor Simmons.
At this time Councillor Maher stated that he will schedule two more meetings to get into the details of the petition because of the complexity of the petition he will separate agenda items.
Councillor Maher thanked all those present for their attendance. The following e-mails were made part of the record.
Two communications received from Carol O'Hare regarding Signs and the Memorial Drive Subdistrict (ATTACHMENTS H-1 and H-2).
Communication from Mark Mullikin in support of the MIT petition (ATTACHMENT I).
Communication from Andrea Nash and Peter Berry requesting a moratorium on all up zoning until a citywide plan is developed and to require MIT to build student housing (ATTACHMENT J).
Communication from Chris Gresham in support of the MIT petition (ATTACHMENT K).
Communication from Ovadia R. Simha, 6 Blanchard Road, in opposition to the MIT petition (ATTACHMENT L).
Communication from Lisa Horvitz in opposition to the MIT petition (ATTACHMENT M).
Communication from Douglas W. Pfeiffer, Assistant Provost for Administration, MIT transmitting on behalf of the MIT Faulty Task Force their support for the MIT petition (ATTACHMENT N).
Communication from Randa Ghattas, 88 School Street, in support of the MIT petition (ATTACHMENT O).
Communication from Joseph Aiello, 207 Charles Street, in support of the MIT petition (ATTACHMENT P).
Communication from Jesse Kanson-Benanav, Chairman, A Better Cambridge, in support of the MIT petition (ATTACHMENT Q).
Communication from David A. Whelan in opposition to the MIT petition (ATTACHMENT R).
Communication from Lee Farris, 269 Norfolk Street, in opposition to the MIT petition (ATTACHMENT S).
Communication from Esther Hanig, 136 Pine Street, in support of the MIT petition (ATTACHMENT T).
The hearing adjourned at 8:27pm on motion of Councillor vanBeuzekom.
For the Committee,
Councillor David P. Maher, Chair
Committee Report #5
The Ordinance Committee held a public hearing on Thurs, Jan 17, 2013 beginning at 4:40pm in the Sullivan Chamber.
The purpose of the hearing was to discuss the zoning petition filed by Zevart M. Hollisian, Trustee of Garabed B. Hollisian Trust and L-Z Realty Trust and Seth D. Alexander, President, MIT Investment Management Company to amend the Zoning Ordinance and Map by extending the Cambridgeport Revitalization Development District from Green Street out to Massachusetts Avenue in the area adjacent to Blanche Street; said petition includes a map and a commitment letter.
Present at the hearing were Councillor David Maher, Chair of the Committee; Councillor Kelley; Councillor vanBeuzekom; Vice Mayor Simmons; Councillor Reeves; Brian Murphy, Assistant City Manager for Community Development (CDD); Stuart Dash, Director, Neighborhood Planning, CDD; Iram Farooq, Zoning and Land Use Project Planner, CDD; Chris Cotter, Director of Housing, CDD; Matt Nelson, Chief of Staff to Mayor Davis; Jeff Roberts, Neighborhood Planner, CDD; and Interim City Clerk Donna P. Lopez.
Also present were Attorney James Rafferty, Adams & Rafferty; Frank Wuest, President, Forest City Boston; Peter Calkins, Senior Vice President, Forest City Boston; Kathryn Brown, Vice President, Legal Affairs, Forest City Boston; Jay Kiely, Property Manager, Forest City Boston; Jesse Baer-Kahn, City Retail; Mark Hernon, Senior Vice President of Global Operations, Millennium Pharmaceuticals; Terrence Smith, Director of Government Affairs, Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, 859 Mass. Avenue; Robin Lapidus and George Metzger, Central Square Business Association; John Chun, 48 Loomis Street; Susan Yanow, 221 Norfolk Street; Rashie Athnkovala, 318 Rindge Avenue; Ken Beardsley, 129 Franklin Street; Patrick Barrett, 234 Broadway; Barbara Taggart, 2 Cottage Court; Randa Ghattas, 88 School Street; Peter Lindquist, 11 Market Street; Nancy Ryan, 4 Ashburton Place; Gary Dmytryk, 2440 Mass. Avenue; Steve Kaiser, 191 Hamilton Street; Peter Valentine, 37 Brookline Street; Kathy Watkins, 129 Franklin Street, Apt. 315; Kristen vonHoffman, 205 Walden Street; Mike Connolly, 20 Harding Street; Jonathan King, 40 Essex Street; Harriet Miller, 10 Salem Street; Susan Hegel, Attorney, CASLS; Lee Farris, 269 Norfolk Street; Richard Goldberg, 170 Harvard Street; Lydia Vickers, 45 Cherry Street; Shelley Rieman, 201 Franklin Street; Bill Cunningham, 6 Newtowne Court #166; James Williamson, 1000 Jackson Court; Phyllis Bretholtz, 65 Antrim Street; Nancy Seymour, 170 Harvard Street; Charlie Teague, 23 Edmond Street; and Mark Bowes Watson, 242 Erie Street.
Councillor Maher convened the hearing and explained the purpose. He announced that the meeting is being recorded with audio and visual devices. He announced that Mayor Davis is ill and Councillor Toomey would not be attending the meeting due to the passing of his father. He outlined the history of this petition. This petition has been filed twice before. The last petition expired on Aug 13, 2012. The Ordinance Committee had several concerns and the concerns were addressed by the petitioner. The previous petition when originally filed was not in a format that the City Council was prepared to accept. The current petition is in the form of the prior petition after it was amended by the Ordinance Committee last August. It has a lowered the height and there is a retail component. This is the first hearing of the revised petition; this picks up where we left off in August. The original petition talked about a residential tower to be built near the fire station and this is not part of the revised petition. He stated that the hearing will open with the petitioner. Community Development staff will give an update on the Planning Board hearing held last week. It will then be opened to the public. Another meeting will be held in two weeks (Jan 30, 2013 at 4:30pm) awaiting the report from the Planning Board. The correspondence received relating to this petition will be part of the record.
James Rafferty, Attorney with offices at 130 Bishop Allen Drive, stated he represents Forest City. The current petition is an amended petition which was the final petition that was previously before the Ordinance Committee which had made a series of amendments. The amendments included a reduction in the height with two-thirds of the buildings along Mass. Avenue cannot exceed 65 feet and required retail use on the ground floor. This is the petition that was before the City Council in August. This petition does not introduce a laboratory use into this block of Mass. Avenue. The current Business B allows lab use and has for decades. The height allowed under current zoning could be 80 feet by Special Permit. Forest City was encouraged to explore diversity in height that would break up the mass of the structure. The proposal to change the height is from feedback from the earlier petitions. The letter of commitment has evolved with the petitions. This petition contains a letter of commitment and is referred to in the zoning amendment. The letter of commitment identifies commitments Forest City will be making if the zoning is adopted. The current zoning requires 150 affordable units in University Park; it also has a time limit on those units. These units were made affordable prior to the adoption of Section 11.200 the Inclusionary Zoning. There was a desire by the City to see these units brought under the umbrella of the affordable housing department at CDD. The letter of commitment now addresses that concern. The letter of commitment has been modified to include language that provides for the creation of 20 additional units. When the decision of the Ordinance Committee was made to forward only that portion of the petition that contained the 300 Mass. Avenue and not the housing, Forest City was asked to find an alternative way to provide the affordable units that would have been a part of that project. One of the benefits of the tower was the 20 affordable housing units. Forest City was asked to give a commitment to create these units. The letter of commitment identified three mechanisms by which these affordable units can be created. First, the units could be provided as part of a housing project undertaken by Forest City. Second, the zoning will produce these units, the conversion of market rate units to affordable units controlled by Forest City, or third, a $4 million cash payment. This letter of commitment is tied into the zoning. This is a regulatory mechanism. There is now a far broader consensus on the affordable housing issues than back in August. Another significant development since the August petition is that the C2 committee work was not done. The C2 Committee reported their recommendations to Planning Board recently. The Planning Board deferred making a recommendation on the previous petition. The Planning Board has requested an analysis on how this petition is consistent with the C2 recommendations. There are no changes in the dimensional requirements of the petition. This is an expansion of the CRDD district. There are two parcels on Mass. Avenue in the CRDD. The Zoning Map change contains a dimensional change in height and increase in gross floor area of 107,000 square feet. The overall commercial square footage in University Park is below the 1.9 million originally approved twenty years ago because Forest City increased residential units. Traffic projections and parking is a build out of 1.9 million and now is at 1.82 million. The focus on retail has been prominent and contains a market strategy to attract tenants. Millennium has entered into a legal agreement to occupy this building. The location and the size of the building are critical to the growth of Millennium.
Peter Calkins spoke about graphic information distributed (ATTACHMENT A). He outlined the petition. Retail is the focus with 15,000 square feet. One change to the plan is the shape of the building; there is a curve to the building so that there is open space on Blanche Street which will be a welcoming spot for tables and chairs with a restaurant space. The retail space is along the public way on the first floor of building. The Mass. Avenue side of Blanche Street has open space on the Green Street side. This is a conceptual design. One of the advantages of having open space on both ends is that Blanche Street is shortened. Regarding the loading dock on Blanche Street and Mass. Avenue, Forest City met with the Planning Board and Traffic, Parking and Transportation last week to design it as pedestrian encouraging and inviting and to make it a disincentive for vehicles. The goal is to enhance Blanche Street. Parking for this project is provided at garage at 55 Franklin Street and will still be below the commercial use of twenty years ago. He is confident with the garage capacity. Vertex currently uses more parking and they will be moving to Boston. There is plenty of capacity for this building. There will be a reallocation of the parking to support this building. Bike parking will be provided. The zoning requires that at least two-thirds of Mass. Avenue frontage will not exceed 65 feet. There are conceptual renderings on the height. Mass. Avenue was the focus for the ground floor plan. The building has not been designed yet. Mr. Calkins introduced Jesse Baer Kahn to discuss the retail aspect.
Jesse Baer Kahn stated that he is excited about the project. First thing that excited him is the amount of retail in this building on the street level. Mass. Avenue deserves this. This building is lacking a robust trophy type lobby. The rendering of the building with the carved out design that was not on the previous plans shows a large area where restaurant users can bleed out. This is a great thing for the building. On the right hand side, which is 10,000 square feet, it is exciting to have a long strip along the street. This can be dynamic and critical to make an offering to the small business community. Retail proposed for this area is small locally operated businesses. He spoke about marketing and making an effort to obtain the type of retail wanted. Make a constant effort to do outreach to get these businesses to fill the space. This needs investment in the physical space and affordable rents.
Mr. Calkins spoke about the conclusion of the C2 process. The Forest City project is fully compliant with C2 recommendations. With building height; this project is below the recommended height. Residential diversity is a goal; however, this building will not have any residential units. There will be open space at Blanche Street with added open space at Blanche Street and Mass. Avenue. There is a commitment to Gold LEED standard. Energy use will be tracked and reported to the City. No new additional parking is offered. Sustainability is important to the City Council and he explained the sustainability aspects. He spoke about benefits associated with the project. One benefit is that the building will be an improvement to a desolate area on Mass. Avenue. There will be 15,000 square feet of new retail space. A marketing program will be developed, new open space, better access to Star and the hotel, contribution of $1 million to the affordable housing trust. Other benefits in commitment letter - contribution of $1,078,000 to a community benefits fund, enhance the affordable units in University Park so that they will remain affordable for the 75 years that Forest City controls the land, affordable units will be marketed and monitored to comply with Section 11.200; rent calculations at 30% of income. There is also a commitment to provide additional affordable units (20 previously proposed). This has been increased to 25 units. The third benefit is the support for Millennium which needs to expand.
Mark Heron, Vice President of Operations at Millennium, stated that Millennium is a Cambridge company founded twenty years ago and is part of the community. It is great to see other pharmaceutical company coming to Cambridge and expanding their presence in Cambridge. There are 1600 employees at University Park; 100 are residents of Cambridge. Millennium was ranked as #1 place to work by the Boston Globe. Millennium people are passionate about developing a cure for cancer. Millennium supports the local community wide senior center, East End House, Margaret Fuller House, promotes walk to work days for employees to avoid driving to work alone, active in the Cambridge Science Festival since 2007, twenty employees are STEM ambassador volunteers in Cambridge schools. In 2008 Millennium was acquired by Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the largest pharmaceutical company in Japan having been in business for 230 years. Since this acquisition Takeda has invested in Millennium and Cambridge. 400 more employees have been hired since 2008 and the company needs to expand in a contiguous campus. The building at 300 Mass. Avenue is the solution and is next to Millennium's current location.
Councillor Reeves asked about the whiteness in the pictures on top of the building. Mr. Calkins responded that it is the mechanical penthouse which is 30 - 33 feet tall. It is not included in the height of the building; it goes above the 95 feet. Councillor Reeves questioned whether it is taller than the Novartis project. Mr. Calkins stated that the Novartis is 97 to 110 feet in height. Vice Mayor Simmons asked if the Novartis height included its mechanicals penthouse and that it is not counted. Mr. Calkins stated that building height is defined as the top of the most occupied floor. The mechanicals will be more than smoke stacks, but it has not been designed yet.
Councillor Maher asked Mr. Murphy to come forward and give a synopsis of the Planning Board hearing. Mr. Murphy stated that the Planning Board held their hearing on Jan 8th and at the end of the hearing all the Planning Board members expressed support for the general principles of the petition and directed the staff to draft a favorable recommendation pending the analysis. The Planning Board has scheduled another hearing for Jan 22, 2012 and will review the draft recommendation and vote on the matter at the Jan 22nd meeting and then forward the recommendation to the City Council. This petition and C2 recommendations are aligned. C2 recommended mixed use development with residential, retail and lab use. The C2 discussed development transfer rights as a tool to encourage mixed use development for small scale uses to established neighborhoods and allow larger residential and commercial development further away from the neighborhood. The CRDD is a master plan of mixed use development under common ownership. For the Osborne Triangle area the C2 Committee recommended non-residential height of 100 feet and for residential 160 feet with restrictions on the height. The FAR will be 2.75 for non-residential. The FAR over the entire CRDD will be 2.47 with non-residential being 1.77. The building will have a maximum height of 95 feet. This petition aligns with the urban design goals of the C2 Committee. Regarding active and ground floor retail use the C2 calls for active ground floor along Mass. Avenue. Parking came up in C2. The goal of the C2 Committee was to create maximum parking use and required an analysis for shared parking. Forest City can take advantage of the existing structured parking that is shared with other uses. No new parking is developed. C2 recommended improvements to bike amenities and bike parking. The buildings energy use will be tracked and information will be provided to CDD. He spoke about enhanced public benefits. The C2 focused on the active public realm, retail diversity, affordable housing, middle income housing, indoor and outdoor public spaces and connections were the key goals. He stated that the Planning Board will vote on their recommendation on Jan 22.
Councillor Reeves asked for clarification as stated in the benefit package of $4 million for 20 units which now is 25 affordable units. Wouldn't the price go up for the additional five units, he asked. Mr. Murphy stated that the dollar figure reflects the internal subsidy if developed as part of an inclusionary project. The money would be used toward the additional units. His preference would be to get the units built. The exact dollars amount varies from project to project and the real focus was on the units rather than the money. Councillor Reeves stated that he wanted to make sure there is enough funding for the units. Exact location has not been specified for the additional affordable units. If this housing did not get developed over a short period of time would there be a requirement to distribute the funds elsewhere. Mr. Murphy stated that the exact location of these units has not been specified. When the housing at the tower next to the fire station did not take place Forest City stated that they could not specify where these units would be, but by converting existing housing units in Forest City's portfolio to affordable or doing another development elsewhere within the area that would allow for the inclusionary piece. The timetable would allow Forest City to purchase another parcel to provide the units. The seven years out put some type of a timetable on this to ensure it gets built. Councillor Reeves stated that the Quest property was assessed for $15 million and sold for $35 million. Mr. Cotter stated that if the payment were made to the Affordable Housing Trust after 7 years if the 25 affordable units were not delivered the trust would use those funds and leverage other funds to invest in housing development projects to provide affordable housing. Vice Mayor Simmons stated that she was pleased with 25 units in the formula. She thought $4 million got 20 units and this was derived by a formula. She wants the formula that will give 25 units. Councillor Maher stated that the units have a cost of $200,000 per unit is based on the original formula. It is expected that this formula be adjusted to $5 million for the 25 units. He asked if $200,000 is enough to construct one unit.
Councillor Cheung stated that $4 million today would get 20 units; but this is 7 years down the road. He questioned what the formula will be in 7 years. He would rather not see the $4 million; he would rather see the housing.
Councillor Kelley stated that he was concerned with the language in paragraph (E) in the letter of commitment which stated that "for any reason which may include the inability of the developer to identify a feasible site" when loosely defined such as the inability of the development to identify a feasible site it is better to give the option to buy out. In Paragraph (C) pursuant to the applicability of Section 11.200 he asked how will inclusionary housing projects work to provide affordable units that can be put anywhere in the district. It is not clear in commitment letter that affordable housing can be put anywhere. He wants the limitations defined. Mr. Murphy stated that the 168 inclusionary units will be subject to 11.200. Councillor Kelley asked why affordable units could not be in perpetuity instead of seventy-five ground lease. Mr. Murphy stated that Forest City has given the length of the ground lease and after that the holder of the land will discuss at end of the term of the ground lease. Councillor Kelley asked what happens if Forest City moves on; what happens to the ground lease. If MIT purchased Forest City there would be no more ground lease. Mr. Murphy stated that the letter of commitment states 75 years and there is also a deed restriction. Councillor Kelley asked if the zoning is passed Forest City has been give a right to do anything. The City should get payment upfront; he does not understand the quarterly payments of $269,000. Mr. Murphy stated that this payment mirrors other commitments. Councillor Kelley spoke about the Noise Ordinance in 15.23.2 relating to the measurement of noise. Noise is a big issue. Humming of equipment noise is an issue. Councillor Kelley stated that he cannot find the definition of lab space. A Level 4 biolab is not allowed by zoning. He felt that laboratory uses should be limited. What labs are allowed should be in the zoning. In Section 15.70 entitled "Inapplicability of Certain Other Regulations" states that if there is a conflict Article 15.000 controls. He stated that he does not like the wording and would strike this provision.
Vice Mayor Simmons commented on the 15,000 square feet of retail. She stated that she has a concern about the local ground floor retail. She stated that the retail at Novartis is very expensive. She wants the local retail to be affordable. She would like more detail about this provision. She wants the residents as well as the people in the building to be able to enjoy the ground floor retail. She is looking to make sure that the City can say what is wanted. She wants the open space at Blanche Street to be open and accessible so that the community can utilize the space. $1 million inclusionary project payment is different than the commitment to the additional units. She wants to make sure that this is clearly two different conditions. She wanted information about how much of the building will be lab or office space. Mr. Murphy stated that he does not have this information. Vice Mayor Simmons stated that she likes that the affordable housing is being extended for the duration of the land lease. She wanted language that states that this is being extended and it is renewable. If Forest City gets another 75 years she wants the city to get the 75 years so that this does not have to be renegotiated. She wanted language that outlined the 25 units or $4 million or whatever is less; this takes away the benefit. She requested more information on the 25 affordable units and the acquisition of the units; she wanted this language strengthened. She favored the 25 units of housing.
Councillor vanBeuzekom stated that this is a zoning petition, not the building construction itself as portrayed in the pictures. She stated that what is being granted is something higher, set back from the street and has a density of mass. She would like to see in the future the mechanical penthouse in the drawings. She loves all the sustainability issues and the commitment to LEED Gold Standard; however, this is not part of the zoning petition. She does not see why the money is not received up front versus the quarterly payments. She wants to see a transit study, on paper that under the PTDM regulations there will be enough parking, now that it is known who the tenant will be. As well as the fact that the transit can handle the additional traffic. She wants to see information on the new employees at this location. She stated that she felt the 25 housing units was above what was required under the inclusionary zoning which does not apply in the district. She was viewing these units as additional.
Councillor Reeves asked why the Affordable Housing Trust gets the first $1 million in the commitment; this usually goes to the City. Mr. Murphy stated that this is part of the incentive zoning by which the CRDD was not subjected, but this petition makes Forest City required to do this. This money is based on the commercial space after the exemption of the first 25,000 square feet would be multiplied by the linkage payment and this is the money payable to the Affordable Housing Trust. This is separate from the other mitigation funding for discretionary spending. Councillor Reeves questioned if the $1,078,000 a new formula for computing community benefits. Mr. Murphy stated that this calculation is based on the additional Gross Floor that would be permitted versus current zoning which is roughly $10 a square foot. Councillor Reeves spoke about the back side of Green Street. He hopes that Phase 2 will come quickly. He likes the idea of the creation of a corner restaurant with an indoor/outdoor area on Mass. Avenue. This could be complimentary to Jill Rhone Park. However he does not feel that the back open space will be an amenity. He does not want to bring University Park onto Mass. Avenue. Mass. Avenue has a distinctly different character.
Vice Mayor Simmons excused herself to attend the meeting of the Kids' Council for Mayor Davis who is ill this evening.
At 6:19pm Councillor Maher opened the meeting to public comment.
Robin Lapidus, Executive Director, CSBA stated that the Central Square Business Association has sent a letter in support of expanding the Cambridgeport Revitalization Development District (CRDD). (ATTACHMENT B). This process has been supported by the Central Square Advisory Committee. CSBA is anxious to see this proposal move forward.
John Chun, 48 Loomis Street, stated his support for the Forest City proposal and that he works for Millennium Pharmaceuticals. He arrived in Cambridge in the 1980's. He is happy that University Park has been developed and that it has biotech. Millennium Pharmaceuticals is the best company he has ever worked for. This company has a good culture and will bring in good employees.
Representative Marty Walsh, 12 Tuttle Street, Dorchester, represented the building and trades unions, stated his support for this project. This project is important for the building trades. He spoke about program "Building Pathways." He is a cancer survivor and he looks forward to when Millennium Pharmaceuticals develops a drug for curing cancer.
Rashie Athnkovala, 318 Rindge Avenue, stated that he is an employee at Millennium Pharmaceuticals. He came to Cambridge because of Millennium Pharmaceuticals reputation. He spoke about his participation in community benefits. As a Millennium employee he has participated in Science fairs, fund raising for non profits, the "Make a Difference" Program, a day of community service. This culture has kept me at Millennium for 10 years.
Ken Beardsley, 129 Franklin Street, who spoke about an article about the benefits that Kendall Square, has offered to Cambridge. He praised the volunteers, city staff and the City Council for their work on Kendall Square. There have been 19 new restaurants in this area. The blight of 300 Mass. Avenue will be improved and vitality brought to this area. He stated that he is an employee at Millennium and a tenant of Forest City. Forest City is a good neighbor. The Forest City project will be a source of added revenue.
Patrick Barrett, 234 Broadway, property owner of the building where Toscanni's is located, and a member C2 advisory board, stated that he does not care about the 25 units of housing but does care about the 100 units lost because the tower was too tall. He urged consideration of the possibilities if we do want housing. This project makes sense.
Barbara Taggart, 2 Cottage Court, who stated that she is a business owner who has been involved in what is wanted in Kendall Square. The original agreement included affordable units and owner condos. In the Holmes building there was discussion of small affordable retail. Look at this building today - there is a bank and empty space. Yoga Studio had a broken pipe and Forest City did not assist this business and now there is no yoga in area. Why are loading zone not used. Trades people cannot afford to live in Cambridge. No knowledge of traffic, use of office space and if there is a limit of lab space.
Terry Smith, Director of Government Affairs, Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, stated that the Chamber supports Forest City petition. He read a prepared statement (ATTACHMENT C).
Rhonda Ghattas. 88 School Street stated her support for the Forest City petition. She is a member of Central Square Advisory Committee. She encouraged the City Council to support this petition. She submitted a communication for the record (ATTACHMENT D).
Nancy Ryan, 4 Ashburton Place, stated her opposition to the up-zoning and urged the City Council to reject the Forest City petition. She submitted a written communication for the record (ATTACHMENT E). She asked what uses are allowed in a residential area. One zoning leads to more; what are the limits. She stated that the C2 policies are not policy or law and the petition cannot be compared to this standard.
Gary Dmytryk, 2440 Mass. Avenue, spoke on issues of zoning and planning. He favored the importance of the economic base. He has hesitation about the Forest City proposal. Kendall Square used to be a wasteland. Kendall Square is nearly built out and any additional businesses will impinge on our city. Nothing solid has been written in the zoning law from the C2 recommendations. City should think hard before granting up-zoning.
Steve Kaiser, 191 Hamilton Street, stated that he wrote a traffic study for the Kendall and Central Square areas and wrote a treatise on up-zoning. He distributed a package of information (ATTACHMENT F). He is a traffic engineer. City has not provided a traffic report. The only traffic report on the table is his. He has a problem with the context of this proposal which is l of 4. Why is this being done piecemeal? There is a conflict with Kendall Square by MIT and C2. Let's do 3 petitions. Forest City is improper and too early. It is premature and should not have been filed. The process is wrong. He offered the solution that the Forest City petition should be sent packing and it will be heard with the Central Square petition. He stated that Article 7 of the Constitution reads that no profit should be received by a private entity (ATTACHMENT F-1)
Peter Valentine, 37 Brookline Street, stated that 646 Main Street could be converted and used by Millennium. He read a prepared statement (ATTACHMENT G).
Kathy Watkins, 129 Franklin Street Apt. 315, stated her thanks to University Park for its commitment letter especially the affordable housing. She looks forward to seeing the final language. She requested Millennium to give funds for the Alliance of Cambridge Tenants. (ATTACHMENT H).
Kristen von Hoffman, 205 Walden Street, stated that she supported a city-wide master plan. The Forest City petition is the first of 4 up-zoning proposals for Kendall Square. She asked that the decision makers consider the big picture as well as the details. She spoke about the rent increases she has received.
Mike Connolly, 20 Harding Street, stated that he opposed the up-zoning of 300 Mass. Avenue. He is for jobs and hopes cancer is cured. This proposal is a developer driven process. He hears there is a need for a traffic study, parking study, master plan. A plan is needed that is driven by the City. He stated that the focus should be on housing first then focus on development.
Jonathan King, 40 Essex Street, stated that this site is a transition site between the residential and commercial. The mechanical penthouse is presented as transparent, but it will cause darkness. Nothing prevents Forest City from building a biotech building at the heights previously approved. This building will last one hundred years and no one knows what the future will bring for Forest City and Millennium. The housing commitment should be kept and not allow Forest City to renege on this agreement.
Harriet Miller, 10 Salem Street, stated that she remembers the construction of the first University Parking building. The existing University Park construction required drilling pilings. This proposal is not ready to be passed yet. She wanted seismic testing done. The traffic and parking problems are significant. She wanted to make sure there is enough parking before the petition is passed.
Susan Hegel, a housing attorney at CASLS, stated that she was speaking on the housing piece only. She had 3 concerns, 2 were addressed. She had an issue with the rental formula. Forest City has agreed to make 168 units subject to affordable housing even though CRDD is not under this requirement. This is a great benefit to city. She spoke on the 20 additional units - she likes the 25, but this should be above and beyond.
Lee Farris, 269 Norfolk Street, stated that she was part of the Simplex agreements and fights. She is a member of the Alliance for Cambridge Tenants. She still opposes this proposal because the building is too high and too big. She does not want to see biotype labs on Mass. Avenue. Noise issues are important. Fixing the problems of the housing is not contingent on the agreement to support the up-zoning by fixing the full affordability for 75 years. She is glad that there is ground floor retail, but it needs to be affordable for existing residents. She asked why can't Millennium move to spaces vacated by Vertex and the rest could be housing - she wanted CDD to explore this.
Richard Goldberg, 170 Harvard Street, stated that he was opposed to up-zoning the Asia parcel. Forest City should be asked to clarify that the space adjacent to firehouse remains green space. This should be part of the agreement if there is up-zoning. Negotiations should not be held hostage to up-zoning. The 25 units should be sited in Central Square. No up-zoning should be granted until there is clarity on the height of the building. He is concerned about the retail space. Lab in area 4 violates the noise ordinance. Noise should be the number one concern with a guarantee that the community will not be subject to a constant hum.
Lydia Vickers, 45 Cherry Street, asked where the benefits are for the residents and the neighborhoods. Area 4 is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city; close to public transit and an up and coming arts community. She lives next to a parking lot. MIT bought a parking lot. She suggested MIT to do a trade off to the city to put housing on the site.
Shelley Rieman, 201 Franklin St., spoke against the proposal. She submitted a communication (ATTACHMENT I).
James Williamson, 1000 Jackson place, stated that the height has not been tested in Central Square. He submitted information on community planning. (ATTACHMENT J). He submitted record of contributions made in conjunction with the petition filed by Forest City (ATTACHMENT K).
Phyllis Bretholtz, 65 Antrim Street, spoke in opposition to the up-zoning of Forest City. She has walked and photographed the area. She is doing this for historical reasons. She is also doing this for scale. She requested that the City Council ask Forest City to provide a scale model for the buildings in context with the neighborhood. She is committed to the public schools and she does not hear anything about affordable units build for families that will send their children to our schools. The affordable units are geared for who will work here. Benefits to city: jobs are proposed - but there is no guarantee of lab, office or construction jobs for Cambridge residents. This needs to be in writing. Density equals more services; who are these services directed to. She submitted a written communication for the record (ATTACHMENT L).
Nancy Seymour, 170 Harvard Street, asked developers and CDD what are you talking about when you talk about community benefits. She spoke about exclusionary retail. Commercial landlords should not be allowed to let the property be run down. She requested the City Council reject the up-zoning.
Charlie Teague, 23 Edmond Street, he has slides that were left out of the handout given by Forest City (ATTACHMENT M). Reuse and recycle - how can you speak about green; why isn't the building space being recycled. He also submitted a communication (ATTACHMENT N).
Mark Bowes Watson, 242 Erie Street, member of Central Square Advisory Committee, stated his support for this petition. Cambridge is blessed to have a biotech company that sustains the financial status of the city. Up-zoning in general - there are shared values around Central Square. There is up-zoning in the C2 recommendation. He urged the City Council and the residents to delve into Central Square recommendations and the zoning and to move forward.
On motion of Councillor Cheung public comment ended at 7:52pm.
The following communications were received and made part of the record:
Carol O'Hare, 172 Magazine Street, expressing concern about signs and illumination (ATTACHMENT O).
Dara Glass, 21 Edmunds Street, requesting that the Forest City petition be rejected (ATTACHMENT P).
Mary Vanderwicken requesting that the Forest City petition be rejected (ATTACHMENT Q).
Jacquelyn Smith, 7 Ashburton Place, urging the City Council to reject the Forest City petition (ATTACHMENT R).
Judith E. Somberg, 48 Antrim Street, requesting that the Forest City petition be rejected (ATTACHMENT S).
Erin Dullea in opposition to the Forest City petition (ATTACHMENT T).
Fran Folsom, 20 Valentine Street, in support of the Forest City petition (ATTACHMENT U).
Suzanne Bas-Davis, 162 Hampshire Street, requesting that the Forest City be rejected (ATTACHMENT V).
Adam J. Dean, 21 Edmunds Street, requesting the Forest City petition be rejected (ATTACHMENT W).
Larry Rosenberg, 48 Antrim Street, urging that the up-zoning be slowed and be done more carefully (ATTACHMENT X).
Dexter Eames, 6 Avon Place, in opposition to the Forest City petition (ATTACHMENT Y).
Peggy Lynch, 69 Brookline Street, requested that the Forest City petition is rejected (ATTACHMENT Z).
Micki McElya, 47 Magazine Street, requesting that the Forest City petition be rejected (ATTACHMENT AA).
Rachel Wyon, 283 Sidney Street, in opposition to the Forest City petition (ATTACHMENT BB).
Jacqueline King, 40 Essex Street, requesting that the Forest City petition be rejected (ATTACHMENT CC).
Gail Seidman, 311 Mass. Avenue, urging the City Council to approve the Forest City petition (ATTACHMENT DD).
Matthew LaRue, 88 School Street, in support of the Forest City petition (ATTACHMENT EE).
Peter Lyons, 104a Irving Street, in opposition to the Forest City petition (ATTACHMENT FF).
Peter J. Abair, Director of Economic Development and Global Affairs, MassBio, in support of the proposed extension of the CRDD (ATTACHMENT GG).
Jacquelyn Smith, 7 Ashburton Place, urging the City Council to reject the Forest City petition (ATTACHMENT HH).
Councillor Maher announced that the next Ordinance meeting on this petition will be on Jan 30, 2013 at 4:30pm.
Councillor Cheung moved that the subject matter remain in the Ordinance Committee and that the petition be referred to the full City Council without recommendation. This motion carried on a voice vote.
Councillor Maher thanked all those present for their attendance.
The hearing adjourned at 7:55pm on motion of Councillor vanBeuzekom.
For the Committee,
Councillor David P. Maher, Chair
Committee Report #6
The Ordinance Committee held a public meeting on Wed, Jan 30, 2013 beginning at 4:44pm in the Sullivan Chamber.
The purpose of the meeting was to continue discussions on a zoning petition filed by Zevart M. Hollisian, Trustee of Garabed B. Hollisian Trust and L-Z Realty Trust and Seth D. Alexander, President, MIT Investment Management Company to amend the zoning Ordinance and Map by extending the Cambridgeport Revitalization Development District from Green Street out to Massachusetts Avenue in the area adjacent to Blanche Street; said petition includes a map and a commitment letter.
Present at the meeting were Councillor David Maher, Chair of the Committee; Mayor Henrietta Davis; Vice Mayor E. Denise Simmons; Councillor Timothy J. Toomey, Jr.; Councillor Leland Cheung; Councillor Minka vanBeuzekom; Brian Murphy, Assistant City Manager for Community Development; Susan Glaser, Deputy Director; Stuart Dash, Director of Community Planning; Jeff Roberts, Project Planner; Chris Cotter, Housing Director; Roger Boothe, Director of Urban Design; Iram Farooq, Senior Project Manager, Community Development Department; Marybeth Cosgrove, Operations Manager and Paula Crane, Administrative Assistant, Office of the City Clerk.
Also present were Peter Calkins, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer; Jay Kiely, Property Manager, Forest City; James Rafferty, Esq., Attorney for Forest City; and Terrence Smith, Director of Government Affairs, Cambridge Chamber of Commerce.
Councillor Maher convened the meeting and explained the purpose. He gave a brief summary of where the Ordinance Committee stands in the process as it relates to the Forest City petition. At the Ordinance Committee meeting on the Forest City petition which took place on Jan 17, 2013, the committee asked for additional information and revisions to the petition. He noted that the committee was in receipt of a revised Letter of Commitment that reflected the increase of affordable units from 20 to 25. At the Jan 17th meeting there was discussion of an increase in affordable housing but the Letter of Commitment at that time was not reflective of the change. He noted in the revised Letter of Commitment (Attachment A) there was also a change in the contribution to the Affordable Housing Trust from 4 to 5 million dollars. There was also additional text changes as a result of conversations between attorneys for Forest City and affordable housing advocates that was agreed to by Forest City. There has been discussion about how they arrived at the number of 25 affordable units. The original proposal talked about a residential tower in Central Square adjacent to the Lafayette Square Fire Station. He noted that there was some discussion when the tower was taken out of the proposal that the housing would not be built by Forest City. Because of apprehension by some that the affordable housing would not be built, it was the intention to hold Forest City to the commitment of the 20 units of affordable housing. Because of discussion in the Ordinance Committee, Councillor Maher then noted that the last piece of the discussion should revolve around the recent City Council discussion of the C2 Committee as well as the Planning Board references to the C2 committee recommendations as part of its rationale in support of the petition.
James Rafferty stated that there were a few changes to the Letter of Commitment such as the increased number of affordable housing (25) and the Affordable Housing Trust contribution increase from 4 to 5 million dollars. Discussion ensued as to the comparable adjustment in the contribution formula. He noted that Forest City has agreed to increase the payment from 4 to 5 million. He stated that another change was a text change which is a subtle but effective change for affordable housing advocates. On page 2 of the revised Letter of Commitment, the wording and other requirements was added in paragraph D, section II in the last sentence. This is intended to remove any possible ambiguity about applicability of the 11.200 form of administering these units. On page 3 paragraph A, with the same desire to avoid ambiguity, the wording and other requirements is added which is intended to address assurances around the income formulas currently utilized under the qualification procedures at the Affordable Housing Department of the Community Development Department. Mr. Rafferty stated that he would be happy to answer any questions that the committee members may have.
Councillor vanBeuzekom asked for a redline version of changes. Mr. Rafferty supplied Councillor vanBeuzekom with the redline version of the changes.
At this time Councillor vanBeuzekom made a motion to refer the revised Letter of Commitment to the Law Department for review to ensure that it is consistent with other Letters of Commitment that the city has had in similar instances and report back to the Ordinance Committee.
The motion - carried.
Vice Mayor Simmons stated that she was pleased to see the commitment of housing by Forest City and the increase in the contribution to the Affordable Housing Trust. She stated that there is some index to inflation, such as the CPI. She stated that the value is not going to be what it is currently and it is important to her to see acknowledgement that this money will grow so that the city can have 25 units of housing.
Councillor vanBeuzekom then stated that in the context of the Letter of Commitment there was a note regarding the timing of payments that Forest City would make to the city (the first being $1,078,680). She stated that Councillor Kelley was eloquent in stating that that it should be an upfront payment and not spread out. The city is increasing the dimension of the redevelopment district and will not take that back. There are precedents that have been previously set by Novartis and Boston Properties that have similar language and timing of payments and while the City Council has accepted those terms, she does not believe the current City Council should accept them going forward. It is in the best interest of the city to take one upfront payment. Mr. Rafferty stated that there is a rationale to the structured payment. He noted that the initial payment will be made upon adoption of the zoning. Mr. Rafferty noted the practical considerations in that there would be nothing to prevent future City Councils from adopting a dissimilar zoning petition that would then remove the rights in which case the petitioner would have paid for something and will never have gotten the opportunity to avail themselves of it. Councillor vanBeuzekom stated that it would be unlikely that the city downzones and would take development rights away. She stated that Forest City would be able to not lose rights if they were paid for upfront.
Councillor Cheung stated that he is pleased to see the increased Affordable Housing Trust contribution increase from 4 to 5 million as well as the increase in the number of units. He thanked Forest City for those revisions. He reiterated the comment that the number was based on equivalent cost to build housing. He would prefer to have housing rather than the money for the housing. Mr. Calkins stated that he is committed to providing affordable units and is actively looking at sites and opportunities. He noted that it is his intention and his goal to deliver the housing. Councillor Chueng then inquired of the communication from Peter Lindquist (Attachment B) as it relates to the issue of noise from Idenex and questioned how this relates to the Forest City petition. Councillor Maher stated that the concern is in regards to mechanical equipment and how the noise from said equipment would affect the neighborhood.
Councillor vanBeuzekom then requested clarification on page 3, paragraph C titled Zoning and Approvals in the Letter of Commitment. She stated that when thinking about affordable units and how Forest City could build them, she asked for clarification on the last sentence. She stated that it sounds to her that if Forest City is going to build housing and there is hypothetically no commitment to the number of units they would have to follow Inclusionary Zoning and if it happened that you created 25 affordable units they would count. To her thought, this should be 25 units over and above what inclusionary zoning would have required. Councillor Maher stated that it goes back to the point that he made at the beginning of the meeting. The initial discussion around housing was that Forest City proposed to build a large scale development in Central Square that would contain 20 units of affordable housing. This would be part of a mixed-use development. The neighborhood did not like the tower so they took the tower out. There was then concern from people, including affordable housing advocates, that if the tower was removed Forest City would not be held to build housing. Councillor Maher stated that as a result, a zoning enforcement was created that Forest City had to build housing. Forest City does not have to build housing where originally planned but they do have to build the equivalent of 20 (now 25) affordable units. This ensures that affordable housing units will be delivered one way or another.
Mr. Rafferty stated that this was always about getting a replacement project for the one that was removed when the prior petition was amended by the Ordinance Committee and the representation of Forest City was to continue in a good faith effort to find a project. The city then wanted assurances which led to a three-pronged approach by Forest City; finding another project within seven years comparable to what Forest City was going to give the city, convert existing housing inventory market rate units to affordable units or make a cash contribution. He stated that the Letter of Commitment speaks of the commitment to deliver a housing project and requires delivery tied into the zoning. Councillor vanBeuzekom stated that the city as a whole is building a lot of commercial space and she would like the residential number to keep pace with the commercial number.
Brian Murphy then gave a brief overview of the summary from the Central Square Advisory Committee (Attachment C) which serves as an executive summary of the committee. He stated that the Planning Board's favorable recommendation in support of the petition reference how the Forest City petition lines up with the C2 Committee recommendations.
Councillor vanBeuzekom asked Mr. Murphy what the committee can expect moving forward in this process. She questioned when the committee would see the new version of the Commitment Letter with the petition. Mr. Murphy stated that committee would forward the new version of the Letter of Commitment along with the petition to the full City Council with a recommendation. If the City Council accepts the report and approves the recommendation, the zoning changes would be made. Councillor vanBeuzekom stated that a substitute petition would make sense. She also noted that she would like to see a commitment to cleaner energy which is important.
Councillor vanBeuzekom then inquired about traffic mitigation and monitoring of same. Mr. Murphy stated that the parking is well below the 1700 cap in the CRDD zoning.
In response to a question by Councillor vanBeuzekom regarding Article 15.37 zoning amendments, Jeff Roberts stated that an amendment would not be necessary to incorporate guidelines by the C2 Committee.
The meeting then moved to public comment.
Nancy Ryan, 4 Ashburton Place, stated that improvements of additional funding and units has come from a strong community attention to the impact of building on Central Square. She emphasized that the C2 recommendations were not received favorably by many who attended the meetings. She reminded the committee that residential areas need to be looked at. She stated that height and commercial development is impinging on the well-being of the residential aspects of the neighborhood including Washington Elms and Newtowne Court. She stated that she is frustrated that there is no traffic study attached to the petition.
Phyllis Bretholtz, 65 Antrim Street, spoke to three points. She noted that size of units should be addressed. As it relates to affordable housing, the issue of accommodating families and the size of units should be addressed. She noted the importance of having units large enough for families with outdoor space for children. She stated that when speaking to former students, they do not see any indication that jobs are available to them. There should be a certain number of jobs created for residents. She also stated her support for mixed-use retail.
Steve Kaiser, 191 Hamilton Street, read his statement into the record (Attachment D) regarding his concern as to what was before the Ordinance Committee.
Patrick Barrett, 234 Broadway, stated his support for the Forest City project. He stated that Millennium Pharmaceuticals is a good neighbor who displays a tangible benefit to the neighborhood.
Mike Connolly, 20 Harding Street, stated that he is active in efforts to sustain a livable Cambridge. He is opposed to upzoning in Cambridge. Regarding the issues of Central Square, he stated that there needs to be a formal process. He has attended Planning Board and Ordinance Committee meetings. He stated his opinion that the C2 study is merely an opinion and not city policy. He stated that there needs to be discussion regarding how Central Square will fit into the larger context of the neighborhood and the need for environmental benefits in addition to housing benefits.
Cathy Hoffman, 67 Pleasant Street, stated that 25 units of affordable housing is a commitment. She stated that this will not happen independently. She noted that of 175 units, 150 will be market rate. That is what this is about. Forest City is saying that they will give 25 units within seven years. She stated that all rents increase when more market rate housing is built and then there will be a decrease in affordable housing. It would be better to give the city the ability to build 25 affordable units and not have the additional 150 market rate units. She stated that the issue regarding parking and traffic is peculiar and that there is not enough parking.
Virginia Rodrigues Sanchez, 12 Decatur Street, stated that she was privileged to be raised in Cambridge. She stated that she was fortunate when she received an affordable rental from Just-A-Start. She then won a lottery for ownership of an affordable unit through the Community Development Department. She noted that the commitment by Forest City to affordable housing would allow people such as herself and her family to plant roots in the community.
Gary Dmytryk, 2440 Massachusetts Avenue, stated that he is uncomfortable with the upzoning of individual parcels and projects. The larger context needs to be looked at. He applauded the work of all the committees which should be codified. He stated that the details will be lost when looking at one parcel or project at a time. Regarding noise issues, he stated that the Idenex issue is an engineering problem.
Terry Smith, 859 Massachusetts Avenue, expressed support of the Forest City petition by the Chamber of Commerce. He stated that he has heard concerns from long-term retailers in Central Square who are concerned about the condition of the building at 300 Massachusetts Avenue. He stated that when he reviewed the demographic statistical booklet of the city it stated that 76% of the city is zoned for residential and open space. He then noted that 65% of property tax is collected from commercial property.
Peter Valentine, 37 Brookline Street, stated that a developer does not have the right to build anything that will jeopardize the health of the city. He noted the importance of open space in Central Square.
Jennifer Effron, 17 Decatur Street, stated that this presents an opportunity from a small business standpoint. She stated that there will be more connectivity to University Park. Creating more commercial space allows for commercial and economic diversity. She noted that Central Square is home to a variety of businesses. University Park is a wonderful place to visit. The agreement to keep affordable housing in existing units is a bonus for the community. She stated that the C2 plan represents a master plan where a number of people came together. The fact that this is a plan to develop 300 Massachusetts Avenue does say something.
George Metzger, 90 Antrim Street, President, CSBA, stated that Forest City is a member of the Central Square Business Association and sits on the board. He stated that the vision for the future of Central Square was all about striking benefits to the community and the developers to enrich the square. He stated that the current Forest City petition is much different than what was seen the first time around. Changes to the petition came about because of passionate debate. He stated that this is a positive change and urged approval of the petition.
John Chun, 48 Loomis Street, employee of Millennium, stated that there are numerous community service programs at Millennium to encourage employees to help within the community. He stated that 300 Massachusetts Avenue is not a part of Central Square or MIT, but that it is an area that connects Central Square and MIT. It has been a dead zone for many years and it is time for some development to bring revitalization to the area. He stated that Forest City has been doing a good job developing the area. He stated his support for the petition.
James Williamson, 1000 Jackson Place, stated that he would like attention given to limiting the size of massive buildings going up in the city. His concern is another biolab use in that location. He does not feel that we need another biolab in that area. He is not happy with the height of the building. He stated that the Central Square Advisory process was deeply flawed. There was exclusion. He stated that Goody Clancy was paid with money from MIT. There has not been openness and transparency in the process. He stated that the most important issue in Cambridge is housing and noted that MIT is only housing 39% of its graduate students. There has been a 50% growth in graduate students. MIT should house 100% of graduate students.
Marilyn Wellons, 651 Green Street, stated that she is an abutter to a recently converted office building that was converted into lab space at 1030 Massachusetts Avenue. She stated that for thirty years she has watched the city pursue its strategy of increasing its tax base and shifting the tax burden to businesses. The costs are borne by residents by way of density, conversion of low-rise to high-rise buildings and loss of open space. Noise is among the issues raised. She noted that additional measures at great expense have been needed to bring the neighboring lab into noise compliance. She stated that yards are unusable in the summertime and it is a health hazard. She stated that the city needs to make every effort to require measures in place to protect residents.
Susan Hegel, housing attorney, read a prepared statement (Attachment E). She noted her pleasure with the revised Letter of Commitment regarding affordable housing and urged the petition be revised to be consistent with the new Letter of Commitment.
Sherry Tucker, 854 Mass. Avenue, stated that she is concerned with the affordable housing issue. There should be some units for families. She stated that the K2C2 proposal is not legitimate and is not consensus. There was public outcry at each meeting and that will continue. We should not base any decisions on that proposal. She foresees some problems within the process. She is concerned about the noise and wind issue. She stated that the corner of Prospect and River Street is a wind tunnel and it is very bad at that location. Regarding retail, rents must be affordable.
Rashie Athukorala, 318 Rindge Avenue, stated his support for the Forest City proposal. He stated that the City of Cambridge should realize that we live in a city that is the envy of the world as it relates to biotech. He stated that job creation has come about as a result of biotechnology in Cambridge.
Charles Teague, 23 Edmunds Street, stated that this building does not conform to the C2 commercial FAR. He stated it is double the amount. He stated that the city should not be selling zoning rights. He stated that regarding commercial base, what kind of plan the city has when housing units are being built on either side of the Pfizer lab. The city has not enforced the law. He stated his concern regarding noise levels and limits of same.
Kate (last name anonymous) provided the committee additional signatures in support of saving Cambridge from over-development. (Attachment F) The issue for community members is that they do not want buildings upzoned.
Lee Farris, 269 Norfolk Street, stated her continued opposition to the upzoning proposed by Forest City. She stated that the possibility of not having labs in this location and instead have administrative offices and housing. One of the reasons that we need to stay within the current zoning is height limits and density. She stated that this site will set the precedent for other parts of Central Square.
Public Comment was closed at 6:47pm.
Councillor Maher stated that the petition has been forwarded to the City Council. He noted that there are issues around size of units, parking, and job creation that came up at this meeting and he would like to receive answers to these issues. He suggested that the language would need to be revised and the cleanest way would be a substitute petition that will come before the City Council with all revisions. The City Council will then make the decision to pass or fail the petition. Councillor Maher stated that the City Council will not take up this business until the committee reports have been signed and then placed on the City Council agenda.
At this time Councillor vanBeuzekom made a motion to direct the City Manager to instruct the Law Department to look into the issue of whether the Forest City petition would be considered spot zoning.
The motion passed.
Councillor Maher thanked all those present for their attendance.
The meeting adjourned at 6:50pm on the motion of Councillor vanBeuzekom.
For the Committee,
Councillor David P. Maher, Chair
AWAITING REPORT LIST
12-02. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the repair of all street lights that are not working in Cambridge.
Vice Mayor Simmons and Full Membership 01/23/12 (O-1)
12-20. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on what steps the City will take to help the general public keep track of awaiting maintenance issues on things like park equipment, graffiti, sidewalks, etc.
Councillor Kelley, Councillor Decker, Councillor Cheung, Mayor Davis, Councillor Maher, Vice Mayor Simmons & Councillor Toomey 02/13/12 (O-4)
12-29. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the no left turn on the Cambridge Common and to remove the bicycle prohibition on certain streets, such as Whittemore Avenue. Referred back for additional information on 3/5/2012.
Councillor Kelley 02/13/12 (O-17)
12-40. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on improper leases and rental of owned affordable housing units. Reconsideration filed by Councillor Toomey on 6/11/2012. Report referred back to City Manager for more information on motion of Councillor Toomey on 6/18/12.
Councillor Reeves, Councillor Cheung, Mayor Davis, Councillor Decker, Councillor Kelley, Councillor Maher, Vice Mayor Simmons & Councillor vanBeuzekom 03/19/12 (O-3)
12-51. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the feasibility of finding additional office space for the City Council.
Vice Mayor Simmons, Councillor Cheung, Mayor Davis, Councillor Decker, Councillor Reeves & Councillor vanBeuzekom 04/23/12 (O-5)
12-64. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on current status of the Inlet Bridge and what steps the City can take to ensure that agreements with the Commonwealth are upheld.
|Councillor Toomey and Full Membership 05/21/12 (O-1)
12-65. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on an explanation as the when the main library will be open on Sundays.
Councillor vanBeuzekom, Councillor Cheung, Mayor Davis, Councillor Decker, Councillor Maher, Councillor Reeves, Vice Mayor Simmons & Councillor Toomey 05/21/12 (O-2)
12-71. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the possibility of converting the vacant lots at the corner of Watson and Brookline Streets and at 35 Cherry Street to community gardens or open space.
Councillor Cheung, Mayor Davis, Councillor Decker, Councillor Kelley, Councillor Maher, Councillor Reeves, Vice Mayor Simmons, Councillor Toomey & Councillor vanBeuzekom 06/04/12 (O-10)
12-74. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the feasibility of expanding the barbeque pilot program in parks throughout Cambridge.
Councillor Cheung and Full Membership 06/04/12 (O-13)
12-75. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the feasibility of providing a map of long term parking spots for rent on the city website.
Councillor Cheung and Full Membership 06/04/12 (O-16)
12-78. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on expanding the number of Cambridge parks/playing fields with public toilets. Referred back to the City Manager on 6/18/12 on motion of Councillor Kelley.
Councillor vanBeuzekom and Full Membership 06/11/12 (O-5)
12-81. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on meeting with No. Mass Avenue neighbors, businesses and neighborhood groups about whether additional alterations to the median strip would be appropriate.
Councillor Kelley and Full Membership 06/11/12 (O-9)
12-85. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on installing security cameras in the Donnelly Field area.
Councillor Toomey and Full Membership 06/11/12 (O-14)
12-87. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the potential uses of the Foundry Building.
Councillor Toomey 06/04/12 (O-19)
12-90. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on Executive Session to discuss lawsuits.
Councillor Reeves and Full Membership 07/30/12 (O-5)
12-91. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the installation of lower and decorative lighting along Cardinal Medeiros Avenue.
Councillor Toomey and Full Membership 07/30/12 (O-6)
12-104. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on data requested on the Andrews Petition during an Ordinance Committee hearing last term that has not yet been received.
Councillor Cheung and Full Membership 07/30/12 (O-34)
12-105. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on answering questions regarding the Foundry Building in order to move the community process forward.
Councillor Cheung & Councillor Toomey 07/30/12 (O-35)
12-106. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on facilitating affordable housing opportunities for middle class families.
Councillor Toomey and Full Membership 09/10/12 (O-13)
12-107. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the number of Cambridge residents that are working as part of organized labor on development projects along with the percentage of minority and women members and what sort of communication takes place with the Rindge School of Technical Arts and local Unions.
Councillor Toomey and Full Membership 09/10/12 (O-14)
12-108. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on applying and participating in the Cities of Services program.
Councillor Cheung and Full Membership 09/10/12 (O-19)
12-109. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on what strategies other cities have used to dissuade land-banking.
Councillor Cheung and Full Membership 09/10/12 (O-21)
12-111. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on improving pedestrian safety on Western Avenue at Kinnaird and Pleasant Streets.
Councillor vanBeuzekom and Full Membership 09/10/12 (O-24)
12-115. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on making accommodations for voters when elevators are not working or there are other barriers at polling locations on election days. Referred back for additional information by Councillor Decker on 10/22/2012. Further report provided and referred back by Councillor Decker on 11/5/2012.
Councillor Decker, Mayor Davis, Councillor Maher, Councillor Reeves, Vice Mayor Simmons, Councillor Toomey & Councillor vanBeuzekom 09/24/12 (O-6)
12-120. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the possibility of creating a municipal exterminator and/or contracting exterminators to help eradicate rodent problems in the City.
Councillor Toomey, Mayor Davis, Councillor Decker, Councillor Kelley, Councillor Maher, Councillor Reeves, Vice Mayor Simmons & Councillor vanBeuzekom 10/01/12 (O-3)
12-123. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on suggestions to control the rodent population.
Councillor vanBeuzekom, Councillor Cheung, Mayor Davis, Councillor Kelley, Councillor Maher, Councillor Reeves, Vice Mayor Simmons & Councillor Toomey 10/22/12 (O-3)
12-124. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on feasibility of finding additional secure locations for the disposal of prescription drugs.
Councillor Cheung and Full Membership 11/05/12 (O-4)
12-125. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on feasibility of installing recycling bins adjacent to trash bins.
Councillor Cheung, Councillor vanBeuzekom and Full Membership 11/05/12 (O-5)
12-126. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the feasibility of ensuring all city sponsored committee hearings (such as the E-gov committee) are available online.
Councillor Cheung, Councillor vanBeuzekom and Full Membership 11/05/12 (O-6)
12-128. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on creating a pilot program for installing mini exercise stations on major walking routes throughout the City.
Mayor Davis, Councillor Cheung, Councillor Decker, Councillor Maher, Councillor Reeves, Vice Mayor Simmons, Councillor Toomey & Councillor vanBeuzekom 11/19/12 (O-1)
12-129. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on installation of additional public drinking fountains working in conjunction with the Arts Council on interesting designs.
Mayor Davis, Councillor Cheung, Councillor Decker, Councillor Maher, Councillor Reeves, Vice Mayor Simmons, Councillor Toomey & Councillor vanBeuzekom 11/19/12 (O-2)
12-130. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on developing a process to promote universal design and visitability in all Cambridge Public buildings.
Mayor Davis and Full Membership 11/19/12 (O-3)
12-132. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on incorporating permanent bathroom facilities at the Cambridge Common; conduct a study for permanent bathroom facilities in all public squares; and provide a list of all locations where portable bathroom facilities are currently used.
Councillor Kelley, Councillor vanBeuzekom, Councillor Cheung, Mayor Davis, Councillor Decker, Councillor Maher, Councillor Reeves & Vice Mayor Simmons 11/19/12 (O-8)
12-133. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on preparing language to amendment the Municipal code banning polystyrene-based disposable food containers.
Councillor Cheung, Mayor Davis and Full Membership 11/19/12 (O-10)
12-135. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on preparing an ordinance regulating procedures that organizations would have to follow in the event of a concussion.
Councillor Cheung and Full Membership 11/19/12 (O-13)
12-136. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on a plan of action to reinforce and secure restaurant bins in a way that separates food waste for composting.
Councillor Cheung and Full Membership 11/19/12 (O-14)
12-137. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on an analysis of the entire past election of wait times and strategies for what would be necessary to reduce wait times to less than 10 minutes and on making information available on wait times at polling locations throughout the day. Referred back for more information by Councillor Decker on 12/17/2012.
Councillor Cheung, Councillor vanBeuzekom, Mayor Davis, Councillor Decker, Councillor Kelley, Councillor Maher, Councillor Reeves, Vice Mayor Simmons & Councillor Toomey 11/19/12 (O-16)
12-140. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on special permit process pursuant to MGL 40A as it relates to the impact of refiling a zoning petition on pending special permits for special permits that have been granted.
Councillor Kelley and Full Membership 11/19/12 (O-9)
12-141. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on improving safety concerns at the Kennedy-Longfellow School and the MLK School.
Vice Mayor Simmons and Full Membership 12/03/12 (O-1)
12-142. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on audio and visual upgrades/equipment in the Sullivan Chamber and other meeting spaces.
Councillor Reeves and Full Membership 12/03/12 (O-7)
12-143. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the cause and other details of the Nov 29, 2012 power outage.
Mayor Davis and Full Membership 12/10/12 (O-4)
12-144. Report from the City Manager: See Mgr #2
RE: report on implementing speed control measures at the intersection of Brookline and Erie Streets.
Vice Mayor Simmons and Full Membership 12/10/12 (O-6)
12-148. Report from the City Manager: See Mgr #10
RE: report on including information that donations to the Scholarship Fund are tax-deductible in the solicitation letters.
Councillor Cheung and Full Membership 12/10/12 (O-12)
12-150. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on convening a task force to look into the creation of providing permanent public restrooms at high volume locations such as public parks and squares.
Mayor Davis 12/10/12 (O-16)
12-151. Report from the City Manager: See Mgr #11
RE: report on installing pedestrian crossing traffic cones at the intersections of Windsor, Sciarappa and Fifth Streets at Cambridge Street.
Councillor Toomey 12/10/12 (O-17)
12-152. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on establishing a reduced small business parking rate for local business owners at city garages.
Councillor Toomey and Full Membership 12/17/12 (O-1)
12-153. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on ways to ban tandem tractor-trailers from entering the city with a view in mind of requiring large freight vehicles of a certain size to transfer freight to a smaller vehicle before entering the city.
Councillor vanBeuzekom and Full Membership 12/17/12 (O-4)
12-154. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the sale of the Sullivan Courthouse including what zoning changes will be needed and reasons for Leggat McCall being chosen as the developer.
Councillor Toomey 12/17/12 (O-9)
12-156. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on preparing language to create a Pathway Overlay District.
Councillor Toomey 12/17/12 (O-12)
13-01. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the Single Occupancy Vehicle (SOV) target rate for the City; data explaining how the City is doing in meeting its SOV target rate and future plans for reducing the actual SOV rate.
Councillor vanBeuzekom and Full Membership 01/07/13 (O-1)
13-02. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the first phase of the Hubway Bike-Share program.
Councillor vanBeuzekom and Full Membership 01/07/13 (O-2)
13-03. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the possibility of a gun buy-back program.
Mayor Davis, Councillor Cheung, Councillor Decker, Councillor Maher, Councillor Reeves, Vice Mayor Simmons & Councillor Toomey 01/14/13 (O-5)
13-04. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the City's plans for the property located at 205 Western Avenue.
Councillor vanBeuzekom and Full Membership 01/14/13 (O-6)
13-05. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the feasibility of participating in the International Open Data Hackathon.
Councillor Cheung and Full Membership 01/14/13 (O-7)
13-06. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on conferring with the appropriate departments to initiate a plan of action setting up a procedure for future construction projects, especially for older buildings that may contain hazardous materials.
Councillor Cheung and Full Membership 01/14/13 (O-8)
13-07. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on adding the iReport platform to the ongoing IT strategic planning process.
Councillor Cheung and Full Membership 01/14/13 (O-9)
13-08. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the impact of the federal cuts on the continuum of care.
Councillor Decker and Full Membership 01/14/13 (O-10)
13-09. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on improving logistical challenges of deliveries and trash removal to and from businesses as they related to adjacent residents.
Councillor Cheung and Full Membership 01/14/13 (O-11)
13-10. Report from the City Manager: See Mgr #6
RE: report on installing bike racks at the Peabody School.
Councillor Kelley and Full Membership 01/28/13 (O-1)
13-11. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on participating in the Municipal Performance Management Program.
Councillor Cheung, Mayor Davis, Councillor Decker, Councillor Maher, Councillor Reeves, Vice Mayor Simmons, Councillor Toomey & Councillor vanBeuzekom 01/28/13 (O-2)
13-12. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the feasibility of participating in the Code for America Peer Network.
Councillor Cheung, Mayor Davis, Councillor Decker, Councillor Maher, Councillor Reeves, Vice Mayor Simmons, Councillor Toomey & Councillor vanBeuzekom 01/28/13 (O-6)
13-13. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the possibility of banning tobacco sales in pharmacies and drug stores.
Councillor Cheung, Mayor Davis, Councillor Decker, Councillor Maher, Councillor Reeves, Vice Mayor Simmons, Councillor Toomey & Councillor vanBeuzekom 01/28/13 (O-9)