Cambridge City Council meeting - June 21, 2010 - AGENDA
1. A communication was received from D. Margaret Drury, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Sam Seidel and Councillor Timothy J. Toomey, Co-Chairs of the Government Operations and Rules Committee, for a meeting held on Mar 25, 2010 for the purpose of discussing dividing the Health and Environment Committee into two committees, one to focus on health issues and the other on environmental and sustainability issues.
CITY MANAGER’S AGENDA
1. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of donations received by the Peace Commission in the amount of $500.00 to the Grant Fund Peace Commission Other Ordinary Maintenance account to support Peace@Home workshops, which provides men training on how to discuss domestic violence with other men.
2. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of donations received by the Peace Commission in the amount of $805.00 to the General Fund Peace Commission Other Ordinary Maintenance account to support the annual Peace and Justice Awards Dinner.
3. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to requesting the appropriation of 21 Proof Training donations in the amount of $14,240.00 to the Grant Fund Human Service Programs Salary and Wages account to conduct 21 Proof server training.
4. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 10-02, regarding an assessment and plan for repairs and improvements, if needed, regarding the present conditions of all of our school playgrounds.
5. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 10-75, regarding the status of the Healthy Parks and Playgrounds Advisory Committee.
6. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Number 10-87 regarding the reasons for removing the dedicated walk cycle from Mass. Ave crossings between Harvard and Porter Squares.
7. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Number 10-46, requesting a report detailing issues of greatest importance that are before the Police Review and Advisory Board.
June 21, 2010
To the Honorable, the City Council:
In response to Awaiting Report Number 10-46, requesting a report detailing issues of greatest importance that are before the Police Review and Advisory Board, PRAB Executive Secretary Marlissa Briggett reports the following:
The City Council has asked for a report detailing what are perceived to be the issues of greatest importance that the Police Review & Advisory Board ("PRAB" or the "Board") must focus on. The role of a civilian oversight board and its overall mission requires a strong collaboration and partnership between the Board, the public and the Cambridge Police Department ("CPD" or the "Department"). Our most important work in the weeks and months ahead is to build upon the infrastructure we have in place to make that collaboration and partnership a strong one.
Building Public Trust and Confidence
The greatest priority of PRAB is to instill a sense of confidence in PRAB among complainants and potential complainants. We have put processes in place to communicate more effectively with complainants and the public. Our goal in the coming months is to increase these communication efforts.
The Board has an important function in serving as a public forum for police complaints, both in terms of individual incidents of misconduct and more general policy issues. The Board regularly has members of the public in attendance at our meetings. In an effort to build a partnership with the public, we have established a policy that reserves a period of time at each regular monthly meeting for public comment.
We have also reserved time in each regular PRAB meeting for a report from the Cambridge Police Department to inform the board and the public about relevant initiatives by the CPD. The subject area of these presentations may arise from questions and concerns raised during our public comment periods. We expect to continue to include regular reports from the CPD. Any feedback received from the public on issues presented at the meeting is forwarded to a representative of the police department.
Quarterly reports on the work of PRAB will be provided. The reports will include non-confidential information regarding the status of PRAB complaints.
Finally, we have been working to make the PRAB website a better resource for residents who want to learn more about PRAB's work. To that end, we have begun to regularly post minutes, meeting dates and announcements there. Looking ahead, we'd like to overhaul the website to make it generally more user- friendly.
A civilian oversight board is effective only to the extent that people know of its existence and function. To that end, PRAB places great importance on an effective outreach plan. We will be working in the months ahead to develop a plan for reaching out to the community to educate them about PRAB. It is anticipated that Board staff and members will attend community events and meetings to promote the existence and mission of PRAB to a variety of groups. In addition, we have recently completed a Public Service Announcement providing general information about PRAB which will air on CCTV.
Collaboration with the Police Department
The Board has established strong and effective communication with the police liaison to the Board, Deputy Superintendent Christine Elow. PRAB provides oversight into investigations filed directly with the CPD, as well as those filed through PRAB. The Board will continue to work closely with Deputy Elow to assess effectively the Departmental investigations into police misconduct and the resulting outcomes. The Board will continue to participate in trainings by the police department to develop a better understanding of police work. This year, we will add "Walk-Along" trainings to provide Board insight into the CPD's approach to the homeless population in Central Square. Further, the CPD has agreed to consult with the Board as new policies and procedures are developed in the Department. The Board will review these policies and procedures accordingly. Similarly, the Board hopes to work with the Department as it works to implement any recommendations made by the Cambridge Review Panel.
A successful mediation program may help to build positive relations between officers and residents. PRAB and the CPD would like to develop an effective mediation option for selected complaints which can be pursued with the consent of both parties at any stage of the investigation. Such complaints may include cases where complainants are less interested in an ultimate finding than they are interested in sitting down face-to-face to express their concerns with the officer(s) in an impartial setting. Mediation would not be an option in a complaint of excessive force but may be appropriate for complaints of discourtesy.
Where a complainant feels satisfied by the mediation, the mediation is considered a success and the investigation will conclude. Where a complainant is not satisfied, the investigation into the complaint continues.
Regional NACOLE Conference
At the last annual conference of the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement ("NACOLE"), Board member Richard Peters was approached about the possibility of PRAB hosting a regional conference to supplement the annual national conference. With the assistance of Commissioner Haas, PRAB would like to develop a regional NACOLE conference next winter for civilian oversight boards and law enforcement in the Northeast region.
Ongoing Board Training
Training is an important component for an effective civilian oversight board. Thus, the planning and implementation of training will be a PRAB priority in the coming months. The Department is currently preparing training for the Board including Ride-Alongs, the afore-mentioned Walk-Alongs, a 6 hour training block scheduled for September 2010 regarding complaints, investigations, audits, and relevant CPD policies and training. The City's Law Department is preparing training for the Board in the Massachusetts open meeting laws. Finally, PRAB expects to have a presence at the annual NACOLE fall conference in September 2010.
This is an exciting and challenging time for PRAB as we look forward to an era of robust citizen participation in the Cambridge Police Department. By focusing on (i) a strong collaboration between the public, the Board and the CPD, and (ii) strengthening PRAB's training and communication processes, we look forward to accomplishing the goals set forth in the ordinance.
Very truly yours, Robert W. Healy, City Manager
8. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of the Proper Storage and Disposal of Prescription Drugs grant received from Health Resources in Action in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health in the amount of $9,936.00 to the Grant Fund Human Service Programs Salary and Wages account ($1,600.00), the Grant Fund Human Service Programs Other Ordinary Maintenance account ($8,209.00) and to the Grant Fund Human Service Programs Travel and Training account ($127.00).
9. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Number 10-93, regarding the status of the Cambridge bike sharing program and timeline for implementation.
10. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Number 10-90, regarding a report on recent commercial break-ins in East Cambridge.
11. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Number 10-71, regarding cleaning sidewalks in front of licensed establishments.
12. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to the transfer of $75,000 from the Employee Benefits Salary and Wages account (Insurance) to the Public Works Department Travel and Training account (judgment and damages) to cover current and anticipated medical services/prescription costs and workers compensation lump sum settlement costs for employees injured during the performance of their work duties.
13. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Number 10-84, regarding proposed traffic calming measures for Linnaean Street.
14. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Number 10-76, regarding current tree related ordinances, state statutes and informal policies.
Referred to Environment Committee (Kelley, Cheung)
June 21, 2010
To the Honorable, the City Council:
In response to Awaiting Report Number 10-76, regarding current tree related ordinances, state statutes and informal policies, DPW Commissioner Lisa Peterson reports the following:
In addition to a review of tree related ordinances, state statutes and informal policies, the Council Order requests a report of the number and prevalent patterns of tree hearings, removals and keepings; reasons trees have been kept or removed, with a clarification of consideration in the decision making process; and a summary of standards, guidelines and considerations the City Arborist adheres to in the decision making process. Below, please find a report on these items, including a detailed review of 2 years of data.
Ordinance, State Statutes, and Informal Policies
Chapter 8.66 of the Cambridge Municipal Code, Tree Protection
The City's Tree Protection Ordinance (Chapter 8.66 of the Cambridge Municipal Code) stipulates that projects requiring a special permit under sections 4.26.1-4.26.3, 19.20, 11.12.1, 11.12.2 or 11.12.3 of the Zoning Ordinance comply with provisions of the Tree Protection Ordinance. This Ordinance applies widely throughout the city. In retail, office, industrial and institutional areas, any project of 25,000 square feet or more is required to implement a "Tree Protection Plan" approved by the City Arborist. That approved "Plan" is a condition of the issuance of any building permit authorizing the new construction. The affected areas are those same retail, office, industrial and high density residential zoning districts where the site plan and project review requirements of Sections 19.20 and 19.50 of the Zoning Ordinance are imposed. Where a special permit is required under these sections, the Planning Board is authorized to impose conditions based upon the Tree Protection Plan and the recommendations of the Arborist, but only after a public hearing at which interested persons could express their views on any such conditions. Two limited commercial areas, at the Kendall Square Urban Renewal area's Cambridge Center and University Park near Central Square, are not subject to the Tree Protection Plan requirements as these areas are also not subject to the site plan and project review procedures.
In the residential neighborhoods of the city, the same Tree Protection Plan would be required where multifamily or townhouse developments needing a special permit from the Planning Board are proposed. In the Residence B and Residence C zoning districts that special permit is required for any proposed project of six or more new housing units. The Residence B district is found principally in North and West Cambridge; the Residence C district is found in Cambridgeport. In the Residence C -1 zoning districts found in Mid-Cambridge, Riverside, and East Cambridge, a special permit is required where twelve or more new housing units are proposed on a lot. The special permit requirements do not apply to the Affordable Housing Trust or other qualified projects for the construction of low and moderate income affordable housing.
Massachusetts General Law (MGL) Chapter 87: Shade Trees
Under MGL Chapter 87: Shade Trees, the care and control of all trees in the public way (except those within a state highway or park) fall under the Tree Warden. In Cambridge, the Tree Warden is the City Arborist and is appointed by the City Manager. MGL Chapter 87 specifies that trees within the Tree Warden's jurisdiction cannot be removed without a hearing, with some exceptions. The requirements for the hearing and notice are as follows:
* Notice must identify size, type, and location of tree
* Must be posted in 2 or more public places in town, upon the tree at least 7 days before the hearing, and published in the newspaper of general circulation for 2 successive weeks (with first publication not less than 7 days before the hearing).
* No removal can be made if any objection is made at the hearing or before the hearing in writing without approval from the City Manager.
Trees less than 1.5 inches in diameter one foot from the ground and bushes are exempted from the hearing requirement.
Also, if the City Manager deems that a tree or bush obstructs, endangers, hinders or incommodes travelers on a public way, he may order the Tree Warden to remove the tree or bush without a hearing.
Chapter 87 also provides that "Nothing contained in this chapter shall prevent the trimming, cutting, or removal of any tree which endangers persons traveling on a highway" or removal for the purpose of widening the highway or suppression of pests. This language has been construed in case-law to place primary importance on public safety when it comes to trimming, cutting or removal of trees and bushes presenting a risk to public safety, without the need for a public hearing.
In Cambridge, hearing notices are posted on tree themselves, at the Clerk's Office, on the City and DPW website, and in the Cambridge Chronicle. All hearings are held at DPW, 147 Hampshire Street. The City Arborist typically puts together a PowerPoint presentation of the trees on the agenda for possible removal. During the hearing, he will outline his professional opinion as to whether or not the tree should be removed. Trees can also be put on the schedule if a resident or project manager requests, even if the Arborist disagrees with the removal, in order to give the requestor a fair hearing.
Given that attendance at hearings is usually fairly small, comments are taken informally as each tree is discussed, and objections are noted. After the hearing, the City Arborist will forward a memo with his recommendations for each case to the City Manager if an objection to a removal is received. The City Manager makes the final decision for all removals for which written objections have been received prior to or at the hearing.
Decision to Remove Trees
a. How are trees identified for removal?
The City Arborist typically gets called to look at trees either by resident request or because of reports by City staff. Sometimes a request for pruning turns into a removal based on inspection. There are also trees removed because of storm events.
b. When are trees placed on the hearing schedule?
Trees under consideration for removal are placed on the hearing schedule unless they are determined to be an imminent hazard by the criteria listed below. All decisions to place a tree on the hearing schedule, or to remove a tree without a hearing because it is a hazard, are made by the City Arborist, although the City Manager has some authority in this regard as mentioned above.
c. What constitutes a hazard?
The City Arborist makes the decision to remove hazardous trees or to put less imminently hazardous trees onto the hearing schedule based on the US Forest Service Hazard Risk Assessment criteria. These criteria include potential targets should the tree fall, the size of a defect, and the severity of a defect. Trees that present a great risk to people or property should they fall, and that present large, structurally significant damage to the trunk or major roots are candidates for removal, as are trees with more than 60% dead wood. The exact cut off for removal will depend on the species of the tree (as each species responds differently to damage). Depending on the species of the tree and resident feedback, the Arborist may decide to delay a tree removal by a year or so when possible, but public safety is always the top priority.
Other resources the Arborist uses to determine whether a tree should be removed include (but are not limited to) the Evaluation of Hazard Trees in Urban Areas (Matheny, Clark), Evaluating Tree Defects (Hayes), Arboriculture & Urban Forestry Journal (Formerly the Journal of Arboriculture), Cooperative Extension resources, academic articles, and Forest Service publications. The primary mode of investigation is visual inspection and documenting condition with photographs, however the Arborist will also use a rubber mallet for sounding (listening for voids/ rot) and for the past year and a half has had a resistograph that can be used to check shell thickness and if needed track changes over time.
Approximately one or two times each month, the City Arborist will consult with other local tree wardens about cases on an informal basis, or will contact experts in the field at the UMass Stockbridge School in Amherst. On a few occasions in difficult cases, DPW has retained the services of outside arborists for formal consultation.
Some trees are brought to the Arborist's attention through complaints about sidewalk defects, sewer line intrusion and foundation damage. Very rarely does a healthy tree get removed for the above mentioned situations. However, if the tree is in poor condition or presents a potential risk to public safety, the tree may go through a tree hearing process. If the tree presents a high risk to public safety, the Arborist may remove the tree without a tree hearing.
With regard to trees within a proposed infrastructure project, the Arborist meets with all representatives from the project to make sure every effort is being made to preserve trees. Some infrastructure projects may or do require tree removal, and these trees are typically put through a tree hearing process.
Other Policies regarding tree protection and removal
Tree Specifications During Construction
Each significant City construction project in the public right of way includes detailed specifications for tree protection and consequences for damage to trees during construction. The specifications are included in Attachment A.
While these full requirements do not apply to privately funded construction that impacts street trees, fines for damage to street trees can still be applied. Chapter 87, Section 12 states that a fine of up to five hundred dollars, ($500.00) per incident of damage to public shade trees can be levied. Each branch broken or improperly pruned, each improper wounding of the trunks of the trees, and each root improperly pruned shall constitute an infraction. Section 12 further provides that anyone who negligently or willfully damages a tree will be liable to the City for all damages.
Background and overview of City operation
The quality of the City's forestry efforts have been recognized by the National Arbor Day Foundation, which recently awarded Cambridge the Tree City USA award for the 17th consecutive year, as well as the Foundation's more prestigious Growth Award for two consecutive years. The Growth Award is provided by The Arbor Day Foundation, in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the USDA Forest Service, to recognize environmental improvement and encourage higher levels of tree care throughout America. This award is designed not only to recognize achievement, but also to communicate new ideas and help the leaders of all Tree City USAs plan for improving community tree care in the areas of: education and public relations; partnerships; planning and management; and tree planting and maintenance.
The City Arborist works out of the Parks and Forestry Division at DPW. In addition to his responsibilities related to removals, the City Arborist works with in-house crews and private maintenance contractors on the tree planting program, cyclical pruning program, data management, responding to residents' service requests, and responding to tree-related emergencies.
DPW has 8 full-time staff members - including the City Arborist, supervisors, tree climbers and forestry workers - who work for the Urban Forestry Division. Several of these employees have decades of experience working in this field.
The current City Arborist, David Lefcourt, has held his position for approximately two and half years. In addition to his Arborist Certification from the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), David holds the more rigorous ISA Municipal Specialist certification. David is also certified as an arborist by the Massachusetts Arborist Association, is certified as a landscape professional by the Massachusetts Association of Landscape Professionals, is a trained member of the US Forest Service Strike Team (which surveys damage and evaluates risk associated with storm damaged trees), and has participated in tree risk assessment training through the Massachusetts Tree Wardens. He currently serves on the Executive Board of the Massachusetts Tree Wardens as the representative for Middlesex County, and is a member of the Massachusetts Certified Arborist Exam Committee for the Massachusetts Arborist Association.
Additional DPW staff members who are also ISA certified Arborists include: Superintendent of Parks and Forestry Kelly Writer, Urban Forestry Supervisor Richard Woods, Landscape Administrator Ellen Coppinger, and Tree Climber Joseph DiBlasi.
Ensuring Trees Live a Long, Healthy Life
One of the most important ways that tree removals can be avoided is to make sure that they are properly planted, receive sufficient water early in life, are protected from potential damage, and are pruned on a regular basis. Over the past couple of years, the City Arborist has worked with other DPW staff to make improvements to DPW's program in all those areas. Major initiatives include: improvements to tree planting specifications under the annual tree planting contract, the inclusion of "Gator" water bags and tree care outreach material with all newly planted trees, active coordination with sidewalk reconstruction projects to maximize the number of trees planted and provide the best possible planting environment, and more rigorous tree protection requirements for contractors.
Other Program Elements
GIS: Several years ago the DPW completed a baseline GIS street tree inventory. This map-based data gives the following attributes on each street tree: Species, cultivar, condition, dbh (diameter at breast height), tree height, canopy width, # of trunks, tree well status (tree, stump, planting site or retired), type of tree (street, park, cemetery, etc), tree well size, plant date (if known) and removal date (if known). The US Forest Service Hazard Risk Rating will be added to the inventory form soon. The Risk Rating will allow the arborist to prioritize removals based on a calculated point system that is based on potential targets, size of defect and severity of defect.
Since the baseline was completed, staff have worked to implement a system of regular updates to the data when a tree is planted or removed. This summer the Department will have an intern working to help complete additional updates. We are now using data to set goals/ performance measures. For example, we currently have 582 empty tree wells, with a goal of reducing that number to 450 by the end of next fiscal year.
While the street tree inventory is largely complete, the parks and open space tree inventory is approximately forty percent complete, with 208 acres (including Fresh Pond Reservation and the Cambridge Golf Course) remaining to be inventoried.
Work Order System: Staff also log all Forestry-related work orders in the Cambridge Request System (CRS), a computerized work order system. This provides a record of resident requests for service, inspections, and outcomes (such as planting, pruning, or removal). In 2008, the Urban Forestry Division opened 723 service requests and closed 709 services requests; in 2009, the Division opened 657 service requests and closed 628 service.
Volunteer opportunities: The City Arborist meets monthly with the City Manager-appointed Committee on Public Planting. The role of the Committee is to promote and improve the quality and diversity of public plantings throughout all areas of the City, and preference in appointments of the 11-21 members is given to those with horticulture or practical experience, or interest in urban forestry and landscape issues. The Committee receives updates on and discusses the City's tree planting, pruning, and inventory programs, and reviews and comments on development projects. All Committee meetings are advertised on the City's web calendar and are open to the public.
DPW continues to look for ways to engage the residents with the urban forest, including through a possible "citizen pruners group" or through participation in tree inventory updating. The City Arborist also plans to have several neighborhood walks to help further educate the residents about trees and the urban forest.
Current Cambridge Public Tree Statistics (as of end of FY10)
street trees 11,474 Cemetery trees 650 parks trees 3,000* Total public trees 15,124 trees
*excludes 208 acres of parkland remaining to be inventoried, including Fresh Pond Reservation and the Cambridge Golf Course.
Recent Removal Statistics
2008 2009 Total Removals 130 85 # of Forestry OT Events associated with storm activity 27 22 # of Resident Requests for Removal 50 45 # of Tree Hearings Held 9 8 # of trees heard 98 27 # of trees heard with objections 51 7 # of trees heard/ not removed 9 kept/ 6 relocated 3
Taken in the context of the City's overall inventory of public trees citywide, less than 1% of trees are being removed on an annual basis, and trees are being replanted at a faster rate than they are being removed.
In 2008, there were approximately 130 tree removals. Of those, 98 trees (75%) were heard at a hearing, while the remaining 32 were removed outside of the hearing process through the hazard process.
In 2008, approximately 48% of trees heard listed either streetscape improvements or development as the primary reason for posting in the hearing notice, while approximately 36% listed tree health and public safety issues like dieback, decay, and structural defects as the primary reason for posting. There were several large developments during 2008 that accounted for the large number of trees that went to hearing, though those trees approved for removal were often also in poor health and their removal was mitigated by additional planting. For example, at DeGugliemo Plaza for the MBTA Elevator Project, 6 trees were heard for removal but were actually relocated to Pacific Street and Danehy parks; additionally, four new trees are proposed to be replanted in the plaza after the elevator project is completed. On Main Street for an MIT development, the 11 Bradford trees approved for removal were also found to represent a safety risk. That project ultimately proposed numerous large and small caliper trees both on City and adjacent MIT property that more than offset the loss associated with those trees removed.
In 2008, 51 trees up for hearing (52%) were the subject of objections. Nine of the trees that went to hearing were kept, and another 6 were relocated, resulting in a keeping rate of 15% among trees heard.
During 2009, there were approximately 85 removals, 27 of which (32%) were heard at hearings. Approximately 63% of those trees posted listed tree health and public safety issues like dieback, decay, and structural defects as the primary reason for posting, while 33% of trees heard were in conjunction with either streetscape improvements or development projects.
In 2009, 7 trees were subject to objection (26% of those heard). Three trees were kept after hearing, a keeping rate of 11%.
Forestry crew overtime response is an indicator of storm-related tree damage. An exact count of hazard removals that resulted from storms cannot be determined from available data, though storms are a significant factor in tree removal. In 2008, there were 27 emergency weather events to which the Urban Forestry division responded. In 2009, there were 22 emergency weather events.
In most cases, locations where trees have been removed are subject to replanting except when utility or sidewalk conditions will absolutely not permit replanting. In cases of private development, the City works with developers to ensure that as many, in most cases more, trees are replanted in the area, often on abutting private property.
Beyond replanting on a tree-by-tree basis, trees being planted overall in the public way greatly outpace those being removed. As noted in the City Manager's Submitted FY11 Budget, in FY09 a total 490 trees were planted in the public way, while by the end of FY10 that figure is projected to rise to 550 trees. While new trees are certainly smaller than those removed, taken in conjunction with efforts to maximize tree survival and longevity they represent a positive direction in the overall urban forestry program. Approximately 5% of new trees planted each year fail, and these trees are generally removed as hazard trees within the first one to two years after planting.
As noted earlier, a key focus of DPW's Urban Forestry Program is to avoid tree removals by making sure trees are properly planted, receive sufficient water early in life, are protected from potential damage, and are pruned on a regular basis.
City of Cambridge Department of Public Works
Tree Protection During Construction
The following are among the requirements placed on contractors during sewer and street reconstruction projects:
Public shade trees are protected by Massachusetts state law, Chapter 87. Section 12 states that a fine of up to five hundred dollars, ($500.00) per incident of damage to public shade trees can be levied. Each branch broken or improperly pruned, each improper wounding of the trunks of the trees, and each root improperly pruned shall constitute an infraction. Section 12 further provides that anyone who negligently or willfully damages a tree will be liable to the City for all damages.
During all construction projects, the utmost care shall be taken by the contractor to avoid unauthorized, unnecessary or improper wounding of public or private shade trees. Prior to construction, the contractor shall provide a tree protection plan and work schedule. A Massachusetts or International Certified Arborist shall be sub-contracted by the contractor to provide a protection plan and perform specified work
Pre-construction tree protection measures shall include the following:
Wrapping the trunks of trees with a diameter at breast height (DBH) of 6" or greater with a durable material such as two by four lumber sufficient to protect tree trunks from mechanical damage. Removal of protective wrapping shall be done by the contractor after construction in complete.
The proper pruning (raise pruning) of low branches to a height no greater than fourteen feet (14") above the roadway and eight feet (8") above the sidewalk. This includes trees endangered by traffic re-routing as the result of construction operations.
Traffic control plans shall be designed in such a way as to direct traffic away from tree trunks and branches.
Tunneling shall be the preferred method of excavation adjacent to tree roots to avoid root pruning. If root pruning is unavoidable, certified personnel shall execute the operation with sufficiently sharpened had tools and in such a fashion as to have minimum negative impact on tree health and safety.
Trucks and heavy equipment shall not pass over or park on roots of public shade trees. A protection zone shall be established by erecting a ridged fence outside the perimeter of the dripline of the tree. For occasional or one time access over roots, ½' plywood overlapped may be used. Permeable materials such as gravel or wood chips shall be placed over root systems of trees which are not covered by hardscape and over which trucks and heavy equipment must travel during construction operations, when such travel is unavoidable, to prevent soil compaction and root damage. Material shall be replaced as needed.
All tree protection measures and operations shall be subject to review, approval or change by the City Tree Warden.
Very truly yours, Robert W. Healy, City Manager
ON THE TABLE
1. A communication was received from D. Margaret Drury, City Clerk, transmitting a copy of the referral of Order Number 15 of Dec 21, 2009, regarding increasing the amount of public information about elections while the election is in progress, to the 2010-2011 City Council. [Communications and Reports from City Officers #1 of Jan 11, 2010 Placed on Table.]
2. That the City Manager is requested to restore funding for School Department clerical positions until a proper and negotiated process can be achieved with the Cambridge School Department and Unions representing the employees, and to report back to the City Council on the progress. [Order Number Fourteen of Apr 26, 2010 Placed on Table. May 10, 2010 Councillor Kelley made a motion to take from the table motion failed 2-7-0 remains on Table.]
3. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 10-32, regarding a report on issues with the development of the former St. John's property site. [Charter Right exercised on City Manager Agenda Item Number Eighteen of May 24, 2010. Placed on Table June 7, 2010.]
4. An application was received from Tony LaVita, requesting permission for a curb cut at the premises numbered 68 Middlesex Street; said petition has received approval from Inspectional Services, Traffic, Parking and Transportation, Historical and Public Works. No response has been received from the neighborhood association. [Applications and Petitions Number Ten Of June 7, 2010 Placed on Table.]
5. A communication was received from D. Margaret Drury, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Timothy J. Toomey, Jr., Co-Chair of the Ordinance Committee, for a meeting held on June 9, 2010 to continue discussion of a proposed amendment to Section 5.28.2 of the Zoning Ordinance to expand the applicability of section 5.28 Conversation of Non Residential Structures to Residential Use to include structures that may have been built for residential use but have been in Institutional Use for at least ten years. The question comes on passing to be ordained on or after June 28, 2010. Planning Board hearing held on June 1, 2010. Petition expires Aug 4, 2010.
6. A communication was received from D. Margaret Drury, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Timothy J. Toomey, Co-Chair of the Ordinance Committee, for a hearing held on June 9, 2010 to continue discussion of a petition by the City Council to amend the Zoning Ordinance in accord with the recommendations of the Green Building Task Force to encourage energy efficient buildings. The question comes on passing to be ordained on or after June 28, 2010. Planning Board hearing held May 18, 2010. Petition expires Aug 4, 2010.
APPLICATIONS AND PETITIONS
1. An application was received from The Vitamin Shoppe, requesting permission for a sandwich board sign in front of the premises numbered 18-28 John F. Kennedy Street.
2. Constable bond received from Ronald DiGiorgio for approval of the surety.
3. A communication was received from North Cambridge Stabilization Committee, transmitting conditional disapproval of the curb cut application of Tony LaVita, 68 Middlesex Street.
4. An application was received from Flour Bakery & Cafe, requesting permission for a sign at the premises numbered 190 Massachusetts Avenue. Approval has been received from Inspectional Services, Department of Public Works, Community Development and abutters.
5. An application was received from 39 JFK LLC, requesting permission for three double face projecting banners at the premises numbered 39 JFK Street. Approval has been received from Inspectional Services, Department of Public Works, Historical Commission, Board of Zoning Appeal and abutters.
1. A communication was received from Allan E. Powell, Corporate General Manager, The Coop, transmitting thanks for the resolution recognizing the recently elected student Board of Directors.
2. A communication was received from Eve Sullivan, 144 Pemberton Street, regarding memorial signs and street dedications. Additional Attachments are available at the City Clerk's Office.
3. A communication was received from Stacy Jonh Thomas, 9A Cottage Street, transmitting support for Policy Order Number Five requesting the current owner to honor the agreement made by the previous owner on Third Street to have a one hundred percent community standard work site.
1. Resolution on the death of Rosalyn (Shuman) Weisman. Councillor Toomey
2. Congratulations to Mark Falzone and Robin Hamilton on their recent marriage. Councillor Toomey
3. Declare July 2, 2010 as "UniverSoul Circus Day" in the City of Cambridge. Councillor Reeves
4. Congratulations to Jason Weeks, Executive Director of the Arts Council, for his ten years of leadership. Mayor Maher
5. Welcome Dan Algarin of the Jaguar Corporation to the City of Cambridge. Mayor Maher
6. Congratulations to the 2010 recipients of the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce's Excellence in Business Awards. Mayor Maher
7. Congratulations to Susan Glazer on being appointed Acting Assistant City Manager for Community Development. Mayor Maher
8. Congratulations to Kerri and Lucas Friedlaender on their new Cambridge business, Twinkle Star. Councillor Decker
9. Congratulations to CitySprouts for their excellent work. Councillor Cheung
10. Congratulations to Carolina Aragon on being chosen by the Cambridge Public Arts Commission as the winner of an ideas competition for her proposal for an outdoor art project entitled "Flocks." Councillor Cheung
11. Congratulations to The Harvard Sackler Art Museum and the Agassiz Baldwin community for their work in hosting the 2nd Annual Community Art Show. Councillor Cheung
12. Best wishes and congratulations to the Transition House as they launch their Green Door Campaign on June 29, 2010. Councillor Cheung
13. Congratulations to the Public Radio Exchange on their recent project called StoryMarket. Councillor Cheung
14. Resolution on the death of Elizabeth Yolanda (Viglione) Saccoccio. Councillor Toomey
15. Resolution on the death of Mary Evelyn Greenleaf. Councillor Toomey
16. Resolution on the death of Maria Gloria (Almeida) Barboza. Councillor Toomey
17. Thanks to Diane Griffith for her service at CASCAP in her role as Fiduciary Specialist. Mayor Maher
18. Congratulations to the Charles River Conservancy on its 10th Anniversary. Councillor Simmons
19. Thanks to the volunteers who assisted KaBoom!, Amgen and the Cambridge Community Center in build a new playground at 5 Callender Street. Mayor Maher, Vice Mayor Davis
20. Congratulations to Renae Gray on receiving the 2010 Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House's "Lieutenant Kenney Spirit Award." Councillor Seidel, Councillor Simmons
21. Congratulations to The Cambridge Program's Special Olympics athletes, staff and coaches who participated in the 2010 Massachusetts Special Olympics Summer Games. Councillor Toomey
22. Urge residents to be cognizant of the Steve Christo Building Bridges Tournament which will be held on July 10, 2010 at Donnelly Field. Councillor Toomey
23. Congratulations to Allan Gehant and Kathryn Gately on their recent marriage on June 17, 2010. Mayor Maher
24. Resolution on the death of Scott M. Campo. Councillor Toomey
25. Best wishes to Barbara Taggart on her retirement. Vice Mayor Davis
26. Resolution on the death of Susan Burgess. Vice Mayor Davis
27. Congratulations to Terri Vendetti on the 2nd Annual Ice Cream and Hot Dog Social. Councillor Toomey
28. Happy 88th anniversary wishes to Clube Recreativo Lusitania. Councillor Toomey
29. Congratulations to Matthew and Dawn Wolfe on the birth of their son, Robert Alan Wolfe II. Councillor Toomey
30. Congratulations to Eric and Tulin Fuselier on the birth of their twins, Ian Anders Joseph and Jude Baylen Sevki. Councillor Toomey
31. Congratulations on the successful rehabilitation of the Philip Munroe House. Councillor Seidel, Councillor Toomey
32. Congratulations to Monica's Hair Salon on their 20th Anniversary. Councillor Decker
33. 200th Anniversary of the death of Bishop Richard Allen, founder of St. Paul AME Church. Councillor Reeves
1. That the City Manager is requested to work with relevant departments to change Cambridge's housing lottery system to eliminate the residence preference. Councillor Kelley
Failed 1-8 (Kelley voted YES)
2. Cancellation of the June 28, 2010 City Council meeting. Vice Mayor Davis
Adopted 6-2-1 (Kelley, Simmons voted NO; Reeves ABSTAINED)
3. That the City Manager is requested to organize a forum forecasting future housing needs for older Cantabrigians that incorporates a panel of housing experts. Vice Mayor Davis, Mayor Maher and Councillor Simmons
4. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the above-mentioned utility companies and the automotive dealership at 275 Fresh Pond Parkway and report back to the City Council on the issue of delivery trucks knocking down wires on Lexington Avenue between Huron Avenue and Fresh Pond Parkway. Mayor Maher
5. That this City Council go on record encouraging Mr. Alex Twining to honor the agreement made by the previous owner on Third Street to have a one hundred percent community standard work site. Councillor Decker and Mayor Maher
6. That the City Manager is requested to have staff from the Community Development and Public Works departments work with interested Area IV residents and staff of the Community Art Center on the feasibility of a signage project at Clement G. Morgan Park and Anthony Paolillo Tot Lot. Councillor Seidel
7. That the City Manager is requested to explore ways that the City of Cambridge can showcase its work and participate in events related to the 2011 American Planning Association Conference. Councillor Seidel
8. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the appropriate department heads and report back to the City Council with a course of action on how best to rectify the problem of traffic jams at the intersection of Putnam Avenue and
River Street Western Avenue. Councillor Cheung
9. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the appropriate department heads and report back to the Economic Development, Training and Employment Committee with a report on all current "empty storefronts," how long they have remained vacant and the current landlords in anticipation of an Economic Development, Training and Employment hearing tentatively scheduled for September on said issue. Councillor Cheung
10. That the City Manager is hereby requested to confer with the appropriate department heads and report back to the University Relations Committee with all relevant city policies in regards to campus safety and a course of action on how best to address the statistics presented in the Daily Beast report in time for a University Relations Committee hearing tentatively planned for November. Councillor Cheung
11. That the City Manager be and is hereby requested to identify areas in need of additional bike racks and the feasibility of installing long term "bike sheds" or "bike lockers" for storage of commuter bikes near metro stations. Councillor Cheung
Amended, Toomey voted NO
12. That the City Manager is requested to instruct the Director of Traffic, Parking and Transportation to begin the process of changing the truck restriction on Second Street to begin at a more reasonable hour of the morning or to begin a process of disallowing trucks on Second Street and to report back to the City Council on this matter. Councillor Toomey
13. That the City Manager is requested to designate members of the City administrative staff to work with the Government Operations Committee on developing a public survey on naming public spaces. Councillor Cheung
14. That the City Manager is requested to see that the broken spigots at parks across the city are fixed before the summer is out. Councillor Decker
15. Dedication of a suitable location in memory of Steve Christo. Councillor Toomey
1. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, Deputy City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor E. Denise Simmons, Chair of the Public Safety Committee, for a meeting held on May 26, 2010 to discuss plans to prevent violence in the city during the summer.
2. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, Deputy City Clerk, transmitting a report from Vice Mayor Henrietta Davis, Chair of the Cable TV, Telecommunications and Public Utilities Committee, for a meeting held on May 26, 2010 to discuss energy efficiency in city and school buildings.
3. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, Deputy City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Sam Seidel, Chair of the Neighborhood and Long Term Planning Committee, for a meeting held on June 2, 2010 to discuss improvements to Massachusetts Avenue between Harvard and Porter Squares.
4. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, Deputy City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Leland Cheung, Chair of the Economic Development, Training and Employment Committee, for a meeting held on June 7, 2010 to receive a report from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) on leadership and business strategies to optimize the future of Kendall Square.
5. A communication was received from D. Margaret Drury, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Timothy J. Toomey, Jr., Co-Chair of the Ordinance Committee, for a meeting held on June 9, 2010 to continue to consider proposed amendments to the Zoning Map and Zoning Ordinance in Article 14 Mixed Use Development Cambridge Center to create a "Smart Growth Underutilized Area" in the vicinity of Broadway, Main and Ames Street and the site of the West parking garage on Ames Street.
Passed to 2nd Reading
6. A communication was received from D. Margaret Drury, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Sam Seidel and Councillor Timothy J. Toomey, Jr., Co-Chairs of the Government Operations and Rules Committee, for a meeting held on May 25, 2010 to review a proposed policy for dedication of street corners, a proposal to name the gymnasium at the Sheila Doyle Russell Youth and Community Center in honor of the late Kenneth Holway, institution of parking fees for overstaying meters that increase as the time of the overstay increases, development of a goal setting process for the City Council for FY 2011-12, standards for city hearings and the committee work plan for this term.
Mon, June 21
5:00pm Special Presentation Congratulating the CRLS Boys Volleyball Team on a successful season. This presentation to be televised. (Sullivan Chamber)
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Tues, June 22
5:00pm The Economic Development, Training and Employment Committee will conduct a public meeting to discuss buying local. (Sullivan Chamber)
Wed, June 23
5:30pm The Cable TV, Telecommunications and Public Utilities Committee will conduct a public meeting to discuss the digital divide. (Sullivan Chamber) - cancelled
Thurs, June 24
10:00am The Public Safety Committee will conduct a public meeting to continue discussion on plans to prevent violence in the city in the summer. (Community Room, first floor, 125 Sixth Street) (Healy Public Safety Facility)
Mon, June 28
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Wed, June 30
2:00pm The Human Services Committee will conduct a public meeting to continue the discussion on how best to assist Cambridge college students to achieve college graduation, discuss middle school after school programs in relation to middle school in-school time and consider the workplan for this committee this term. (Sullivan Chamber)
Thurs, July 8
4:00pm The Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing on a petition filed by the City Council to modify the Zoning Ordinance regulation of signs. This hearing to be televised. (Sullivan Chamber)
4:30pm The Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing on the Final Landmark Designation Study Report for the Masonic Temple at 1950 Massachusetts Avenue. (Sullivan Chamber)
5:00pm The Ordinance Committee will conduct a public meeting to continue discussion of a petition filed by Boston Properties to amend the Zoning Ordinance in the MXD Zoning District in the vicinity of Broadway, Main and Ames Streets and the site of the West parking garage on Ames Street. (Sullivan Chamber)
Tues, July 13
5:30pm The Transportation, Traffic and Parking Committee will conduct a public meeting to discuss the parking fee structure. (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Aug 2
5:30pm Special City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Tues, Aug 3
6:00pm School Committee Summer Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Tues, Aug 10
5:30pm The Transportation, Traffic and Parking Committee will conduct a public meeting to discuss bike facilities including bike lanes, bike tracks and bike parking. (Sullivan Chamber)
Tues, Sept 7
6:00pm School Committee Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Sept 13
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Sept 20
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Tues, Sept 21
6:00pm School Committee Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Sept 27
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Oct 4
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Tues, Oct 5
6:00pm School Committee Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Oct 18
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Tues, Oct 19
6:00pm School Committee Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Oct 25
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
TEXT OF ORDERS
O-1 June 21, 2010
WHEREAS: The Cambridge City Council has frequently expressed its concerns that sub-groups of the US population are not treated fairly and are subject to unequal enforcement or implementation of various laws and policies; and
WHEREAS: Cambridge's housing policy has a resident preference for the lottery system; and
WHEREAS: This resident preference creates unequal access to Cambridge's affordable housing resources; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to work with relevant departments to change Cambridge's housing lottery system to eliminate the residence preference.
O-2 June 21, 2010
VICE MAYOR DAVIS
ORDERED: That the City Council meeting of June 28, 2010 be cancelled.
O-3 June 21, 2010
VICE MAYOR DAVIS
WHEREAS: The Community Development Department is completing a report, "Housing Options for Older Cantabrigians"; now therefore be it
WHEREAS: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to organize a forum forecasting future housing needs for older Cantabrigians that incorporates a panel of housing experts; and be it further
ORDERED: That the forum be scheduled for the fall of 2010; and be it further
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to report back to the City Council on this matter at the summer meeting.
O-4 June 21, 2010
WHEREAS: It has come to the attention of the City Council that large delivery trucks have once again been knocking down wires on Lexington Avenue between Huron Avenue and Fresh Pond Parkway and interrupting electric, telephone and cable service to the neighborhood; and
WHEREAS: The most recent incident occurred on Mon, June 14, 2010; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to confer with the above-mentioned utility companies and the automotive dealership at 275 Fresh Pond Parkway and report back to the City Council on this issue.
O-5 June 21, 2010
WHEREAS: This City Council is aware that the city issued permits for work at a site on Third Street in the year 1998. Organized labor along with members of the City Council strongly supported the permitting because of a commitment by the owner to meet community standards one hundred percent including paying a prevailing wage; and
WHEREAS: This property has changed ownership and with the transfer of the property itself the permitting has also transferred; and
WHEREAS: It has come as a surprise that even though there was a transfer of the permitting to the new owner there is no commitment from him to maintain community standards at this property; and
WHEREAS: While the new owner Mr. Alex Twining of Twining Properties does not dispute that the previous owner made the commitment to a one hundred percent community standard work site, he has failed to make the same commitment; now therefore be it
WHEREAS: That this City Council go on record encouraging Mr. Alex Twining to honor the agreement made by the previous owner of this property to have a one hundred percent community standard work site which now allows him to develop property that has received permitting relief from the City of Cambridge; now therefore be it
RESOLVED: That the City Clerk be and hereby is requested to forward a suitably engrossed copy of this resolution to Mr. Alex Twining on behalf of the entire City Council with a request that Mr. Twining communicate to the City Council with respect to this matter.
O-6 June 21, 2010
WHEREAS: On Wed, June 16 a celebration was held for the newly renovated Clement G. Morgan Park and Anthony Paolillo Tot Lot; and
WHEREAS: The Area IV neighborhood residents have spaces to play in and enjoy with these two beautiful City parks; and
WHEREAS: Citizens have already expressed a willingness and dedication to maintaining these outdoor spaces for all to enjoy, keeping them free of litter and vandalism; and
WHEREAS: Maintenance of these parks by residents also requires education and outreach to all who use the parks; and
WHEREAS: Area IV neighbors and staff at the Community Art Center have discussed ways that children who take classes at the Art Center could make signs to post in the park reminding all to take care of the park, thus encouraging awareness and respect for this space as well as a sense of ownership by the community; therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to have staff from the Community Development and Public Works departments work with interested Area IV residents and staff of the Community Art Center on the feasibility of this signage project; and be it further
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to report back to the City Council with updates on the progress.
O-7 June 21, 2010
WHEREAS: The next annual national planning conference of the American Planning Association (APA) is taking place in Boston Apr 9-12, 2011; and
WHEREAS: The APA is an organization whose mission is to promote "a nation of vital communities, fully accessible to all people," and which aims to fulfill that mission through its advocacy and educational efforts for good planning at national, state and local levels; and
WHEREAS: Session proposals are now being accepted for next April's APA conference, with a deadline for submissions in July 2010; and
WHEREAS: The City of Cambridge, through its Community Development Department, has been recognized for its planning efforts locally and nationally, having garnered awards in recent years including being named the "Best Walking City in America" from Prevention Magazine, being the recipient of an Environmental Merit Award from the New England office the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and being named by the EPA as one of the Best Workplaces for Commuters; therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to explore ways that the City of Cambridge can showcase its work and participate in events related to the 2011 APA conference; and be it further
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to report back to the City Council on this matter.
O-8 June 21, 2010 Amended
WHEREAS: It has come to the attention of the Cambridge City Council that frequent traffic jams have been reported at the intersection of Putnam Avenue and
River Street Western Avenue; and
WHEREAS: Drivers going down
River Street Western Avenue block the intersection, thus blocking cars from being able to move forward on Putnam Avenue; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to confer with the appropriate department heads and report back to the City Council with a course of action on how best to rectify this problem.
O-9 June 21, 2010
WHEREAS: Empty storefronts detract from the vitality and ambiance of the community; and
WHEREAS: Vacant retail spaces are often targets of vandalism, littering and squatting; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to confer with the appropriate department heads and report back to the Economic Development, Training and Employment Committee with a report on all current "empty storefronts," how long they have remained vacant and the current landlords in anticipation of an Economic Development, Training and Employment hearing tentatively scheduled for September on said issue.
O-10 June 21, 2010
WHEREAS: In September 2009, The Daily Beast released the findings of a report that analyzed the crime reports of the last two years of almost 9,000 schools, weighing different crimes against each other, and factoring in incidents both on campus and nearby. [http://bit.ly/SafeColleges] Local FBI data was also used to make the statistics as up-to-date as possible; and
WHEREAS: This report concluded that Harvard ranked 20th, and MIT 3rd in crime rankings; and
WHEREAS: Harvard reported more on-campus crime than any other university on this list. The majority of these crimes were burglaries, and Harvard was also near the top for crimes in nearby public places (mostly robberies, assaults, and vehicular thefts.) Harvard was also the highest among the top 25 in terms of rapes listed; and
WHEREAS: MIT had one of the highest incidents of burglary in the country in 2007. In February 2009, two people were robbed in broad daylight near campus, one victim held "in a choke hold" and then punched, according the MIT Tech; and
WHEREAS: This stands in stark contrast to the significantly better than average results the Cambridge Police Department has achieved in comparison to comparable cities as reported in the 2009 Annual Crime Report; and
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and is hereby requested to confer with the appropriate department heads and report back to the University Relations Committee with all relevant city policies in regards to campus safety and a course of action on how best to address the statistics presented in the Daily Beast report in time for a University Relations Committee hearing tentatively planned for November.
O-11 June 21, 2010 Amended
WHEREAS: Bicycling is an important aspect of Cambridge's transportation programs; and
WHEREAS: Between 2002 and 2008, the number of people bicycling in Cambridge doubled; and
WHEREAS: In 2009, a travel survey conducted in the Cambridgeport Neighborhood through the CitySmart program demonstrated that 9% of residents in that neighborhood commute to work by bike and that 65% of households own at least one bicycle and, on average, own 2.6 bicycles; and
WHEREAS: As a result of increased bike use, the bike racks around the city are overflowing, specifically near T stations, leaving many bike owners at a loss on where to "park" their bikes. As a visible result of demand exceeding supply, bikes can be seen at Central Square locked to posts, signs, fencing, and other decorative objects, sometimes creating pedestrian and safety hazards; and
WHEREAS: Conversely, if a secured, monitored storage facility for bikes near T stations was provided by the city, it would provide commuters with a safe and convenient location for cyclers to park their bike for the entire day as part of their commute to work; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and is hereby requested to identify areas in need of additional bike racks, specifically in travel hubs such as Central Square and Porter Square and install additional bike racks; and be it further
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and is hereby requested to confer with the appropriate department heads and report back to the City Council on the feasibility of installing long term "bike sheds" or "bike lockers" for storage of commuter bikes near metro stations; and be it further
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to confer with relevant City staff and report back to the City Council on the possibility of instituting a program that would allow on-street parking spaces be utilized for temporary bike spaces during suitable months.
O-12 June 21, 2010
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to instruct the Director of Traffic, Parking and Transportation to begin the process of changing the truck restriction on Second Street to begin at a more reasonable hour of the morning or to begin a process of disallowing trucks on Second Street and to report back to the City Council on this matter.
O-13 June 21, 2010
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to designate members of the City administrative staff to work with the Government Operations Committee on developing a public survey on naming public spaces.
O-14 June 21, 2010
WHEREAS: It has come to the attention of the City Council that the four water spigots at Wheeler Park located in Danehy Park have not been working for several years; and
WHEREAS: Many families, day cares and camp programs rely on these water features to help provide reprieve from the heat and humidity; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to see that the broken spigots at parks across the city are fixed before the summer is out; and be it further
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to report back to the City Council on this matter.
O-15 June 21, 2010
ORDERED: That the City Council dedicate an appropriate site in honor of Steve Christo; and be it further
ORDERED: That the Executive Assistant to the City Council be directed to confer with the family regarding a suitable dedication ceremony and communicate with the Department of Public Works to arrange for the sign.
Referred to Gov't Operations & Rules Committee
TEXT OF COMMITTEE REPORTS
Committee Report #1
The Public Safety Committee held a public meeting on Wed, May 26, 2010 at one o'clock and thirty minutes P.M. in the Sullivan Chamber.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss plans to prevent violence in the city during the summer.
Present at the meeting were Councillor E. Denise Simmons, Chair of the Committee; Deputy Superintendent Lester J. Sullivan and Superintendent Steven Williams; Ellen Semonoff, Assistant City Manager for Human Services (DHSP); and Michelle Farnum, Division Head, Youth Programs, DHSP; John Silva, Director of Security, CRLS; Muna Kangsen; and Deputy City Clerk Donna P. Lopez.
Also present was Gloria Leipzig, Director of Operations, Cambridge Housing Authority (CHA); David J. Degou, Director of Public Safety, CHA; Gordon Gottsche, Just-A-Start (JAS); Claire Ullran, SC Management; Devon Wesley and Peter Graham, 402 Rindge Avenue Apartments; Abraham Haile, Manager Winn Residential, 21 Walden Square Road; Michele Pyne, Manager of Special Projects, Maloney Properties; Roxanne Davis, Senior Property Manager, Jefferson Park; Nora Lewontin-Rojar and Nancy Wareck, 5 Walden Street.
Councillor Simmons convened the meeting and explained the purpose. The purpose of this meeting is to convene stakeholders, public and private organizations, and citizens to discuss steps neighborhood groups, management companies and others are taking to ensure a safe summer This meeting is to talk about what is being done in each housing development to see what residents and organization are doing to keep the developments safe. What practices and procedures are the housing developments using to keep residents safe. Some buildings or management companies are being proactive around programming. The Police Department initiatives will be discussed. She stated that she wanted all entities to be proactive to keep the community safe. She now opened the meeting to hear from the various housing development managers and/or property management companies as to what they are doing.
Abraham Haile, Walden Square Apartments, stated that there is a security guard on duty from 7-3 daily. The property is currently patrolled and additional surveillance of the property will occur. The development participates in National Night Out and has a computer lounge and a community tenant center. No major incidents have occurred.
Councillor Simmons asked if Walden Square has a contact person and a newsletter to disseminate information to the outside community. Mr. Haile stated that from 9-5 the manager can be contacted. There is no information sent to the outside community.
Dave Degou, Public Safety Director, CHA, informed the committee that he meets with the Police and the CHA managers monthly. Meetings are held within the developments. Issues in the summer are noise complaints and domestic violence. The Police Department notifies him of domestic violence incidents. He is not seeing violence this year as in the past. Lighting surveys are done. Notes are made about lighting that requires replacement and trees that require trimming. The tenants are encouraged to report lights that are not working. Improvements have been made to Jefferson Park. The focus is on the safety and comfort of the residents.
Councillor Simmons asked if there is any direct programming for youth and families. Ms. Leipzig, Director of Operations, CHA, responded that Workforce runs a 12-18 week program for youth where the focus is on education and developing a work ethic. There will be a door knocking campaign done tonight at the Washington Elms and Newtowne Court Developments. There will also be one done at Jefferson Park at a later time.
Police Superintendent Williams stated that the DHSP and Police collaborate on the door-to-door campaign. Information is distributed regarding the available city services and it is geared to the youth. A flyer is left at the home if no one is home. Ms. Semonoff stated that a follow up to the door-to-door is done. Councillor Simmons commented that she wanted to make sure that all families and youth are engaged and build public safety for all.
Peter Graham, JAS, stated that the JAS portfolio included 402 Rindge Avenue and scattered sites. There have been no trends or immediate issues seen. The Maloney Group was brought on board to be the residential service coordinator for the JAS properties to connect with city services. JAS has youth and summer programs. There has always been a newsletter at 402 Rindge Avenue. Maloney has created a newsletter. There are signs on all JAS properties to identify the property as JAS. The signs also included that the property is managed by Maloney, contains a telephone number and states that the property is privately owned. The residential coordinators have provided tenants with information on city services. Councillor Simmons commented that the residential coordinator at 243 Broadway has made a big difference to the quality of life of the tenants. Mr. Graham went on to state that the properties run on a shoestring budget. There are high tech security cameras at 402 Rindge Avenue and the East Cambridge portfolio includes the use of security cameras. Trash management is a huge issue.
Michelle Pyne, Manager of Special Project, Maloney Properties stated that the East Cambridge portfolio has had improvements made to the properties including security camera, working door buzzers and graffiti removed. There is a "No Open Door" policy. An exterior light survey was done. The residential service coordinator produces a newsletter and includes lease enforcement activities as well as residents included in the safety team effort.
Nancy Wareck, 5 Walden Street informed the committee that since January there has been an increase in vandalism in her neighborhood. Graffiti, stolen car and property turned over have occurred. This feels like something is happening in the neighborhood. These incidents are not done by people in the neighborhood. Councillor Simmons suggested police coverage for this area.
Police Superintendent Williams stated that the police department collaborates with DHSP to have the summer programs through the teen centers. The police officers have an effective interaction with the youth. Some programs focus on sports. Parks are patrolled and officers interact with the youth. Bike, cruisers and walking officers are used for patrols. North Cambridge currently has bike patrols and walking officers patrolling the area. There is a major commitment to patrol the Central Square area. Trends are studied and officers are assigned where there is the most effective use.
Police Deputy Superintendent Lester Sullivan stated that he oversees the investigation unit. He is also the liaison to the housing management group. He is also the liaison for the JAS property. Security surveys were done on the Winn Properties. He meets regularly with the CHA.
Ms. Semonoff explained DHSP summer programs. There are 1200 children in summer camp programs and other programs. The focus is on the middle school children during the day. Thirteen year olds can attend the summer camps for free. A door-to-door effort was made to get the word out about programming. DHSP also runs the Mayor's Summer Youth Employment Program for 14-17 year olds. Councillor Simmons asked if all the housing management programs are aware of the Mayor's Summer Youth Employment Program. She commented that information about programming must be available even when the housing managers change. Mr. Graham informed the committee that there are still slots open for the JAS summer employment program. Ms. Semonoff continued with the programming. There is art, science activities, a city-run basketball league with police presence. There is a big drawn to watch the basketball games.
John Silva, Director of Security at CRLS informed the committee what happens in the summer funnels back to the school during the school year. Cambridge is unique with the coordination between the School, Police and Housing Authority and the proactive approach to resolve any disputes. Cambridge has a full repertoire of a proactive family service unit which is comprised of six police officers whose focus is on the youth. The school department is notified if there is an incident involving a youth. All students are encouraged to participate in the youth centers and the Mayor's Summer Youth Employment Program. Cameras are in the schools. The biggest effect to turn things around is that students, unanimously, tell of incidents and follow up is done. The schools focus is eliminate fighting.
Roxanne Davies, Senior Property Manager, Jackson Park, stated that the monthly meetings held at Jackson Park have made a big impact. There have been thirteen lights installed on Rindge Avenue and additional cameras have been installed on the Rindge Avenue side of the property. The newsletter includes information about summer programs and incident reports. Signs are posted that the property is under video surveillance. There is less hang out currently observed.
Devon Westley, Assistant Property Manager, 402 Rindge Avenue, cited safety measures taken as cameras installed, guards on duty, good lighting and signage, monthly newsletter and a calendar of activities. Currently he stated that he is not experiencing any problems on the property or in the building.
Clair Ullran, SC Management, 402 Rindge Avenue, informed the committee of an effort to organize other management groups in North Cambridge to establish communication between the groups. Councillor Simmons commented that when management groups meet it strengthens the effort to keep the community whole.
Peter Graham cautioned the Police, School and Housing Authority and management groups about this being perceived as a low-income housing safety issue, because it is not. Where is the Chamber of Commerce and the businesses; they should be at the table also. The North Cambridge meeting was not communicated to 402 Rindge Avenue. Councillor Simmons added that the clergy should also be included. This issue is about public safety and engaging the whole community. Mr. Graham stated it would be advantageous to know the contact person at the Fresh Pond Mall.
Gordon Gottsche, JAS, stated that the program formula used for summer programs with youth has been used for forty years. The focus is on education and the development of life and employment skills. A stipend is provided.
Michelle Farnum, DHSP, stated that the formula used at JAS was adopted by DHSP for teens. There are one hundred paid positions for teens in the teen centers. Sport leagues are held. A new late night league has been established to focus on youth in North Cambridge. A pilot girl's volley ball has begun in collaboration with the police. DHSP programs include sports camp, bike repair program with the police and weekly movie nights. The Cambridge Resource Guide for Summer 2010 was distributed. The Guide is also on the website.
Councillor Simmons stated that the university police were invited to this meeting. It is essential that they come to the next meeting because there are times when there could be campus issues that affect the community. Mr. Silva suggested contacting Lieutenant Bob Linehan of the MBTA police who would also like to be involved. He also stated that there is an increase in the use of marijuana by youth.
In conclusion Councillor Simmons stated that visible signage makes a big difference. Property Managers should install signs. Greater outreach is needed and the proliferation of the door-to-door campaign. She stated that the next follow up meeting of the Public Safety Committee would be held on Thurs, June 24, 2010.
Councillor Simmons thanked all those present for their attendance.
The meeting adjourned at two o'clock and fifty-five minutes P.M.
For the Committee,
Councillor E. Denise Simmons, Chair
Committee Report #2
The Cable TV, Telecommunications and Public Utilities Committee conducted a public meeting on Wed, May 26, 2010 at four o'clock and thirty-two minutes PM in the Sullivan Chamber.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss energy efficiency in city and school buildings.
Present at the meeting were Vice Mayor Henrietta Davis, Chair of the Committee; City Manager Robert W. Healy; Public Works Commissioner Lisa Peterson; Fiscal Director, Public Works, Ellen Katz; IT Manager, Public Works, Eric Josephson; Director of Environment and Transportation Planning, Community Development Department (CDD), Susanne Rasmussen; Environmental Project Planner, CDD, John Bolduc; School Committee Members Richard Harding, Nancy Tauber and Alice Turkel; Chief Executive Officer, School Department James Maloney; Chief Financial Officer, School Department, Claire Spinner; Penny Peters;and Deputy City Clerk Donna P. Lopez.
Also present were Lilah Glick and Garrett Anderson, Cambridge Energy Alliance (CEA); Kathy Reine, Green Decade; Charlie Marquardt, 10 Rogers Street; Robin Finnegan, 31 Hubbard Avenue; Audrey Schulman, 21 Acorn Street; Minka vanBeuzekom, 20 Essex Street; Roy Russell, 40 Cottage Street; and Decia Goodwin, Mass Housing.
Vice Mayor Davis convened the meeting and explained the purpose. She stated that the format of the meeting would be to discuss school buildings and then city buildings. She noted that Cambridge has been designated a Green Community by the state. Vice Mayor Davis asked Mr. Maloney to discuss school buildings.
Mr. Maloney acknowledged to the City Manager and the City Council the School Department partnership with the CDD and the Public Works Department. ARRA funds will be used for the new boiler for the Longfellow and for new lamping. Longfellow will be used as swing space for the School Department. The School Committee is working on a plan for the elementary schools. Four buildings were identified for renovation or tear down: King Open, Amigos, Graham-Parks and Tobin. The School Department is creating a new position of Sustainability Program Manager in the Fiscal year 2011 Budget who will work on environment and sustainable practices. It is hoped that the food composting program will expand to include more schools.
Vice Mayor Davis asked about the time line for the elementary school building program, what buildings would remain in service and the steps to do a retrofit plan.
City Manager Healy stated that the middle school education policy decision is one that the School Committee needs to decide. The financial plan would then be developed to implement the program. School Committee Member Turkel stated that there has been no discussion about what buildings would remain in service because the sub-committee assignments were just given out. Mr. Maloney stated that the issue is the education policy of elementary grades versus middle school. Mr. Healy went on to state that the programmatic issue will take the rest of this calendar year. Next will be the implementation and phasing period. He felt that in fiscal year 2012 the school debt will drop. A physical plan can be done in 2012-2013. A plan will be embarked upon when the program issue is resolved. Energy efficiency needs to play into the programming piece.
School Committee Members Tauber and Turkel commented that the timeline is submitted by the Superintendent on what will be planned for each building. Enrollment is increasing; however it is difficult to plan for increases in the future. Mr. Healy commented that the middle school plan is a complicated process.
At four o'clock and fifty-five minutes P. M. the meeting was opened to public comment.
Audrey Schulman, 28 Auburn Street, Home Energy Efficiency Team (HEET) stated that the Cambridgeport School decreased their heating bills by 30% by lowering heat when school were not in session. NSTAR will convert building from electric to gas for free. Mr. Maloney stated that it does not make sense to spend money for limited return. Mr. Healy stated that energy efficiency short-term grants are being utilized for short-term repair. There will be $650,000 spent for replacement of three furnaces in public buildings.
Roy Russell, 40 Cottage Street, asked if the city and school utility bills were broken down by gas, electric and water and available for the public to see for the present and historically. Mr. Healy responded that the city records are available for each utility; but is not on line. Commissioner Peterson added that the city transitioned to a Mass. Insight System. The data is available, but the searchable capability of the web site is uncertain. Mr. Russell suggested that the data be made available to the public as soon as possible, quarterly and annually, so that the public can compare and contrast the school buildings. He also suggested lowering the thermostats. Mr. Maloney spoke of the role of the new Sustainability Officer to advocate for energy efficiency measures in schools. The new position will help keep this issue front and center.
Vice Mayor Davis informed the committee that the Green Sense Program, implemented by city employees, yielded a 5% energy reduction in energy consumption by turning off lights, computers and other simple measures. Vice Mayor Davis now requested to hear about the energy efficiency on the city side.
Ellen Katz, Public Works Fiscal Director gave a presentation about the energy use, cost, efforts and plan in the city (Attachment A). In order to apply as Green Community weekly team meetings were held with School, CDD, Public Works, Traffic, Parking and Transportation, Water and Electrical Departments. She stated that forty-three percent of the energy costs come from the School Department. Vice Mayor Davis asked for the square footage of city space. Ms. Katz stated she would get this information. She further stated that sixty-six percent of energy is expended in buildings. Mr. Healy stated that it takes a lot of energy to pump treated water to Payson Park. Ms. Katz said twelve percent is vehicle fuels and nine percent is street and traffic lights. The Energy Reduction Plan started on May 18, 2010. Energy has been tracked since 2006 and has been reduced since then. The plan requires a base year of energy use; fiscal year 2008 was selected. There has been a fifteen percent reduction due to efforts made by the city. All new buildings are LEED buildings and will be monitored. She explained the improvements since 2005: light upgrades done, high efficiency air conditioner units installed, energy management system installed, three oil-to-gas furnace conversions done in four schools and contract language has been revised to include HVAC high energy efficiency language. The 2006 Energy Purchasing Policy requires Energy Star appliances. In fiscal year 2009 370 LED traffic walk signals were installed. An energy audit will be done at the Water Treatment Plant which is the largest user of energy. Four school and five municipal buildings will have lighting upgrades. The plan, she said, would be on the web site soon. Vice Mayor Davis thanked Ms. Katz for her wonderful presentation and suggested that the presentation be aired on the municipal cable channel.
Vice Mayor asked for comments from the public.
Audrey Schulman questioned the gas and electric use. Ms. Katz responded that in the aggregate the use went up due to the new Public Safety Facility, War Memorial and Youth Center coming on line. Mr. Healy stated that the buildings under construction are not included in the present figures about energy use and cost.
A discussion ensued about LEED. Commissioner Peterson stated that new LEED buildings will be monitored to ensure that they are working according to what was designed.
Ms. vanBeuzekom questioned the fuel cost for a leased school vehicle. Commissioner Peterson stated that if a leased vehicle fills up at Public Works the energy use is included.
Charlie Marquardt asked if the fewer truck trips for single stream waste is captured. Commissioner Peterson stated that the city is not tracking this information.
Vice Mayor Davis discussed insulation on buildings. Ms. Katz stated that insulation was installed at the cemetery garage and administration building. The city is looking into insulating the attic at City Hall now that the sprinkler system has been installed.
Vice Mayor Davis commented on tightening up (sealing) buildings. The Cambridgeport School is a tightened up building.
School Committee Member Turkel stated that the plantings around buildings have a positive effect. Think about what plants are more effective.
Mr. Bolduc stated that solar panels have been installed on some city buildings. There is a solar feasibility study being done by the Water Department for the Water Treatment Plant. Green roofs have benefit, but are costly. The Public Safety Facility has a partial green roof.
Decia Goodwin asked if there were plans to convert buildings from oil to gas on the school side. Mr. Healy stated that the Longfellow will be converted to gas this year. Funding is needed for conversion. A possibility for an energy revolving fund will be examined to do energy improvements for energy efficiency. Almost all city side municipal buildings have been converted.
Vice Mayor Davis thanked all attendees for their participation.
The meeting adjourned at five o'clock and fifty-eight minutes PM.
For the Committee,
Vice Mayor Henrietta Davis, Chair
Committee Report #3
The Neighborhood and Long Term Planning Committee held a public meeting on Wed, June 2, 2010 at five o'clock and two minutes p.m. in the Sullivan Chamber.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss improvements to Massachusetts Avenue between Harvard and Porter Squares.
Present at the meeting were Councillor Sam Seidel, Chair of the Committee; Councillor Leland Cheung; Vice Mayor Henrietta Davis; Sue Clippinger, Director, Traffic, Parking and Transportation; Lisa Peterson, Commissioner, Public Works; Owen O'Riordan, City Engineer; Stuart Dash, Director of Community Planning, Community Development Department (CDD); and Deputy City Clerk Donna P. Lopez.
Also present at the meeting was Tom Lucey, Harvard University; Bill Doncaster, Lesley University; Terrence Smith, Cambridge Chamber of Commerce; Representatives of the Agassiz Neighborhood: Stephen Diamond, Chair; Fred Meyer, 83 Hammond Street; and Carol Weinhaus, 64 Oxford Street; Representatives of Neighborhood Nine: Ronald Alexrod, 26 Shepard Street; and Dennis Carlone, 16 Martin Street; Charlie Marquardt, 10 Rogers Street; Astrid Dodds, 73 Wendell Street; Bhupesh Patel, 3 Bowdoin Street; Sarah Farrington, 18 Frost Street; Debby Galef; Kathy Podgers; and Ted Live.
Councillor Seidel opened the meeting and stated the purpose. This meeting is to hear about the current projects along the Massachusetts Avenue corridor from Harvard Square to Porter Square. He wanted an update on the projects. He expressed his concern that the projects work together to think about Massachusetts Avenue as a whole. He asked city staff to give an update on the current on-going projects and their completion phase.
Stuart Dash, CDD, stated that two public meetings have been held on Mass. Avenue work including streetscapes and street work and one more public meeting will be held. Planning has not been done for the full street. The Harvard Law School work is proceeding nicely. It will be a public space with trees and retail space. Lesley's development has a similar outcome including street trees, retail and an openness on Mass. Avenue. The Community Development Department will work with city departments and the neighborhood on work on the Cambridge Common Playground.
Councillor Seidel asked about traffic work.
Owen O'Riordan spoke of Public Works Project along Mass. Avenue. Work on JFK Street will being in the fall. Design work for the Harvard Tunnel is on-going and construction will begin next summer. A new cross walk for Waterhouse Street is in the design phase. Work will be done on the Shepard Street curb extension. There are on-going projects that abut Mass. Avenue. Prentiss Street will have sidewalk and sewer separation work. Forest Street reconstruction will begin in the fall. Linnaean Street is a CDD project.
Sue Clippinger stated that signal work is being done at Everett, Wendell and Linnaean Street. Linnaean Street signal has generated public comment and a final decision will be made. A crosswalk was installed on Shepard Street. Her department is working with CDD on Linnaean Street and the Rite Aid parking lot and changes to the bus stop. Waterhouse Street is a CDD traffic calming project.
Councillor Seidel opened the meeting to comments by the City Council.
Vice Mayor Davis stated that she is interested in the improvements to Mass. Avenue from Porter to Harvard Square. She asked if there was an analysis of funding for the projects or did the work come under capital funding. Are improvements to Northern Mass. Avenue on the list of work to be done? Ms. Peterson stated that this is not in the capital plan. The section north of Porter Square is the priority where improvements will be made to intersections, sidewalks and street trees. The Harvard Square tunnel and Inman Square are on the five year capital plan. Mr. Dash stated that the North Mass. Avenue is not a large funding project; there is no major reconstruction.
Councillor Seidel asked Mr. Lucey and Mr. Doncaster to speak about the part of their campus that would impact this portion of Mass. Avenue.
Mr. Lucey reported that the Harvard Law School project is on schedule. The parking garage will open in the fall. The intersection work is done. Everett Street will be a two-way street. The Law School will open in December 2010 or January 2011. There will be a greater set back, street trees and public spaces. He updated the committee on the North Hall project. The houses have been moved. The university is working with the neighbors to provide amenities like chairs. The Bent Pharmacy site has dry cleaning solvent and is in remediation. This is a long process. There are no tenants in the building. Art will be displayed in the windows. Mr. Carlone asked Mr. Lucey when the sidewalk construction on Mass. Avenue will be started. Mr. Lucey stated he would get back to Mr. Carlone on this. The committee now heard from Lesley University.
Mr. Doncaster stated that two residential halls on Wendell Street/Mass. Avenue will be completed in September 2010. He is trying to fill the retail space. Westside lounge will be sold. Planning Board Special Permit is required for the Church property. A landscape architect has been hire to work on AIB site. The university will work with the neighbors to make the space more welcoming. An art gallery will be located inside. The Gap space has been broken up into smaller spaces. The Bourbon Café from Rwanda has signed a lease. This will be their second store in the United States.
Councillor Seidel informed the committee that the Historical Commission meeting on the changes to the church site is scheduled for June 3, 2010. He stated that a lot is going on in a small space.
At five o'clock and thirty-seven minutes p.m. Councillor Seidel opened the meeting to public comment.
Astrid Dodds, 73 Wendell Street, stated that things could be done that do not cost much or anything at all. She expressed her concern with the signal change on Mass. Avenue/Wendell Street and Linnaean Street. The pedestrian time is not long enough. A left turning vehicle from Wendell travels toward a pedestrian. This is not pedestrian friendly. She requested that the width of 36" for sidewalk dining be revisited. She wanted the bike ban on Mass. Avenue extended and that the bike ban to be consistent. She spoke of roof drainage onto the sidewalk on Mass. Avenue creating ice patches. She urged Inspectional Services Department to get the owner to correct the drainage problem.
Charlie Marquardt, 10 Rogers Street, stated that he was nervous about the open store fronts along Mass. Avenue. Non-conforming use is lost after two years if not utilized. He is confused why right on red is not allowed. This will be a nightmare when the Lesley garage opens on Everett Street. He stated that bikes and ice on the sidewalks are enforcement issues.
Ron Alexrod, 26 Shepard Street, distributed a document entitled Massachusetts Avenue - Harvard Square to Porter Square: a Proposal for Sustainable Improvements (Attachment A). This proposal is a joint effort prepared by the Agassiz-Baldwin Neighborhood and Neighborhood Nine. It contains pedestrian safety issues, streetscape improvements, new tree plantings and promotes Harvard Square to Porter Square as the "Avenue of the Arts". The proposal developed a series of guidelines and improvements along Mass. Avenue. Meetings were held with the Agassiz Neighborhood, Neighborhood Nine, Harvard, Lesley, Public Works and CDD. The issue is money. It will cost $100,000 to study the guidelines of which he felt both Harvard and Lesley could contribute $50,000 each. This will be a commitment to improve Mass. Avenue. This is a phased in plan that will take 5-7 years to complete. Both universities support the proposal. The Community Development wants the proposal to be put into something more tangible.
Dennis Carlone, 16 Martin Street, stated that the proposal was initiated due to the conditions of the sidewalks. Forty percent of the concrete panels are chipped; the concrete does not last. He wants the trees to survive and the concrete wells are not conducive for tree growth. He suggested using London Paver because the color is consistent and allows water to the trees. There are five retail stores on Mass. Avenue empty. Crosswalks on Mass. Avenue are too far apart; this is not good for the retail. He suggested crosswalks at every block in the retail section of Mass. Avenue.
Carol Weinhaus, 64 Oxford Street, stated that the proposal is a working draft. The neighborhoods will work with universities and the Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department on the three intersections: Waterhouse Street, Everett/Chauncy Streets and Shepard/Wendell Streets. The proposal is the framework to develop continuity.
Fred Meyer, 83 Hammond Street, stated that he wanted money spent in a smarter way. It is not easy to plant trees in an urban environment. The right pavers, trees and planting material need to be researched. He spoke about the historical significance of Linnaean Street, Shepard and Waterhouse Streets.
Steve Diamond, Chair, Agassiz Neighborhood, stated that the group is interested to help the city provide a framework. The Mass. Avenue character can be produced with this proposal.
Debbie Galef, stated that she had issues with the Wendell/Shepard Street intersection. It has been bad and it is still bad. She favored more crosswalks and striped crosswalks.
Kathy Podgers spoke about Chapter 11, ADA standards and violations to both. She complained about tree roots, streetscape, grass or hedgerow and street furniture. Neighborhoods, she said are treated differently by the city. She stated that Title 2 Public Accommodations is not included in the Human Rights Ordinance. The city is not complying with the ADA regulations.
Bhupesh Patel, 3 Bowdoin Street, stated that Shepard, Upton and Bowdoin residents met six times about loading zone issues. The truck loading zones times need to be extended. In the Cambridge Common area trucks park illegal and then to make deliveries to the other side of the street Mass. Avenue needs to be crossed. Parking spaces are being used as loading zones. He believes that concurrent signals can work in this area. Striped crosswalk will slow the traffic. He distributed a document explaining the Bowdoin Street residents concerns (Attachment B).
Ted Live stated that it makes sense to have all sides of intersections striped for pedestrians. He complained about the timing of the traffic lights on Mass. Avenue. He stated that the lights should be timed that when driving at a steady pace a motorist should be able to travel through more than two lights.
At six o'clock and twenty-five minutes p.m. public comment ended.
Councillor Cheung questioned the timing of the traffic lights. Ms. Clippinger responded that timing of the lights is selected for peak hour travel. Only one direction is selected during peak travel. It is important to remember that Mass. Avenue is a good transit route
Councillor Seidel thanked those present for their attendance.
The meeting adjourned at six o'clock and thirty minutes p.m.
For the Committee,
Councillor Sam Seidel, Chair
Committee Report #4
The Economic Development, Training and Employment Committee held a public meeting on Mon, June 7, 2010, beginning at ten o'clock and three minutes A.M. in the Ackerman Room.
The purpose of the meeting was to receive a report from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) on leadership and business strategies to optimize the future of Kendall Square.
Present at the meeting were Councillor Leland Cheung, Chair of the Committee; Councillor Kenneth E. Reeves; Councillor Sam Seidel; Mayor David P. Maher; City Manager Robert W. Healy; Assistant City Manager for Community Development Beth Rubenstein; Deputy Director, Community Development Department (CDD) Susan Glazer; Director, Economic Division, CDD Estella Johnson; Chris Basler, Economic Division, CDD; Jason Alves; John Clifford; Elizabeth Bedell; and Deputy City Clerk Donna P. Lopez.
Also present were Steve Marsh, Managing Director, MIT Investment Management Company (MITIMCo); John McQuaid, MIT Academic; Kelley Brown, Senior Planner, MIT facilities; Joe Maguire, Alexandria Real Estate; Jesse Baerkahn, Twining Properties/City Retail; Terrence Smith, Cambridge Chamber of Commerce; Mike Cantalupa and Kevin Sheehan, Boston Properties; Tim Rowe and Ranch Kimball of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
Councillor Cheung opened the meeting and explained the purpose. An Agenda was distributed. Councillor Cheung spoke about the interest in the vision for Kendall Square. This meeting was to discuss the mutual vision for the future of Kendall Square. There will be a series of meetings on this topic to bring stakeholders and key players together from the city, community, and private sector. The next meeting will be on place-making in Kendall Square. The Kendall Square Associates has been doing a great job bringing businesses together. A little background was given about the presentation.
Tim Rowe, Kendall Square Associates, stated that the board approached BCG to prepare a pro bono study of Kendall Square. Ranch Kimball is a member of the BCG. He informed the committee of Mr. Kimball's credentials. At this time the presentation was made (ATTACHMENT A).
Mr. Kimball stated that there is no place on the planet like Kendall Square. The challenge was to look at Kendall Square as a great innovative zone. There are only two regions known for science based innovation - MIT/Longwood and Stanford and Berkeley in the San Francisco Bay area. Kendall Square is the most innovative square mile on the planet. He compared Cambridge to Palo Alto which is clearly ahead of Cambridge. Kendall Square is number two in size across the board; however this implies room to grow. The US has more national competitiveness because there are multiple innovative sites in the US. From comments from the public Kendall Square does not "feel good". There is a great vitality of innovation in Kendall Square. There is only a remote chance that any other competitor can compete with Kendall Square. He asked how Kendall Square can be made more vital and more welcoming. There is a gap between the professional pride and the feeling it is not a pleasant place when the worker leaves their desk. A vibrant community increases the attractiveness of a business to potential employees. The strengths of Kendall Square are known by the people who work in Kendall Square, but an external identity is needed. Kendall Square needs branding and marketing.
Councillor Cheung questioned Mr. Kimball about a planned event for Kendall Square. Mr. Kimball responded that 8,000 people would come to Kendall Square because of the innovation, technology and the Boston culture. City Manager Healy suggested building on the Science Festival which has been a success for five years. Grow the Science Festival to attract innovative people. Mr. Rowe asked how we can make an event that someone from Tokyo, Japan would attend. Ms. Rubenstein asked if CDD could do more to market Kendall Square. Mr. Kimball stated that he is not a planner. There are three issues with Kendall Square:
* 1. Physical plan to make it feel unified;
* 2. Include weekend and evening vitality events with open sidewalks and parking at night; and
* 3. Housing and night life.
Ms. Johnson stated that a task force has been established to discuss more night life. Software is being purchased that will unify the calendar of activities.
Joe Maguire, Alexandria, spoke of technology and science bringing together Media Labs. Mr. Rowe stated that the Media Labs are known all over the world. This could be attached to the Science Festival. He informed the committee that South-By-Southwest has seventeen events on going at all times. A document was distributed about Alexandria's Binney Street Project (ATTACHMENT B).
Ms. Rubenstein commented tell us what is missing. There is a skate park, farmers market and boat ramp in Kendall Square. Mr. Rowe stated that there is no night life, no pharmacy and no retail in Kendall Square. Mr. Smith added the issue with Kendall Square is physical. It is an island. Crossing Binney Street is a big deal. The physical development of the area needs to be planned. He spoke about the need for the federal government to deal with the 600 parking spaces at the Volpe Center.
Councillor Reeves asked if the city could take the South-by-Southwest approach to Kendall Square. Mr. Kimball stated that some events need national and international branding and marketing needed to be done. Mr. Rowe added that the South-by-Southwest is an entrepreneurial group, not a governmental group. Councillor Reeves commented that the South-by-Southwest is a partnership between business and government. The wisdom is to start small and to see if it grows.
Mike Cantalupa, Boston Properties, informed the committee that there was a CEO Council group established where five CEO discuss the issue of Kendall Square. Mr. Kimball has been the facilitator.
Councillor Seidel asked how Kendall Square relates to the rest of the city is an issue. Mr. Kimball stated that growth in Kendall Square wants to be respectful of the whole city. The dialogue is to start with the facts and the vision of all parties. At ten o'clock and forty minutes A.M. Mr. Kimball left the meeting for a prior commitment.
At this time City Manager Healy discussed the financing plan for the infrastructure for Kendall Square (ATTACHMENT C). The plans to develop the plaza by Boston Properties and MIT need to be coordinated with the City. Longfellow Bridge is being renovated. The MIT project addresses issues of life vitality for Kendall Square. As Alexandria grows to the northeast it adds more dimension. The City will coordinate with Boston Property on the plaza.
At this time Councillor Cheung asked the attendees to discuss what is next for the Kendall Square area as it relates to their institution or development. The committee now heard from MIT.
Steve Marsh, (MITIMCo) stated that innovation is critical to the economic growth and nationally known branding for Kendall Square. People are coming to replicate the innovation of Kendall Square. This fact has attracted more professionals and businesses. Investment in this area is the way to add the missing vitality. Main Street and the T stop are being reviewed for restaurants, shops and entertainment on MIT property on Main Street. President Hockman is dissatisfied with the area around MIT. A copy of the MIT News was distributed about MIT's plans to liven Kendall Square (ATTACHMENT D).
Kelley Brown, Senior Planner, MIT, stated that the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research Facility was completed. The issue is not just a life science issue, but an engineering issue as well. This facility will be occupied this fall with forty labs and five hundred researchers. North Court, he said, is the second largest open space at MIT. The Media Lab is not Kendall Square specific. The new building has a transparency appearance. There is collaboration to bring the Sloane Project together. MIT has created a new Executive MBA program. The new focus at MIT is the energy initiative. Councillor Cheung stated that the new Executive MBA program is exciting and a great opportunity because it brings to Cambridge current VPs who are soon expected to occupy the C-suite of their respective companies.
Mike Cantalupa stated that Boston Properties has an existing and new development project at Cambridge Center. The existing Asset Program is the east parcel. The plan is to add restaurants at Ames and Main Street with a fall opening. Marriott restaurant will be refurbished beginning in September with a completion date of January 2011. The plaza work is being done and completion date is January 2011. By 2011 there will be a new level of vitality on the Main Street side of Kendall Square. Microsoft will expand at Cambridge Center. Façade changes will occur. The new development project (Cambridge Center Master Plan) has fifteen buildings complete. Zoning relief is being sought for two more buildings.
Joe Maguire, Alexandria, stated that the hope is to add to the street activity on Binney and Third Streets. The cycle track will improve Binney Street. One building has been designed with three more to be designed. He is working to keep businesses in Kendall Square that were threatening to leave. Mr. Healy stated that modifications were made to the Binney Street Connector.
Tim Rowe, Cambridge Innovation Center, informed the committee that the Kendall Square Associates will be discussing the BCG report. The membership of the Kendall Square Associates is made up of the top executives and this creates possibilities. The aim of the Kendall Square Associates is to hire a high level person. If the sidewalks are fixed in Kendall Square it would have a fabulous feel. Cambridge Innovative Center is about new companies and start ups. There are 250 start ups in Kendall Square. There will be an expansion of the space to 57,000 square feet which will increase the start up space to 400.
Estella Johnson, CDD, stated that the Kendall Square Associates has done a marvelous job. Her department gives advice to small business to find space for their business. She spoke about the façade program at CDD which makes retail businesses look good. She recruited at the BIO conference. Everyone knows Cambridge. Work is being done on a report on nighttime and outdoor activity. The report will be issued next month. She stressed the importance of collaboration and working together. Ms. Rubenstein added the hidden positive factor is that the workers who are coming to Cambridge are walking and biking to work and not using automobiles.
Jesse Baerkahn, Twining Properties/City Retail, stressed the need to bring small area businesses into the retail space in Kendall square. The challenge is to find good spots for local businesses along Main and Binney Streets. There is a buzz in the small business community about what is happening in Kendall Square.
At eleven o'clock and twenty-six minutes A.M. Councillor Cheung opened the meeting to public comment.
Mike Cantalupa stated that new sidewalks, benches and bike lanes are planned for Main Street from Ames to Third Streets. Mr. Rowe commented that it is embarrassing when international visitors trip over the brick in the sidewalks.
Councillor Cheung spoke about the collaboration effort to make the vision happen. He requested all people come together to make this work happen.
Mr. Rowe stated that we have a shot at creating the biggest scientific and innovation hub at Kendall Square. Clusters, he said, do not go away once established. His vision is to have Kendall Square be a research cluster. Kendall Square can be a place where children learn about business. This year the Kendall Square clean up had 130 volunteers as opposed to 50 last year. Some of the youth working the clean up were from a Charter School. The tax base could double due to the development of Kendall Square. Making Kendall Square a better place would ensure Cambridge's economic health. Cambridge, he said, needs to be the #1 Hollywood.
Councillor Cheung stated that affordable office space is needed for the Kendall Square area.
Councillor Reeves commented that this is encouraging; but stressed the need to look at the city as a whole. He is not interested in the evolution of Kendall Square. It is not a success as a destination. He asked how Kendall Square could be integrated to Harvard and Central Squares. He expressed the need to find out how to create an interesting space. He stated that theatres and night clubs are needed in Kendall Square.
Councillor Cheung stated that the next meeting will bring together people who know how to create an interesting place.
Mr. Baerkahn suggested thinking collaboratively and deliberately to create Kendall Square as a destination. Think about the right small business for Kendall Square and they will do the work for us. He cited restaurants who brought along their customers with them.
Councillor Seidel commented that to build big but build big wrong is wrong for a long time. Mr. Rowe responded that to get people to come to Kendall Square it has to be safe and innovative.
Mr. Baerkahn stated that Cambridge is the best small business community in the country. Chain stores cannot be relied upon to bring in people. Cambridge needs to be aggressive to keep local business in Cambridge. Boston is being aggressive to take Cambridge's businesses away. Mr. Rowe asked how Cambridge can combat the aggressiveness of Boston. He suggested deploying Mr. Healy to talk to the Cambridge businesses.
Councillor Cheung thanked those present for their attendance.
The meeting adjourned at noon.
For the Committee,
Councillor Leland Cheung, Chair
Committee Report #5
The Ordinance Committee held a public meeting on Wed June 9, 2010 beginning at 6:05pm in the Sullivan Chamber. The purpose of the meeting was to continue to consider proposed amendments to the Zoning Map and Zoning Ordinance in Article 14 Mixed Use Development Cambridge Center to create a "Smart Growth Underutilized Area" in the vicinity of Broadway, Main and Ames Street and the site of the West parking garage on Ames Street. The proposal would further amend the ordinance in Section 14.32 to increase the aggregate Gross Floor Area to 3,073,000 sq. ft., providing that a development in excess of 2, 773,000 could only occur in the so called "Smart Growth Underutilized Area. In addition, Section 14.32.2 would increase the cumulative office uses and biotech manufacturing uses permitted by Section 14.21.2 to 1,605,000 sq. ft. The proposal also exempts certain GFA in the "Smart Growth Underutilized Area" for the purpose of calculating the aggregate GFA within the district and provides a formula for allocation of allowable GFA, and, in an amendment to Section 14.44.3, allows a lot directly across a private way from the development lot to be counted towards satisfaction of the lot minimum open space requirements (Attachment A).
Present at the were Councillor Timothy J. Toomey Jr., Co-Chair of the Committee; Mayor David P. Maher; Councillor Leland Cheung; Councillor Kenneth E. Reeves; and City Clerk D. Margaret Drury. Also present were Lester Barber, Director of Zoning and Land Use, Community Development Department (CDD); Stuart Dash, Director of Community and Neighborhood Planning (CDD); and Roger Boothe, Director of Urban Design.
Councillor Toomey convened the hearing and explained the purpose. He invited the petitioners to begin. Attorney James Rafferty, Adams and Rafferty, Bishop Allen Drive, appearing on behalf of Boston Properties, introduced Michael Cantalupa, Senior Vice President. Mr. Rafferty stated that his client has no objection to changing the name currently used in the petition to designate the area which will be affected. He said that Boston Properties has arranged for Allan Fine, Executive Vice President and Deputy Director of the Broad Institute to describe their situation to the committee and invited Mr. Fine to speak. Mr. Fine began with a description of the mission of the Broad, to take the knowledge gained from the sequencing of the human genome and other fundamental biochemical research and apply it to tackle disease. Their organization has been growing at the rate of 20% a year and now employs 1,000 people and, when all participants are included, their organization needs space for around 1,500. The Broad Institute is now housed in scattered sites in Cambridge, some with short term leases. They have a long term lease for their headquarters, the Boston Properties Seven Cambridge Center site. They have been planning their next configuration to include consolidation of several sites. The potential 300,000 square feet proposed by Boston Properties would allow them to consolidate right next door and would be a great fit for them. The expiration of the lease for their Charles Street site means that they have to be in new space in four years.
Attorney Rafferty said that his clients have been the developer of Cambridge Center, in accord with a master plan for 2.9 million square feet of mixed use development, of which 2.6 million square feet have been completed.
Councillor Cheung said that the entire City Council is extremely appreciative of the importance of the work of the Broad Institute and the value to Cambridge of keeping the Broad in Cambridge. He wants to do everything in his power to make sure that this is a success for Broad. His concern is that the original intent for the district was a mixture of commercial and residential, and now development of the district is almost complete and there is still no residential development. How can the City Council make sure that the housing goes somewhere? Additionally, the City Council needs to be sure that the proposed zoning makes sense regardless of whether the Broad Institute ultimately becomes the tenant because there is no contract between Boston Properties and the Broad Institute, and no guarantee that Broad will be the tenant. Councillor Cheung said that he also wants to know that the development supports the entrepreneurial community from whence will come the next generation of industry stars.
Mr. Cantalupa said that he does not see the City as giving up on housing by adopting this amendment. Housing is very market-driven. Boston Properties was very close to building housing and was making active preparations before the residential market plummeted two years ago. Boston Properties still has a special permit to construct 200,000 square feet of residential space and intends to do so when the residential market recovers.
At this time, Attorney Rafferty distributed copies of the architect's conceptual drawings of housing on the alternative sites that Boston Property sees as suitable for residential development (On file at Cambridge City Clerk's Office). Mr. Cantalupa noted that there would be no land acquisition costs because Boston Properties already owns the land, which will compensate for the additional underground parking costs. In response to a question from Councillor Cheung, Mr. Cantalupa said that land costs are traditionally 10-15% of total development costs.
Councillor Cheung asked Mr. Cantalupa to comment on the relationship between residential components, retail components and a successful and lively mixed-use district. Mr. Cantalupa said that 200 housing units would not necessarily make the difference in terms of enlivening the neighborhood. He gave the example of the Prudential Center, which had housing and commercial uses but did not become lively until after the retail component was added. Retail is a way to continue to enliven the district.
Councillor Cheung asked how the number of permitted 200 residential units in the MXD compares to the number of new housing units on Third Street. Councillor Toomey said that there are 600 new units on and around Third Street.
Councillor Cheung asked the CDD staff how the City could ensure that the housing does get built in the district. He asked whether the zoning could require that the housing be built before any more commercial development takes place. Mr. Dash said that the zoning does not generally say what has to be built first; rather, it specifies a certain square footage of commercial and of residential, basically because of the cyclical nature of both residential and commercial development markets. Councillor Reeves said that there are ways to link how the development of housing rolls out relative to the commercial development. Mr. Boothe agreed that there are ways to calibrate the development so that there is a requirement for a certain amount of housing before more commercial development can occur. That was how the University Park master plan was set up. As it turned out, even more housing than what was contemplated in the master plan, largely because at the relevant time, the housing market was very strong and the commercial market was weaker. Councillor Cheung observed that Kendall Square has been being built for many years in up markets and down markets and the housing just never got built.
Mr. Dash said that the key to the successful development of additional housing in East Cambridge was that in the ECAPS zoning an incentive for building housing was built into the zoning at the beginning. The MXD zoning was done years ago, and there was no incentive for housing provided in the zoning.
Councillor Cheung asked Mr. Boothe what if the Broad does not end up moving in - is this still the right building for this space? Mr. Boothe said that Kendall Square has become a world renowned biotech center. This building is right by the public transit and would not add new cars.
Councillor Cheung asked Mr. Rafferty and Mr. Cantalupa how the City can protect the entrepreneurial community. Could there be something similar to the incentive inclusionary zoning for entrepreneurs so that they could get more affordable rents? Mr. Rafferty said that based on what he has seen in attempts in prior zoning proceedings to protect "mom and pop" small retail, this is a difficult area to work on. Mr. Cantalupa said that there are examples around the city of the difficulty of making this happen. Especially in Kendall Square where there are other businesses, such as the Cambridge Innovation Center, that perform the function of nurturing entrepreneurial start-ups, he would be very hesitant to expect developers to successfully take on this role. Councillor Cheung said that he is looking to the developers to help him figure out how this can happen.
Councillor Reeves asked whether these buildings could be converted to a new use if in 20 years the demand is not for biotech but for another commercial use. Architect David Manfredi answered in the affirmative. He added that one of the hallmarks of sustainability is the ability to convert the spaces to different uses. He said that the conversion from labs to office space is a conversion from a highly specialized and sophisticated use to a less intensive and less demanding use. It is much easier to convert from labs to office space than from office space to labs. Mr. Fine agreed that this has been the experience of the Broad Institute, and it is one of the reasons why the Broad is so enthusiastic about being able to move into space that has been built out as labs rather than trying to convert what is currently office space in an existing building to lab space.
Councillor Reeves said that this is a petition for a change of use and bump-up of square footage by 300,000 square feet. Boston Properties is asking for a lot from the City. The City could be doing a better job as policymakers and planners of giving the community a better space. Kendall Square could be a lot more interesting. Next door to Kendall Square is MIT and MIT is not a vibrant space. Forest City is his poster child for how not to design a space if you want it to be vibrant. He asked what the developer could provide to the community that would make the area a better place. Councillor Reeves said that he is not particularly interested in more housing for the student children of wealthy foreign parents, who seem to occupy the majority of the residential units at NorthPoint. Perhaps nightclubs and restaurants could add vibrancy.
Councillor Cheung agreed that he does not really want housing like the NorthPoint housing. He wants there to be people there, and he wants to know that this is really going to happen before he lets go of this space for the housing use. Councillor Reeves urged Councillor Cheung to keep thinking about the incubator space and gave the example of the incubator office parks built by the state government in North Carolina to keep the graduate students from all leaving the state after graduation.
Mayor Maher said that with regard to retail use, obviously the critical mass is what makes it work. He added that if we could go back, we would probably do many things differently in designing this district. It is worth thinking about how this district can be better connected with other neighborhoods. He is not sold on what the community benefits should be but he believes that there should be community benefits and they should be for the neighborhoods. Mayor Maher also said that he would like to see timelines for community benefits and development.
Councillor Toomey said there are many examples of places where adding a little retail to the housing did not work, for one, 10 Rogers Street. He also reminded the committee that the federal government had originally planned to construct a truly hideous facility for the NASA space program in Kendall Square. At that time, the Boston Properties development was a welcome alternative. Councillor Toomey also noted that Boston is offering free rental for biotech companies that are willing to move there. He said that he is very focused on the community benefits that come from the partnerships that corporations locating in the district can become involved in, particularly with the public schools.
Councillor Toomey then moved to public comment.
Mark Jaquith, 213 Hurley Street, submitted a letter (Attachment C) and urged the City Council to consider whether a developer who has not met commitments already made to the City in the area of open space, housing and noise should be rewarded with a bonus of 300,000 square feet of additional gross floor area for development.
Heather Hoffman, 213 Hurley Street, stated that this is a very noisy district. She does not recommend adding housing in the middle of it because of the noise level. She stated that she was pleased to hear the petition's provisions characterized as a "gift' from the City because as presently worded, that is what it is.
Charles Marquardt, 10 Rogers Street, stated that keeping the Broad Institute in Cambridge is imperative. He expressed his approval of the Alexandria zoning petition's community benefits and suggested a sliding bond to ensure that the developer keeps the commitments made to the community.
Barry Zevin, 67 Hampshire Street, said that more residential development is essential to the vitality of the area. He urged the City Council to look aggressively at use of the Department of Transportation site for housing.
Stephen Kaiser, Hamilton Street, stated that the words "smart growth" and "underutilized area" do not appear in the actual zoning language. In addition Mr. Rafferty admitted at the planning Board that the name of the petition is a mistake. We seem to be piling mistake upon mistake with regard to this petition.
Carolyn Mieth, 15 Brookford Street, stated her concurrence with the remarks of Mr. Jaquith and Mr. Kaiser. She urged the City Council to correct the mistake. She added that the height of 250 feet is too high and suggested that the City Council consider requiring a smaller building.
Terrence Smith, Manassas Street, Director of Governmental Affairs, Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, expressed the Chamber's strong support for the proposed zoning amendment. He submitted written testimony (Attachment D).
Mayor Maher moved that the Ordinance Committee refer this petition to the full City Council and that the committee retain subject matter jurisdiction for further discussion. The motion passed without objection on a voice vote.
Councillor Toomey thanked those persons present for their participation. The meeting was adjourned at 7:52pm.
For the Committee,
Councillor Timothy J. Toomey, Jr., Co-Chair
Committee Report #6
The Government Operations and Rules Committee held a public meeting on Tues, May 25, 2010 beginning at 5:20pm in the Ackermann Room.
The purpose of the meeting was to review a proposed policy for dedication of street corners, a proposal to name the gymnasium at the Sheila Doyle Russell Youth and Community Center in honor of the late Kenneth Holway, institution of parking fees for overstaying meters that increase as the time of the overstay increases, development of a goal setting process for the City Council for FY 2011-12, standards for city hearings and the committee work plan for this term.
Present at the meeting were Councillor Sam Seidel and Councillor Timothy J. Toomey, Co-Chairs of the Committee; Councillor Leland Cheung; Vice Mayor Henrietta Davis; Councillor Marjorie C. Decker; City Clerk D. Margaret Drury; and Executive Assistant to the City Council Sandra Albano. Present on behalf of the City administrative staff was Richard Rossi, Deputy City Manager. Also present were the following members of the public: Kathy Podgers, Pearl Street; Terrence Smith, Cambridge Chamber of Commerce; Robert Winters, 366 Broadway; Marc Levy, 132½ Oxford Street; [and Renae Gray, 84 Columbia Street; Charles Marquardt, 10 Rogers Street; and Eve Sullivan, 144 Pemberton Street].
Councillor Seidel convened the meeting and explained the purpose. He said that he would begin the discussion with the issue of a policy for naming street corners, but first he would take public comment from a member of the public who has requested to speak now because she cannot stay until the end of the meeting.
Kathy Podgers, Pearl Street, stated that she would address the issue of standards for city meetings and submitted a written document (Attachment D). She stated that the longer form of the notice of assistance for persons with disabilities should be included in the public copy of the City Council agenda book, which she has requested in the past. She further stated that compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act should be a goal of the city.
Councillor Seidel then invited committee discussion on the proposed policy for naming street corners (Attachment A). He noted that Councillor Kelley was unable to attend this meeting and has submitted his comments on this issue via e-mail to be part of the record (Attachment B).
Vice Mayor Davis stated that the proposed policy is a good start, but she is not sure that it addresses all of the concerns that have been raised. She added that perhaps there should be some sort of nomination process.
Councillor Decker said that there are two different types of decisions that fall into the category of City Council dedications. One type of dedication is the naming of public buildings and the other is the naming of corners - "personal street signs." She said that the issue of the naming of public buildings is much bigger. With respect to corner signs, she would be in favor of the person signs being limited to veterans, and perhaps limited in number to just a few each year. Councillor Decker also suggested that the committee may want to give the public a chance to respond, both on line and with two public hearings.
Councillor Toomey said that in his neighborhood there are hardly any corners left. Perhaps trees could be planted or benches could be dedicated.
Councillor Decker said that there are many signs for individuals whose families have moved out of Cambridge and, as of now, have no connection at all with the City of Cambridge or anyone who lives here. She raised the possibility of dedication of corners for a period of time, maybe ten years, and then taking the signs down. It would also be possible to take down all of the current signs except the signs honoring veterans. When the sign is taken down the name of the honoree could be inscribed in a special place.
Vice Mayor Davis said that the committee needs to decide upon a process and have a follow-up meeting. She said that she really objects to the current practice of installing a granite plaque that looks just like a grave stone at the base of the tree that has been dedicated to someone. She said that she also does not like the idea of dedicating playgrounds to children who have died. Councillor Toomey said that in some places, the family of the child who has died has offered to pay for the park that would be dedicated in memory of the child. The City Clerk added that in some cities and towns, walkway bricks and tiles in and around municipal buildings can be purchased and installed in memory of loved ones.
Vice Mayor Davis said that she agrees with Councillor Decker about the need for different levels of criteria for public building dedications and corner dedications. She said it would also be good for the public to be able to know something about the person for whom the corner is named. That might be a good job for an intern. Ms. Albano said that there are dedication resolutions prepared for the dedication ceremony, and these resolutions do recite the facts of the honoree's life that have been supplied by the family.
Mayor Maher said that he believes that the City Council does far too many corner dedications, but that overall they are a good thing and can bring a neighborhood together. He added that his opinion is that a dedication adopted by the City Council and commemorated by a sign is a dedication in perpetuity.
It was noted that 2012 will be the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. There is a group of streets in Cambridge that are all named for veterans who lost their lives in that war.
Councillor Seidel then moved to a review of the proposal.
Vice Mayor Davis said that one question for her is whether anything should be dedicated in honor of a person who is still alive. She can see pros and cons.
Councillor Decker said that the proposal is a good start, but more is needed. Because of the delicate nature of the issue, a much more public process is necessary. The Government Operations Committee needs to go beyond the City Council in its outreach.
Councillor Toomey said that with regard to the criteria of work in public service in Cambridge, the second bulleted item reads "Distinguished public service to Cambridge, the Commonwealth or the nation." He is not comfortable with the language "the Commonwealth or the nation." He would limit it to "Cambridge."
Vice Mayor Davis noted that a number of Cambridge schools are named after national figures such as Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy, Rosa Parks etc. There are a number of historical figures that we want Cambridge children to know about, and that is one function of the dedication of a public building.
Councillor Seidel said that he agrees with the generational aspect of corner signs. Within 10-20 years, that history is gone.
Vice Mayor Davis suggested that a public survey be developed. Councillor Decker agreed and suggested that the survey be designated as a survey on naming public spaces.
The following order was passed on a voice vote without objection:
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to designate members of the City administrative staff to work with the Government Operations Committee on developing a public survey on naming public spaces.
Councillor Seidel then invited public comment.
Renae Gray, Cambridge, President of the African American Heritage Association, suggested adding a preamble to the criteria to address the question of why the City names public spaces and how the criteria relate to the purpose. She noted that different people may have very different expectations about why public places are named. She suggested thinking about a nomination process along with a demonstration of community support for the dedication.
Charles Marquardt, 10 Rogers Street, cautioned that the criteria of honorably discharged veterans who served during wartime could be interpreted to rule out Korean, Vietnam, and Desert Storm veterans, since those conflicts were not officially designated as wars. He also suggested that the committee set a target date for finalizing the policy.
Eve Sullivan, 144 Pemberton Street, was unable to stay for the meeting and submitted her comments on street sign memorials by email (Attachment C).
Mayor Maher stated that he believes that the idea of requiring a nomination along with signatures of community members would be a good addition to the policy. He added that perhaps the policy should rule out dedications for people who have no present connection to Cambridge.
It was agreed without objection that this matter would remain in committee and that another meeting would be scheduled to continue this discussion and to consider the other items that have been referred to the committee.
Councillor Toomey and Councillor Seidel thanked those present for their participation. The meeting was adjourned at 6:15pm.
For the Committee,
Councillor Sam Seidel, Co-Chair
Councillor Timothy J. Toomey, Jr., Co-Chair
AWAITING REPORT LIST
09-147. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on what barriers would prevent residents from raising chickens and what could be done to remove these barriers. Remains on Awaiting Report List at request of Councillor Davis
Councillor Davis and Full Membership 12/14/09 (O-2)
10-02. Report from the City Manager: See Mgr #4
RE: report on an assessment and plan for repairs and improvements of all school playgrounds.
Mayor Maher and Full Membership 01/11/10 (O-3)
10-46. Report from the City Manager: See Mgr #7
RE: report detailing issues of greatest importance that are before the Police Review and Advisory Board.
Councillor Simmons 03/22/10 (O-12)
10-50. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on options for amending the ordinance to allow for permitting of civic organizations to use public space after hours.
Councillor Cheung 03/22/10 (O-18)
10-56. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the adoption of a regulation to prohibit licensed hotels from subcontracting housekeeping services.
Councillor Decker, Councillor Cheung, Mayor Maher, Councillor Toomey, Councillor Reeves and Full Membership 04/05/10 (O-16)
10-57. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on Harvard using the Jesuit properties for affordable housing and whether Harvard will offer other properties in the same neighborhoods for the purpose of developing affordable housing.
Councillor Decker & Councillor Cheung 04/05/10 (O-20)
10-59. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on red light violations at 77 Mass Avenue and the possibility of installing a raised crosswalk.
Councillor Cheung and Full Membership 04/26/10 (O-2)
10-60. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the City's current cell phone tower zoning policy.
Councillor Cheung, Councillor Seidel and Full Membership 04/26/10 (O-5)
10-63. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on instituting a program similar to the on-bill financing of business and residential building improvements.
Councillor Cheung 04/26/10 (O-8)
10-70. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the feasibility of updating the website with automatic translation software.
Councillor Cheung, Councillor Decker, Councillor Kelley, Mayor Maher, Councillor Reeves, Councillor Seidel, Councillor Simmons & Councillor Toomey 05/03/10 (O-5)
10-71. Report from the City Manager: See Mgr #11
RE: report on requiring all licensed establishments to clean the sidewalks in front of their businesses or risk being fined.
Councillor Cheung, Councillor Decker, Councillor Kelley, Mayor Maher, Councillor Reeves, Councillor Seidel, Councillor Simmons & Councillor Toomey 05/03/10 (O-6)
10-72. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on removing the raccoons from the Squirrel Brand park.
Councillor Seidel, Councillor Cheung, Councillor Decker, Mayor Maher, Councillor Reeves, Councillor Simmons & Councillor Toomey 05/03/10 (O-7)
10-73. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on whether any action is necessary by the City as it relates to affordable housing commitments at 303 Third Street as a result of a recent judgment by the Suffolk Superior Court. Charter Right exercised by Councillor Toomey on June 7, 2010.
Councillor Toomey, Councillor Cheung, Councillor Decker, Councillor Kelley, Mayor Maher, Councillor Reeves, Councillor Seidel & Councillor Simmons 05/03/10 (O-8)
10-74. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on white protruding cylindrical objects on the roof the former Blessed Sacrament Church building project.
Councillor Decker 05/03/10 (O-9)
10-75. Report from the City Manager: See Mgr #5
RE: report on status of Healthy Parks and Playgrounds Advisory Committee.
Vice Mayor Davis and Full Membership 05/10/10 (O-1)
10-76. Report from the City Manager: See Mgr #14
RE: report on current tree-related ordinances, state statutes and informal policies.
Councillor Kelley, Councillor Cheung and Full Membership 05/10/10 (O-2)
10-78. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on proposed ordinance to allow residents to purchase permits to barbeque on public land.
Councillor Cheung, Vice Mayor Davis, Councillor Decker, Mayor Maher, Councillor Reeves, Councillor Seidel, Councillor Simmons & Councillor Toomey 05/10/10 (O-6)
10-79. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on a standard set of resources, facility privileges, tools, and barebones operating budget the unfunded commissions may use in their work of enacting Council policy.
Councillor Cheung and Full Membership 05/10/10 (O-7)
10-80. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the possibility of implementing a 2D barcode located on square signs.
Councillor Cheung, Councillor Seidel and Full Membership 05/10/10 (O-8)
10-83. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the closing of the Main Library on Sunday's for the summer months.
Councillor Toomey, Vice Mayor Davis, Councillor Decker, Councillor Kelley, Mayor Maher, Councillor Reeves, Councillor Seidel & Councillor Simmons 05/24/10 (O-1)
10-84. Report from the City Manager: See Mgr #13
RE: report on proposed traffic calming measures for Linnaean Street.
Councillor Decker, Vice Mayor Davis, Councillor Kelley, Mayor Maher, Councillor Reeves, Councillor Seidel, Councillor Simmons & Councillor Toomey 05/24/10 (O-2)
10-85. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on traffic issues on Kenway Street.
Councillor Simmons, Vice Mayor Davis, Councillor Decker, Councillor Kelley, Mayor Maher, Councillor Reeves, Councillor Seidel & Councillor Toomey 05/24/10 (O-3)
10-86. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the status of the building formerly occupied by Marino's Restaurant.
Councillor Simmons, Vice Mayor Davis, Councillor Decker, Councillor Kelley, Mayor Maher, Councillor Reeves, Councillor Seidel & Councillor Toomey 05/24/10 (O-4)
10-87. Report from the City Manager: See Mgr #6
RE: report on reasons for removing the dedicated walk cycle from Mass Ave crossings between Harvard and Porter Squares.
Councillor Kelley, Vice Mayor Davis, Councillor Decker, Mayor Maher, Councillor Reeves, Councillor Seidel, Councillor Simmons & Councillor Toomey 05/24/10 (O-6)
10-88. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on why the new policy of barring dogs from Norton's Woods has been instituted.
Councillor Decker, Vice Mayor Davis, Councillor Kelley, Mayor Maher, Councillor Reeves, Councillor Seidel, Councillor Simmons & Councillor Toomey 05/24/10 (O-9)
10-89. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on a delineation of the boundaries of Joan Lorentz Park.
Councillor Seidel, Vice Mayor Davis, Councillor Decker, Councillor Kelley, Mayor Maher, Councillor Reeves, Councillor Simmons & Councillor Toomey 05/24/10 (O-11)
10-90. Report from the City Manager: See Mgr #10
RE: report on recent commercial break-ins in East Cambridge.
Councillor Toomey, Vice Mayor Davis, Councillor Decker, Councillor Kelley, Mayor Maher, Councillor Reeves, Councillor Seidel & Councillor Simmons 05/24/10 (O-12)
10-91. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on truck restrictions and enforcement on Second Street.
Councillor Toomey and Full Membership 06/07/10 (O-3)
10-92. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on improvements to City parking lot #8.
Vice Mayor Davis and Full Membership 06/07/10 (O-4)
10-93. Report from the City Manager: See Mgr #9
RE: report on the status of the Cambridge bike sharing program and timeline of implementation.
Councillor Cheung and Full Membership 06/07/10 (O-5)
10-94. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on projects being undertaken by City departments along Massachusetts Avenue between Harvard and Porter Squares.
Councillor Seidel and Full Membership 06/07/10 (O-9)
10-95. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on making Paine Park for children and dogs.
Councillor Seidel and Full Membership 06/07/10 (O-11)
10-96. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the status of tents in Flagstaff Park.
Councillor Seidel and Full Membership 06/07/10 (O-12)
10-97. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on extending the Hybrid Cab program.
Councillor Cheung and Full Membership 06/07/10 (O-13)
10-98. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the wires on Windsor and Seckel Streets were installed correctly.
Councillor Toomey and Full Membership 06/07/10 (O-14)
10-99. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on securing parking in the neighborhood of the former Marino's Restaurant.
Councillor Decker and Full Membership 06/14/10 (O-4)
10-100. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the safety of pedestrian traffic along both Irving and Scott Streets.
Councillor Decker and Full Membership 06/14/10 (O-5)
10-101. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on approximate number of buildings that could be affected by the zoning petition 5.28.2.
Councillor Seidel 06/14/10 (O-6)