Cambridge City Council meeting - June 17, 2019 - AGENDA
[Councillor Zondervan attended via telephone]
Note: There will be a Special City Council Meeting starting at 2:30pm for the purpose of conducting interviews with the four finalists for the position of Cambridge City Clerk: Anthony Wilson, Jeanne M. Survell, Niko Vangjeli, and Timothy Phelan. The Regular Meeting is scheduled to begin at the usual 5:30pm starting time.
Update - The City Council voted unanimously to choose Anthony Ivan Wilson as the next Cambridge City Clerk, pending contract negotiations. [The City Clerks and City Managers of Cambridge]
CITY MANAGER'S AGENDA
1. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of $29,343.28 from individual donations, to the Grant Fund Human Service Programs Other Ordinary Maintenance account. Funds were donated through various sources and will be used to support all participant and program needs including team uniforms, Special Olympic entry and travel costs, theatrical production costs, mobility and physical therapy equipment, art supplies and field trips.
Order Adopted 9-0
2. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of $79,059 from the Cambridge Housing Authority, to the Grant Fund Human Service Programs Salary and Wages account. These funds will be used to maintain the capacity of the Cambridge Employment Program (CEP) by continuing to fund a vocational case manager to provide career counseling and case management services to Cambridge residents seeking employment, particularly those residing in public housing.
Order Adopted 9-0
3. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of $42,689.17 received from various donations to the Council on Aging, to the Grant Fund Human Service Programs Salary and Wages account ($17,000) and to the Grant Fund Human Service Programs Other Ordinary Maintenance account ($25,689.17). These donations will be used to support a variety of services for Cambridge Seniors, including food and entertainment for senior parties, the purchase of fans for low-income seniors, provision of minor home adaptation equipment, support for the food pantry, and transportation for special senior center events and trips.
Order Adopted 9-0
4. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of $10,000 from additional Golf Course revenue, to the Public Investment Human Service Programs Extraordinary Expenditures account. These funds will be used to purchase an electric greens roller for the Golf Course to replace an existing gas-powered unit. The purchase is consistent with the 10-year replacement plan at Fresh Pond Golf Course, which includes the goal of ensuring that the Golf Course and the abutting reservation is maintained properly, provides uninterrupted service to our patrons, and limits environmental impacts by investing in green technology.
Order Adopted 9-0
5. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of $226,672, from the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) of the Office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD, to the Grant Fund Human Services Programs Salary and Wages account ($17,000) and to the Grant Fund Human Services Other Ordinary Maintenance account ($209,672). The funds will be used for shelter operating costs, providing essential services to homeless persons outside of the shelter setting, rapid re-housing and homelessness prevention case management, short and medium-term rental assistance, and financial assistance needed to gain or retain permanent housing.
Order Adopted 9-0
6. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of $549,215 from the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through the HOME Program to the Public Investment Fund Community Development Extraordinary Expenditures account ($544,315) and to the Grant Fund Community Development Salary & Wages account ($4,900). Development activities may include acquisition, moderate rehabilitation, substantial rehabilitation and new construction of housing units for low- and moderate- income families and individuals. The majority of the HOME funds, $544,315, will be used towards those activities; and $36,310 will be used for the Community Development Department’s administration of the HOME program. This appropriation will continue the development and rehabilitation of affordable housing in the City of Cambridge.
Order Adopted 9-0
7. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of $352,640.66 received from Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program income to the Public Investment Community Development Extraordinary Expenditures Account, which will increase funds available to continue the development of affordable housing for residents.
Order Adopted 9-0
8. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 19-67, regarding setting up a series of informational and interactive community engagement meetings on the Affordable Housing Overlay.
Placed on File
9. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 19-44, regarding the installation of additional metered parking spots in business districts that do not currently have parking meters.
Placed on File
10. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 19-32, regarding a report on the number of fines for failure to clear sidewalks issued from the winter of 2014-15 through the winter of 2018-19, received from Owen O’Riordan, Commissioner of Public Works.
Placed on File
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. 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]
4. An application was received from East Boston Savings Bank, requesting permission for one internal illuminating projecting sign and four awnings at the premises numbered 1739 Massachusetts Avenue approval has been received from Inspectional Services, Department of Public Works, Community Development Department and abutter.
5. A communication was received from Interim City Clerk Paula M. Crane, transmitting memorandum from Vice Mayor Devereux regarding a special public meeting for the City Clerk interviews.
Communication Placed on File; City Council voted unanimously to choose Anthony Ivan Wilson as the next Cambridge City Clerk, pending contract negotiations. [The City Clerks and City Managers of Cambridge]
APPLICATIONS AND PETITIONS
1. An application was received from New City Microcreamery, requesting permission for 2 Benches in front of the premises numbered 403 Massachusetts Avenue.
Order Adopted 9-0
2. A petition was received from Stephan Bardige et al, regarding amending the Municipal Code, Title 2, Chapter 2.78.090 subparagraph E and I by changing six months to twelve months twice in each paragraph to permit the Cambridge Historical Commission to delay the issuance of a demolition permit for twelve months.
Referred to Ordinance Committee for Hearing & Report
1. A communication was received from Peter Valentine, regarding the cotton weed tree poisoning our oxygen.
2. A communication was received from Richard Krushnic, 20 Oak Street, regarding Affordable Housing Overlay and increased funding.
3. A communication was received from Russell Windman, 78 Fresh Pond Parkway, regarding State jurisdiction over Cambridge residents.
4. A communication was received from Tara R. Greco, regarding support of the special permit criteria zoning petition.
5. A communication was received from Gregory E. Golding, 50 Spring Street, regarding support for the Leggat-McCall plan for the redevelopment of the Sullivan Courthouse at 40 Thorndike Street.
6. A communication was received from Guangwen Tang, 143 Third Street, regarding moving forward with the Leggat-McCall plan.
7. A communication was received from Robert J. La Tremouille, regarding massive tree destruction and funding games, coming Magazine Beach destruction, part 5.
8. A communication was received from Phyllis Burgess, 1221 Cambridge Street, regarding support of the redevelopment of the Sullivan Courthouse.
9. A communication was received from Alice Pedro, 14 Roosevelt Towers, regarding support of the redevelopment of the Sullivan Courthouse.
10. A communication was received from Diane Bodine, 14 Roosevelt Towers, regarding support of the redevelopment of the Sullivan Courthouse.
11. A communication was received from George W. VanPelt, 14 Roosevelt Towers, regarding support of the redevelopment of the Sullivan Courthouse.
12. A communication was received from James Jmili, 14 Roosevelt Towers, regarding support of the redevelopment of the Sullivan Courthouse.
13. A communication was received from Patricia Goodrich, 14 Roosevelt Towers, regarding support of the redevelopment of the Sullivan Courthouse.
14. A communication was received from Judy Jhonson, 14 Roosevelt Towers, regarding support of the redevelopment of the Sullivan Courthouse.
15. A communication was received from Virginia Carter, 14 Roosevelt Towers, regarding support of the redevelopment of the Sullivan Courthouse.
16. A communication was received from Heddi Siebel, 41 Stearns Street, in support of the petition to amend the Municipal Code to extend the delay from six months to twelve months to consider alternatives to demolition of buildings.
17. A communication from Sara Mae Berman, 23 Fayette Street, regarding the increased bid for the work in Inman Square.
18. A communication from Leo Austin-Spooner, 48 Avon Hill Street regarding Policy Order #1 regarding Gender Identity on Massachusetts identifications.
1. Resolution on the death of Peter V. Greco. Councillor Toomey
2. Congratulations on retirement of John Taylor, Jr. Mayor McGovern
3. Resolution on the death of Manuel Pacheco. Councillor Toomey
4. Resolution on the death of Ronald C. Caton. Councillor Toomey
5. Resolution on the death of Phyllis (Tracy) Vera. Councillor Toomey
6. Retirement of Jean Cusack from the Finance Department. Councillor Simmons, Councillor Toomey
R-6 June 17, 2019
WHEREAS: On July 6, 2019, Jean Cusack, Financial Analyst in the City’s Auditing Department, shall be retiring after decades of service to the residents of Cambridge; and
WHEREAS: Jean Cusack, a life-long resident of Cambridge, began her employment with the City in 1977 working first in the Cambridge Police Department, then moving to the Cambridge Hospital and then, in June 1981, she secured a job as a junior clerk/typist in the Auditing Department at City Hall; and
WHEREAS: From the very start, Jean Cusack worked hard and was determined to succeed, and this was very much in evidence as she successfully pursued her BS in Accountancy via taking night courses at Bentley College while continuing to work at City Hall each day; and
WHEREAS: Jean Cusack’s hard work paid off, as she ultimately was promoted to serving as Financial Analyst, a critical role that demands that she stay in close, regular contact with various City Departments as she continuously and methodically works to ensure that all the City’s bills get paid in a timely manner; and
WHEREAS: One of Jean Cusack’s signature achievements was in providing valuable assistance in the implementation of the PeopleSoft system, and her extensive knowledge of this system, combined with her warm, friendly demeanor and her desire to always be of service to her team, has led her to become the City’s lead troubleshooter for this system; and
WHEREAS: Jean Cusack has long been one of the most knowledgeable, hardest working, and friendliest faces in the City’s workforce, and her years of exemplary work were duly recognized when she was named one of the City’s Outstanding Employees in May 2003; and
WHEREAS: Jean Cusack has proudly spent decades engaged in tremendous public service to her city, the entire Cambridge community has benefited from her years of hard work, and her coworkers at City Hall shall very much miss her sunny presence and her wisdom even as they all wish her well as she embarks upon her next exciting chapter; now therefore be it
RESOLVED: That that the City Council go on record wishing Jean Cusack a very happy and joyous retirement, and in thanking her for her decades of exemplary public service; and be it further
RESOLVED: That the City Clerk be and hereby is requested to forward a suitably engrossed copy of this resolution to Jean Cusack on behalf of the entire City Council.
7. Happy 70th Birthday wishes to Joanne Smith. Mayor McGovern
8. Resolution on the death of John "Sean" J. Leddy. Councillor Toomey
9. Resolution on the death of Rosemary Nicholson. Councillor Toomey
10. Retirement of Dr. Gary Setnik from Mount Auburn Hospital's Emergency Department. Councillor Toomey
11. Congratulating local restaurant owner and chef, Will Gilson, on his forthcoming restaurant in Cambridge Crossing. Councillor Toomey
12. Resolution on the death of Marquita Lawrence's sister. Councillor Simmons
13. Resolution on the death of Reverend Aiden C. Ward. Councillor Simmons
14. Recognizing June 19 as Juneteenth in Cambridge. Councillor Simmons
15. Retirement of Joe Robinson from Christ Church Cambridge. Councillor Kelley
16. Resolution on the death of Julie L. Burns. Councillor Toomey
17. Happy 50th Birthday wishes to Jamie Townes. Councillor Simmons
1. City Council support of S.2213, An Act Relative to Gender Identity on Massachusetts Identification. Mayor McGovern, Councillor Simmons, Councillor Siddiqui
Order Adopted 8-0-1 as Amended (Zondervan ABSENT)
2. That the City Manager is requested to report back to the City Council regarding rubbish handling at Comeau Field and Francis J. McCrehan Memorial Swimming Pool. Councillor Siddiqui, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Kelley, Councillor Mallon
Order Adopted 8-0-1 (Zondervan ABSENT)
3. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the appropriate City staff and report back to the City Council in greater detail as to why the construction cost estimates for the Inman Square redesign project were so inaccurately low, what steps are being taken to ensure that the project will not lead to further cost estimate overruns, how such inaccurate cost estimates will be avoided for all projects in the future and interim steps that are being taken to ensure maximum safety in this area. Councillor Kelley, Councillor Toomey, Councillor Simmons
Order Adopted 8-0-1 (Zondervan ABSENT)
4. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the appropriate City staff and Eversource personnel to determine why the signals at Broadway and
Elliott Ellery, which add an element of confusion to this intersection, were installed without Eversource’s being able to connect them to the grid in a more responsive manner. Councillor Kelley, Councillor Simmons, Councillor Toomey, Mayor McGovern
Order Adopted 8-0-1 as Amended (Zondervan ABSENT)
5. City Council support for access to a safe and legal abortion. Councillor Siddiqui, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Simmons, Councillor Mallon
Order Adopted 7-0-1-1 (Zondervan ABSENT; Toomey PRESENT)
6. Verizon New England, Inc. - Ware Street Innovation Space Overlay District Petition. Councillor Carlone
Order Adopted 8-0-1 (Zondervan ABSENT)
1. A communication was received from former City Clerk, Donna P. Lopez, transmitting a report from Vice Mayor Jan Devereux, Chair of the Government Operations, Rules & Claims Committee, for a public hearing held on May 28, 2019 to receive an update on the Election Commission’s discussion of potential changes to the ballots used for Municipal Elections that would limit voters to marking only up to 15 candidates.
Report Accepted; Placed on File
2. A communication was received from former City Clerk, Donna P. Lopez, transmitting a report from Councillor Dennis J. Carlone, Co-Chair and Councillor Craig A. Kelley, Co-Chair of the Ordinance Committee, for a public hearing held on May 28, 2019 to discuss 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”.
Report Accepted; Placed on File; Order #6 Adopted
Mon, June 17
2:30pm Special City Council Meeting - the purpose of the meeting is to hold public interviews for the four finalists for the position of City Clerk. The candidates are: Timothy Phelan, Jeanne M. Survell, Niko Vangjeli and Anthony Ivan Wilson. (Sullivan Chamber - televised)
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Wed, June 19
2:00pm The Human Services and Veterans Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the results of the City Manager’s Opioid Task Force Report and the recommendations that could be implemented to reduce the harmful effects of the opioid crisis in the City of Cambridge. (Sullivan Chamber - televised)
Mon, June 24
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Tues, June 25
2:00pm The Housing Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the Affordable Housing Trust’s recommendations for the City’s Inclusionary Housing Program’s preferences on selecting residents for available units. (Sullivan Chamber - televised)
Wed, June 26
3:30pm The Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss a petition received from Self Storage Group, LLC to amend the Zoning Ordinance by creating a New Street Overlay District. (Sullivan Chamber - televised)
Thurs, June 27
3:30pm The Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing to continue discussions on a proposed amendment to the Municipal Code to add a new Chapter 5.50 entitled “Cannabis Business Permitting Ordinance.” (Sullivan Chamber - televised)
Tues, July 2
5:30pm The Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss a proposed amendment to the Zoning Ordinance to create an Affordable Housing Overlay District. (Sullivan Chamber - televised)
Mon, July 8
12:00pm The Government Operations, Rules & Claims Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss a report from the City Manager and City Solicitor on proposals for a “Cambridge Publicly Financed Municipal Election Program,” a “Cambridge Municipal Election People's Pledge," and to discuss the feasibility of convening a task force or working group to discuss publicly financed elections in Cambridge. (Sullivan Chamber - televised)
Thurs, July 11
5:30pm The Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the refiled petition from Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. to amend the Zoning Ordinance in Article 20 to add at the end thereof the creation of a Grand Junction Pathway Overlay District. (Sullivan Chamber - televised)
Wed, July 24
2;00pm The Transportation & Public Utilities Committee will conduct a public hearing to receive information about the draft Policy and Regulations for Small Cell Wireless Installations on Public Ways under consideration by the Pole & Conduit Commission and the Historical Commission. (Sullivan Chamber - televised)
Mon, July 29
5:30pm Special City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
TEXT OF ORDERS
O-1 June 17, 2019 Amended
WHEREAS: Cambridge strives to be a welcoming city for all, including our transgender and gender non-binary friends and neighbors; and
WHEREAS: Cities across the Commonwealth have already moved forward in proposing and enacting regulation that allows for a gender X option on a birth record; and
WHEREAS: The City Council has made progress in offering a third gender category, and removing barriers for residents born in this city to amend their birth certificates; and
WHEREAS: Bill S.2213, “An Act Relative to Gender Identity on Massachusetts Identification” would permit parents or legal guardians to request the sex indicated on their child’s record of birth be designated as “X” for the child’s gender in lieu of “male” or “female;” and
WHEREAS: A person over the age of eighteen, an emancipated minor, or the parents of a minor may request a change in the sex on a birth record to include, but not be limited to “female,” “male,” “X,” with an “X” designation indicating non-binary, intersex, undesignated, or other gender; and
WHEREAS: The Registry of Motor Vehicles shall permit a person submitting an application under certain sections, to designate “X,” “M,” or “F” for gender on an application for a driver’s license, learner’s permit, identification card, or liquor purchase identification card; no documentation shall be required for such a designation; and
WHEREAS: The Secretary of Administration and Finance shall develop a plan to ensure that any state form or document issued by a state agency that requires an individual to indicate the individual’s gender shall provide an opportunity for the individual to choose a gender option other than male or female; provided that the secretary shall ensure that such a form or document complies with applicable federal rules and regulations; and
WHEREAS: Bill S.2213 passed the senate in April 2019, and was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee; and
WHEREAS: A statewide bill would encourage acceptance and inclusion for our transgender and non-binary neighbors; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Council go on record in strong support of enacting Bill S.2213 “An Act Relative to Gender Identity on Massachusetts Identification,” and urge the House Ways and Means Committee to advance the bill with a favorable recommendation as soon as possible, and that a suitably engrossed copy of this resolution be sent to the Cambridge state delegation on behalf of the entire City Council.
O-2 June 17, 2019
VICE MAYOR DEVEREUX
WHEREAS: At its Apr 1, 2019 Meeting, the City Council adopted Policy Order #11 requesting the City Manager confer with the Department of Public Works to investigate:
1. Additional options for effectively addressing the excessive rubbish issue at the 83 Bus Shelter and surrounding Rindge Avenue/Comeau Field area, including the inappropriate disposal of domestic waste; and
2. Appropriate solutions to the public and environmental health and safety issues of inadequate trash and recycling disposal and persistent rodent activity in the Rindge Avenue area; and
WHEREAS: The Department of Public Works has replaced some outdated trash receptacles with “big belly” bins on the right side of Comeau Field, adjacent to Jerry’s Pond; and
WHEREAS: Some older, open receptacles remain on the left side of Comeau Field [see attached photos]; and
WHEREAS: With the opening of the Francis J. McCrehan Memorial Swimming Pool, a heavy increase in pedestrian activity is anticipated on the left side of Comeau Field, therefore resulting in the accumulation of a high volume of rubbish; now therefore be it
ORDERED: The City Manager be and hereby is requested to confer with the Department of Public Works on addressing and accommodating:
1. The rubbish accumulation in the area surrounding the Francis J. McCrehan Memorial Pool (i.e. the left side of Comeau Field, towards Clifton Street) with the placement of additional “big belly” bins and closed recycling receptacles; and
2. The increase in foot traffic and activity associated with the opening of the Francis J. McCrehan Memorial Pool through an increase in general trash pickup in the adjacent parking lot and surrounding grassy areas; and be it further
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to report back to the City Council on this matter in a timely manner.
O-3 June 17, 2019
WHEREAS: The controversial Inman Square redesign project was originally projected to be under $3 million dollars; and
WHEREAS: As finally approved by the City Council, the construction costs for this project were estimated to be $6 million dollars; and
WHEREAS: Current bids for the project came in at $7.9 million dollar, which is approximately 30% higher than the earlier $6 million-dollar construction estimate; and
WHEREAS: It is essential for the City Council to be able to rely on accurate project cost estimates when setting policy and budget allocations for projects in order to avoid the City being put in the position of adding money to a project simply because earlier estimates were low, and in this case, extremely low; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to confer with the appropriate City staff and report back to the City Council in greater detail than in the attached email as to why the construction cost estimates for this project were so inaccurately low, what steps are being taken to ensure that the project will not lead to further cost estimate overruns, and how such inaccurate cost estimates will be avoided for all projects in the future; and be it further
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to confer with the appropriate City staff and report back to the Council on what interim steps have and are being taken to ensure maximum safety in this area, to include enforcing the “No Left Turn” provisions, guiding cyclists through the construction site, and ensuring that sidewalk bicycling is reviewed and allowed where appropriate and stenciled/signed as unlawful where appropriate.
From: Gianetti, Lee
Sent: Friday, June 7, 2019 11:41 AM
To: City Council
Cc: DePasquale, Louie; Peterson, Lisa; Cooper, Stacey; Carvello, Maryellen
Subject: Inman Square Update
The Inman Square construction bids were received on May 16, 2019. Three bids were received and the City anticipates awarding to the lowest and responsible bidder. We are pleased with the contractor, Newport Construction, who has completed numerous projects in the City and is well equipped to handle the complex Inman Square project. Unfortunately, the bids came in at $7.9m, which is approximately 30% higher than the expected $6.0 m construction estimate. Bids are coming in 25% to 30% higher than estimated throughout the region due to the strong economy and tough competition for contractors. The Inman Square project is a vital project for the City. It includes critical safety improvements for people walking, biking and driving through the Square; renovated open spaces that will support the vitality of the community and the local businesses; additional tree plantings in the area; and improvements to the City’s Springfield Street parking lot. In FY19, I committed to spending $1M per year on Bike/Ped Infrastructure. This funding for FY20 was identified for Inman Square in the budget, if needed. Given the increase in the construction cost, the FY20 funds will be dedicated to Inman Square. We will also be dedicating a portion of the funding for Capital Repairs for sewers to cover utility work. With these funds, the project can be awarded and funded without any additional appropriations. Any additional funding that may be needed for construction contingencies would be addressed during the FY21 capital budget, as needed.
Best regards, Lee Gianetti, Director of Communications
O-4 June 17, 2019 Amended
WHEREAS: Traffic signals were installed on Broadway at the intersection of
Elliot Ellery Street near the Main Library months ago; and
WHEREAS: These traffic signals still do not work and in their inoperative condition add a layer of dangerous confusion for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers for this already challenging intersection; and
WHEREAS: Direct requests to City staff and, through staff, to Eversource to prioritize connection of these signals to supporting infrastructure have had no impact; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to confer with the appropriate City staff and Eversource personnel to determine why the signals, which add an element of confusion to this intersection, were installed without Eversource’s being able to connect them to the grid in a more responsive manner, to include what communications City staff have had with Eversource to emphasize the importance of this issue as well as how future traffic installations will be coordinated with Eversource to ensure more efficient connection installation; and be it further
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to communicate directly with Eversource about the importance of these traffic signals becoming functional in the immediate future; and be it further
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to report back to the City Council on this issue by the summer meeting.
O-5 June 17, 2019
VICE MAYOR DEVEREUX
WHEREAS: An individual’s freedom to make reproductive decisions is vital to their safety, wellbeing, economic opportunity, and ability to participate equally in society; and
WHEREAS: The landscape of reproductive freedom in the United States is dangerously shifting, with the Trump-Pence Administration’s vehement attacks on and consistent pledges to limit access to abortion, reproductive health care, and health care generally, and further with the 2018 confirmation of anti-choice Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court; and
WHEREAS: States across the United States including Alabama, Kentucky, Georgia, and Missouri have passed legislative measures posing unconstitutional barriers to safe and legal abortion, intentionally poised to serve as test cases for the Supreme Court to overturn its 1973 Roe V. Wade decision, upheld in subsequent Supreme Court cases such as Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) and Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt (2016); and
WHEREAS: If health insurance coverage for abortion is restricted, this restriction harms most those who already face significant barriers to receiving high-quality health care, such as individuals with low-income, immigrants, individuals lacking documentation status, young people, people of color, and transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals; and
WHEREAS: The Massachusetts State Senate is currently considering S.1209, “An Act to Remove Obstacles and Expand Abortion Access,” also known as the “ROE Act,” co-sponsored by State Senator Joanne N. Comerford, and the Massachusetts House is considering H.3320, “An Act Removing Obstacles and Expanding Access to Women’s Reproductive Health,” co-sponsored by State Representative Lindsay N. Sabadosa, both bills serving as a buttress to the 1981 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s codification of the right to abortion in the Commonwealth by:
• Removing prejudicial language in the general law;
• Removing gestational age from the language so termination may still occur for fetal abnormalities;
• Allowing additional monies to be used to fund procedures for those who do not qualify for MassHealth; and
• Removing judicial bypass, which is particularly crucial for minors in the foster care system and other situations; and
WHEREAS: State Representative Lindsay N. Sabadosa has introduced in the House HD.3658, “An Act to Require Public Universities to Provide Medication Abortion” calling for the establishment of a “fund to be known as the Public University Health Center Sexual and Reproduction Health Preparation Fund for medical abortion readiness” to be administered by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women and calling for a “grant of $200,000 to each public university health center to pay for the cost, both direct and indirect, of medical abortion readiness;” and
WHEREAS: At the federal level, the U.S. Senate is considering S.758, co-sponsored by Massachusetts Senators Edward J. Markey and Elizabeth Warren, and the U.S. House is considering HR.1692, both bills known as the “Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) Act of 2019,” to ensure equal, affordable access to abortion for all woman equally, and among other provisions, prohibits political interference with decisions of private health insurance companies to offer coverage for abortion care and requires federal health insurance programs, including Medicaid, Medicare and CHIP, to provide coverage for abortion services; and
WHEREAS: Senators Markey and Warren are co-sponsoring S.1645 – “A bill to protect a woman’s ability to determine whether or not to bear a child or end a pregnancy, and to protect a health care provider’s ability to provide reproductive health care services, including abortion services” also known as “The Women’s Health Protection Act” (WHPA), and in the House, Representative James P. McGovern is co-sponsoring H.R.2975 – “The Women’s Health Protection Act,” that create federal protections against state restrictions on reproductive health care by establishing a statutory right for health care providers to provide, and their patients to receive, abortion services free from medically unnecessary restrictions, limitations, and bans that delay, and at times, completely obstruct, access to abortion; now therefore be it
RESOLVED: That the Cambridge City Council go on record stating its enduring commitment to the protection of abortion rights, reproductive health care rights, and individuals’ rights to make reproductive decisions about their own bodies; and be it further
RESOLVED: That the Cambridge City Council declare its support for the immediate passage of Massachusetts Senate Bill S.1209, “An Act to Remove Obstacles and Expand Abortion Access,” House Bill H.3320, “An Act Removing Obstacles and Expanding Access to Women’s Reproductive Health,” and HD.3658, “An Act to Require Public Universities to Provide Medication Abortion” to reinforce the Commonwealth’s Constitution that recognizes the legal right to abortion; and be it further
RESOLVED: That the Cambridge City Council declare its support for the immediate passage of S.758 and HR.1692, both known as the “Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) Act of 2019,” to ensure equal access to reproductive and abortion health care to all individuals across the United States no matter their income level, source of health care coverage, immigration status, race, age, or gender identity; and be it further
RESOLVED: That the Cambridge City Council declare its support for the immediate passage of S.1645 and H.R.2975 – “The Women’s Health Protection Act” to assure 4 the right to access abortion care free from bans, obstacles, and restrictions not required for other health care services; and be it further
RESOLVED: That the City Clerk be and hereby is requested to forward suitably engrossed copies of this resolution to U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren; U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey; U.S. Representative James P. McGovern; Massachusetts Governor Charles Baker; lead sponsor of S.1209, State Senator Harriet L. Chandler; lead sponsors of H.3320, State Representatives Patricia A. Haddad and Jay D. Livingstone; State Senator Joanne N. Comerford; and State Representative Lindsay N. Sabadosa on behalf of the entire City Council.
O-6 June 17, 2019
WHEREAS: The Ordinance Committee held a hearing on a proposed zoning petition filed by 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 on May 28, 2019; and
WHEREAS: The Ordinance Committee referred the petition to the full City Council with an unfavorable recommendation; now there be it
ORDERED: That the City Council go on record voting in the negative to the proposed zoning amendment for Ware Street.
TEXT OF COMMITTEE REPORTS
Committee Report #1
The Government Operations, Rules and Claims Committee held a public hearing on May 28, 2019, at 1:02pm in the Sullivan Chamber.
The purpose of the hearing was to receive an update on the Election Commission’s discussion of potential changes to the ballots used for Municipal Elections that would limit voters to marking only up to 15 candidates.
Present at the hearing were Vice Mayor Devereux, Chair of the Committee; Councillor Carlone; Councillor Siddiqui; Councillor Toomey; Tanya Ford, Executive Director, Election Commission; Lesley Waxman, Deputy Director, Election Commission; Victoria Harris, Election Commissioner; Ethridge King, Election Commissioner; Nancy Glowa, City Solicitor; and Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk.
Also present were Gary Mello, 324 Franklin Street; Robert Winters, 366 Broadway; Polyxane Cobb, 140 Lexington Avenue; and Jeffrey McNary.
Vice Mayor Devereux convened the hearing and explained the purpose. She announced that the hearing was being audio and video recorded. She stated that there will be public comment after a presentation and discussion with the Election Commission. Introductions were made. An agenda was presented (ATTACHMENT A).
Vice Mayor Devereux stated that the Election Commission has been holding meetings to discuss this issue for several months. Over the last two municipal elections there have been over two dozen candidates for City Council, but not as many for the School Committee. She noted that this volume of candidates has become unwieldy for the ballot as it is currently designed. Cambridge uses ranked choice voting and on the current ballot, voters can rank as many or as few candidates as they like. She stated that the Election Commission can explain their rationale for making this change. This issue has been discussed by the Election Commission at their regular meetings, but it has not come before the City Council. She felt it would be good to have this hearing to help inform the public how the decision would be made, implemented and communicated.
Ms. Harris read a prepared statement (ATTACHMENT B) regarding why the Election Commission believes that capping the number of ovals used to rank City Council and School Committee candidates at a maximum of 15 is necessary and why it will result in a ballot for municipal elections that is more functional and user-friendly into the foreseeable future. She addressed the two major objections raised to this change in ballot design: protection of voter rights and the potential to confuse voters.
Vice Mayor Devereux asked how many meetings were held on this. Ms. Harris stated that there was a Mar 6, 2019, ballot design meeting. She provided a timeline of events for the proposed change to the Municipal Election Ballot (ATTACHMENT C). She also stated that two-sided and two-page ballots cannot be accepted by the voting machines. On Apr 4, 2019, the Election Commission met with the City Manager and City Solicitor to review the proposal. The information was posted on the Election Commission’s website on Apr 22, 2019, and was included in the City’s Weekly Digest email of Apr 19, 2019. On Apr 30, 2019, a public hearing was held, and a subsequent hearing was held on May 15, 2019, to provide the public with another opportunity to express their concerns. A notice was sent to the City Council and to the media on May 1, 2019, regarding the additional public hearing. The Election Commission received a letter from former State Representative Alice Wolf on May 12, 2019. On May 13, 2019, the City Council suggested this hearing regarding the change. On May 15, 2019, the Election Commission met and two positive public comments were received on the proposed ballot change. On May 22, 2019, the City Solicitor confirmed the board’s legal authority to cap the ovals on the Municipal Election ballot at 15. The board voted at this meeting to cap the ovals at 15.
Councillor Toomey asked what is the point of making this change if the ovals seem to be getting smaller on the ballot? He expressed his opinion that if only 15 ovals would be put on the ballot, they should be larger. Ms. Waxman stated that the primary reason for the change is not to make the ovals bigger but to make it feasible that if many candidates run for City Council the ballot can still be used. A fact sheet on modifying the Municipal Ballot Design was distributed (ATTACHMENT D). Ms. Waxman stated that the last page shows an example of a portrait-style ballot, and with this layout it’s not possible to make the ovals any bigger. She noted that an inquiry to the ballot vendor could be made to see if the ovals could be made bigger if there are fewer than 26 candidates and a landscape-style ballot is used. She explained that it is anticipated that there will be fewer mistakes when there are not so many columns of ovals. The primary reason for this change is that it enables the City to switch to a portrait ballot so that the ballot can accommodate all candidates if there are ever more than 26 candidates. Councillor Toomey spoke about limiting voters to only 15 choices. He stated that this is disenfranchising voters because these potential last ranked votes are not counted, and he was elected from these votes in his second City Council election. He is not supportive of this change. Ms. Waxman explained that the results were run from the last three elections as if voters had been limited to 15 choices and there was no difference in the outcome. She stated that fewer than 5% of voters ranked more than 15 choices and over the last five elections only 4.5% ranked more than 15 choices. She noted that it is unknown how many voters think they are required to rank all available ovals, and that’s why they give a ranking to each candidate. She added that in all the testing they performed, there were no significant changes to results from limiting to 15 choices. Councillor Toomey stated that at some point every vote could count, and he is opposed to this change.
Vice Mayor Devereux asked if there were, for example, only 15 candidates, could the ovals be larger? Ms. Waxman responded that they would have to ask the vendor what is possible with the new voting machines that read the votes.
Councillor Siddiqui stated that she is supportive of this change and approves of the data-driven approach to the problem. She stated that when the Election Commission is performing outreach on this change, it is important to clarify that the number of candidates will not be capped, just the number of ovals for ranked choices. This will not limit the number of people who run for office. Ms. Waxman stated that the way the system works is that each voter only gets one vote; by ranking more choices, you do not get more votes, and you may actually end up giving your vote to someone you would not be so happy to give it to.
Councillor Carlone reiterated that if 95% of people rank a maximum of 15, then 5% vote for more options than that. However, in the Election Commission’s tests, in the last 3 or 4 elections the outcomes did not change. He noted that sometimes candidate can win by 20 votes and the last person would not have made a difference. Ms. Waxman confirmed that in 2013 and 2015 not a single ballot would have been counted differently had the choices been limited to 15. In 2017 the last candidates were elected without reaching quota, so there may have been some ballots that went to the candidate. Either way, the same candidates would have won. Councillor Carlone suggested as part of the educational outreach that it could be explained that the number of rounds of vote transfers are different than the number of people voters can rank. He noted that in principle he is in support of this change, but just wishes to understand it better. Ms. Waxman stated that the number of rounds does not necessarily correlate with the ranking that gets transferred during that round.
City Solicitor Glowa submitted the opinion relating to the response to the Policy Order (ATTACHMENT E). Vice Mayor Devereux summarized the opinion, noting that it states that this is the Election Commission’s decision to make, and the City Council is merely here to learn about this decision and help share it with members of the public.
Vice Mayor Devereux opened public comment at 1:27pm.
Gary Mello, 324 Franklin Street, supported limiting the number of bubbles on the municipal ballots to 15. He stated that voters will find it easier to use, and in conjunction with the new machines, the preliminary results will be expedited and more accurate. However, he wanted those truly responsible for the work that has been done here to be credited to those truly responsible for it. He stated that ballot overcrowding was brought up as a problem by the professional staff. He added that the statistical analysis is rightly attributed to Mr. Winters and the contractor. He noted that the four commissioners have nothing to do with implementing or defining this solution. He stated that there is solid progress in reconfiguring the ballot and it is a no brainer and deserves quick endorsement.
Robert Winters, 366 Broadway, supported this change. He wanted part of the educational materials to emphasize that voters should select who they want to vote for, and then do the ranking among only those candidates. He added that there was never an obligation to rank all the candidates. The number of those who rank more than 15 drops dramatically after ballot number 9 and drops off like a cliff at ballot number 15. It would be helpful to explain that there is no need to rank any candidates after selecting the voter’s choices. The Election Commission is required to offer nine lines for write-ins. He truncated the 2015 election ballots and the exact the same results occurred in each round. There was not a single ballot change, which truly surprised him. The wisdom of the State Legislature to use 15 candidates in drafting the language in 1938 is something to behold. A simplified ballot is a good idea, will lead to fewer spoiled ballots and over-voted ballots, and it will be easier for everyone. He tested the 2013 election results, which had razor thin margins that led to a recount. He noted that even with those thin margins, there was not a single change in any round from beginning to end. In the 2017 election, there were some changes in the very last rounds. But confusion around that results from a misunderstanding about what the election quota represents. He stated that quota was never the number of ballots a candidate needs to be elected; it is the maximum number of ballots that are allowed to be kept by a candidate in order to ensure Proportional Representation. He stated that this is a series of runoffs, and those elected for the nine seats will be the last nine candidates standing. He stated that there were times when elected candidates did not reach the election quota, and that’s fine. In 2017 there were so many candidates that there were two candidates who did not reach the election quota. This did not matter, as they were elected. In his tests of the 2017 results, there were a couple of ballot changes in last round, but they occurred after the election results were already decided. This change is the right thing to do. He hopes it gets the blessing of the City Council and the Election Commission.
Vice Mayor Devereux closed public comment at 1:36pm.
Ms. Ford stated in response to Mr. Mello’s comments that only two of the four Election Commissioners were present at the hearing that more than two Election Commissioners in attendance would constitute a quorum for a meeting and would have to be posted per the Open Meeting Law. She explained that she requested the attendance of Commissioner Harris, who is the Chair and Commissioner King, who is the Secretary of the Board.
Councillor Toomey wanted the ovals enlarged and noted it is unfair to those who have visual impairments and favors a younger population. He asked about the polling place for Millers River and hopes that this can be resolved soon. He noted that he is being asked where individuals can vote. Ms. Ford stated that a temporary space will be built at Millers River that the Election Commission will use. Councillor Toomey wanted to make sure the temporary space is accessible and safe for all to enter and exit because of the construction. The Election Commission will visit the temporary site and if the Election Commissioners do not agree on the conditions then a different location will be found.
Vice Mayor Devereux asked about the timeline when the Election Commissioners will vote on this. Ms. Harris stated that the Election Commissioners voted on this issue the previous week, on May 22, 2019. She deferred to Ms. Ford and Ms. Waxman because there are operational steps that need to be taken in order to prepare the ballot for November. Ms. Harris stated that the Election Commissioners did vote to cap the ovals after receiving confirmation from the City Solicitor that the Election Commission did indeed have this authority.
Ms. Ford stated that the reason the Election Commissioners moved so quickly on this is that the Election Commission is in the process of creating the PR software for the new voting equipment. She explained that this needs to be certified by the state before it can be used. Presentation to the Secretary of State’s office for their certification will happen in July. She stated that the software is being tested now with the vendor. Vice Mayor Devereux asked if the new software is related to this ballot design change or the new machines. Ms. Ford responded it is related to both. Vice Mayor Devereux commented that the number of candidates will not be known until end of July or early August when they are certified. At this point the ballot design will be done. If it is determined by the vendor that the ovals can be made larger, could this be taken on now. Ms. Ford stated that the Election Commission will discuss making the ovals larger with the vendor to see if it is doable. Ms. Ford suggested regular check in meetings with the City Council to see how things are going. Vice Mayor Devereux suggested Ms. Ford reach out to her at any time and she will schedule another hearing.
Vice Mayor Devereux thanked all those present for their attendance.
The hearing adjourned at 1:45pm.
For the Committee,
Vice Mayor Jan Devereux, Chair
Committee Report #2
The Ordinance Committee, comprised of the entire membership of the City Council, held a public hearing on May 28, 2019 at 5:32pm in the Sullivan Chamber.
The purpose of the hearing was to discuss 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” (ATTACHMENT A).
Present at the hearing were Councillor Carlone, Co-Chair of the Committee; Vice Mayor Devereux; Councillor Mallon; Councillor Siddiqui; Councillor Zondervan; Jeff Roberts, Director of Zoning and Development, CDD; Nancy Glowa, City Solicitor; and City Clerk Donna P. Lopez.
Also present were Adam Krapish, 10 Ware Street; Tim Gorman, 50 Sylvan Road, Waltham; Stan Usovicz, 63 High Street, Danvers; Ronn Klinger, 42 Trowbridge Street; Jack Hembrough, 97 Trowbridge Street; Monica Klein, 49 Trowbridge Street; Michael Turk, 11 Ware Street; Daniel Klein, 35 Otis Street; John Kramer, 10 Ware Street; John A. Unut, Sandown, NH; Steven Celieu, 5 Seed Hills, NJ; Carol Madrigal, 151 Pilgrim Road, Weymouth; Kim Kaufman, 2 Ware Street; Marina Kaufman, 2 Ware Street; Peter Valentine, 37 Brookline Street; Joel Altstein, 156 Hancock Street; Ahmed Nehal, 12 Ware Street; Sandra Foster, 20 Ware Street; and Jonathan Net, Rehab at Alley.
Councillor Carlone convened the hearing and stated the purpose. He announced that the hearing was being audio and video recorded. He outlined the meeting format. The petitioners will be heard first; questions by City Council, City Staff and City Council question on City’s presentation and then public comment then the City Council will comment on the petition. At the conclusion the Committee will made a recommendation. The petitioners Joanna Schneider, Stan Usovicz and Tim Gorman from Version, New England presented their petition.
Ms. Schneider presented the petition from Verizon for a zoning amendment for its property at 10 Ware Street. She explained that Verizon is seeking the creation of an overlay district that would apply to only Verizon’s property at 10 Ware Street and a Special Permit process whereby the Board of Zoning Appeal (BZA) could determine whether to allow co-working use in approximately 10,000 square feet of ground floor space in the existing building. She highlighted the 10 Ware Street site (ATTACHMENT B). She stated that this building has housed a telecommunication center known as a central office since 1932. She stated that it is a preexisting, non-conforming use and structure. This provides network services to most of Cambridge and a portion of Somerville. She noted that the proposed zoning amendment does not affect this use in anyway. She explained that the amendment is related to a new enterprise at the site in an approximately 10,000 square foot co-working space on the ground floor, which is operating pursuant to a two-year variance from the BZA. She explained the co-working space takes advantage of the new 5G-technology platform that Verizon hosts at 10 Ware Street. This is an opportunity to partner with local start-ups and entrepreneurs to test new wireless technology. She stated that Mr. Gorman would explain the new technology.
Tim Gorman, Version’s Innovation Program, explained 5G technology. He stated that 5G is viewed as transformational technology; it is the next generation of wireless technology. He stated that it will unlock major capabilities and he focused on three of these. He stated that this will provide massive amounts of band width. Mr. Gorman stated that with 5G there will provide more data and density for connection to connect multiple sensors. He stated that 5G offers very low lenthency - the amount of time that it takes data to go from one location and back. This will allow greater offload on cellphones and do it on the network. This is for less expensive devices and lower battery life. This unlocks all different case usage. This will change the way we work, live and play. He spoke about all the applications including safety and public health. The 5G platforms allow all health entrepreneurs to apply to their specific needs. There are five 5G labs in Washington, D.C., Palo Alto and Los Angeles, CA, New York and Cambridge, MA. He stated that the uniqueness of the Cambridge location is the intersection of Verizon’s facility and the ability to fire up a 5G connection here along with the concentration of entrepreneurs, academics and small start-ups in this location.
Ms. Schneider explained the telecommunications equipment area. She stated that except for 10,000 square feet for the co-working space the whole area is this equipment area. She highlighted the ground floor co-working space that is shared space and individual office suites, subject to short-term occupancy agreements. There are also a variety of common areas. She stated that the co-working space contains 25-member companies and the members employ 95 individuals. She explained that the typical occupancy agreement is one month. The facility is staffed 9-5 and members and their employees have a key fob. She spoke about how connected the facility is to the community it serves. She commented that events, programs and workshops are held at the facility. She stated that all the food and beverages purchased at the facility is purchased locally. There are discounted memberships provided to the residential neighbors. She stated that the co-working space generates very few vehicle trips. All the users access the site by public transportation, walking or biking. The site is close to the T and there is no parking for the users of co-working space. There are bike racks. The parking in the rear of the building is for Verizon employees working on the telecommunications operations.
Ms. Schneider discussed the proposed zoning amendment. She stated that when Verizon received its use variance from the BZA last September there was a two-year limit placed on it. It was suggested that Verizon find a more permanent solution for permitting this co-working use. This is the reason for this process. This is a unique situation and the proposal will only apply to this parcel and would not be applicable to any other residential area in the City. This would only apply to existing structures on this parcel housing telephone exchange uses. She noted that there is no play here to make this an independent office use.
This proposal would create a Special Permit process by which the BZA would make a series of findings with respect to the nature of the use and the impacts of that use. She stated that because the Zoning Ordinance does not have a defined co-working use category this was modeled after the co-working space in Kendall Square. She stated that the Planning Board felt that the proposed language with respect to labs and fabrication, or production of experimental products left the door open to uses related to venting and air quality. This was not the vision; this was for small technology platforms.
She stated that the Special Permit criteria on top of section 10.43, Special Permit criteria from the ordinances, there are suggested a series of additional criteria based on comments by the public. This was tailored to minimizing the impacts from this use on the surrounding residential district and include noise, lighting and traffic. She stated that there are provisions that allow the BZA, by Special Permit, to enable the facility to maintain its existing parking because if the use is permitted the facility would be out of compliance with the existing parking requirements of the ordinance. She stated that by Special Permit the existing lighting and signage that is on the building. She stated that Verizon would like to, by Special Permit, be able to make upgrades to the building overtime in the event that there are building code changes or changes in technology that requires changes to the building. She stated that the Planning Board felt that this was too broad. She stated that if the City Council is so inclined toward adopting a provision toward nonconformity she suggested that it be modified so that it is clear that Verizon would not be permitted to make exterior changes to the building without going through a design review process and the footprint of the pre-existing, non-conforming building could not be changed.
She stated that the Planning Board did not recommend approval of the zoning petition and expressed a preference of maintaining the status quo in terms of the ordinance and to have the BZA continue to grant sequential use variances as it sees fit. She addressed the issues of the Planning Board. She noted that the Planning Board was uncomfortable to allow a non-housing use when the City has undergone a city-wide planning process that support housing. She stated that this is a pre-existing, non-conforming telecommunication use that has been on this site for nearly one hundred years. She spoke about the area service by this building and the critical functions that it serves regarding network connection and routing of 911 calls it will not be changing in the foreseeable future. Ms. Schneider explained that 10% of the building is being used as a technology incubator and co-working space and the remainder for telecommunications. She stated that if the facility can no longer be used for this co-working space because the amendment is not approved or fails to get zoning relief from the BZA the 10,000 square feet will not be used for residential; it is not a compatible use. It will house additional telecommunication equipment or uses accessory to this use. She noted that intensification of the pre-existing telecommunications use is likely to result in greater impacts than co-working use, particularly with respect to vehicle trips and parking.
She stated that the Planning Board felt that telecommunications use will become more compact and will free up space in the building and will seek to use this space for additional office or co-working space. She stated that this is not a valid concern based on the language in the petition because there is a limit to the 10,000 square feet on the ground floor which is what is sought in the petition. This could not be expanded without coming back for an additional zoning amendment. Ms. Schneider stated that the Planning Board felt that maintaining sequentially use variances would foster accountability and would give the neighborhood more control over what is going on at the site. She noted that there are many challenges in operating a telecommunications central office in a residential neighborhood. She added that Verizon admits that it does not have a perfect track record in mitigating the impacts of the core use of this building from its neighbors. She spoke about the community outreach done by Verizon over the last year. The feedback is that Verizon has work to do with respect to the central office telecommunications operations. She stated that what has not been heard is that the ground floor co-working use has negatively impacted the neighbors.
Ms. Schneider stated that in reviewing a variance application with respect to the co-working space the BZA would be examining co-working space use and only this use. The operations of the permitted pre-existing, non-conforming use would not be within the scope of this review; this would be grandfathered. She added that the variance process would not create the accountability with respect to the balance of this site that the Planning Board was hoping to accomplish. She stated that from the perspective of Verizon and the occupants of the co-working space, the uncertainty of going through a sequential zoning relief process for a variance is bad for business. She stated that the Planning Board felt that a Special Permit would be insufficient to broker the impacts of this use.
She stated that the Special Permit process and the amendment to the zoning is actually more holistic and invites a much broader review of the use and its impact than a variance review. She commented that a variance review focuses on the hardship resulting from the discontinuance of the use, the unique characteristics of the site. She added that a Special Permit process review would require consideration of the specific concerns articulated by the neighborhood. This includes traffic, parking, noise and lighting. She stated that Verizon would be required to provide specific evidence of our ability to mitigate the impacts in order to receive a Special Permit and failure to mitigate the impacts during operations would result in enforcement action.
She stated that Verizon would voluntarily suggest to the BZA of any Special Permit would be for a term of years; a five-year period would help to mitigate the uncertainty factor but would also give the City and the community an opportunity for Verizon to come back and see how Verizon is doing after five years. She stated that the Planning Board also expressed concern that Verizon track record suggests that it will not comply with the conditions of a Special Permit. She informed the City Council that Verizon is operating in compliance with the applicable local regulations or under variances to such regulations, including the City’s Noise Ordinance. She explained that Verizon sends out notices to abutters regarding any construction work on the site and more than five community meetings have been held to facilitate communications with members and receive feedback about neighborhood concerns. She stated that the co-working space that Verizon is here about has not affect the telecommunications use. This is good for Cambridge’s economy and for its reputation as a tech forward City. Ms. Schneider urged the City Council to approve the proposed amendment.
Councillor Zondervan spoke about the 5 G co-location. He stated that it is his understanding that 5G is going to be deployed over the City and he asked why this co-location is so important and why couldn’t this innovation happen in Kendall Square. Mr. Gorman stated that the 5G would be deployed in Boston as a production network. He stated that the Cambridge site will be a non-production network which is experimentation. Councillor Zondervan asked how location specific this is. Mr. Gorman stated that this has to do with the routing and not to have testing done on the production network. Councillor Zondervan asked could this 5G node be placed in another location. Mr. Gorman said this location was selected due to the infrastructure availability. Councillor Zondervan asked if Verizon has any plans to bringing fiber optics to residents. Mr. Usovicz said not though this zoning amendment.
Vice Mayor Devereux asked why the generator in the wooden box structure is and not in the building. Mr. Usovicz stated that this houses a temporary emergency generator. The new generator is in the basement and currently not connected. He stated that sound mitigation is being done to the permanent emergency generator and this is the reason for the temporary emergency generator located on site for the past eight months.
Vice Mayor Devereux asked if Uber and Lyft users were surveyed. Ms. Schneider stated that when Alley did a survey of the members on how they were getting to work, the responses were public transportation, biking, walking or bus. There were no records of Uber. Vice Mayor Devereux questioned using the space as switching use and that it would have a more impact on the neighborhood; she asked why. Ms. Schneider responded because there would be more Verizon employees parking on the lot with the expansion of the facility. Vice Mayor Devereux asked how many Verizon employees are at the site. Mr. Usovicz stated that there are no specified employees working at this site.
Councillor Siddiqui asked how many meetings were with the community. Mr. Usovicz responded that there were five meetings with the community with a variety of topics. The meetings were held in August, September, February and twice in April. Councillor Siddiqui is there a huge need for this space as it is. Mr. Usovicz there is a greater demand for this type of space than can be met in Cambridge. Ms. Schneider commented that what has been heard is that conventional office space in Cambridge is so expensive and it is hard to find small space that is a minimal commitment and it is affordable. This was to serve as an incubator for this technology and to provide the platform for the 5G.
Councillor Mallon asked if the mitigation, uncertainty for the two-year period and the sequential variances were related to the BZA or Special Permit process. Ms. Schneider explained that Verizon is in a current two-year BZA variance that was received last September. The concern from the Planning Board was if the zoning amendment as proposed were adopted Verizon would get a Special Permit from the BZA and would not be accountable again. She stated that she is suggesting that if the City Council wanted to go down this path Verizon would be agreeable for a committed time limitation with a Special Permit for a five year time period and this may be a way of mitigating the uncertainty for co-working space and the users of the co-working space while trying to address the concern that once an Special Permit is issued it is carte blanche and the only thing left is enforcement.
Councillor Mallon asked why not go to BZA for a five-year sequential variance rather than choosing this route. Ms. Schneider responded that this was what the BZA asked Verizon to do. She stated that a use variance is a rare and generally extraordinary form of zoning relief and in her experience, boards are not comfortable with granting a use variance. She added that the BZA recognized that these were extraordinary circumstances. There were several members of the startup community that spoke at the last BZA hearing and the BZA felt that taking this away from this community would create a hardship for the member community. She stated that the BZA was not comfortable with the use variance being the correct mechanism for this and requested that over the next two years while the variance is in place is to find a more permanent solution. Ms. Schneider stated that the Verizon could be asking for a zoning to allow co-working as of right but are sensitive to the concerns heard from the BZA, the Planning Board and members of the community.
Vice Mayor Devereux stated that she is struggling with this being a hardship on the membership with uncertainty because what is proposed in the zoning is short term leases. She stated that the co-working space has been constructed as the most transient working space and would be limited to six months or less. She asked how this helps membership with certainty. Ms. Schneider stated that certainty for all businesses is a priority and there are members who have a six-month lease and would affect those in the technology community at large who are considering coming into this space. Vice Mayor Devereux asked if there is any requirement for those using the space be a member of tech community or having anything to do with 5G. Ms. Schneider stated that there is no requirement but most of members are tech focused.
Councillor Zondervan asked if the zoning petition is not approved and the BZA denies the extension what is the backup plan to accommodate for these companies. Ms. Schneider stated that there is no back up plan; they would have to house themselves. Councillor Zondervan suggested renting space in the Cambridge Innovation Center. There may be a partnership opportunity here.
Councillor Carlone asked if any of Verizon’s other facilities are in a residential district. Mr. Gorman said he did not know. Councillor Carlone asked if Alley is part of Verizon. Mr. Usovicz stated that Alley is the entity that manages this space on behalf of Verizon. Councillor Carlone how many tenants use 5G. Mr. Usovicz stated that this is unknown but can get this information to the City Council.
Councillor Carlone asked City staff to come forward.
Mr. Roberts stated that the Planning Board held a public hearing on Apr 30, 2019 on this petition and the Planning Board, after deliberation did not vote to recommend approval of the petition. Their concerns are summarized in the report. He stated that the goal of the City’s overall planning is to prioritize the creation of housing and the expansion of a commercial use such as this in a residential district seemed inconsistent to the Planning Board. He noted that front a procedural standpoint, the Planning Board felt that the way that the petition is written it granted overly broad latitude in some. He stated that the Planning Board acknowledged the concerns of the public regarding the impacts of the existing building, while a pre-existing nonconforming use that enabling the continued expansion of a commercial use would not remedy or correct some of the challenges that the neighborhood has faced in trying to accommodate and work with this non-conforming use in the district.
Vice Mayor Devereux asked when the petition expires. City Clerk Lopez responded August 26. Vice Mayor Devereux noted that the table of uses does not list co-working space, and could this use be permitted with a BZA Special Permit and asked how this would be worked into the table of uses. Mr. Roberts stated that innovation space is a concept incorporated into the zoning ordinance primarily for the Kendall Square area and is a type of office use in parts of the zoning ordinance or commercial use. The idea is that it is not distinct from office or lab but has particular characters and criteria it must meet to qualify as innovation space. Mr. Roberts stated that the Planning Board has not looked at creating a new category of use for this type of office or lab space because it has been looked at as a component or sub-set with special qualities that are applied over a general office or lab use.
City Solicitor Glowa stated that uses are not allowed unless they are specifically highlighted in the zoning ordinance and while this may be a sub-set of office uses or lab uses to be able to have a co-working office or lab space the table of uses would need to be amended to allow for this. This could be as of right in all or various districts or could be by Special Permit. She stated that if this were a Special Permit it is up to the City Council whether it would be a BZA Special Permit, which is the default under the ordinance or a Planning Board. She added that even if as a BZA Special Permit is taken on its own, there were other elements for a project that needed a Planning Board Special Permit. It could be combined with the Special Permits and all heard at the same time by the Planning Board.
Councillor Carlone opened public comment at 6:21pm.
Adam Krapish, 10 Ware Street, stated that he works at the Alley for a small startup of nine individuals. He stated that it has been difficult to find affordable office space for a nine people company. He stated that it was a huge advantage to find the Alley near Harvard where our employees could commute. The employees get to the Alley by walking, biking or taking the T. This space is important, and he is excited about 5G capabilities. This speed is important to his employees who are out canvassing the area.
Ronn Kliger, 42 Trowbridge Street, spoke about the 3.5-year struggles that the neighborhood has had with Verizon. The real reason for this petition is not to help startups but it is to help Verizon - to put unused real estate to a more profitable use. He stated that an article in the Washington Post spoke about the telecommunication giant, Verizon, which acknowledged that the massive buildings that used to be filled with bulky computers, cooper cables and other gear are sitting vacant as advances in fiber optics and computers cut down on the need for equipment space. He went on to state that this shift has rendered more than eighty percent of Verizon’s real estate footprint obsolete, spurring a $2 billion sell off in property.
He stated that Verizon noticed the boom in co-working spaces and this resulted in Alley powered by Verizon. He stated that Version owns about 50 million square feet of telecommunication space at 3,600 properties. The freed-up space can be marked for co-working space. He explained that Alley manages the co-working spaces while Verizon takes a cut of the co-working membership fees. He stated that Verizon’s Senior Vice President of Global Real Estate stated that the co-working approach is more profitable than sub-leasing the space. He stated that Verizon is pushing this zoning petition to get a cut of the Alley membership fees because it is more profitable than letting the Ware Street building sit partially empty. He added that there are twelve co-sharing spaces within two miles of this location. He stated that the absence of the Alley at 10 Ware Street would have no effect on the startups. He asked where the merit in this petition is, other than Verizon’s bottom line he does not see any. There is no public good and there is public harm. He submitted his comments (ATTACHMENT C).
Jack Hembrough, 47 Trowbridge Street, stated that Verizon has excess space in the 10 Ware Street building. He stated that one good business solution to better use this space has been to lease it to Alley and let Alley sublet it as co-working space. He noted that this strategy has been successful. He mentioned the businesses that are located at Alley. This has been so successful that Verizon is asking the City Council to rezoning the whole building as an innovation district. He asked that City Council not to allow this. He stated that co-working industrial space does not belong in a residential district. He added that there are a dozen co-working operations in the City and not one is located in a quiet residential area. He requested that the City Council not establish a new precedent. He stated that in the City View newsletter and the City Manager wrote about the housing initiative that Cambridge is implementing. Residential is a City priority and spot zoning such as this proposal is opposed to the City direction. If the use of facility changes shouldn’t Verizon be more comparable with the residential surroundings rather than more industrial. A permanent 100,000 innovation space does not find that common ground. He submitted his comments (ATTACHMENT D).
Michael Turk, 11 Ware Street, stated his opposition to the Verizon petition for a zoning amendment. He agreed with the Planning Board’s reasoning to reject the petition and suggesting the alternative of the status quo. The zoning applies to one building and to a portion of one building and asked if this is spot zoning. He spoke about community engagement and noted that the portrayal of community engagement was vastly overstated. He spoke about invitation to the open house at Alley, but it may have been the only engagement with the community. He stated that tenant may be out of the loop because we are not abutters. There are 230 apartments on Ware Street and he asked if there has been significant notification over time as to what Verizon’s plans were. This is a problem. He asked City Council to reject this petition.
Carol Madigan, owner of 16 Ware Street, stated that this has been a nice community and expressed concern that this petition is looking to expand the commercial use and not contain commercial use in a residential neighborhood. She noted that the petition emphasizes that this is a unique setting connected to 5G, but Verizon stated that this could be done elsewhere. She noted that the memberships offered are for nighttime and weekend use and this is not retaining the current, historical and narrow use of a commercial building in a residential neighborhood. It will create more noise and more lighting issues. She noted that the petition states that the BZA could grant changes to the structure of the building relating to the necessary codes and regulations. She stated that this is not the appropriate use in the neighborhood. She urged the City Council not to pass this petition.
Peter Valentine, 37 Brookline Street, stated that he functions from a multi-dimensional level. He stated that this sounds like you are in servitude to technology. He spoke about replacing humans for robots. Verizon should focus on tech that we will need and not get involved with the cosmos.
Ahmed Noman, 12 Ware Street, spoke about the stick of 5G and it was not there when Alley was first started. The website invites memberships, mentions free WIFI and way down the line 5G is mentioned. He stated that the Cambridge website shows that there are twenty co-working spaces in five square miles. He stated that claiming that there is a shortage of co-working spaces is ridiculous. He spoke about the traffic that he encounters every day. He commented on the statement that there is minimal impact on traffic. He does not agree because he lives on this one-way street. He stated that there are Uber and Lyft vehicles constantly. Members do not use public transit. He urged the City Council to reject this petition.
Sandra Foster, 20 Ware Street, stated that she and her neighbors have been subjected to abuse from Verizon. She spoke about Verizon’s neglect of hedges along their property. She complained about the condition of the hedges. Verizon does not shovel or plow their sidewalk after a storm. She stated that the new startup program does not contribute to the community. She commented that Verizon charges rent to the startups for the use of their lab space and equipment even though they are working on Verizon’s product called 5G. They are siphoning off the creative ideas of their startup members who work on their 5G. She stated that it would be better if the startup members obtain patents on their ideas and were on a career track. She spoke about the zoning provision in section 8.000 being non- conforming and would allow Verizon to make alterations and enlargements that are detrimental to the neighborhood.
Jonathan Ng, startup at 10 Ware Street, stated that this is a 16-member company. He stated that he approached Alley because of its location. He explained that he had difficulty finding a location that was cost effective and could house a medium size company. He stated that Alley could accommodate the size of his company and it was affordable. His company is a tech company that develops software for the medical and space that requires a lot of high-end intelligence from MIT and Harvard.
Public comment closed at 6:48pm.
Councillor Carlone asked Mr. Roberts is it correct that the Planning Board report received is a final report. Mr. Roberts responded in the affirmative. Councillor Carlone asked the members if they learned anything different today.
Vice Mayor Devereux did not learn anything different than what was in the Planning Board recommendation nor anything different in public comment in terms of granting a permit to have this be a permanent zoning change that would enshrine this co-working use with this property. She stated that there was no compelling public reason to do this. She agreed with Planning Board.
Councillor Mallon expressed concerns about whether this is spot zoning. She commented that only 10% of what is in this building in this one district will be co-working space and she is not convinced that this is not spot zoning. She asked if this petition were forwarded to the full City Council with an unfavorable recommendation what is the process that Verizon would need to follow to continue keeping Alley in this location.
City Solicitor Glowa stated that Verizon has a variance for another 1-2 years and would be entitled to go back to BZA and seek an additional variance for the same, or greater or less time.
Councillor Mallon spoke about the Planning Board bringing up this as possibly setting a precedent and juxtaposed to the goals of the City Council to have more affordable housing. She understood that this particular location would never be housing but the precedent would be there when thinking about affordable housing in a residential neighborhood. She stated that she understood the concerns about the nighttime and weekend use. She noted that this is a full-time use in a residential neighborhood. She did not hear anything that would change her way of thinking about this.
Councillor Siddiqui concurred with colleagues on this discussion. She stated that she is sympathetic with more companies looking for space and there are other small companies struggling to find work space. She spoke about the narrative and agreed with her colleagues on this.
Councillor Carlone stated that he agreed with Council comments. He stated that this building was built in a time when industry built in a spirit of the neighborhood and is one of the nicer buildings on the block. He spoke about the danger of setting precedent especially with urban design. He stated that 10% becomes a precedent.
The following communications were received and made part of this report.
A communication was received from Allen K. Gibbs, 42-2 Trowbridge Street, in opposition to the zoning petition filed by Verizon (ATTACHMENT E).
A communication was received from Aaron Sherman, CEO, Storyboard That, in support of Verizon’s case to keep the Alley a co-working facility operational to help young companies (ATTACHMENT F).
Councillor Carlone moved to refer the petition to the City Council with an unfavorable recommendation. The motion carried on a voice vote of four members.
Councillor Carlone thanked all those present for their attendance.
The hearing adjourned at 6:55pm.
For the Committee,
Councillor Dennis J. Carlone, 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
18-21. 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
18-53. 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
18-83. 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
18-96. 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
18-108. 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
18-129. 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
18-137. Report on reviewing the FCC Regulations on Small Cell Technology.
Vice Mayor Devereux (O-18) from 12/3/2018
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
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
19-5. 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
19-16. 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
19-21. 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
19-32. Report on the number of fines for failure to clear sidewalks issued from the winter of 2014-15 through the winter of 2018-19. See Mgr #10
Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Kelley (O-4) 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
19-39. 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
19-42. 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. See Mgr #9
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
19-49. 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
19-53. Report on working 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 (O-4) from 5/6/2019
19-54. Report 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 (O-5) from 5/6/2019
19-55. Report on working with the Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department and the License Commission to establish a "play streets" permit.
Councillor Mallon, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Siddiqui (O-7) from 5/6/2019
19-56. Report on determining what facilities, parking changes, and other improvements to the pavement conditions would be necessary and feasible to make Massachusetts Avenue a quick-build Complete Street between Sidney Street and Putnam Avenue.
Vice Mayor Devereux, Mayor McGovern, Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Carlone (O-2) from 5/13/2019
19-57. Report on establishing a partnership with the MBTA to offer CharlieCards at certain public buildings throughout the city.
Mayor McGovern, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Zondervan, Councillor Siddiqui (O-4) from 5/20/2019
19-58. Report on working with the Recycling Advisory Committee and other stakeholders to draft an ordinance banning single-use plastic items in Cambridge.
Councillor Zondervan, Vice Mayor Devereux, Mayor McGovern, Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Carlone (O-6) from 5/13/2019
19-59. Report on exploring a pilot for Level 1 (110V) EV and Micromobility charging stations on street light poles throughout the city.
Councillor Zondervan, Councillor Kelley, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Siddiqui (O-7) from 5/13/2019
19-60. Report on adding a cybercrime assessment section to the list of monthly Bridgstat reports or, alternatively, create a separate report to help formalize the information flow about cybercrime to the same level as the currently used Bridgstat.
Councillor Kelley, Councillor Zondervan, Mayor McGovern, Councillor Siddiqui (O-8) from 5/13/2019
19-61. Report on potential ballot changes at a public hearing of the Government Operations, Rules and Claims Committee on May 28, 2019.
Vice Mayor Devereux (O-9) from 5/13/2019
19-62. Report on drafting a formal Anti-bias /Cultural Competency Strategic Plan for eventual adoption and implementation.
Councillor Simmons (O-2) from 5/20/2019
19-64. Report on adding $20 Million to the budget for Affordable Housing.
Councillor Simmons, Councillor Mallon, Councillor Siddiqui, Mayor McGovern (O-6) from 5/20/2019
19-65. Report on the pilot program and whether it could be implemented as a permanent program, which made menstrual products available in all restrooms, regardless of the gender identity assigned to that restroom.
Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Simmons, Mayor McGovern, Councillor Siddiqui (O-2) from 6/3/2019
19-66. Report on whether it is possible to reduce or eliminate Building Permit Fees for 100% affordable housing development projects, through an exemption or other means and investigate what types of real estate tax abatements are possible for 100% affordable housing moving forward.
Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Carlone, Mayor McGovern (O-3) from 6/3/2019
19-67. Report on setting up a series of informational and interactive Affordable Housing Overlay workshops in a variety of neighborhoods to give residents the chance to foster a productive and informational dialogue with City staff. See Mgr #8
Councillor Mallon, Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Simmons, Mayor McGovern (O-6) from 6/3/2019
19-69. Report on the timeline and process for the creation of a stakeholder group to conduct the Cambridge Net Zero Action Plan review, as well as any other details on the process by which the quinquennial review will be conducted in 2020.
Councillor Zondervan, Vice Mayor Devereux (O-8) from 6/3/2019
19-70. Report on the feasibility of implementing suggested restoration projects in the area surrounding Jerry’s Pond, in order to make the Pond more accessible and inviting to the community.
Councillor Siddiqui, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Carlone, Councillor Zondervan (O-10) from 6/3/2019
19-71. Report on obtaining data from Eversource on electrical demand projections by year until at least 2030, including a breakdown of commercial vs residential demand growth, as well as a ten year historical look back.
Councillor Zondervan, Councillor Carlone, Vice Mayor Devereux (O-11) from 6/3/2019
19-72. Report on conducting a safety check of the Sullivan Courthouse Building.
Councillor Mallon, Councillor Toomey (O-16) from 6/3/2019