Cambridge City Council meeting - May 6, 2019 - AGENDA
CITY MANAGER'S AGENDA
1. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of $200,000 from Free Cash to the Public Investment Fund Traffic and Parking Department Extraordinary Expenditures for Traffic Signals, based on mitigation funding that the City has received from the Encore Casino project. These funds will be used to cover the cost of acquiring traffic monitoring units to be installed at multiple intersections that we expect will be impacted by the opening of the new casino.
Order Adopted 9-0
2. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 18-74, regarding the Anthony Paolillo Tot Lot water feature and installing new trash and recycling Big Belly bins together with a new sunscreen dispenser in the park within the next month.
Placed on File
3. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 19-52, regarding solutions to the Rindge Avenue area waste disposal and rodent concerns.
Placed on File
4. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 18-143, regarding requiring a Business Entity’s Beneficial Ownership and Residential Real Estate Beneficial Ownership Transactions be Disclosed in all Cambridge Real Estate Transactions.
Placed on File
May 6, 2019
To the Honorable, the City Council:
Please find attached a response to Awaiting Report 18-143, regarding questions related to Requiring a Business Entity’s Beneficial Ownership and Residential Real Estate Beneficial Ownership Transactions be Disclosed in all Cambridge Real Estate Transactions, received from City Solicitor Nancy E. Glowa.
Very truly yours, Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager
May 6, 2019
Dear Mr. DePasquale:
This response is provided relative to the above referenced Council Order, which asks the City Manager to "confer with the Assessors' Office on the topic of requiring that a business entity's beneficial ownership be disclosed in all Cambridge real estate transactions." The Order defines "beneficial owner" as "an individual or entity who ultimately owns or controls more than 25% of a company' s shares or voting rights, or otherwise exercises control over the company or its management." We have conferred with the Assessors' Office in preparing this response.
When the City of Cambridge ("City") is buying or selling property, all beneficial interests in the property must be disclosed to the City. G.L. c. 7C, §38. However, for non-City transactions, the City does not receive information on such real estate transactions until after they are completed and filed at the Middlesex South Registry of Deeds, after which the Registry of Deeds forwards such information to the Assessors' Office. In general, there is no requirement that the beneficial interests of a business entity acquiring property in its name that is within the City of Cambridge be disclosed to the City.
While the City does issue municipal lien certificates pursuant to G.L. c. 60, §23, which would indicate usually that there is a parcel of property within the City that is about to be purchased and sold, the City must issue such certificates to "any person" who requests one. That statute does not explicitly authorize the City to require disclosure of beneficial interests of the applicant as a condition of issuance of the municipal lien certificate, and thus any requirement the City might impose upon a person who requests a municipal lien certificate to disclose such beneficial interests would likely be deemed to be inconsistent with the wording in that statute.
Because requests for municipal lien certificates are one of the few ways that the City has notice in advance of real estate transactions, and municipal lien certificates are something that buyers typically need from the City as part of their due diligence undertaken prior to a real estate transaction, making the issuance of municipal lien certificates conditioned on the disclosure to the City of all beneficial interests of both the potential buyer and the seller could be an effective way for the City to procure information about beneficial ownership. If the City Council wished to impose such a requirement, the City would need special legislation in order to do so.
Therefore, if the City Council wished to file such special legislation and were to request that the Law Department submit such draft legislation to the Council for its review, it would be helpful for the Council to clarify how broadly the Council would intend for this disclosure requirement to apply: for example, would it apply to both for-profit and non-profit organizations; would it apply to trusts, or only to corporations; and if the corporation's beneficial owner is another corporation, would the disclosure of the name of that other corporation be sufficient?
Nancy E. Glowa, City Solicitor
5. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to a response to questions contained in Policy Order Number 5 of April 29, 2019 regarding the proposed Cannabis Business Permitting Ordinance.
Referred to Ordinance Committee Hearing on May 9, 2019
May 6, 2019
Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager
City Hall, Cambridge, MA 02139
Re: Response to Council Order No. O-5 of 4/29/19 re: Cannabis Business Permitting Ordinance
Dear Mr. DePasquale:
The City Council has asked for responses to be provided as soon as possible to the late order referred to above, which was passed its last meeting of Monday April 29, 2019, relating to several additional questions about the draft Cannabis Business Permitting Ordinance.
As stated in the above referenced late order, the questions are as follows:
1. "Provide a list of all 6 RMDs seeking to or operating in Cambridge, including their licensing status, and which 5 were licensed by the state prior to July 2017, and which of them are seeking to convert to adult use at this time."
The following RMDs have been granted special permits by the Planning Board:
• Sira Naturals (formerly Sage Naturals) - 1001 Massachusetts Avenue
o Final Certificate of Registration issued 3/8/2017
o Intends to apply for a Marijuana Retailer license (meeting 4/30/2019)
• Healthy Pharms - 98 Winthrop Street
o Final Certificate of Registration issued 10/7/2016
o Intends to apply for a Marijuana Retailer license (meeting 8/27/2018)
• Revolutionary Clinics - 110 Fawcett Street
o Provisional Certificate of Registration issued 7/27/2016
o Final Certificate of Registration issued 9/4/2018
o Intends to apply for a medical and adult-use retail marijuana establishment at this location (meeting 5/13/2019)
• Revolutionary Clinics- 541 Massachusetts Avenue
o Provisional Certificate of Registration issued 6/2/2017
o No Final Certificate of Registration
o Intends to apply for a medical and adult-use retail marijuana establishment at this location (meeting 4/24/2019)
• Commonwealth Alternative Care LLC - 1385 Cambridge Street
o Provisional Certificate of Registration issued 4/21/2017
o No Final Certificate of Registration
o No community meeting to date re: adult-use retail
• Ascend Mass LLC - 200 Monsignor O'Brien Highway
o No Provisional or Final Certificate of Registration (per information available on Mass. Medical Marijuana web site)
o No community meeting to date re: adult-use retail
2. "Add provision to ordinance for shelf space as a percentage."
A provision could be added to the draft Cannabis Business Permitting Ordinance at §5.50.050, where the permitting requirements are listed, that an applicant must certify that it will set aside at least 10% of its shelf space for cannabis and cannabis accessories to be provided by Economic Empowerment or Social Equity licensees approved by the Cannabis Control Commission.
There are a number of difficult practical considerations with such a "shelf space" requirement however, including: how will the entity/ies who are given access to sell their products on another business's property be chosen; will the entity using the shelf space be entitled to the entire amount of revenue generated from the sales or can they be required to profit share with the host business; will the entity being provided the shelf space be required to enter into a host community agreement with the City; will the entity being provided shelf space be required to obtain a local Cannabis Business Permit in some form?
In my opinion, given the multitude of practical issues needing resolution regarding a "shelf space" program prior to implementation, the City Council could stipulate a shelf space requirement in the Ordinance as something to be accomplished over time, pursuant to regulations to be promulgated by the Assistant City Manager for Community Development pursuant to §5.50.090 of the Ordinance. CDD notes that compliance with such a requirement could be difficult to confirm and enforce.
3. "What can be included in community host agreements."
G.L.c.94G, §3(d) provides that there must be a host community agreement (HCA) between a municipality and a marijuana establishment:
... setting forth the conditions to have a marijuana establishment or medical marijuana treatment center located within the host community which shall include, but not be limited to, all stipulations of responsibilities between the host community and the marijuana establishment or a medical marijuana treatment center. An agreement between a marijuana establishment or a medical marijuana treatment center and a host community may include a community impact fee for the host community; provided, however, that the community impact fee shall be reasonably related to the costs imposed upon the municipality by the operation of the marijuana establishment or medical marijuana treatment center and shall not amount to more than 3 per cent of the gross sales of the marijuana establishment or medical marijuana treatment center or be effective for longer than 5 years.
It does not appear that financial contributions beyond the 3% community impact fee are permitted to be imposed by municipalities through HCAs.
4. "Can we require RMD to continue to supply medical products while converting to adult use and exactly what aspects ofRMD conversion to adult use can we regulate."
RMDs converting to adult use must still obtain a Planning Board special permit and enter into an HCA with the City. The proposed Cannabis Business Pennitting Ordinance would also impose various conditions on converting RMDs. What the City may not do pursuant to G.L.c.94G, §3(a)(l) is "prevent the conversion of a medical marijuana treatment center licensed or registered not later than July 1, 2017 engaged in the cultivation, manufacture or sale of marijuana or marijuana products to a marijuana establishment engaged in the same type of activity ... . " The Cannabis Control Commission is prohibited by state law at G.L.c.94G, §4(c)(4) from prohibiting an RMD from co-locating with an adult use establishment.
The Cannabis Control Commission's "Guidance for Municipalities" at p.l 0 states that its interpretation of the above statutory language is that it prohibits municipalities from preventing conversion of RMDS to an entirely different form of a marijuana establishment, such as one for retail use only.
5. "Provide guidance on residential component of 50% AMI versus neighborhood revitalization strategy areas; specifically, concerns about potential use of this provision by outside parties to buy their way in to cannabis retail in Cambridge and how we can best prevent that."
CDD notes that Cambridge residency can be difficult to prove if a person is living unofficially, such as, for example, as a sub-tenant. CDD recommends that if income limits are considered, current income limits used by CDD and other agencies to determine eligibility for housing assistance programs be used. CDD's are set forth at: https://www.cambridgema.gov/~/media/Files/CDD/Housing/incomelimits/hud2018incomelimitsforwebwithcdbglimits_060118.ashx; and those used by the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission for Housing Income Limits are set forth at: https://mass-cannabis-control.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Household-Income-Limits.pdf. CDD states that using Neighborhood Revitalization Areas based on census tracts are likely not as good an indicator as income limits, due to current housing affordability in Cambridge.
6. "Can exclusionary period be indefinite."
In my opinion, the exclusionary period may not be indefinite because it is possible that it would result in the City allowing fewer than the minimum number of retail cannabis businesses in the City that the City must allow. One way to address this concern would be to state in the ordinance that there will be an exclusionary period for 2 or 3 years, and such period will expire at that time unless the City has the minimum number of retail cannabis businesses required by law then operating in the City. Answer #1 to the legal opinion provided by this office to the Council on April 29 also addressed this issue.
7. "Provide guidance on if and how we could design a program that would give priority to both Economic Empowerment applicants and Social Equity applicants, and that would give meaningful priority to Economic Empowerment applicants over Social Equity applicants within that priority group."
One option to give Economic Empowerment applicants priority over Social Equity applicants is to make them both Priority Applicants but to provide that the Economic Empowerment applicants would have an exclusivity period for the first year after passage of the ordinance, and then Economic Empowerment and Social Equity applicants both have an exclusivity period thereafter.
8. "Provide clarity on how we would enforce the minority board membership and minority employee requirements and how we would phase them in for existing entities."
The simplest way to enforce these requirements would be to require applicants to submit documentation to the City establishing their compliance with these requirements when they come to the City for their annual business permit renewal. If a one-year phase-in period for existing entities is determined to be onerous, then at the first one-year renewal point, the City could require a statement as to progress made toward the requirements, and could require that full compliance be achieved by the second annual renewal.
CDD recommends that establishments be required to provide a signed affidavit confirming the number of board members if the board is in existence at the time of the application, and that establishments would then be given a one-year phase-in period from the date of the application to come into compliance. CDD also recommends requiring an annual signed affidavit from the establishment confirming the minority make-up of its staff. If all staff is in place at the time of the application, a phase-in period, which would include annual reporting as to the establishment's employee transition plan to reach the 51% level, would be required.
9. "What is the current minimum number of cannabis retail establishments that we must allow."
Eight. The License Commission advises that currently it has issued a total of 39 package store licenses, with one more expected to soon receive final approvals. G.L.c.94G, §3(a)(2)(ii) states the City may not limit the number of cannabis retailers to fewer than 20% of the number of those licenses. Twenty percent of forty is eight.
Very truly yours,
Nancy E. Glowa, City Solicitor
1. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to proposed amendments to the following ordinance: and proposed amendments to Chapter 14.04 of the Cambridge Municipal Code (the “Fair Housing Ordinance”). Fair Housing (passed to a 2nd Reading) [AWAITING HOME RULE LEGISLATION-BEFORE PROPOSAL CAN BE ORDAINED]
2. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 18-108, regarding a report on offering early voting in City Council and School Committee Elections. [PENDING RESPONSE FROM LEGISLATURE]
3. An application was received from Citizens Bank, requesting permission for a 1 illuminated projecting sign and 7 awnings at the premises numbered 822 Somerville Avenue, approval has been received from Inspectional Services, Department of Public Works, Community Development Department and no abutter response.
4. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the proposed Cannabis Business Permitting Ordinance. [ON OR AFTER APR 22, 2019 THE QUESTION COMES ON PASSAGE TO BE ORDAINED]
5. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation and authorization to borrow $3,000,000 to provide funds for the Municipal Facilities Improvement Plan. [ON OR AFTER MAY 6, 2019 THE QUESTION COMES ON ADOPTION]
6. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation and authorization to borrow $800,000 to provide funds for various Schools for repairs to entrance doors, upgrade of energy management software, replacement of analog phone system with the voice over internet protocol (VOIP), and the replacement of an emergency generator. [ON OR AFTER MAY 6, 2019 THE QUESTION COMES ON ADOPTION]
7. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation and authorization to borrow $20,500,000 to provide funds for various water pollution abatement projects, including construction of sewer separation, storm water management and combined sewer overflow reduction elimination improvements within the Alewife area. [ON OR AFTER MAY 6, 2019 THE QUESTION COMES ON ADOPTION]
8. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation and authorization to borrow $4,000,000 to provide funds for the reconstruction of various City streets and sidewalks. [ON OR AFTER MAY 6, 2019 THE QUESTION COMES ON ADOPTION]
9. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation and authorization to borrow $10,000,000 to provide funds for the construction of improvements at City Hall. [ON OR AFTER MAY 6, 2019 THE QUESTION COMES ON ADOPTION]
10. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation and authorization to borrow $22,000,000 to provide funds for the construction of improvements at the Fire Station Headquarters Building located at 491 Broadway. [ON OR AFTER MAY 6, 2019 THE QUESTION COMES ON ADOPTION]
11. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation and authorization to borrow $4,000,000 to provide design and construction of Eliot Street between JFK St. and Brattle St. which is a continuation of the Harvard Square Kiosk and Plaza and Surface Enhancement project. [ON OR AFTER MAY 6, 2019 THE QUESTION COMES ON ADOPTION]
12. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation and authorization to borrow $10,000,000 to provide funds for the design and reconstruction of the Tobin School building. If approved, this appropriation will be included in the City’s FY20 bond issue. [ON OR AFTER MAY 6, 2019 THE QUESTION COMES ON ADOPTION]
13. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Dennis J. Carlone and Councillor Craig A. Kelley, Co-Chairs of the Ordinance Committee, for a public hearing held on Apr 2, 2019 to continue discussion on a petition filed by the City Council to amend the Zoning Ordinance of the City of Cambridge in section 4.22 to allow for a special permit for the alteration of a single, two-family or accessory structure in existence as of January 2019 to provide one accessory apartment, if appropriate conditions are met. [ON OR AFTER MAY 6, 2019 THE QUESTION COMES ON ORDINATION]
Ordained 8-0-1 (McGovern - ABSENT)
APPLICATIONS AND PETITIONS
1. An application was received from Cambridge Arts Council requesting permission for a temporary banner across the public way located at 795 Massachusetts Avenue in front of City Hall, and JFK at Mount Auburn Streets announcing the Cambridge Arts River Festival through May 13, 2019-May 27, 2019.
2. An application was received from MIT Visual Arts Center requesting permission for fifteen temporary banners on Ames Street, Memorial Drive to Main Street, announcing the Center's upcoming exhibition on Ericka Beckman May 21, 2019-July 26, 2019.
3. An application was received from Central Square Business Association, Michael Monestime requesting permission for four (4) temporary banners along Massachusetts Avenue on poles M54, M49, M52 and M47 announcing Wild Rabbit Community Moto Show on May 7, 2019-May 12, 2019.
4. An application was received from Cambridge Arts Council requesting permission for eleven (11) temporary banner poles along Massachusetts Avenue pole numbers M105, M108, M102, 97, M94, M91, M83, M60, M53 1/2, M58 and M53 announcing Cambridge River Festival May 15, 2019-June 3, 2019.
5. A petition was received from residents at Thomas Graves Landing opposing PUD-8 by New England Development requesting Special Permit to exceed the 85' height limit at CambridgeSide.
Referred to the Petition
6. A Zoning Petition has been received from the Self Storage Group, regarding a revised Zoning Petition seeking to create the New Street Overlay District. Based on the feedback received concerning their earlier petition.
Referred to Ordinance Committee and Planning Board
1. A communication was received from Peter Valentine, 37 Brookline Street, regarding Cambridge being the core of the United States of America.
2. A communication was received from Peter Valentine, 37 Brookline Street, regarding keeping America safe.
3. A communication was received from Sieh Samura, regarding economic empowerment.
4. A communication was received from Ali Malihi, 17 Otis Street, regarding the Sullivan Courthouse building and municipal parking projects.
5. A communication was received from Diane Leone, regarding proposed 100% Affordable Housing Overlay.
6. A communication was received from Jonathan Schwartz, Director, Interlock Media, Inc., regarding support of the development of the Sullivan Courthouse.
7. A communication was received from Elena Naumova, 150 Cambridge Avenue, regarding support of the Sullivan Courthouse development.
8. A communication was received from Alexandra Markiewicz, 6 Laurel Street, regarding support for $20 million per year for affordable housing.
9. A communication was received from Reverend Betsy Sowers, 48 Sandtrap Circle, South Weymouth regarding Policy Order #1 in support of the opposition of Enbridge’s proposed compressor station in Weymouth.
10. A communication was received from Rachel Wyon, 283 Sidney Street, in opposition to the Weymouth compressor station.
11. A communication was received from Toby Woll, 79 Dana Street, in support of Policy Order #1 opposing the Weymouth compressor station.
12. A communication was received from Skip Schloming, 102R Inman Street, regarding the Affordable Housing Overlay District and the Accessory Dwelling Units Zoning amendment.
13. A communication was received from Carol O’Hare, 172 Magazine Street, in support of Policy Order #9.
14. A communication was received from Elaine DeRosa, 4 Pleasant Place, in support of Policy Order #6 regarding a suitable location to dedicate in honor of Cheryl-Ann Pizza-Zeoli.
15. A communication was received from Emily Anesta, founder of Bay State Birth Coalition, in support of Resolution #3, the Massachusetts bill for Out of Hospital Birth Access and Safety.
16. A communication was received from Josh Hartshorne, in support of Policy Order #7 regarding “play streets”.
17. A communication was received from John Hartshorne, in support of Policy Order #8 the Welcoming Community Ordinance.
18. A communication was received from Doug Brown, 35 Standish Street, in support of Policy Order #7 regarding “play streets”.
19. A communication was received from Becca Schofield in support of the Affordable Housing Overlay.
20. A communication was received from Susan Redlich, 19 Sacramento Street, in opposition to fracked gas compressor in Weymouth.
1. Retirement of Kevin Pierce from the Cambridge Housing Authority. Mayor McGovern
2. Congratulations to the Cambridge Community Center (CCC) on its 90th Anniversary Gala on Thus, May 9, 2019. Mayor McGovern, Councillor Simmons, Councillor Toomey
3. Retirement of Chenier Durand from the Inspectional Services Department. Mayor McGovern, Councillor Toomey
4. Congratulations to "Tex Mex Eats" owner Amanda Escamilla on her extended pop-up restaurant on 1193 Cambridge Street. Councillor Toomey
1. City Council support of bills opposing Weymouth Compressor Station/Fracked Gas. Vice Mayor Devereux, Mayor McGovern, Councillor Zondervan, Councillor Carlone
2. That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to confer with the appropriate departments to check on the condition of the American flags throughout public institutions in the City and replace any flag in disarray before Memorial Day. Councillor Toomey
3. City Council support of H.1948 S.1332 Out of Hospital Birth Access and Safety Act. Mayor McGovern, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Mallon, Councillor Simmons
4. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the Cambridge Police Department and other relevant City staff on how media collected by hand-held photo/video recording devices is used, stored, and shared. Councillor Kelley, Councillor Siddiqui
5. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the appropriate City staff on how a cloud-based data management system for DHSP's Children and Youth Programs will clearly protect all aspects of participant privacy and access security. Councillor Kelley
6. That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to direct the appropriate City staff to determine a suitable location to dedicate in Cheryl-Ann Pizza-Zeoli’s honor. Councillor Simmons
7. That the City Manager is requested to work with the Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department and the License Commission to establish a "play streets" permit. Councillor Mallon, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Siddiqui
Order Adopted as Amended
8. Welcoming Community Ordinance. Councillor Carlone, Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Mallon, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Zondervan, Mayor McGovern
Order Adopted as Amended (Toomey - PRESENT)
9. That the City Council request DCR’s presence at a future hearing of the Transportation & Public Utilities Committee to discuss design options on Memorial Drive Greenway Improvements Phase 3. Councillor Zondervan, Vice Mayor Devereux
10. Moving that the Affordable Housing Overlay Discussion Be Favorably Forwarded to Ordinance Committee. Councillor Simmons
Order Adopted as Amended
1. A communication was received from Paula M. Crane, Deputy City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor E. Denise Simmons, Co-Chair and Councillor Sumbul Siddiqui Co-Chair of the Housing Committee for a public hearing held on Apr 25, 2019 at 6:00pm in the Sullivan Chamber to continue discussion on the Affordable Housing Overlay District and other related matters.
Report Accepted, Placed on File; Order #10 Adopted as Amended by Substitution (Simmons); Referred to Ordinance Committee and Planning Board
COMMUNICATIONS AND REPORTS FROM OTHER CITY OFFICERS
1. A communication was received from City Clerk Donna P. Lopez, transmitting a communication from Councillor Mallon, submitting notes of the meeting on Apr 11, 2019 of the Mayor's Arts Task Force.
Placed on File
2. A communication was received from City Clerk Donna P. Lopez, transmitting amended information regarding Calendar Agenda Item Number three regarding a petition for 822 Somerville Avenue, Citizens Bank.
Referred to Calendar Item #3
3. A communication was received from City Clerk Donna P. Lopez, transmitting a communication from Councillor Zondervan, transmitting a memorandum regarding further proposed amendments to the Cannabis Business Permitting Ordinance.
Referred to Ordinance Committee Hearing on May 9, 2019
Mon, May 6
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber - televised)
Tues, May 7
9:00am Finance Committee hearing to discuss proposed FY20 City Budget (Sullivan Chamber - televised)
Wed, May 8
6:00pm Finance Committee hearing to discuss FY20 School Department Budget (Sullivan Chamber - televised)
Thus, May 9
9:00am Finance Committee hearing to discuss proposed FY20 City Budget (if necessary) (Sullivan Chamber - televised)
5:30pm The Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing to continue discussion on a proposed amendment to the Municipal Code by add a new Chapter 5.50 entitled “Cannabis Business Permitting.” (Sullivan Chamber - televised)
Mon, May 13
4:00pm 2019 City of Cambridge Scholarship Awards Ceremony (Sullivan Chamber - televised)
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, May 20
5:30pm City Council Meeting - Budget Adoption (Sullivan Chamber)
Tues, May 21
1:00pm The Health and Environment Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the “City of Cambridge getting to Net Zero Action Plan: Fiscal year 2018 progress report” and to receive a general update on the “Net Zero Action Plan”. (Sullivan Chamber - televised)
Wed, May 22
12:00pm Civic Unity Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the Massachusetts Equal Pay Law that was enacted in 2018 - What employees, supervisors, and City Leadership should know, what are the best practices, and how metrics must be established to ensure compliance with this new law. (Sullivan Chamber - televised)
2:00pm The Transportation and Public Utilities Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the Eversource site on Fulkerson Street and a potential expansion project at this site. (Sullivan Chamber - televised)
Tues, May 28
5:30pm The Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing on a petition received from Verizon New England, Inc. to amend the zoning map of the City of Cambridge by creating a new Overlay Zoning district entitled “Ware Street Innovation Space Overlay District” encompassing 10 Ware Street and to amend article 20.000 of the Zoning Ordinance by creating a section entitled “Ware Street Innovation Space Overlay District”. (Sullivan Chamber - televised)
Wed, May 29
5:30pm The Health and Environment Committee will conduct a joint public hearing with the climate Resilience Task Force to receive an update on the task forces progress to date and to receive input and feedback. (Sullivan Chamber - televised)
Mon, June 3
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, June 10
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
6:30pm The City Council will conduct a public hearing to discuss the petition filed by Kenneth S. Barron, 614 Massachusetts Avenue, et al property owners, pursuant to MGL Chapter 40 section O petitioning that a Business Improvement District (BID) be established for the Central Square Business Improvement District. (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, June 17
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, June 24
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, July 29
5:30pm Special City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
TEXT OF ORDERS
O-1 May 6, 2019
VICE MAYOR DEVEREUX
WHEREAS: Recent events have demonstrated the need to move off gas as a fuel for generating thermal and electrical energy in order to keep our communities safe and healthy, protect property and reduce the generation and emission of greenhouse gases; and
WHEREAS: On Apr 24, 2017, the City Council passed a resolution in support of a transition to 100% renewable energy by 2035, and the City strives to address this goal through the City’s Net Zero Action Plan and robust renewable energy commitments; and
WHEREAS: Methane, which comprises 95% of fracked gas, is a greenhouse gas that is 84 times more powerful than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period and currently a major factor worldwide driving climate change, and the combustion of methane itself produces carbon dioxide; and
WHEREAS: The gas pipeline industry is seeking to transport fracked gas from Pennsylvania, New York and other states through Massachusetts to liquid gas (LNG) terminals in Canada for export to world markets; and
WHEREAS: The Canadian gas pipeline company, Enbridge, with investments from Massachusetts-based utilities, is seeking approval to build a 7,700 horsepower fracked gas compressor station in Weymouth, MA, as part of the Atlantic Bridge project in order to be able to transport fracked gas across the Commonwealth to Canadian LNG export terminals, turning our Commonwealth into a fracked gas highway; and
WHEREAS: It is not in the Commonwealth’s interest to become a pipeline highway for the fracked gas industry to export its product to the world; and
WHEREAS: The compressor station is to be located within two environmental justice communities on the banks of a waterway on a contaminated site; and
WHEREAS: There are several bills filed in the Massachusetts legislature seeking to regulate gas infrastructure and stop the compressor station, in particular S.1997, S.1990, S.1319, S.1753, and S.1754, among others; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Council go on record in strong opposition to the construction of the fracked gas compressor station in Weymouth and go on record urging the Massachusetts Legislature to take action to prevent its construction; and be it further
ORDERED: That the City Clerk be and hereby is requested to forward a suitably engrossed copy of this resolution to the Cambridge legislative delegation, as well as to House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo and Senate President Karen E. Spilka and to the Governor, on behalf of the entire City Council.
O-2 May 6, 2019
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to confer with the appropriate departments to check on the condition of the American flags throughout public institutions in the City and replace any flag in disarray before Memorial Day.
O-3 May 6, 2019
VICE MAYOR DEVEREUX
WHEREAS: The United States is experiencing a maternal health crisis with the worst maternal mortality in the developed world, and no less so in Massachusetts where maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidities are also rising, with persistent racial and geographic disparities; and
WHEREAS: In Massachusetts, black women are twice as likely to die from pregnancy-related causes and have twice the rate of severe maternal morbidities as white women; and
WHEREAS: In Massachusetts, women on MassHealth are almost three times as likely to die from pregnancy-related causes and have higher rates of severe maternal morbidities as those who have private insurance; and
WHEREAS: 40 percent of births (and 60 percent of Black births) in Massachusetts are funded through MassHealth; and
WHEREAS: Numerous studies have confirmed the safety of home birth and the benefits of midwifery care for mothers and babies, including fewer C-sections, fewer post-partum complications, fewer infant deaths, fewer preterm births, fewer low-birthweight babies, and higher breastfeeding rates; and
WHEREAS: The vast majority of nurse-midwives attend births in hospitals and Massachusetts does not recognize any other midwife credential, therefore almost all home births are attended by unlicensed midwives, unregulated, lacking in consumer protection, and not accessible through private insurance or MassHealth; and
WHEREAS: Massachusetts ranks in the bottom third of states for maternity care integration and 35 other states have passed laws creating a pathway to licensure for Certified Professional Midwives, a nationally-recognized credential for midwives with specialized training in out-of-hospital birth and complete primary maternity care of childbearing people and newborns; and
WHEREAS: Licensing Certified Professional Midwives and including them as Medicaid providers improves outcomes for mothers and babies while significantly reducing health care costs; and
WHEREAS: Closures of maternity wards and community hospitals across the Commonwealth creates barriers to care that can be addressed through access to community-based midwives; and
WHEREAS: Access to licensed midwives and choice of birth setting should be equitably available to all childbearing people in Massachusetts, regardless of income; and
WHEREAS: Integrating Certified Professional Midwives into the maternity care system—through licensure and inclusion as a MassHealth provider-- promotes public health, consumer protection, transparency, accountability, provider collaboration, cost savings, and health equity; and
WHEREAS: A coalition of organizations for women’s rights, civil rights, birth rights, and reproductive health have formed to support the Out-of-Hospital Birth Access and Safety Act led by Bay State Birth Coalition and including ACLU Massachusetts, League of Women Voters of Massachusetts, MassNOW, NARAL Pro-choice Massachusetts, Our Bodies Ourselves, the Union of Minority Neighborhoods, Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts, Amnesty International, Birth Rights Bar Association, Every Mother Counts, MomsRising, and midwifery organizations (National Association of Certified Professional Midwives, North American Registry of Midwives, Midwives Alliance of North America, and the American College of Nurse Midwives); and
WHEREAS: Bay State Birth Coalition and other advocacy groups have won bipartisan support from over 90 cosponsors in the Massachusetts legislature, including the following members of the Cambridge delegation: Representatives Marjorie Decker, Jonathan Hecht, Dave Rogers, Mike Connolly, and Jay Livingstone; Senators Pat Jehlen and Sal DiDomenico; now therefore be it
RESOLVED: That the City Council go on record in full support of integrating Certified Professional Midwives into maternity care in Massachusetts and expanding access to midwives through MassHealth; and be it further
RESOLVED: That the City Council go on record urging the Massachusetts State Legislature to make the Out-of-Hospital Birth Access and Safety Act a priority to pass during the current legislative session; and be it further
RESOLVED: That the City Clerk be and hereby is requested to forward suitably engrossed copies of this resolution to Speaker of the House Bob DeLeo, House Majority Leader Ron Mariano, Senate President Karen Spilka, Senate Majority Leader Cynthia Stone Creem; Bill sponsors Representative Kay Khan and Senator Becca Rausch; Cambridge Representatives Marjorie Decker, Jonathan Hecht, Dave Rogers, Mike Connolly, and Jay Livingstone; Cambridge Senators Pat Jehlen, Sal DiDomenico, and Joseph Boncore; and Bay State Birth Coalition on behalf of the entire City Council.
O-4 May 6, 2019
WHEREAS: In the line of duty, Cambridge Police Officers may take photographs or video footage using handheld devices, such as phones and cameras; and
WHEREAS: It is unclear how long photo and video files are held, where they are stored, if they are shared with other departments or third parties, and generally how they are handled; and
WHEREAS: Under certain circumstances, some law enforcement agencies share data, including visual media files, with third parties, including fusion centers like the Massachusetts Department of State Police's Commonwealth Fusion Center; and
WHEREAS: Handheld visual recording devices and their media output are not covered in our recently ordained Surveillance Ordinance; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to confer with the Cambridge Police Department and other relevant City staff on how media collected by handheld photo/video recording devices is used, stored, and shared; and be it further
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to report back to the City Council on this matter.
O-5 May 6, 2019
WHEREAS: The City recently released an RFP for a cloud-based data management system for DHSP’s Children and Youth Programs to collect, manage, and analyze information about participants; and
WHEREAS: The RFP does not clearly contain language to address privacy concerns although database security and staff access are mentioned; and
WHEREAS: This project is very sensitive due to the participants being children under the age of 18, who are already at a high risk of data insecurity; and
WHEREAS: Privacy is increasingly challenged in digital applications, and all organizations supporting City programs should have their privacy policies specifically noted and assessed as part of any successful bid application; and
WHEREAS: The RFP requires access to the system through a variety of mobile devices, it does not include requirements to secure access through those devices; and
WHEREAS: The RFP’s implementation process does not specify a process to validate or test its security and privacy protections; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to confer with the appropriate City staff on how this DHSP information program will clearly protect all aspects of participant privacy and access security and how that capacity is required in the bid; and be it further
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to report back to the Council on this issue.
O-6 May 6, 2019
WHEREAS: On Apr 23, 2019, longtime Cambridge resident, affordable housing activist, and member of the Cambridge Affordable Housing Trust Cheryl-Ann Pizza-Zeoli passed away after a lengthy illness; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to direct the appropriate City staff to determine a suitable location to dedicate in Cheryl-Ann Pizza-Zeoli’s honor.
O-7 May 6, 2019 Amended
VICE MAYOR DEVEREUX
WHEREAS: Block parties are a way for neighbors to gather outside of their homes, generate their own open space, and build community; and
WHEREAS: By closing off a street or segment of a street, block parties help the City achieve our goal of giving pedestrians increased access to pedestrian-only spaces; and
WHEREAS: Making block parties easier to host is a priority for residents, especially as the summer months are approaching; and
WHEREAS: The City of Seattle has created a new permit called block party/play streets to “allow residents of Seattle to open neighborhood streets to kids and adults for more space for socializing, playing, and physical activity”; and
WHEREAS: The permit increases access and ease of planning for block parties by allowing non-arterial streets to be closed on a recurring basis for up to 3 days per week, but for no more than 12 hours per week; and
WHEREAS: This permit strikes a balance between allowing neighborhoods increased access to their streets, while ensuring safety and notification measures, as well as logistical considerations such as:
• Applications must be submitted 14 days in advance
• The street must be non-arterial, limited to one block long, and cannot include bus service
• Proper neighborhood notification and coordination is required for approval
• Neighbors must affirm that they have read safety information materials regarding safely setting up and breaking down a play street
Additional requirements apply for large, immovable objects like stage; and
WHEREAS: There are other, Cambridge-specific requirements the City can include if needed; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to work with the Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department and License Commission to determine the feasibility of implementing a “Play Streets” permit for the City of Cambridge; and be it further
ORDERED: That the City Manager respond back to the City Council in a timely manner.
O-8 May 6, 2019 Amended
VICE MAYOR DEVEREUX
WHEREAS: The City of Cambridge is a proud supporter of our Sanctuary City status, but there is no codified ordinance establishing itself as such; and
WHEREAS: The term “Sanctuary” has legal and cultural implications and may be misleading to the constituents we hope to protect; and
WHEREAS: The goal of our Sanctuary City status is to establish our city as a Welcoming Community, to declare that all are welcome here, and to increase public confidence in Cambridge’s government by providing guidelines associated with our city’s voluntary involvement in federal immigration enforcement; and
WHEREAS: Cambridge Police have the discretion to arrest individuals for driving without a license, which results in fingerprinting of suspects that go into databases used by ICE, or simply issue a summons to appear in court; and
WHEREAS: Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) routinely go to Massachusetts court houses to detain suspected undocumented immigrants for crimes such as driving without a license; and
WHEREAS: A Welcoming Community ordinance would eliminate that discretion and treat all residents equally, while still enforcing the law; and
WHEREAS: Witnesses to crimes who bravely testify in court may also be detained for their immigration status because ICE is present to detain other individuals; and
WHEREAS: There is no movement on the state level to protect undocumented immigrants, enable drivers’ licenses, stop ICE from detaining people at court houses, protect witnesses or any other measure other states have enacted; and
WHEREAS: A Welcoming Community ordinance will equally enforce the law and serve the public without consideration of immigration status, citizenship, national origin, race or ethnicity; and
WHEREAS: The Welcoming City ordinance is supported by the Massachusetts branch of the ACLU, the Brazilian Workers Center and the Welcome Project; and
WHEREAS: The Cambridge City Council will include suggestions and input from the Cambridge Police, among other groups, on a final draft; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the Cambridge City Council pass the Welcoming Community Ordinance to protect our immigrant population; be it further
ORDERED: That this ordinance be referred to the Ordinance Committee for discussion and deliberation.
The purpose of this ordinance is to establish our city as a Welcoming Community, to declare that all are welcome here, and to increase public confidence in Cambridge’s government by providing guidelines associated with our city’s voluntary involvement in federal immigration enforcement.
It is not within the purview nor mandate of Cambridge to enforce federal immigration law or seek the detention, transfer or deportation of Cambridge residents for civil immigration purposes, nor should Cambridge’s resources be expended toward that end.
The City of Cambridge will equally enforce the law and serve the public without consideration of immigration status, citizenship, national origin, race, or ethnicity.
“ICE” means the federal agency “Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”), and any other federal agency charged with the enforcement of immigration laws.
“Immigration detainers” and “ICE detainers” are requests made by federal immigration officials, including but not limited to those authorized under Section 287.7 of Title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations to local Law Enforcement or Courts to voluntarily maintain custody of an individual once that individual is released from local custody, and/or to notify a federal agency before the pending release of an individual.
“ICE administrative warrant” means a warrant, notice to appear, removal order, warrant of deportation, or other ICE custody document (I-200, I-203, I-205 or another listed in the National Crime Information Database (NCIC)) issued by a federal immigration official, not a judicial officer, and not based on a finding of probable cause for an alleged criminal law violation.
a) Equal treatment. Cambridge will treat all persons equally, enforce laws, and serve the public without consideration of immigration status. Citizenship, immigration status, national origin, race, and ethnicity shall have no bearing on an individual's treatment by employees or officers of Cambridge agencies or departments.
Inquiries about immigration status. Officers and employees of the city may not inquire about the immigration status of any victim, suspect, arrestee, 911 caller, or other member of the public with whom they have contact, except as required to provide a public benefit.
b) Role of police in immigration enforcement. The city’s police department will not initiate investigations or take law enforcement action on the sole basis of actual or perceived immigration status, including the initiation of a stop, an apprehension or arrest. The Cambridge Police Department shall not take part in or assist with federal immigration enforcement operations.
c) ICE detainers and administrative warrants. Consistent with Massachusetts law, no officer or employee of the Cambridge Police Department may arrest or detain an individual solely on the basis of an ICE detainer or ICE administrative warrant. This includes extending the length of detention by any amount of time once an individual is released from local custody, or before being transferred to court or admitted to bail.
d) Federal requests for information. No officer or employee of a the Cambridge Police Department shall provide a federal officer with the following information relating to a person in the custody of the Department: information about an individual’s incarceration status, length of detention, home address, work address, personal information other than citizenship or immigration status, hearing information, or pending release, except information that is available through the Massachusetts Public Records Laws, G.L, c. 66, section 10 and G.L. c. 4, section 7 (twenty-sixth).
e) Encountering persons driving without a license. When acting against a person who is found to be driving without a valid driver’s license, officers of the Cambridge Police Department shall, whenever possible and if there are no other violations causing the person to be arrested, issue a summons to court instead of taking the person into custody. In such circumstances, the law enforcement officer taking action shall endeavor to provide the driver a reasonable opportunity to arrange for a properly licensed operator to drive the vehicle before seeking to impound the vehicle.
f) Notice to individuals subject to ICE interventions. If the Cambridge Police Department receives an immigration detainer or ICE administrative warrant for a person in its custody, the Department shall provide the person with a copy of such detainer request or administrative warrant, and any other documentation it possesses pertaining to the person’s immigration case.
g) ICE access to facilities. Except in response to a judicial warrant or other court order, ICE agents shall not be allowed access to individuals in custody either in person or via telephone or videoconference.
U Visa Certification. In furtherance of the US Victims of Trafficking and Violence Prevention Act, the Cambridge Police Department shall consider and sign a U Visa certification request if an individual (i.) is the victim of a qualifying crime, and (ii.)
a) has been, is being, or will likely be helpful in the investigation/prosecution of that crime.
b) Raids and other immigration enforcement actions. No officer or employee of the Cambridge Police Department may participate in an operation led by a federal agency to detain persons for deportation purposes, except in response to a request to assist with support services deemed necessary to ensure officer safety or to prevent a breach of the peace during a federal operation, such as requests to establish traffic perimeters, control traffic or provide police escort.
c) Deputizing of local officials. No officer or employee of any the Cambridge Police Department shall perform the functions of an immigration officer, whether pursuant to 8 U.S.C. section 1357(g) or any other law, regulation, or policy, whether formal or informal.
d) School records and enrollment. No employee of the Cambridge Public Schools shall require a student or parent to provide information regarding their immigration or citizenship status to establish the student’s residency in the district for enrollment purposes. If such information becomes known to an employee of the Cambridge Public Schools, such information shall not be kept or distributed, and shall have no bearing of the student’s ability to register for school or the school’s treatment of that student. Information collected regarding place of birth for the purpose of providing English Language Learners with appropriate services shall be used only for that purpose and not distributed further.
Allegations of violations of the present policy and may be filed with the Mayor’s Office in the case of a complaint against an officer or employee of the Cambridge Police Department, the Department’s Internal Affairs office, who shall investigate the complaint and take appropriate disciplinary action.
Beginning on the date of passage of this ordinance and every six months thereafter, the Cambridge Police Chief shall submit a report, with the information detailed below, to the Clerk of the city forward to the Mayor, docket said report, and include the docket on the agenda of the next-occurring meeting of the Public Safety Committee of the City and notify the local immigration nonprofits in the city.
(a) The total number ICE holds, administrative warrants, and notification requests lodged with Cambridge Law Enforcement officials, organized by the reason(s) given for the request;
(b) The total number of individuals detained on an ICE hold or administrative warrants, if any;
(c) The total number of individuals transferred to ICE custody, if any; and
(d) The total reimbursements received from the federal government pursuant to any granted hold, administrative warrant, or notification request, organized by case.
5. COMPLIANCE WITH FEDERAL LAW
Nothing in this ordinance shall be construed to violate any valid federal law, or to prohibit any Cambridge agency or department from providing another law enforcement agency citizenship or information status, consistent with 8 U.S.C. § 1373.
O-9 May 6, 2019
VICE MAYOR DEVEREUX
WHEREAS: The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) has begun phase 3 of the Memorial Drive Greenway Improvements project; and
WHEREAS: This phase of the project will cover Memorial Drive from the BU Bridge Rotary to the Eliot Bridge, with the stated goals of redesigning both the roadway and community path, as well as making environmental and landscape improvements; and
WHEREAS: DCR is in the initial stages of a community process that began with a meeting at the Morse School on Apr 11, and is currently soliciting input from residents about the project, which will be incorporated into conceptual alternatives to be presented at a future meeting; and
WHEREAS: Existing site conditions are unsafe for all users, including a roadway that functions as a highway and a community path that is cracked and narrows to just 4 feet in width at times, forcing recreational cyclists, commuting cyclists, pedestrians, runners, families with strollers & young children, seniors, and those with mobility challenges to compete with each other for an unreasonably small amount of space; and
WHEREAS: Cambridge is strongly committed to a Vision Zero framework, and has a long history of taking steps and implementing policy that improves conditions for all users with a focus on safety and sustainability, from the 1992 Vehicle Trip Reduction Ordinance to the recently ordained Cycling Safety Ordinance; now therefore be it
RESOLVED: That the City Council go on record requesting DCR’s presence at a future hearing of the Transportation & Public Utilities Committee to discuss design options; and be it further
RESOLVED: That the City Council go on record urging residents to weigh in on this project before the May 9, 2019 deadline through either the DCR website, the project’s Wikimap, or by mailing comments directly to the DCR Office of Public Outreach (251 Causeway Street, 6th floor, Boston, MA 02114); and be it further
RESOLVED: That the City Clerk be and hereby is requested to forward a suitably engrossed copy of this resolution to DCR Commissioner Leo Roy on behalf of the entire City Council.
O-10 May 6, 2019
WHEREAS: The Housing Committee has held numerous public hearings in recent months on the proposed amendment to the zoning ordinance to create an affordable housing overlay district; and
WHEREAS: At the conclusion of the April 25, 2019 Housing Committee hearing, a motion was made and approved by the members to refer the petition to the City Council for referral to the Ordinance Committee; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the attached petition to amend the zoning ordinance to include a citywide affordable housing overly district be and hereby is submitted by the City Council and is referred to the Ordinance Committee and the Planning Board for hearing and report.
TEXT OF COMMITTEE REPORTS
Committee Report #1
The Housing Committee held a public hearing on Thus, Apr 25, 2019 at 6:00pm in the Sullivan Chamber to continue discussion on the Affordable Housing Overlay District and other related matters.
Present at the hearing were Councillor Simmons, Councillor Siddiqui, Co-Chairs of the Committee; Vice Mayor Devereux; Councillor Mallon; Councillor Toomey; Paula M. Crane, Deputy City Clerk; Sarah Stillman; Neal Alpert; and Wil Durbin, Chief of Staff to Mayor McGovern.
Also present were Iram Farooq, Assistant City Manager; Chris Cotter, Housing Director; Cassie Arnaud, Housing Project Planner; Jeff Roberts, Director of Zoning and Development, Community Development Department; Louis DePasquale, City Manager; Lisa Peterson, Deputy City Manager; Nancy Glowa, City Solicitor; Peter Daly, member of the Affordable Housing Trust; Deborah Ruhe, Just a Start, Inc.; Lisa Camacho; Robert Camacho; Frances Sullivan; Justin Gee; Charles Franklin; Teresa Cardosi; Fred Meyer; Marilee Meyer; Alexandra Markiewicz; Theresa Hamacher; Stephen Kaiser; Josh Cohen; Rev. Ellis Washington; Tom Pounds; Anthony Thomas; Jeffrey Holmes; Pawel Latawiec; Chris Mackin; Dominick Jones; Trudi Goodman; Nancy Keeler; James Zalls; Nicola Williams; Kathleen Lei; Rosaline Michaels; Lee Farris; Tina Alu; Risa Mednick; Catrice Williams; Corinne Espinoza; Tony Tauber; Andrew Richman; Eugenia Shraa; John McMahon; Suzanne Graves; Derek Kopon; Jim Sokoloff; Peggy Barnes Lenart; Mahmood Firouzbakht; Teresa Needham; and Toby Hyatt.
Councillor Simmons convened the hearing and read from prepared Opening Remarks (ATTACHMENT A).
Councillor Siddiqui read from prepared Opening Remarks (ATTACHMENT B). Councillor Siddiqui stated that the Committee has received many written comments which shall be made part of the record for this hearing (ATTACHMENTS C1 – C52)
Chairs will make communications part of the record.
Public Comment began at 6:09pm.
Lisa Camacho, 24 Corporal Burns Road, read from a prepared statement (ATTACHMENT D) in opposition to the proposed Affordable Housing Overlay District. She said that with the Overlay, Cambridge is attempting to solve a problem that is regional and not just Cambridge’s. She said there are more ways to help the problem than just with height and density. She said that once upon a time, the city might have been able to make an impact on this issue, but not today. She said that one of her neighbors works in Brookline, another works in Lexington, and she and her husband both used to work in Framingham. She said that she hopes that part of developing affordable housing in Cambridge includes reaching out to other cities because the issue of affordable housing will eventually arrive on their doorsteps.
Frances Sullivan, 6 Laurel Street, stated that she cherishes the diversity of Cambridge, and that is one of the reasons she has been here for the past nine years and why she wants to raise her family in this environment. She stated her support for affordable housing, and she said that we must put our money where our mouth is on this issue. She said that based on previous meetings she’s attended, some of the biggest concerns appear to be around height and set-back. She said that she appreciates the quality of life that is contributed to by sunlight and trees, but if having a slightly taller building with affordable units in it means there is less sunlight, she would gladly make that concession. She said that she’s heard the critique that the Overlay would not result in more housing, which she disagrees with, and she said that something is better than nothing. She said that when friends and family from out of town come to visit her, they often talk about the many different kinds of buildings sitting side by side, and she said that this is what diversity looks like. She urged the Housing Committee to support the Overlay.
Justin Gee, 9 Austen Park, commented on the process. He said that the Housing Committee should take a look at one of the existing projects, such as Main and Cherry Streets, which he said the City is very proud of. He said that we should imagine what it would look like under the new Overlay. He said it would be larger, it would be harder to permit, and he said that the City has been successful in the past in establishing affordable housing, and he believes the City can be successful going forward without the Overlay.
Charles Franklin, 162 Hampshire Street, read from a prepared statement (ATTACHMENT E) in which he stated that he has spoken many times in past meetings about his concerns with the Overlay proposal as written. He said that he appreciates the changes that have been made to the draft so far, but he still feels they do not address his greatest concern: housing equality. He said part of housing equality means being able to be part of a neighborhood, not just in it. He said that good quality of life would not be found in a micro unit. He said that he has created his own Affordable Housing Overlay, he has met with homeowners, renters, Section 8 voucher holders, and with the CDD. He said that two very strong supporters of the CDD’s plan would prefer his plan if given the option. He said that he is concerned about the tone of the discourse around this process, and the vitriol has come to a breaking point. He said that he doesn’t want to see personal attacks on people with differing opinions, and that this reminds him of the bitter debates over the Inman Square reconstruction. He said that we must return to civility.
Teresa Cardosi, 7 Woodrow Wilson Court, asked the Housing Committee to support the Overlay. She said that much of the land and property in Cambridge has already been purchased by for-profit entities and by people who can afford to buy them, which means the non-profits and the less-well off are unable to afford buying these properties or renting in them once they’re developed. She said that this Overlay is an opportunity to help keep Cambridge’s population diverse by allowing people of all income levels to live here. She said that non-profit developers could never compete with for-profit developers unless this is passed. She asked that people go to the CDD’s website to see the newly-revised FAQ section to ensure people are discussing and debating this Overlay based on the facts and not on speculation and misinformation. She said that once people get the real facts, they can make more informed decisions.
Robert Camacho, 24 Corporal Burns Road, read from a prepared statement (ATTACHMENT F) in which he said that he is not against an affordable housing plan that takes a commonsense approach, but he said in his opinion this is not that plan. He said that this plan would do away with all of the zoning that has been established over the decades, it is extremely undemocratic to all the neighborhoods affected, and is the equivalent of trying to fix a stopwatch with a sledgehammer. He said that current homeowners in Cambridge purchased their homes with an understanding of what the laws and the zoning is, and now the proponents of this Overlay want the neighborhoods to agree to a plan that is completely different. He said the fact that many people might want to live in a place they can’t currently afford to live in might be a crisis for the individual, but it is not a crisis for the community, in the same way that he cannot afford to live in New York City, and that is a personal crisis for him but it is not a crisis for the City of New York. He said he believes the housing developers wrote this plan based on their needs. He asked if this plan is passed, would the City then be granting public funds to these developers? He said he’s opposed to any plan that would pass before those who already live here have a sense of what would be going up next door to them.
Fred Meyer, 83 Hammond Street, read from a prepared statement (ATTACHMENT G) in which he stated that the problem that we are all trying to solve is the rapid increase in rent, which is mainly caused by ever-increasing demand by high-salaried workers coming into the city. He said that even those who support this plan admit that only about 100 units per year would be built, and that’s just a tiny drop in the bucket. He said that a simpler and faster plan would be for the City to subsidize rent directly, there should be a “Cambridge Rent Scholarship Fund” that would be based on merit and need, run just like State scholarship programs. He said that the City should increase the budget for affordable housing by 20 percent in 2020 and every year after that. He said that 166 worthy families a year could be helped by such a program.
Alexandra Markovich, 6 Laurel Street, urged the Housing Committee to support the Affordable Housing Overlay and advance it to the Ordinance Committee. She said that over the past month and a half, the Committee has heard from many residents who have talked about why they care about affordable housing. She said many of these people have shared their personal stories about how affordable units have given them a sense of stability and have opened up new opportunities to them. She said that we’ve heard about how critical such housing is to ensure that Cambridge remains a vibrant, diverse community, and how it demonstrates that Cambridge does, indeed, care about equity and inclusion. She said that we’ve also heard from those who fear the kinds of changes more affordable housing would bring. She said that the Overlay would add to the mix of buildings, just as has always existed in Cambridge. She said that, more importantly, the additional housing would provide more affordable units that would provide people to have the same kinds of opportunities as their higher-income neighbors. She said that she lives in a two-story building built in 1797 that sits next to a three and a half story building that was built in 1902, and the residents of both buildings enjoy the trees and the natural shade on her street. She said that we can build a better future, and the Overlay would just be one of many tools that must be used, in addition to additional City funding for affordable housing.
Theresa Hammacher, 95 Raymond Street, stated her biggest concern is the lack of meaningful public input into the process. She said that public input can influence designs and the designs are often better because of it. The public process lowers tensions and is inclusive and focuses on people’s needs. She would recommend that the proposal be amended to allow for meaningful public input, and she realizes that this could delay this discussion but because any buildings that get established under this plan would be in place for a long time, she feels it is ultimately worth it. She said that she is concerned about unintended consequences due to major changes in our zoning rules. She said that when there are large, new rights established, there are always those that want to try to find ways to take advantage of those new rights to make money. She wondered if a more moderate proposal would be less likely to create unintended consequences.
Stephen Kaiser read from a prepared statement (ATTACHMENT H) in opposition to the Affordable Housing Overlay. He added that a city that cannot release its own completed Master Plan is unworthy of having citizen support for the complex, radical, and revolutionary new zoning document that desperately needs more thought and planning. He said that he would like to read aloud a couple of sentences from a letter from Anthony Harry dated Apr 18, who helped guide MIT’s real estate plans in 1969 and who helped produce the LBJ Apartments and the Millers River Apartments. Mr. Kaiser said that “we urge in the strongest terms that this proposal be carefully analyzed, explained, discussed and thoughtfully considered before any part is enacted into law. Please do not rush into such radical new zoning.” Mr. Kaiser closed by saying that it’s not fair and not right that the Housing Committee has not taken the alternative plan by Charles Franklin under consideration.
Josh Cohen, 276 Huron Avenue, read from a prepared statement (ATTACHMENT I) in which he stated that he is an advocate for affordable housing. He said that he believes that affordable housing is a critical public policy issue. He stated that the Affordable Housing Overlay is good for three reasons: it promotes economic justice, it’s an innovative tool, and it can help address climate policy. In terms of economic justice, he said that it’s not fair that certain areas of our city will forever be off limits to people of low and moderate income. He said that these lower-income working families deserve access to our public schools and thriving economy. In terms of being an innovative tool, he said that the Overlay would help give opportunities to non-profit developers that just do not currently exist. He said that the Overlay proposal would deliberately shift some of the control away from abutters, who have a well-documented history of opposing affordable developments, to CDD and the Affordable Housing Trust. In terms of climate policy, he said that the environmental building standards are maintained in this proposal, and these new buildings would constituent new, enviro-friendly units.
Reverend Ellis Washington, 37 Bishop Allen Dr, St. Paul’s AME, Cambridge Black Pastors Association, read from a prepared statement. (ATTACHMENT J)
Tom Pounds, 102 Lexington Avenue, stated that he is the Editor and Publisher of the AIA Guide to Boston Architecture, an iPhone app. He said that this role has given him the opportunity to draft descriptions of more than 1,200 buildings, neighborhoods, and parks in the Greater Boston area. This has shown him that attractive, distinctive neighborhoods such as those seen in Cambridge are scarce, difficult to replicate, and they can indeed change over the decades. He said he wanted to focus his comments just on the proposal to streamline the design review process. He said that developers would still be required to host community meetings and appear before the Planning Board, but any input they received would be non-binding. He said they would be free to ignore all feedback, and this is a terrible idea. He said there would be no incentives for developers to reach out to talented architects who often do their best work under the tight constraints such as those that currently exist for local affordable buildings. He said that over time, this would diminish the quality of our neighborhoods and the character of our city. He said the current review process is by no means a panacea, as the many buildings around Alewife show, but let’s not weaken it further. He urged that the Housing Committee come up with a plan that allows for more affordable housing while also leaving us with neighborhoods we can be proud to pass along to future generations.
Anthony Thomas, 348 Franklin Street, spoke in favor of the Affordable Housing Overlay. He asked what kind of city Cambridge wants to be? Do we want to be a place where low-income families are relegated to only certain parts of the community? Do we want to continue the history of racial and economic segregation? Or do we want to be a city that encourages diversity, inclusion, and sustainability? He said the status quo is not sustainable. He said that he wants to live in a city that puts people, even those who make less money than us, first. He said he wants to put people before tree-lined streets with single family homes.
Pawel Latawiec, 2 Earhart Street, read from a prepared statement (ATTACHMENT K) in which he stated that he is a renter and an immigrant, and he supports the Affordable Housing Overlay. He said that he lives in a one-bedroom with his wife and dog, and when they one day expand their family, they fully expect to stay in this apartment. He said he is a scientist and is well-paid, and that this is similar to the previous occupants in his unit. He said that he plans to stay in this unit because the City has an unwillingness to build enough affordable homeownership units for his family to eventually consider transitioning to, but he said that his family is nonetheless lucky and is secure. He said that he feels for those who do not have a secure income and are feeling squeezed out of a city where the rents are more and more out of reach. He said this Overlay would help, and he urged the Housing Committee to move this process forward.
Chris Mackin, 48 JFK Street, said that in previous testimony, he brought up his concerns with the “moral competition” over this issue, as he feels that the supporters of the Overlay try to claim the moral high ground against those who oppose the Overlay. He said that a more precise term for this might be “moral appropriation.” He said that the Overlay proponents are claiming to have the virtue in this discussion, and that they dismiss anyone who opposes any aspect of the Overlay as just being petty or selfish. He said that, in actuality, those who oppose the Overlay have actually put forth a slew of ideas that would do more to increase affordable housing and would help people who are being evicted from their current units or with affording their current units. He said that Overlay supporters are actually letting their elected officials off the hook in terms of dealing with these issues. He said that the Affordable Housing Overlay is not the right way forward, and that a collection of different ideas that have been put forward as alternatives would accomplish more of what everyone claims to want.
Dominick Jones, 6 Hurlbut Street, read from a prepared statement (ATTACHMENT L) in which he said that no one at recent meetings seemed to be clear about what form-based housing is. He said that it is being cited by City officials as the exclusive reward for non-profit developers of one hundred percent affordable housing. He said that form-based housing takes into view how the city develops block by block, artery by artery, and neighborhood by neighborhood. He said that it is not determined by individual lot-restrictions, as is currently the case. He said that Paris, Washington, Manhattan, and even parts of Boston were designed on this idea. He said it could be very good for Cambridge. He said it could provide affordable housing simply by increasing the supply of housing. He said successful cities like ours always lead to increased demand for housing, and we need to plan this city as a whole, not by bribing certain developers on a piecemeal basis. He said the public should know what is being debated, which it does not at the moment. He said the Overlay should be dropped, and even City officials think it will have a minimal impact. He said that form-based zoning should be studied as a better solution, which would encourage all developers to build in a beautifully redesigned city.
Trudi Goodman, 1221 Cambridge Street, stated she has been here several times now. She said that in regard to the recent passing of Cheryl-Ann Pizza-Zeoli, who was her neighbor for 25 years, that they didn’t always agree, such as on the Overlay, but there was always room for compromise. She said some of the ideas put forward by people like Charles Franklin and Stephen Kaiser would help the Overlay. She said that she is in favor of affordable housing. She said that no matter who agrees to this Overlay or doesn’t, people need to stop being vicious with each other. She said that she’s lived in the City for 40 years. She is a person that needs better housing. She said that we must come to a compromise that provides not just affordable housing, but ensures that it be quality, well-maintained affordable housing. She said her current building is an example of what not to do.
Marilee Meyer, 10 Dana Street, read from a prepared written statement (ATTACHMENT M). She also stated that at the previous night’s Arlington Town Meeting, their up-zoning proposal was withdrawn for lack of votes. She said that perhaps the residents who were opposed to this forced the town officials to take a look at the fine print of what they were considering. She said maybe there were loopholes, and maybe the plan was too vague. She said that lost in the shuffle of the Cambridge conversations is the fact that this city has more than just one constituency to consider, and that building at any cost is irresponsible. She said that what gets built today gets imposed upon all current homeowners and renters, and the waiting list for housing grows longer. She said that this is a self-perpetuating cycle. She said that the Overlay is too misleading in its promises to desperate people, and she said that abutters are not necessarily the cause of all the problems that delay the building of new affordable units. She said that 100 new units per year could be found faster in allowing additions and renovations to existing homes and buildings, and by committing an extra $20 million in city funding for affordable housing. She said that this plan ignores the fine print. She said that form-based code needs to be applied citywide, not just spotzoned. She urged for fixing the zoning currently in place, rather than throwing it away. She pointed to the blow-up pictures of affordable buildings that have been placed around the Sullivan Chamber for tonight’s hearing and noted that they’d all been built under current zoning. She said that the proposed plan cannot move forward without proper due process and transparency. She said otherwise, the plan will fail and we will all pay a price for little gain.
Nicola Williams, 8 Brewer Street, praised the City for recently supporting the Central Square Business Improvement District, and she wishes that this conversation went as smoothly as that one did. She said that the good thing about the Overlay is that we are having a conversation and we are trying to do something. She said she knows the City Councilors care about the housing situation. Nonetheless, she said that this is a bad plan. She said that the way it is written is undemocratic and it will not make a huge dent in the 19,000 people on the various housing waiting lists. She said that many in the community do not know the consequences of the Overlay. She said that the discourse is not something to be proud of and the conversation has divided the community, and there is very little regard for homeowners. She said that we are not ready to move this forward, and her plea is to start this process over from the beginning to do it right.
James Zahl, 203 Pemberton Street, asked the Housing Committee to move this onto the Ordinance Committee where it will continue to be discussed, tweaked, and passed. He urged the opponents of this Overlay to more carefully read the material by CDD, as he believes that they would then see that it is not going to do as many of the things that they fear will happen to the city. He said that many of the attributes of the city that have been brought up by opponents of the Overlay are attributes that he also enjoys, and he would like even more low and middle income people to be able to enjoy these things, too. He said that in a city in which many of the existing residential buildings do not conform to existing regulations, it is a mistake to cling to that as a reason to oppose the Overlay. He said that he urged the Housing Committee to move the process forward.
Lee Farris, 269 Norfolk Street, thanked all that are working hard on the Affordable Housing Overlay. She said that she’s happy to see changes in the plan as of yesterday, and she thinks it still needs more work. She said that she is glad to see the restoration and clarification of the Planning Board role. She believes that the Envision report is due in early May and she wants to see the re-start of that planning process. She said that she thinks that the community review process needs to be stronger and clearer. She said that in addition to notifying abutters of an upcoming hearing, the City should be required to post a sign in front of a property and notify abutters and neighborhood organizations with two-week notices. She said that there should be a requirement for affordable homeownership as well as family units. She would like to see clear protections and guidelines about adding onto existing buildings.
Tina Alu, 113½ Pleasant Street, read from a prepared written statement in support of the Affordable Housing Overlay (ATTACHMENT N). She said that it was bittersweet to speak tonight, because in the past whenever she’d prepare comments, she would ask herself what Cheryl-Ann Pizza-Zeoli would think. She said that tonight, she wanted to start with some of Cheryl-Ann’s comments instead of her own, because Cheryl-Ann always said it better. She said that Cheryl-Ann had said that the new Affordable Housing Overlay District would apply citywide so that we can create new affordable homes in all areas of the city. This would include high resource areas that have historically excluded low-income residents and people of color – “those people.” She said that Cheryl-Ann would always ask whose views do we prioritize in making city decisions? She said that she was planning on attending the upcoming “Cambridge Digs Deep” conversation around equity and inclusion, and that she wondered how the lessons from those discussions might overlap with and influence this discussion. She said equity requires changing structures of power and privilege, and one step the Housing Committee could take is to vote to move this forward.
Risa Mednick, 20 Maple Avenue, stated her support for the Affordable Housing Overlay and urged the Housing Committee to move with swiftness. She said that the Overlay is not the one single solution to the affordable housing crisis in Cambridge and the region, but it is a positive means of creating some affordable housing throughout the city. She said it’s a way of making inroads towards a more inclusive community. She said it’s a public policy tool that moves us toward greater equity in a time of grotesque and inescapable inequities. She said we can welcome new neighbors without displacing old ones, and we can use resources in new ways. She said that this community and its leaders must act boldly with just and moral vision to sustainably rebuild a healthy, thriving diverse and inclusive community. She urged that this Overlay be forwarded to the Ordinance Committee.
Corinne Espinosa, 20 Chestnut Street, asked the Housing Committee to forward this Overlay to the Ordinance Committee. She said that she supports any and all efforts that will support increasing affordable housing in Cambridge. She said this is an emergency. She said that families are spending more than half of their take home pay on rent or being displaced, and being separated from their community and support networks. She said that she is not OK with Cambridge becoming a wealthy enclave with no diversity. She said we need to act now.
Derek Kopon, 8 Wright Street, said that he’s been to a number of these meetings. He stated that almost all of the renderings that the CDD has posted around the room are not illustrative of what opponents of the Overlay are concerned about, and they seem a bit disingenuous. He said that people are concerned about giant 4-story buildings with no parking and no set-backs being built next to a 1 or 2 story home. He said that when visually showing things at public meetings, they should be representative of what people are actually concerned about. He said that when members of the Housing Committee talk about this proposal, they talk about non-profit developers, but he feels this will be a massive handout to for-profit developers. He said some of the for-profit developers have given public comment in these hearings and they haven’t identified themselves as such, and he feels that this is wrong. He said if we’re going to discuss this issue, it should be done so honestly.
Jim Sokoloff, 45 Fresh Pond Parkway, said he recognizes the importance of creating new affordable housing, but he is opposed to the Affordable Housing Overlay for the following reasons: he said he doesn’t believe that having a second subset of laws that applies to only one set of developers is fair or reasonable. He said that the Overlay is being marketed as a way to more quickly allow for the construction of affordable units that violate the current zoning requirements, without the inconvenience of public hearings and the granting of variances where those would be appropriate. He said the proposed new set-backs and height allowances would be problematic in the as-of-right structure. He said that it would be unreasonable to conceive of a developer buying his property, building a 45-foot-tall, 4 story structure ten feet from the lot line, with substantially higher lot coverage, while he or any other owner would be more restricted in what they could build on that same lot if they so wished. He said that this Overlay, while beneficial for the Cambridge Housing Authority and other similar developers, would be too far of a next step to allow for affordable housing. He would instead propose developing strong guidelines to be used by the Planning Board during zoning hearings, rather than passing a blanket overlay that ties everyone’s hands. He said that the City could also consider making district-by-district changes on an appropriate basis. He said the current zoning and variance process works, and it allows for real input by abutters, which is important.
Mahmood Firouzbakht spoke in support of the Affordable Housing Overlay District. He said that he grew up in Cambridge and he has seen the changes in the city over the years, as more and more of the middleclass is being squeezed out. He said that this is a creative way to support affordable housing, and to see it dispersed more evenly throughout the city. He said that he hopes this will be moved on to the Ordinance Committee, and he thanked everyone for their efforts.
Toby Hyatt, 11 Wendell Street, stated that he supports the Overlay, and he just reviewed the new version and he commends the City Council for making some interesting compromises. He said that it is interesting, and he commends the City Council for doing the work and finding common ground. He urged that the Housing Committee forward this on to the Ordinance Committee.
Public comment closed at 7:05pm.
Councillor Simmons stated that the next portion of the hearing would be given over to a presentation by the CDD. Iram Farooq then said she had a few introductory words to let the Housing Committee know what material would be discussed. She said that what was provided to the Housing Committee for this hearing is an updated version of the draft zoning text (ATTACHMENT O). She said that the changes incorporated some of the items where the CDD felt they had received good guidance in terms of where there was some broad consensus, such as the approach to dealing with transitions between residential zoning vs. zones that allow for taller heights. She said there were some other issues that came up that were not incorporated here, because the CDD felt there was not enough clear guidance, and the CDD was hearing both support and opposition from some members of the Housing Committee. She said that as this process proceeds, the CDD will get additional feedback and they will keep refining the language as it moves forward. She said that the CDD has also provided an updated version of FAQ document (ATTACHMENT P), which responds to additional questions that arose during the last few hearings. She said that, at the request of the Co-Chairs, the CDD provided examples of existing 100 percent affordable housing projects, and that these have been posted on large displays in the Sullivan Chamber. She said they are not intended to show what the final outcomes of the Overlay would be, but rather as a way to show the range and variety of different types of affordable housing designs and scales of projects under existing zoning. She said that the CDD is continuing to work on additional design modeling, and they expect to bring these new models forward during additional discussions.
Ms. Farooq then asked Jeff Roberts to provide an overview of the PowerPoint presentation on the Revised Working Draft (ATTACHMENT Q).
Following the walk-through of the PowerPoint presentation, Councillor Simmons noted for the record that Councillor Carlone had notified the Co-Chairs that he had a previously-scheduled family commitment and that he would be unable to attend tonight’s hearing. She then opened the floor for discussion.
Mayor McGovern thanked the Housing Co-Chairs, and he thanked the CDD for their presentation. He said that, regarding this process and where it is going, that he wished to remind people that if the Overlay were to be moved out of the Housing Committee, that would be an opportunity for all the City Councilors to more meaningfully engage in this discussion. He said that all City Councilors are welcome to attend the Housing Committee hearings, but only the members of the Committee are allowed to vote on amendments and help shape this process. He said that moving this on to the Ordinance Committee would allow for a more complete conversation because that is a committee of the whole. He said that the role of the Housing Committee is to hold initial meetings to get feedback, and to create a framework that can then be moved on to the Ordinance Committee. He said that if this conversation is moved to the Ordinance Committee, it would allow for more meaningful conversation among the entire City Council, and if it stays in the Housing Committee, we are not getting into the meat of the ordinance. He reaffirmed a point made earlier by Councillor Siddiqui that nothing final would be voted on at this hearing, beyond potentially voting to move this to the Ordinance Committee for a fuller conversation.
Mayor McGovern also said that a number of people talked about other ideas to address the affordable housing crisis. He said that he agreed that many additional tools are needed to effectively address this. He said that this Overlay is one piece to the puzzle to address a complex problem, and that no one on the City Council has been suggesting this is the singular solution to the problem. He said that, when looking at the number of affordable units in different neighborhoods, 34.5 percent of the units in the Port are affordable for low and middle income. He said that 24.5 percent of the units in North Cambridge are affordable, Harrington-Wellington has 20.6 percent, and Cambridgeport has 20 percent affordable units. He said that, in contrast, Neighborhood Nine has 9.8 percent affordable housing, Mid-Cambridge has 6.8 percent affordable housing, Agassiz has 5.3 percent affordable housing, and West Cambridge has 1.3 percent affordable housing. He said that it’s not the fault of anyone that lives in these areas today, and that none of us were alive when the zoning decisions and the red lining were utilized to allow for this to happen, but the end result is that we do live in a segregated city. He said that if we truly believe in equity and diversity, then that should not sit well with anyone. He said that many who have concerns about the overlay are concerned about how this will change their neighborhood or street. He wonders why people feel that change is automatically going to be bad or negative. He said that he lives on a street that went through this type of change, and he can speak from his personal perspective. He said that the change has been good, and that the end result is that there are more people and families on his street. He said that he understands the anxiety, but he wants to let people know that these types of changes can work. He said that it is good that tweaking of this plan has taken place in the drafts, and that is what has been asked of and expected of the CDD as they continually received feedback from the Housing Committee and the community. He said that he hopes that this is moved forward for more in-depth conversations.
Councillor Mallon thanked the CDD for their hard work and responding to the feedback and concerns of the Housing Committee and from the residents, and that this has been utilized to fine-tune the zoning. She said that it is a process, but she applauded their hard work and creativity. She said that she is not one of the people who feels displeased to have received the updated material from the CDD only 24 hours prior to the hearing. She said that, when thinking about the Port and how it contains 30 percent of the affordable housing in the city, she is concerned that we are losing socioeconomic diversity in the Port. She said that this Overlay may not be perfect, but we need to do something and act urgently. She said that this conversation is about the people who are being displaced every day. She said that she responds to all email, and to emails with questions about the Affordable Housing Overlay. She said that one common criticism in her emails and that is posted online is that we are building housing for people who do not live in the city, and she wanted to correct that perception because this is really about ensuring that those who are being forced out of the city might have new, additional opportunities to remain in the city. She said that she regularly receives calls from people who currently live in the city who are being forced out and have reached out to her for help. She said that she would like to know about case studies from affordable housing builders about properties that they lost out on that they might have been able to develop if the Affordable Housing Overlay were already in place. She turned to Deborah Ruhe from Just a Start to ask if she had any responsive information that could speak to this.
Deborah Ruhe stated that JAS is non-profit with a mission to provide housing for low- and moderate-income people in Cambridge. She that, to provide context on how difficult their mission is, next month the organization will break ground on their first development of all new units in seven years. In response to Councillor Mallon’s question, she spoke about two properties that JAS had been interested in. One was a parcel near Inman Square (the former site of Hondar House) which had an asking price of $5 million; under current zoning, JAS could have developed 16 units there at $312,000 per unit just to buy the land.
She said that this was not economically viable and CDD would not support going forward with that project. She said that under the proposed Overlay, JAS would have been able to build 40 affordable units on that site at an acquisition cost of $125,000 per unit, which is more feasible. She then spoke about the Rite Aid building on Mass. Avenue just below Porter Square, which had an asking price of $7.1 million, and current zoning would allow 27 units to be built there at an acquisition cost of $262,000 per unit. She said that cost was too high, and they lost that property. She said that under this proposed zoning, the land would support 55 units at a much more reasonable per-unit acquisition price. She said that these two examples are 95 new affordable units that could have been built, if the Overlay had been in place a year ago.
Councillor Mallon said that she would like to see some additional case studies from HRI and perhaps other non-profits. She said that 95 units is both a lot, but also not a lot.
Vice Mayor Devereux thanked all for their participation. She stated that she has some follow-up thoughts. She said that while finding opportunities to preserve and create subsidized housing is a high priority, there are other community needs and many interests to balance, and she does not think that the overlay, at least as it is currently proposed, is the right way to approach it, or that it is ready to pass along to the Ordinance Committee and Planning Board. She said that there has been no report back from the City Manager in response to the list of questions in the Policy Order of 4/1 about the overlay’s broader implications. She said that as a conscientious policymaker and public servant, she cannot support this without understanding its full range of impact.
Vice Mayor Devereux said that she agrees with Mayor McGovern that it can work, but this draft does not help to understand how and where higher densities can be accommodated with the fewest detrimental impacts on the scale and architectural form of our neighborhoods in all their wonderful variety. She stated that there are many soft sites where some incremental additional density would further our citywide planning goals, enliven dead blocks, and reactivate neighborhood retail corridors.
Vice Mayor Devereux said that a market-based approach that incentivizes the insertion of high-density buildings throughout the city, with no overarching plan, is unwise. She said that while form-based zoning is conceived to be use-agnostic, the overlay introduces form-based zoning for a single use (affordable housing) and serves it to us in three sizes: small, medium and large. She said that it ignores the urban design principles underlying the form-based approach, which are to create a harmonious public realm. She said that she has not seen design guidelines and there is no indication that we will get the type of detailed guidelines that other cities have spent many months, even years, developing before implementing form-based zoning (400 meetings in Miami). She said that instead, we are being told: “Trust us, you will like what we build. And if you don’t, well, producing more units of subsidized housing is more important than anything else the community values or needs.”
Vice Mayor Devereux asked where are the universities, large developers and the major employers they build for that are creating the jobs and bottomless demand for housing that we have permitted? She questioned why they have remained silent when their affiliates and employees come and tell us they cannot afford to live here. She noted that they have land and resources and they have a responsibility to the community that cannot be erased with community benefit packages in exchange for up-zonings.
Vice Mayor Devereux said that this proposal has been framed in such a way that it has driven people into corners instead of bringing us to together to solve a need that stems from an overheated innovation economy and massive disruptions to our economy and workforce that have widened income inequality.
Councillor Siddiqui said that she appreciates the points made by the Vice Mayor, although she respectfully disagrees on some. She said that moving this discussion out of the Housing Committee is important because there are many other pressing items that this committee needs to hold hearings on, such as tenant preferences, preservation of 500 expiring units at Fresh Pond Apartments, condo conversion policy, and the tenant displacement task force. She said that at the Housing Committee level, she hopes that by the time any Ordinance Committee hearing is scheduled, we will have the answer to the Apr 1 policy order that was brought up by the Vice Mayor. She said that there is time to get answers and to ensure that there is common ground. Moving this out of the Housing Committee will allow this conversation to progress, and it can be done in a way that ensures that we are answering questions. She asked the CDD if there could be a new provision that mandates that there is an evaluation of this Overlay after a certain period to ensure that it is achieving what it is supposed to achieve. Ms. Farooq responded that there absolutely could be such a provision added. Councillor Siddiqui said this would be important and necessary, and she thanked the CDD for their work on this.
Councillor Mallon seconded the idea of a mandatory evaluation period. She said that this is something that many residents have brought up. She said that the question comes up of how the City can convey to residents that once these zoning ideas are passed, the City would of course continue to monitor how they work, and that zoning evolves, and it should evolve. She said that we want to ensure it does the things we want it to do. She said that writing this mandatory evaluation into the zoning is the best way to do that.
Vice Mayor Devereux said that an evaluation period is good, and she asked whether we could discuss piloting the Overlay concept on a smaller, selected area or areas of the City, reviewing how it has performed, before applying it to the entire city. She said that much of the anxiety is that it is such a blanket approach, and the examples we are seeing do not help explain why the “three sizes approach” would actually do what we want this to do. She said perhaps we could start small and then try to roll it out. She said that she doesn’t expect a response now, but she wanted to put this idea out there.
Councillor Toomey said that, in contrast to the anxiety that some people have about what this Overlay might do to the community, the anxiety that he most often hears about is from the constituents that come to him full of worry and fear over where they will sleep at night. He said that this is the reality. He said that, as a member of this Committee, he wants a favorable recommendation to the Ordinance Committee for further discussion. He said we’ve been talking about this for 30 years, and it is time. He said that the fear felt by many residents about being economically squeezed out of this community is overwhelming. He said that he is not sure that this will be a cure-all, but we cannot to delay action because we are losing the soul of the city. He said that he wants to collectively come together and try to make this work. He said that he would like this to move forward.
Councillor Siddiqui said that she concurs with Vice Mayor Devereux in questioning where the universities are in this matter, and as Chair of the Economic Development and University Relations Committee, she would be happy to hold a hearing on that question. She agrees that the universities can do more.
Councillor Simmons said that there is no doubt in her mind that each member of the Housing Committee has worked in earnest. She said that the Housing Committee member’s jobs are to take in as much information as they can and then make the most factually-based decisions they can to ensure the conversation progresses. She said that she has Cheryl-Ann’s voice in her ear saying, “housing is a right,” and she wants to figure out how we make that happen for more people. She said that one of the people speaking during Public Comment reminded her of something that Cheryl-Ann used to say and that Mike Johnston at the Cambridge Housing Authority has often said, in that there are often people that live in subsidized units that want to move on to affordable home-ownership units and they can’t because there are no such places available for them to “graduate” to and remain in Cambridge. But this would help create a pipeline and help people “graduate” from the affordable housing pipeline and create more turnover. She thanked Councillor Siddiqui for her hard work to help shepherd this process. She concurs that it is time to move forward with the ability to have the City Council as a whole weigh in on the discussion. She said that the Housing Committee has many important topics to discuss in addition to this Overlay, and these other items are no less important. She said that one of the things that has been placed on the backburner is the quarterly meetings with the community-based organizations that build affordable housing and she wants to make time to get those conversations back on track. She said that the City Council should always have a process where legislation that has been adopted can be revised and reviewed, and that it should be built into the process. She said that it is her hope that a continued, robust, citizen-engaged conversation around the Affordable Housing Overlay District should move forward, and the appropriate place for that to happen is in the Ordinance Committee.
Councillor Simmons made the following motion:
WHEREAS: The City Council’s Housing Committee has held numerous public hearings in recent months to discuss the proposed citywide Affordable Housing Overlay District; and
WHEREAS: The members of the Housing Committee have signaled their intentions to have further discussions about this proposed Affordable Housing Overlay District take place in the context of the Ordinance Committee; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the Housing Committee requests that the Chairs of the Ordinance Committee schedule hearings to further review and discuss the attached draft of the proposed citywide Affordable Housing Overlay District as prepared by the Community Development Department.
Vice Mayor Devereux asked whether the Housing Committee would forward the CDD’s most recent draft language, or would it be just the idea of the Overlay as a starting point? Councillor Simmons said that the Housing Committee would be voting to forward to the Ordinance Committee the language given to the Housing Committee by the CDD. Vice Mayor Devereux stated that she would like to be recorded as “present” with respect to all of the work that has gone into it, and with the understanding that this vote would be unlikely to change the end result.
The motion passed on the affirmative vote of four members.
Vice Mayor Devereux voted in the present.
Councillor Simmons and Councillor Siddiqui thanked all those present for their attendance.
The hearing adjourned at 8:04pm.
For the Committee,
Councillor E. Denise Simmons, Co-Chair
Councillor Sumbul Siddiqui, Co-Chair
AWAITING REPORT LIST
16-26. Report on the possibility of the City Council implementing a zoning change, on the permitting of all new restaurants where a wood-fired oven is used as a significant method of food preparation. On a communication from Councillor Kelley requesting that this matter be forwarded to the 2018-2019 Legislative Session.
Councillor Carlone, Councillor Devereux, Councillor Kelley (O-5) from 4/4/2016
16-42. Report on plans for the former Riverside Community Health Center on Western Avenue, including transfer of ownership of the building to the City and the process for determining future usage. On a communication from Councillor Kelley requesting that this matter be forwarded to the 2018-2019 Legislative Session.
Vice Mayor McGovern (O-1) from 5/2/2016
16-83. Report on drafting possible legislation and other recommendations for interim actions to identify and address the public health impacts of any commercial wood-fired ovens. On a communication from Councillor Kelley requesting that this matter be forwarded to the 2018-2019 Legislative Session.
Mayor Simmons (Calendar Item #4) from 10/31/2016
16-101. Report on the potential of building below market rental housing on City-owned parking lots along Bishop Allen Drive. On a communication from Councillor McGovern requesting that this matter be forwarded to the 2018-2019 Legislative Session.
Vice Mayor McGovern, Mayor Simmons (O-4) from 12/12/2016
16-108. Report on whether people displaced and qualify for Emergency Status who are using Section 8 in other cities or towns can retain their resident preference for the purpose of Inclusionary Housing. On a communication from Councillor Kelley requesting that this matter be forwarded to the 2018-2019 Legislative Session.
Mayor Simmons, Councillor Toomey (O-4) from 12/19/2016
17-22. Report on the potential growth of next-generation wireless technology in the City, to include: the expected footprint of citywide coverage from just one company and what market competition might produce; the integration of public and private infrastructure to support the network; what local standards the City might hope to maintain relative to aesthetics and safety; and how this new technology fits into our Broadband access plans. On a communication from Councillor Kelley requesting that this matter be forwarded to the 2018-2019 Legislative Session.
Councillor Cheung, Councillor Devereux, Councillor Kelley (O-14) from 2/27/2017
17-87. Report on a schedule for resubmitting a revised draft of the Outdoor Lighting Ordinance that incorporates clearer wording and/or more clearly explains each section in less technical jargon and is more coherent in its entirety, with the goal of seeing such an Ordinance adopted by the end of this City Council term. On a communication from Councillor Kelley and Councillor Devereux requesting that this matter be forwarded to the 2018-2019 Legislative Session.
Councillor Carlone, Councillor Devereux (O-8) from 9/18/2017
18-6. Report on information regarding electronic device usage by City-elected officials.
Councillor Toomey (O-7) from 1/22/2018
18-15. Report on any other relevant City Department to gain a sense of who is purchasing buildings in Cambridge.
Councillor Simmons (O-3) from 2/5/2018
18-21. Report on the feasibility of initiating a formal transit study and action plan of the Alewife area in response to unanimous concerns of the Envision Alewife Working Group.
Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Kelley, Councillor Carlone, Councillor Siddiqui (O-7) from 2/26/2018
18-38. Report on inventory of all City-owned vacant buildings and lots and the City's plans for them, if any.
Councillor Mallon, Councillor Simmons, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Siddiqui (O-2) from 3/26/2018
18-44. Report on ensuring an additional commitment of $20 million from the City’s budget is devoted over the next five years toward the City’s efforts to preserve and create affordable housing units.
Councillor Simmons, Councillor Siddiqui (O-6) from 4/23/2018
18-53. Report on an updated schedule for resubmitting a revised draft of the Outdoor Lighting Ordinance that incorporates suggestions from the Light Cambridge Committee by June 11, 2018.
Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Carlone (O-1) from 5/14/2018
18-60. Report on a small business parking pilot that would allow temporary on-street employee parking during typical daytime operating hours.
Councillor Mallon, Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Simmons (Calendar Item #1) from 5/14/2018
18-66. Report on establishing a Young Adult Civic Unity Committee to be modeled after the Citizen Civic Unity Committee and to recruit applicants from all across the community and across all socio-economic backgrounds.
Councillor Simmons (O-7) from 6/18/2018
18-68. Report on determining the permitting and legality issues of Peer-to-Peer Car Sharing in the City of Cambridge.
Councillor Kelley, Councillor Zondervan (O-11) from 6/18/2018
18-73. Report on establishing and implementing a dynamic new initiative that will seek to place Port residents (ages 18 and over) on paths to jobs with family-sustaining wages.
Councillor Simmons (O-6) from 6/25/2018
18-74. Report on ensuring water features in all City-owned tot-lot parks are in proper working condition. See Mgr #2
Councillor Toomey (O-8) from 6/25/2018 [Note: This was not listed on the City Clerk's "Awaiting Report List". In addition, the City Manager already responded on Sept 17, 2018.]
18-83. Report on an action plan to work with the City’s Community-Based Organizations to create a network of summertime evening programming to reduce the threat of violence in the City’s public spaces in 2019 and beyond.
Councillor Simmons, Councillor Zondervan, Councillor Toomey, Councillor Mallon (O-9) from 7/30/2018
18-87. Report on the navigational editing capabilities of the City of Cambridge.
Councillor Kelley, Councillor Zondervan, Councillor Mallon, Vice Mayor Devereux (O-16) from 7/30/2018
18-93. Report on the sale of The Constellation Center's Parcel C in Kendall Square.
Councillor Kelley, Councillor Toomey (Calendar Item #7) from 9/24/2018
18-96. Report on how the City views internet-based platforms as opportunities for outreach and communication and what sort of guidelines have been, or are being, developed to help everyone understand how the City’s various departments do or do not utilize these communication resources and how any communications on these platforms are managed so that the messaging and information is kept up-to-date.
Councillor Kelley (Calendar Item #10) from 9/24/2018
18-100. Report on taking all possible immediate actions to preserve and restore Linear Park.
Councillor Zondervan, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Kelley (O-3) from 9/24/2018
18-108. Report on offering early voting in City Council and School Committee Elections.
Vice Mayor Devereux, Mayor McGovern, Councillor Siddiqui (O-1) from 10/29/2018
18-119. Report on evaluating the existing capacity of fire stations in the Kendall Square area and whether a new fire station is needed, and if so, determining the feasibility of locating a plot of land for this use.
Councillor Mallon, Mayor McGovern, Councillor Toomey (O-2) from 11/5/2018
18-123. Report on ensuring funding for our municipal media services.
Councillor Mallon, Councillor Siddiqui, Vice Mayor Devereux, Mayor McGovern (O-9) from 11/19/2018
18-129. Report on conducting a comprehensive, independent planning, and parking study of the neighborhood and use of the First Street Garage within 6months.
Councillor Zondervan, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Carlone (Calendar Item #1) from 11/19/2018
18-130. Report on working with the Chair of the Civic Unity Committee, the Director of the Cambridge Library, the Director of 22-CityView, the Director of the Women’s Commission, and any other appropriate City personnel to begin planning for a public discussion in recognition of 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage.
Councillor Simmons, Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Mallon, Vice Mayor Devereux (O-3) from 12/3/2018
18-132. Report on the negative traffic impact regarding the Davis Square Neighborhood Plan.
Councillor Kelley, Vice Mayor Devereux (O-5) from 12/3/2018
18-134. Report on creating a more inclusive city website, including an Open Meeting Portal registration form that does not require the use of gendered pronouns, salutations or titles.
Councillor Zondervan, Councillor Simmons, Councillor Mallon (O-11) from 12/3/2018
18-137. Report on reviewing the FCC Regulations on Small Cell Technology.
Vice Mayor Devereux (O-18) from 12/3/2018
18-139. Report on the possibility of planting a substantial-sized tree at the corner of Inman Street and Massachusetts Avenue, directly on the front lawn of City Hall.
Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Zondervan (O-2) from 12/10/2018
18-141. Report on safe way to bring power to the curb and across sidewalks to power electric vehicles.
Councillor Kelley, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Carlone, Councillor Zondervan (O-2) from 12/17/2018
18-143. Report on requiring a business entity's beneficial ownership and residential real estate beneficial ownership transactions be disclosed in all Cambridge real estate transactions. See Mgr #4
Councillor Siddiqui, Mayor McGovern, Councillor Carlone, Councillor Zondervan (O-4) from 12/10/2018
19-2. Report on allocating a percentage of hotel/motel tax revenue and adult use cannabis tax revenue to the arts in the FY20 budget.
Councillor Mallon, Mayor McGovern (O-5) from 1/7/2019
19-3. Report on establishing a Central Square Improvement Fund and allocate no less than 25% of funds generated to the arts.
Councillor Mallon, Mayor McGovern (O-6) from 1/7/2019
19-4. Report on the City's 1% for arts ordinance, which projects have met the threshold and which have fallen short, and whether it can be adjusted to account for ensuring that all mediums and disciplines of art, including live performance art, receive funding.
Councillor Mallon, Mayor McGovern, Councillor Simmons (O-7) from 1/7/2019
19-5. Report on how to provide public representation to the major project Selection Committees.
Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Zondervan, Councillor Carlone (O-14) from 1/7/2019
19-7. Report on Boston’s Electric Vehicle Charging Station Home Rule Petition and propose similar language for the City Council to consider.
Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Zondervan, Mayor McGovern, Councillor Carlone (O-2) from 1/14/2019
19-11. Report on the feasibility of eliminating the use of plastic water bottles at City and School events.
Vice Mayor Devereux, Mayor McGovern, Councillor Zondervan, Councillor Mallon (O-4) from 1/28/2019
19-13. Report on conferring with Eversource and the appropriate City departments to undertake a series of studies and analyses related to finance, health and safety, building design, and long-term electricity needs before the construction of a substation in East Cambridge.
Councillor Mallon, Mayor McGovern, Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Toomey (O-3) from 2/4/2019
19-14. Report on conducting inventories of both local arts organizations and private foundations that may support them.
Councillor Mallon, Mayor McGovern (O-4) from 2/4/2019
19-15. Report on the possibility of setting up an assistance fund/program to help low-income and/or elderly/disabled residents manage bed bug infestations.
Councillor Kelley, Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Zondervan (O-9) from 2/4/2019
19-16. Report on the “Super Sunday” road race that was held on Feb 3, 2019 and if the proper procedures were followed in issuing permits and when/if the neighbors were notified.
Councillor Toomey (O-13) from 2/4/2019
19-18. Report on sharing regular project updates from the GSA and MITIMCO on the new Volpe Center.
Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Carlone, Councillor Zondervan (O-13) from 1/7/2019
19-20. Report on seeking additional funding for affordable housing concerns.
Councillor Simmons, Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Mallon, Mayor McGovern (O-6) from 2/11/2019
19-21. Report on the process for establishing a formal, thorough review of the City’s Affordable Home Ownership programs, incorporating a plan for obtaining and analyzing substantial quantitative data inclusive of all types of units.
Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Simmons, Mayor McGovern, Councillor Toomey (O-3) from 2/25/2019
19-22. Report on the feasibility of allowing small businesses to host live acoustic music performances without a license, and if feasible, present the City Council with a proposal to allow such performances.
Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Mallon, Mayor McGovern (O-5) from 2/25/2019
19-25. Report on information that is offered to limited equity condominium owners regarding the ability to recoup extraordinary repair and maintenance costs, the procedure that is in place to inform purchasers of existing or possible construction and maintenance issues that may result in higher-than expected condo fees, and the possibility of allowing roommates to cover unexpected expenses.
Councillor Kelley, Councillor Simmons, Mayor McGovern, Councillor Toomey (O-10) from 2/25/2019
19-26. Report on communicating directly with the Volpe Center about the possibility of having their staff help the City set up a Micro-Mobility Pilot program in the Kendall Square area.
Councillor Kelley, Councillor Carlone, Councillor Zondervan (O-11) from 2/25/2019
19-29. Report on providing data on speed and vehicle counts on Garden Street between Concord Avenue and Linnaean Street and identify potential measures to improve its pedestrian and bicycle safety.
Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Carlone (O-2) from 3/4/2019
19-32. Report on the number of fines for failure to clear sidewalks issued from the winter of 2014-15 through the winter of 2018-19.
Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Kelley (O-4) from 3/18/2019
19-33. Report on updating the bike data count chart, along with other data tables and charts, in the Cambridge Bicycle Plan to reflect 2016 and 2018 data.
Councillor Kelley, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Zondervan (O-9) from 3/18/2019
19-34. Report on how the data collected from the Broadway Eco-Display is used to inform the City’s transportation planning efforts and to address the possibility of installing additional Eco-Display counters at the highest trafficked bicycle locations to provide more comprehensive information about bike use and other vehicles such as scooters.
Councillor Kelley, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Zondervan (O-10) from 3/18/2019
19-35. Report on the status of any micro-mobility pilot programs or partnerships in Cambridge.
Councillor Kelley (O-12) from 3/18/2019
19-36. Report on how the Parking and Transportation Demand Management Ordinance is being used anecdotally, what the participation rates and trends are, and how it’s administered.
Vice Mayor Devereux (O-17) from 3/18/2019
19-37. Report on moving a Transit Benefit Ordinance proposal to an action plan.
Vice Mayor Devereux (O-18) from 3/18/2019
19-38. Report on designating a staff member in the Economic Development Division as an "arts liaison."
Councillor Mallon, Mayor McGovern (O-2) from 3/25/2019
19-39. Report on creating a dedicated comprehensive "arts friendly" licensing web page.
Councillor Mallon, Mayor McGovern (O-3) from 3/25/2019
19-40. Report on providing accessibility to the deaf community by hiring American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters and using apps such as Language Line Solutions to communicate with the deaf community in their first language.
Councillor Mallon, Councillor Kelley, Councillor Toomey (O-5) from 3/25/2019
19-41. Report on how Cambridge enforces moped registration requirements and the enforcement numbers.
Councillor Kelley, Councillor Toomey (O-6) from 4/1/2019
19-42. Report on plans this construction season to install sidewalk markings that appropriately indicate what types of mobility devices are allowed on which sidewalks.
Councillor Kelley, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Carlone (O-7) from 4/1/2019
19-43. Report on the types of vendor reporting programs that the City uses and how they are used as well as the ability to modify these programs given the constraints of relevant state and federal laws and similar limitations.
Councillor Kelley, Councillor Siddiqui (O-8) from 4/1/2019
19-44. Report on installing more metered parking spots in business districts that do not currently have any.
Councillor Toomey (O-1) from 4/8/2019
19-45. Report on compiling a full accounting of streets, schools, and public buildings that may be named in honor of those who have ties to the American slave trade, and to work towards renaming all of these streets, schools, and buildings.
Councillor Simmons (O-4) from 4/8/2019
19-46. Report on reviewing whether the MBTA is out of compliance with the amended MBTA/BCIL settlement agreement through the delay in completion of the elevator replacement and concurrent hazardous condition of the stairwells related to Central Square.
Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Zondervan, Councillor Simmons, Councillor Mallon (O-9) from 4/8/2019
19-47. Report on increasing traffic monitoring resources at the intersection of Prospect and Broadway, especially during morning rush hour.
Councillor Mallon (O-12) from 4/8/2019
19-48. Report on working with the MBTA to do whatever is necessary to alleviate the Green Street bus idling and unhealthy situation.
Councillor Zondervan, Vice Mayor Devereux (O-14) from 4/8/2019
19-49. Report on recommending restrictions on signage specific to retail establishments that sell e-cigarettes and other vaping devices.
Councillor Mallon, Mayor McGovern, Councillor Toomey (O-15) from 4/8/2019
19-50. Report on clarifying the policy around future installation of new LED street lights and replacement of failed 4000K LED street lights with warmer alternatives 3000K or less.
Councillor Zondervan, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Carlone (O-17) from 4/8/2019
19-51. Report on determining whether an all-way stop sign, a raised intersection or other safety improvements would be helpful at the Garden/Field/Alpine intersection.
Vice Mayor Devereux, Mayor McGovern (O-7) from 4/22/2019
19-52. Report on solutions to Rindge Avenue area waste disposal and rodent concerns. See Mgr #3
Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Zondervan, Councillor Carlone (O-11) from 4/1/2019