Cambridge City Council meeting - June 14, 2010 - AGENDA

RECONSIDERATION
1. A communication was received from D. Margaret Drury, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Sam Seidel and Councillor Timothy J. Toomey, Co-Chairs of the Government Operations and Rules Committee, for a meeting held on Mar 25, 2010 for the purpose of discussing dividing the Health and Environment Committee into two committees, one to focus on health issues and the other on environmental and sustainability issues.

CITY MANAGERíS AGENDA
1. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of a grant from the Cambridge Housing Authority in the amount of $62,446.00 to the Grant Fund Human Service Programs Salary and Wages account to support the Cambridge Employment Program (CEP).

2. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of the Workplace Education grant funded from the Commonwealth Corporation in the amount of $191,303.00 to the Grant Fund Human Service Programs Salary and Wages account ($177,465.00), to the Grant Fund Human Service Programs Other Ordinary Maintenance account ($13,238.00), and to the Grant Fund Human Service Programs Travel and Training account ($600.00) and will support a workplace education partnership with the Cambridge Health Alliance and Spaulding Hospital Cambridge.

3. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of donations to the Multi Service Center in the amount of $2,000.00 to the Grant Fund Human Service Programs Other Ordinary Maintenance account and will be used in support of homeless clients of the Multi Service Center to maintain at-risk households by paying either part of their rental arrearage, helping a previously homeless individual or family being placed in housing with a security deposit, paying one month's rent, or assisting with other related relocation costs.

4. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of user fees received from Cambridge Homeless Service Provider Agencies and surrounding communities to support the Cambridge Homeless Management Information System (a citywide tracking system for homeless persons receiving services through the participating programs) in the amount of $9,600.00 to the Grant Fund Human Service Programs Department Other Ordinary Maintenance account.

5. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of a Hazardous Materials grant from the Massachusetts Department of Public Safety in the amount of $1,000 to the Grant Fund Fire Department Other Ordinary Maintenance account which will allow the department to purchase supplies needed for the maintenance of hazardous materials equipment.

6. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to a Planning Board recommendation on the City Council Rezoning Petition to Modify Section 5.28.2 Related to Buildings Occupied by Institutional Uses. [The Planning Board does not recommend adoption of the Petition as filed.]

Discussion. Section 5.28.2 was created during the citywide rezoning effort of 2001. Its purpose is to facilitate the reuse of the large industrial and institutional buildings commonly found in residential neighborhoods for residential purposes; those structures are typically denser, bulkier and taller than the surrounding residential properties and usually would not be allowed under the provisions of the zoning district applying to their sites. To encourage the reuse, Section 5.28.2 grants additional dwelling units, waives some or all of the open space requirements imposed on residential uses, and holds harmless any non-compliance with FAR, setbacks and height that these anomalous non-residential buildings frequently exhibit.

The proposed amendment would apply these special bonus provisions to formerly residential buildings, currently used institutionally, that are generally not much different than their neighbors in terms of their scale, density or lot development pattern precisely because they were built as residential buildings very similar to those neighbors. The Planning Board is not convinced that such buildings should be treated differently from those surrounding structures in the neighborhood just because they have been occupied for some interim period by an institutional activity. In such circumstances the bonus provisions may produce undesirable changes to the lots, such as the loss of open space to accommodate the required parking for the increased dwelling units allowed, which would not be the case if the buildings were returned to housing use at densities more typical of the neighborhood.

It may be that if more housing is desired in such buildings, a rezoning to a zoning district permitting a greater number of housing units, applied more generally to the neighborhood as a whole, might be the most appropriate approach. However, should the City Council support the approach proposed in the zoning amendment, the Board would suggest that additional criteria be developed to ensure that unacceptable changes in character, like an excessive reduction in open space, does not occur on the lots that might make use of the new provisions.

CHARTER RIGHT
1. Charter Right exercised by Councillor Toomey on City Manager Agenda Item Number Nineteen of June 7, 2010 relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 10-73, regarding a report on whether any action is necessary by the City as it relates to affordable housing commitments at 303 Third Street as a result of the Summary Judgment by the Suffolk Superior Court.

2. Charter Right exercised by Mayor Maher on Order Number Six of June 7, 2010 requesting the City Manager to confer with the Community Development Department and Boston Properties to report back to the Ordinance Committee of the City Council on June 9th, 2010, on whether the ground floor retail proposed by Boston Properties would be of the size and nature suitable for a grocery store, convenience store, or small foodstuffs boutique.

ON THE TABLE
3. A communication was received from D. Margaret Drury, City Clerk, transmitting a copy of the referral of Order Number 15 of Dec 21, 2009, regarding increasing the amount of public information about elections while the election is in progress, to the 2010-2011 City Council. [Communications and Reports from City Officers #1 of Jan 11, 2010 Placed on Table.]

4. That the City Manager is requested to restore funding for School Department clerical positions until a proper and negotiated process can be achieved with the Cambridge School Department and Unions representing the employees, and to report back to the City Council on the progress. [Order Number Fourteen of Apr 26, 2010 Placed on Table. May 10, 2010 Councillor Kelley made a motion to take from the table motion failed 2-7-0 remains on Table.]

5. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 10-32, regarding a report on issues with the development of the former St. John's property site. [Charter Right exercised on City Manager Agenda Item Number Eighteen of May 24, 2010. Placed on Table June 7, 2010.]

6. An application was received from Tony LaVita, requesting permission for a curb cut at the premises numbered 68 Middlesex Street; said petition has received approval from Inspectional Services, Traffic, Parking and Transportation, Historical and Public Works. No response has been received from the neighborhood association. [Applications and Petitions Number Ten Of June 7, 2010 Placed on Table.]

COMMUNICATIONS
1. A communication was received from State Representative William N. Brownsberger, transmitting thanks for forwarding the City Council resolution opposing Senate Amendment 91 to S2424, An Act Relative to Municipal Relief.

RESOLUTIONS
1. Retirement of Sheila Collins from the Cambridge Hospital.   Mayor Maher

2. Retirement of Jacqueline Bisbee from the Cambridge Hospital.   Mayor Maher

3. Retirement of Carol Sacco from the Cambridge Hospital.   Mayor Maher

4. Condolences to Cathie Zusy on the loss of her father and sister, Fred and Anne Zusy.   Vice Mayor Davis

5. Congratulations to the dancers from Cambridge that will perform their spring repertory works at the second Cambridge/Boston Dance for World Community Festival on June 12, 2010 from 12:00pm to 10:00pm in and around the Old Cambridge Baptist Church.   Councillor Cheung

6. Congratulations to the Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services, Cambridge Council on Aging, Cadbury Commons and the LGBT Aging Project as they launch the first lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender meal site for seniors, their friends and caregivers.   Councillor Cheung


7. Resolution on the death of Charles R. Southwell Jr.   Councillor Decker

8. Congratulations to Deborah Mason School of Dance on their 35th Anniversary.   Councillor Toomey

9. Resolution on the death of Irene M. (Caissie) Warren.   Mayor Maher


ORDERS
1. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the appropriate department heads and report back to the University Relations Committee the feasibility of the City creating a "Welcoming Packet" for new students, distributed by the universities with information on public services, Cambridge history and culture, and a calendar of civic events.   Councillor Cheung

2. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the appropriate department heads on the feasibility of instituting a five cent per disposable bag fee, collected by the City that would in turn be put aside into a fund which purpose is to buy canvas bags wholesale and distribute them to Cambridge residents.   Councillor Cheung

3. Opposition to the amendment that was passed to the budget bill regarding immigrants.   Councillor Cheung
Amended, Approved 8-1, Kelley voted NO

4. That the City Manager is requested to address what, if any, plan is in place to secure the existing parking in the neighborhood of the former Marino's Restaurant as well as address what, if any, plan is in place to generate new parking.   Councillor Decker

5. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the Department of Public Works and the Department of Traffic, Parking and Transportation about the safety of the pedestrian traffic along both Irving and Scott Streets as well as their intersection.   Councillor Decker


6. That the City Manager confer with the Assistant City Manager for Community Development to report back to the City Council on the approximate number of buildings that potentially could be affected by the zoning amendment to Section 5.28.2.   Councillor Seidel


COMMITTEE REPORTS
1. A communication was received from D. Margaret Drury, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Sam Seidel and Councillor Timothy J. Toomey, Jr., Co-Chairs of the Ordinance Committee, for a meeting held on May 6, 2010 to consider a proposed amendment to Section 5.28.2 of the Zoning Ordinance to expand the applicability of Section 5.28 to structures that may have been built for residential use but have been in Institutional (religious, educational, governmental) use for at least ten years.
The matter remains in committee.

2. A communication was received from D. Margaret Drury, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Timothy J. Toomey, Jr., Co-Chair of the Ordinance Committee, for a meeting held on June 9, 2010 to continue discussion of a proposed amendment to Section 5.28.2 of the Zoning Ordinance to expand the applicability of section 5.28 Conversation of Non Residential Structures to Residential Use to include structures that may have been built for residential use but have been in Institutional Use for at least ten years.
Passed to 2nd Reading

3. A communication was received from D. Margaret Drury, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Timothy J. Toomey, Co-Chair of the Ordinance Committee, for a hearing held on June 9, 2010 to continue discussion of a petition by the City Council to amend the Zoning Ordinance in accord with the recommendations of the Green Building Task Force to encourage energy efficient buildings.
Passed to 2nd Reading

HEARING SCHEDULE
Mon, June 14
5:30pm   City Council Meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Tues, June 15
6:00pm   School Committee Meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Wed, June 16
5:30pm   The Environment Committee will conduct a public meeting to discuss community gardens, Agricultural Fair and other updates.  (Sullivan Chamber)

Mon, June 21
5:30pm   City Council Meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Tues, June 22
5:00pm   The Economic Development, Training and Employment Committee will conduct a public meeting to discuss buying local.  (Sullivan Chamber)

Wed, June 23
5:30pm   The Cable TV, Telecommunications and Public Utilities Committee will conduct a public meeting to discuss the digital divide.  (Sullivan Chamber)

Thurs, June 24
10:00am   The Public Safety Committee will conduct a public meeting to continue discussion on plans to prevent violence in the city in the summer. (Healy Public Safety Facility, First Floor Community Room, 125 Sixth Street)

Mon, June 28
5:30pm   City Council Meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Wed, June 30
2:00pm   The Human Services Committee will conduct a public meeting to continue the discussion on how best to assist Cambridge college students to achieve college graduation, discuss middle school after school programs in relation to middle school in-school time and consider the workplan for this committee this term.  (Sullivan Chamber)

Mon, Aug 2
5:30pm   Special City Council Meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Tues, Aug 3
6:00pm   School Committee Summer Meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Tues, Sept 7
6:00pm   School Committee Meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Mon, Sept 13
5:30pm   City Council Meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Mon, Sept 20
5:30pm   City Council Meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Tues, Sept 21
6:00pm   School Committee Meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Mon, Sept 27
5:30pm   City Council Meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Mon, Oct 4
5:30pm   City Council Meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Tues, Oct 5
6:00pm   School Committee Meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Mon, Oct 18
5:30pm   City Council Meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Tues, Oct 19
6:00pm   School Committee Meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Mon, Oct 25
5:30pm   City Council Meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

TEXT OF ORDERS
O-1     June 14, 2010
COUNCILLOR CHEUNG
WHEREAS: Every fall, thousands of new students move to Cambridge to attend our prestigious universities; and
WHEREAS: According to Princeton Review, over 80% of students attending MIT, Harvard or Lesley are from out of state, with 10% of these students hailing from other countries; and
WHEREAS: Many of these students will undoubtedly feel overwhelmed and confused moving to a new city; and
WHEREAS: Fall Orientation is an ideal time for the City of Cambridge to introduce new students to the norms, culture, customs, and expectations of their adopted home; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to confer with the appropriate department heads and report back to the University Relations Committee in time for the scheduled July 19th hearing on "Student Civic Participation" on the feasibility of the city creating a "Welcoming Packet" for new students, distributed by the universities with information on public services, Cambridge history and culture, and a calendar of civic events.

O-2     June 14, 2010
COUNCILLOR CHEUNG
WHEREAS: According to the EPA, Americans use 380 billion plastic bags each year, only 5% of which were recycled, with the rest landing in landfills, where it takes over 1,000 years for a plastic bag to decompose; and
WHEREAS: In 2008, the Seattle City Council approved a 20-cent fee for each disposable paper or plastic bag used at grocery, drug and convenience stores; and
WHEREAS: This year, the California State Assembly approved a measure banning single-use plastic and paper bags from being handed out at grocery, convenience, and other stores after San Francisco banned the use of plastic bags and ordered them to be replaced with more eco-friendly materials in 2008; and
WHEREAS: Last year, Washington DC imposed a tax of 5 cents per plastic bag for supermarket customers, the revenues of which are being used to combat local river pollution; since its implementation, the monthly average of 22.5 million plastic bags has dropped to just under 3 million in Washington DC; and
WHEREAS: The purpose of these fees and measures are not to add a financial burden to the city's shoppers, but to encourage shoppers to develop eco-friendly habits; and
WHEREAS: In a progressive community such as Cambridge, many residents have already made a conscious decision to frequent establishments that are green friendly; and
WHEREAS: Currently many of Cambridge's supermarkets have stopped using plastic bags already, including all three Whole Foods locations, and the Harvest Co-op, which offers a 5 cent per bag discount for people who bring their own bags; and
WHEREAS: With the environmental benefits being indisputable, the only remaining questions pertain to the economic impact on residents and businesses, and the desire to create a level playing field wherein local businesses are not economically disadvantaged for making community-minded decisions that promote sustainable consumerism; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and is hereby requested to confer with the appropriate department heads on the feasibility of instituting a five cent per disposable bag fee, collected by the City that would in turn be put aside into a fund which purpose is to buy canvas bags wholesale and distribute them to Cambridge residents, and report back to the Economic Development Committee no later than Aug 1st, 2010, in time for planned hearing to discuss this proposed legislation with affected business owners.

O-3     June 14, 2010  Amended, Approved 8-1, Kelley voted NO
COUNCILLOR CHEUNG
WHEREAS: From our founding and at our very core, America has always been a nation of immigrants, many of whom have made great contributions in an effort to give back to this country that took them in; and
WHEREAS: Like the generations who came before, recent newcomers want what all Americans want: to raise strong families, build safe communities, to peacefully practice their faith in freedom, and to seek new and better opportunities for their children; and
WHEREAS: Like their predecessors, today's immigrants work in the toughest jobs for the least amount of pay, contribute to the tax base, open small businesses that create jobs, serve in the U.S. military, and add to the unique diversity of America through their social and cultural contributions; and
WHEREAS: Instead of bringing people together in the pursuit of common purpose, short sighted initiatives targeting immigrants do nothing but exploit a divisive issue for political reasons, tearing communities apart; and
WHEREAS: The City of Cambridge has a proud tradition of supporting and welcoming immigrants, reflected in past Policy Orders:
* A. Order 4, May 10, 2010 - That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to determine with due consideration for, among other things, return on investment, to what extent it is reasonable to not participate in any business activities substantially connected with the State of Arizona, municipalities in Arizona, and other business entities in Arizona or conducting substantial business in Arizona; and
* B. Order 4, Apr 8, 1985 and reaffirmed Order 16, May 8, 2006 - Declaring Cambridge a Sanctuary city and then reaffirming our proud history as a Sanctuary city; and
* C. Order 18, Apr 5, 2010 - That the City Council go on record in support of passage of the Uniting American Families Act (S. 424/H.R. 1024) in the United States Congress, to not penalize children born in America of illegal immigrants; and
* D. Order 4, Mar 17, 2008 - That the members of the Cambridge City Council support the principles of the Welcoming Massachusetts Pledge (attached), thereby committing to publicly reject the politics of division that fan anger and hate against any person or community and to work towards just, workable and humane immigration policies that are anchored in America's finest ideals and core values; and be it further
WHEREAS: It has come to the attention of the Cambridge City Council that on May 27th the Massachusetts Senate passed an amendment to the budget bill that would:
* A. Require state contractors to confirm that their workers were here legally;
* B. Codify into law an existing state policy that bars illegal immigrants from qualifying for resident-tuition rates at state colleges;
* C. Require the state's public health insurance program to verify residency through the Department of Homeland Security;
* D. Require the state attorney general's office to set up a hot line for people to anonymously report businesses that hire illegal immigrants, and to investigate any such reports; and
* E. Grants new indirect authority to local law enforcement, forcing the courts to report any illegal immigrants charged with crimes to federal authorities, whether they are found guilty or not; and
WHEREAS: This legislation would adversely affect all residents: in seeking to divide, identify, and target individuals, we all come under additional scrutiny; and
WHEREAS: Making law through budget amendments is a less than ideal manner in which to handle such detailed and far reaching administrative and policy changes; and
WHEREAS: The amendment includes complex measures which are extremely costly and unnecessary, placing huge burdens on private and public resources, including:
* A. Forcing the Attorney General to open a hotline will be costly and damaging to public safety. This amendment would require the Attorney General's office to investigate all hotline calls regardless of merit, meaning anyone can call and trigger an investigation, leading to abuses and spiraling investigative costs;
* B. Currently, US citizens are allowed to declare their status through an oath, this bill would require the state to set up a costly bureaucratic apparatus to physically view, capture, and store paper proof of citizenship for everyone;
* C. Bars hard-working, high-achieving students from contributing to the Massachusetts economy;
* D. Prohibits families with mixed status from state housing, punishing citizen family members for the status of their relatives and thus increases homelessness in the Commonwealth and increases the cost to state agencies
* E. Undocumented immigrants are already barred from receiving means tested benefits programs including cash assistance, Mass Health, and food stamps. Green card holders must wait 5 years for these benefits. The verification requirements would be redundant; each agency already has an efficient means of verifying status for their programs. Creating broad new verification rules would be more work for agencies and more spending on training, staffing, and document storage; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the Cambridge City Council go on record condemning the before mentioned legislation; 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 Delegation, the Senate Conference Committee, and to Governor Deval Patrick on behalf of the entire City Council.

O-4     June 14, 2010
COUNCILLOR DECKER
WHEREAS: It has come to the attention of this City Council that resident parking in the neighborhood surrounding the site of the former Marino's Restaurant has become increasingly scarce; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to address what, if any, plan is in place to secure the existing parking in the neighborhood of the former Marino's Restaurant as well as address what, if any, plan is in place to generate new parking; 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     June 14, 2010
COUNCILLOR DECKER
WHEREAS: It has come to the attention of the City Council that concerns have been raised about whether the sidewalks of both Irving Street and Scott Street as well as where they intersect are safe for pedestrians; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to confer with the Department of Public Works and the Department of Traffic, Parking and Transportation about the safety of the pedestrian traffic along both Irving and Scott Streets as well as their intersection; 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-6     June 14, 2010
COUNCILLOR SEIDEL
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to confer with the Assistant City Manager for Community Development to report back to the City Council on the approximate number of buildings that potentially could be affected by the zoning petition to amend 5.28.2.


TEXT OF COMMITTEE REPORTS
Committee Report #1
The Ordinance Committee held a public hearing on Thurs, May 6, 2010, beginning at five o'clock and ten minutes p.m. in the Sullivan Chamber. The hearing was held for the purpose of considering a proposed amendment to Section 5.28.2 of the Zoning Ordinance (Attachment A) to expand the applicability of Section 5.28 to structures that may have been built for residential use but have been in Institutional (religious, educational, governmental) use for at least ten years.

Present at the hearing were Councillor Sam Seidel and Councillor Timothy J. Toomey, Jr., Co-Chairs of the Committee; Councillor Leland Cheung; Councillor Craig Kelley; and City Clerk D. Margaret Drury. Also present were Susan Glazer, Deputy Director of the Community Development Department (CDD); Lester Barber, Director of Zoning and Land Use, CDD; and Nancy Glowa, Deputy City Solicitor.

Councillor Toomey convened the hearing and explained the purpose. He invited CDD staff to discuss the proposal. Mr. Barber described the proposal to amend Section 5.28.2 of the Zoning Ordinance. Section 5.28 has been in effect for about 9 years. It was designed to allow conversion of non-residential uses to housing uses and provides that the Planning Board by special permit can allow additional gross floor area, dwelling units and height and less parking and open space than would otherwise be required for new residential construction. This proposal would extend these bonuses to residential buildings that have been in institutional use for at least 10 years. The amendment would make such structures eligible for conversion again to housing use at a higher density.

Councillor Toomey said that when he was walking around the neighborhood where the Jesuit buildings which were for sale were located, he noticed a number of beautiful houses on larger lots that seemed to have been converted to institutional uses. He was struck by the possibility of using these buildings for additional affordable housing and requested the City staff draft a zoning amendment that could allow such a use.

Councillor Cheung asked how many structures would fall into this classification and whether the requirement that the buildings have been used for institutional purposed for 10 years would affect that number.

Mr. Barber said that there was no particular significance to the choice of 10 years except to be long enough to discourage short term conversion to institutional use to then take advantage of the potential construction bonuses available for residential re-conversion. He said that he does not know the number of units that could potentially be affected and that he could do some analysis to determine this number.

Councillor Cheung asked about potential adverse consequences.

Mr. Barber listed the potential loss of privacy to neighbors due to additional windows in the converted units and increased demand for the available street parking.

Councillor Kelley stated that he does not have great enthusiasm for providing additional discretion to the Planning Board in this area of institutional conversions. He gave the example of the neighborhood distress regarding conversion of the church in the Wellington-Harrington neighborhood to affordable housing. He would like to see language that makes specific limitations on windows and lights. He is also concerned about air conditioning units, despite existence of a Noise Ordinance. He added that he would like to see less discretion with regard to parking. The lack of fixed requirements leads to unrealistic expectations by the neighbors and the developers.

Councillor Kelley asked what would happen with a building that was built as a residential building, then converted to institutional use and then modified to add additional square feet. Mr. Barber said that any institutional structure re-converted to residential use would be subject to the residential limitations of the district but could apply for the proposed special permit under the proposed amendment. Councillor Kelley asked what if the building had been originally built for institutional use. Mr. Barber said that conversion to residential use is already allowed under the existing Section 5.28. It would not be impacted by the amendment.

Councillor Kelley asked about hybrid buildings. Mr. Barber said they could possibly be subject to the amendment.

Councillor Kelley said that he would like language that tightens up the privacy and parking requirements so that there is a clear understanding. He would also like to see these requirements quantified. Mr. Barber said that the language should probably clarify that this proposal does not affect parking. The building would still be subject to the parking requirements of the district.

Councillor Toomey asked about the church in Porter Square. Is the church being converted to housing? Mr. Barber replied in the negative. The church will say in church use, the residential development will all be new construction.

Mr. Barber added that it is very frequently the case that the nonresidential use was built very close to the lot line, so the windows are right next to their neighbors' houses. Councillor Kelley added that in the institutional uses, often the windows are so high that no one would look out through them.

Councillor Cheung said that buying your property in a place like Cambridge means that there can be no reasonable expectation of maintaining the same sightlines.

Councillor Seidel asked Mr. Barber to please describe the benefits that are confined by the amendment. Mr. Barber said that they are very site specific. In some cases, there may be none; in others they are substantial. He gave the example of a residences built in the 1890's with gross floor area of about 7,000 square feet on a 5,000 square foot lot. Under the current zoning a 5,000 square foot lot would allow one or two residential units. This amendment would determine the number of units by the area of the building not the lot, so that the building could have seven units. Under this amendment the developer does not need to provide any more open space. The amendment would also allow new windows in the nonconforming structure.

Councillor Seidel said that he would like to know the number of buildings that could be affected and asked if they could get this information. Mr. Barber said they could identify many of them, although probably not the entire universe. Councillor Seidel asked how many buildings have taken advantage of Section 5.28 and what the previous uses were. Mr. Barber said that the conversions have been mostly churches and old school buildings. There have not been many conversions of industrial buildings to housing use. Ms. Glazer said there was an industrial conversion in West Cambridge near Shaws Supermarket.

Councillor Seidel asked Mr. Barber about possible unintended consequences. Mr. Barber said that he suspects that will be low density institutional buildings that were formerly residential buildings that neighbors have become accustomed to. A savvy developer may identify the possibility for conversion which will likely surprise the neighbors.

Councillor Kelley asked whether the building that houses North Cambridge Catholic High School, which is moving to Boston, was originally built as a school building. Councillor Toomey said that his father graduated from that school in the 1930's so it was built as a school originally.

Councillor Kelley said that if it was built as a school or a dormitory, it already is eligible for Section 5.28.2 without the amendment. He asked why the City Council would want to add value to private development.

Councillor Toomey noted that under the Zoning Ordinance the development would have to include affordable units.

Councillor Seidel submitted the following motion for City Council consideration:
ORDERED: That the City Manager confer with the Assistant City Manager for Community Development to report back to the City Council on the approximate number of buildings that potentially could be affected.

The motion passed without objection. It was further agreed without objection that the petition would remain in committee.

Councillors Seidel and Toomey thanked those present for their participation. The hearing was adjourned at five o'clock and fifty minutes p.m.

For the Committee,
Councillor Sam Seidel, Co-Chair
Councillor Timothy J. Toomey, Jr., Co-Chair


Committee Report #2
The Ordinance Committee held a public meeting on June 9, 2010 beginning at 5:35pm in the Sullivan Chamber. The purpose of the meeting was to continue discussion of a proposed amendment to Section 5.28.2 of the Zoning Ordinance to expand the applicability of section 5.28 Conversation of Non Residential Structures to Residential Use to include structures that may have been built for residential use but have been in Institutional Use for at least ten years.

Present at the meeting were Councillor Timothy J. Toomey Jr., Co-Chair of the Committee; Councillor Leland Cheung; City Clerk D. Margaret Drury; Lester Barber, Director of Zoning and Land Use, Community Development Department (CDD); Roger Boothe, Director of Urban Design, CDD; Iram Farooq, Senior Project Manager, CDD; and Donald Drisdell, City Solicitor.

Councillor Toomey convened the meeting and explained the purpose. He then invited comments from members of the committee. There were none. Thereafter Councillor Toomey asked members of the CDD staff whether they had any comments. Mr. Barber submitted a chart of information requested by the committee providing examples of how many residential units could be built under the current zoning and how many could be built under the proposed amendment (Attachment A). Councillor Toomey then invited comments from members of the public.

Charlie Marquardt, 10 Market Street, stated that although he applauds the intent behind this petition to increase affordable housing and the geographical distribution of that housing, he is concerned about the potential for adverse consequences, including intentional misuse.

Heather Hoffman, 213 Hurley Street, stated her agreement with the previous speaker. She emphasized that her experience has been that the one thing that brings many people to the Planning Board and Board of Zoning Appeals meetings is their concern and opposition to conversion to residential use. Ms. Hoffman said that she sees potential for adverse consequences.

Councillor Cheung moved that the petition be referred to full City Council without recommendation. The motion passed on a voice vote.

Councillor Toomey thanked those present for their attendance. The meeting was adjourned at six o'clock and forty-seven minutes.

For the Committee,
Councillor Timothy J. Toomey, Jr., Co-Chair


Committee Report #3
The Ordinance Committee held a public meeting on June 9, 2010 beginning at 5:08pm in the Sullivan Chamber. The purpose of the meeting was to continue discussion of a petition by the City Council to amend the Zoning Ordinance in accord with the recommendations of the Green Building Task Force to encourage energy efficient buildings.

Present at the meeting were Councillor Timothy J. Toomey Jr., Co-Chair of the Committee; Councillor Leland Cheung; City Clerk D. Margaret Drury; Lester Barber, Director of Zoning and Land Use, Community Development Department (CDD); Roger Boothe, Director of Urban Design, CDD; Iram Farooq, Senior Project Manager, CDD; and Donald Drisdell, City Solicitor.

Councillor Toomey convened the meeting and explained the purpose. He then invited comments from members of the committee. There were none. Thereafter Councillor Toomey asked members of the CDD staff whether they had any comments, and the response was that they did not. Councillor Toomey then invited comments from member of the public and there were none.

At this time the petition was referred to the full City Council on a voice vote.

Councillor Toomey thanked those present for their attendance. The meeting was adjourned at 5:11pm.

For the Committee,
Councillor Timothy J. Toomey, Jr., Co-Chair


AWAITING REPORT LIST
09-147. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on what barriers would prevent residents from raising chickens and what could be done to remove these barriers. Remains on Awaiting Report List at request of Councillor Davis
Councillor Davis and Full Membership 12/14/09 (O-2)

10-02. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on an assessment and plan for repairs and improvements of all school playgrounds.
Mayor Maher and Full Membership 01/11/10 (O-3)

10-46. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report detailing issues of greatest importance that are before the Police Review and Advisory Board.
Councillor Simmons 03/22/10 (O-12)

10-50. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on options for amending the ordinance to allow for permitting of civic organizations to use public space after hours.
Councillor Cheung 03/22/10 (O-18)

10-56. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the adoption of a regulation to prohibit licensed hotels from subcontracting housekeeping services.
Councillor Decker, Councillor Cheung, Mayor Maher, Councillor Toomey, Councillor Reeves and Full Membership 04/05/10 (O-16)

10-57. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on Harvard using the Jesuit properties for affordable housing and whether Harvard will offer other properties in the same neighborhoods for the purpose of developing affordable housing.
Councillor Decker & Councillor Cheung 04/05/10 (O-20)

10-59. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on red light violations at 77 Mass Avenue and the possibility of installing a raised crosswalk.
Councillor Cheung and Full Membership 04/26/10 (O-2)

10-60. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the City's current cell phone tower zoning policy.
Councillor Cheung, Councillor Seidel and Full Membership 04/26/10 (O-5)

10-63. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on instituting a program similar to the on-bill financing of business and residential building improvements.
Councillor Cheung 04/26/10 (O-8)

10-70. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the feasibility of updating the website with automatic translation software.
Councillor Cheung, Councillor Decker, Councillor Kelley, Mayor Maher, Councillor Reeves, Councillor Seidel, Councillor Simmons & Councillor Toomey 05/03/10 (O-5)

10-71. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on requiring all licensed establishments to clean the sidewalks in front of their businesses or risk being fined.
Councillor Cheung, Councillor Decker, Councillor Kelley, Mayor Maher, Councillor Reeves, Councillor Seidel, Councillor Simmons & Councillor Toomey 05/03/10 (O-6)

10-72. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on removing the raccoons from the Squirrel Brand park.
Councillor Seidel, Councillor Cheung, Councillor Decker, Mayor Maher, Councillor Reeves, Councillor Simmons & Councillor Toomey 05/03/10 (O-7)

10-73. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on whether any action is necessary by the City as it relates to affordable housing commitments at 303 Third Street as a result of a recent judgment by the Suffolk Superior Court. Charter Right exercised by Councillor Toomey on June 7, 2010.
Councillor Toomey, Councillor Cheung, Councillor Decker, Councillor Kelley, Mayor Maher, Councillor Reeves, Councillor Seidel & Councillor Simmons 05/03/10 (O-8)

10-74. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on white protruding cylindrical objects on the roof the former Blessed Sacrament Church building project.
Councillor Decker 05/03/10 (O-9)

10-75. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on status of Healthy Parks and Playgrounds Advisory Committee.
Vice Mayor Davis and Full Membership 05/10/10 (O-1)

10-76. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on current tree-related ordinances, state statutes and informal policies.
Councillor Kelley, Councillor Cheung and Full Membership 05/10/10 (O-2)

10-78. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on proposed ordinance to allow residents to purchase permits to barbeque on public land.
Councillor Cheung, Vice Mayor Davis, Councillor Decker, Mayor Maher, Councillor Reeves, Councillor Seidel, Councillor Simmons & Councillor Toomey 05/10/10 (O-6)

10-79. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on a standard set of resources, facility privileges, tools, and barebones operating budget the unfunded commissions may use in their work of enacting Council policy.
Councillor Cheung and Full Membership 05/10/10 (O-7)

10-80. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the possibility of implementing a 2D barcode located on square signs.
Councillor Cheung, Councillor Seidel and Full Membership 05/10/10 (O-8)

10-83. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the closing of the Main Library on Sundays for the summer months.
Councillor Toomey, Vice Mayor Davis, Councillor Decker, Councillor Kelley, Mayor Maher, Councillor Reeves, Councillor Seidel & Councillor Simmons 05/24/10 (O-1)

10-84. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on proposed traffic calming measures for Linnaean Street.
Councillor Decker, Vice Mayor Davis, Councillor Kelley, Mayor Maher, Councillor Reeves, Councillor Seidel, Councillor Simmons & Councillor Toomey 05/24/10 (O-2)

10-85. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on traffic issues on Kenway Street.
Councillor Simmons, Vice Mayor Davis, Councillor Decker, Councillor Kelley, Mayor Maher, Councillor Reeves, Councillor Seidel & Councillor Toomey 05/24/10 (O-3)

10-86. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the status of the building formerly occupied by Marino's Restaurant.
Councillor Simmons, Vice Mayor Davis, Councillor Decker, Councillor Kelley, Mayor Maher, Councillor Reeves, Councillor Seidel & Councillor Toomey 05/24/10 (O-4)

10-87. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on reasons for removing the dedicated walk cycle from Mass Ave crossings between Harvard and Porter Squares.
Councillor Kelley, Vice Mayor Davis, Councillor Decker, Mayor Maher, Councillor Reeves, Councillor Seidel, Councillor Simmons & Councillor Toomey 05/24/10 (O-6)

10-88. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on why the new policy of barring dogs from Norton's Woods has been instituted.
Councillor Decker, Vice Mayor Davis, Councillor Kelley, Mayor Maher, Councillor Reeves, Councillor Seidel, Councillor Simmons & Councillor Toomey 05/24/10 (O-9)

10-89. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on a delineation of the boundaries of Joan Lorentz Park.
Councillor Seidel, Vice Mayor Davis, Councillor Decker, Councillor Kelley, Mayor Maher, Councillor Reeves, Councillor Simmons & Councillor Toomey 05/24/10 (O-11)

10-90. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on recent commercial break-ins in East Cambridge.
Councillor Toomey, Vice Mayor Davis, Councillor Decker, Councillor Kelley, Mayor Maher, Councillor Reeves, Councillor Seidel & Councillor Simmons 05/24/10 (O-12)

10-91. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on truck restrictions and enforcement on Second Street.
Councillor Toomey and Full Membership 06/07/10 (O-3)

10-92. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on improvements to City parking lot #8.
Vice Mayor Davis and Full Membership 06/07/10 (O-4)

10-93. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the status of the Cambridge bike sharing program and timeline of implementation.
Councillor Cheung and Full Membership 06/07/10 (O-5)

10-94. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on projects being undertaken by City departments along Massachusetts Avenue between Harvard and Porter Squares.
Councillor Seidel and Full Membership 06/07/10 (O-9)

10-95. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on making Paine Park for children and dogs.
Councillor Seidel and Full Membership 06/07/10 (O-11)

10-96. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the status of tents in Flagstaff Park.
Councillor Seidel and Full Membership 06/07/10 (O-12)

10-97. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on extending the Hybrid Cab program.
Councillor Cheung and Full Membership 06/07/10 (O-13)

10-98. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the wires on Windsor and Seckel Streets were installed correctly.
Councillor Toomey and Full Membership 06/07/10 (O-14)