Cambridge City Council meeting - Nov 13, 2017 - AGENDA

CITY MANAGER'S AGENDA
1. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appointment of the following persons as new members of the Citizens Committee on Civic Unity for a term of three years, effective Nov 1, 2017: Lorraine Goffe, Kelly Hassett, Laura Smith, Gustavo Payan, Tarit Rao-Chakravorti and Holly Bernier

Nov 13, 2017
To the Honorable, the City Council:

I am hereby transmitting notification of the appointment of the following persons as new members of the Citizens Committee on Civic Unity for a term of three years, effective Nov 1, 2017:

Lorraine Goffe
Lorraine Goff is a fairly new Cambridge resident, and is originally from England. She is currently the Vice President for Human Resources at MIT. She brings over 20 years of experience in leadership positions related to human resources and diversity and inclusion. She has experience participating in, and leading, discussions designed to bring people together, improve understanding and find common ground.

Kelly Hassett
Kelly Hassett is a lifelong Cambridge resident and currently an engineering student. She has been involved in advocating for women in STEM, GBLTQ safe spaces, and diversity issues, as well as organizing a Women in Technology group on her college campus.

Laura Smith
Laura Smith is currently the Instructional Literacy Coach and Cultural Proficiency Facilitator at the Cambridge Street Upper School and has nearly 20 years of professional experience in the Cambridge Public Schools. She has experience planning and facilitating conversations on race and culture. She is also a Cambridge Public Schools parent, and has a strong interest in addressing issues of historically disenfranchised people in the community, and partnering to build change and inclusion through events and programs.

Gustavo Payan
Gustavo Payan is originally from Juarez Mexico and has a background in International Development. He is a Cambridge Public School parent. He has over 14 years of professional experience with a global nonprofit organization and is currently a consultant in the field of education in conflict.

Tarit Rao- Chakravorti
Tarit Rao-Chakravorti is currently a graduate student at MIT. He has worked as consultant to the US Government primarily advising on national security strategy and foreign policy. His undergraduate major was Economics and Peace and Conflict Studies. He brings a unique financial perspective and experience, and also a strong desire to contribute to the community and help provide inclusivity for all residents.

Holly Bernier
Holly Bernier is a City of Cambridge employee that grew up in the City and is very familiar with the different residents and communities. She is currently employed at the Emergency Communications Department and was formally employed by the Cambridge Police Department. She brings significant experience organizing community events and programs.

Very truly yours, Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager

2. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of $2,274,829 from Free Cash to the Mitigation Revenue Stabilization Fund. Funds appropriated to the Mitigation Revenue Stabilization Fund will be used to fund specific projects which will require individual appropriations by the City Council for the related projects in the future.

Nov 13, 2017
To the Honorable, the City Council:

I am hereby requesting the appropriation of $2,274,829 from Free Cash to the Mitigation Revenue Stabilization Fund. During FY17, the City received mitigation revenues from various developers as a result of commitments related to zoning ordinance amendments and special permit conditions. By law, all mitigation revenues must be deposited into the General Fund and can only be appropriated after the Free Cash Certification is complete.

There were no Community Benefits Funds received during FY17. As are result, the total of $2,274,829 appropriated to the Mitigation Revenue Stabilization Fund is the only appropriation from Free Cash attributed to Mitigation. It will be used to fund specific projects which will require individual appropriations by the City Council for the related projects in the future.

Very truly yours, Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager

3. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the transfer of $15,000 from the General Fund Employee Benefits (Insurance) Salary and Wages account to the General Fund Library Travel and Training (Judgment and Damages) account to cover current and anticipated medical services and/or prescription reimbursement costs for the remainder of the fiscal year for Library personnel injured in the performance of their duties.

4. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the transfer of $250,000 from the General Fund Employee Benefits (Insurance) Salary and Wages account to the General Fund Public Works Judgment and Damages account to cover current and anticipated medical services and/or prescription reimbursement costs for the remainder of the fiscal year for Public Works personnel injured in the performance of their duties.

5. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to a recommendation from the Planning Board to adopt the Alexandria Zoning Petition regarding Innovation Space in the PUD-3A and PUD-4C Districts.

Date: Nov 6, 2017
Subject: Alexandria Zoning Petition Regarding Innovation Space in the PUD-3A and PUD-4C Districts.
Recommendation: The Planning Board recommends ADOPTION.

To the Honorable, the City Council,
The Planning Board held a public hearing on this petition on Oct 17, 2017. The Board heard a presentation from the Petitioner and testimony from one member of the public, and received a report with background information from the Community Development Department.

The zoning for these districts was adopted in 2009 and Alexandria’s development plan was approved in 2010. The development plan is now in its later phases, when it is typical and reasonable for the developer to consider improvements to the original scheme. The current proposal makes a small change that the Board believes will result in a better project overall. The 2010 development plan included repurposing an existing commercial building into housing. However, the Petitioner explained that the older building is not well suited for rehabilitation to residential use and now intends to provide the required housing entirely in a new structure, and to retain the existing use of the commercial building. To remain within the commercial Gross Floor Area (GFA) limits of the district, the petition would allow a limited amount of Innovation Space within the existing building to be exempt from GFA limitations.

The Board finds the proposed changes beneficial because the housing will be in a new building specifically designed for it and because the proposed additional GFA allowance would be for Innovation Space, a type of commercial space that is promoted in the City’s Kendall Square (“K2”) Plan and subject to GFA incentives in other nearby zoning districts. While the proposed change is small in scope – less than one percent of the total GFA in the project – it would benefit both the development and the City.

Respectfully submitted for the Planning Board,
H. Theodore Cohen, Chair

6. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of the Children’s Trust Fund grant for the Center for Families program in the amount of $62,925 to the Department of Human Service Programs Salary and Wages account ($62,000) and to the Other Ordinary Maintenance account ($925) which will be used by the Center for Families to support family programs targeting parents of children up to eight years, which include a variety of family support and parent education programs and resources.

7. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of the Project Bread Food Pantry grant received from the Project Bread organization for $2,000 to the Grant Fund Human Services Other Ordinary Maintenance account which will allow the Cambridge Senior Center Food Pantry to pay for purchases at the Greater Boston Food Bank, and for other food purchases for the Senior Food Pantry.

8. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of the Agenda for Children’s Talk and Read grant in the amount of $2,690 received from the Cambridge Public Health Department to the Grant Fund Human Service Programs Salary and Wages account ($1,150) and to the Other Ordinary Maintenance account ($1,540) which will be used for the Agenda for Children’s Talk and Read program.

9. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 17-32, regarding determining how the health of senior residents will be monitored during heat events and how the dangers associated with such events will be mitigated.

10. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 17-60, regarding a report on the feasibility of making the section of Kinnaird Street between River Street and Western Avenue a one-way.

11. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 16-52 regarding the City's use of push button caution lights at crosswalks and to determine any decrease in pedestrian legal rights should they be hit; and Awaiting Report Item Number 16-66, regarding a report on how traffic laws pertaining to crosswalks are currently enforced throughout the City and whether there can be stricter laws to ultimately increase pedestrian safety.

12. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 17-101, regarding a report on the feasibility of reducing the speed limit on Magazine Street as well as other traffic calming measures.

13. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 17-90, regarding a report on policies regarding urban wildlife management.

14. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report 16-86, regarding a report on which public campaign finance options are legal for municipal elections in Cambridge; and Awaiting Report 17-84, regarding potential plans and options, responsive to community concerns, for creating a program of tax revenue financing for candidates running for City Council and School Committee in the City of Cambridge.

Re: Awaiting Report 16-86, Order No. O-14 of 10/31/16 Re: Report on which public campaign finance options are legal for municipal elections in Cambridge; and Awaiting Report 17-84, Order No. O-26 of 9/11/17 Re: Report by the end of October 2017, potential plans and options, responsive to community concerns, for creating a program of tax revenue financing for candidates running for City Council and School Committee in the City of Cambridge

Dear Mr. DePasquale:
The above two Awaiting Report matters relate to how the City may create a program of public funding I tax revenue financing of candidates running for City Council and School Committee. Former City Manager Richard C. Rossi responded on Oct 15, 2014 to a similar City Council Order in which the City Council had asked the City Manager "to confer with the Law Department, the Election Commission, and the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance to determine the feasibility of publicly funded elections for Cambridge, taking into account models for implementation from other municipalities as well as the exploration of new publicly funded models." A copy of that Oct 15, 2014 response, which was submitted to the Government Operations, Rules and Claims Committee, to which the matter had been. referred by the Council, is attached. Thereafter, on Aug 29, 2016, the City Council 's Neighborhood and Long Term Planning, Public Facilities, Arts and Celebrations Committee held a hearing on a report submitted to it by the "Independent Working Group for Campaign Finance Reform in Cambridge" entitled "Report on Publicly Financing Municipal Elections in Cambridge." A copy of that report is also attached.

Subsequently, Awaiting Report 16-86 was issued as Council Order No. O-14 on Oct 31, 2016 requesting a "Report on which public campaign finance options are legal for municipal elections in Cambridge." After that, a Non-Binding Public Opinion Advisory Question Petition regarding publicly funded local elections was filed with the Election Commission on July 14, 2017 and submitted for approval to the City Council for placing on the municipal ballot for November 2017. At the summer Council meeting of Aug 7, 2017, the matter was not acted upon by the Council due to one Councillor exercising a Charter Right. At the next City Council meeting on Sept 11, 2017, Awaiting Report 17-84 was issued as Council Order No. O-26 seeking a "Report by the end of October 2017, potential plans and options, responsive to community concerns, for creating a program of tax revenue financing for candidates running for City Council and School Committee in the City of Cambridge."

The legal landscape has not changed significantly since the Oct 15, 2014 report submitted by Mr. Rossi, which included substantial input from the Law Department. The Attorney General's office reiterated their concern to the Law Department earlier this month that because the Home Rule Amendment of the Massachusetts Constitution, Amendment Article 2, Section 7, prohibits municipalities from passing ordinances that "regulate elections," the City would be well-advised to obtain special legislation in order to implement a public funding scheme for local candidates if that is what the City Council desires. This means that once the City has crafted the public funding plan that it would like to implement, that plan should be submitted through the City Council to the state Legislature for passage as a special act before it is implemented. Both the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance and the Director of Elections in the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth were also contacted this month and confirmed this advice.

We have also confirmed that it is still the case that no other municipality in the Commonwealth currently has publicly funded elections, although the Commonwealth itself has a statutory framework for limited public funding for statewide offices which is set forth at G.L.c.55C.

There are many states and cities across the country, large and small, which have implemented public funding programs. These public funding programs share common elements. All identify or create some entity that administers and enforces the program. In Cambridge, that entity could be an enlarged and additionally empowered Election Commission, or a new separate commission with staff support. The Sept 11, 2017 Council Order appears to have addressed one of the essential elements of a public funding program by stating that the source of funds to be given by the City to the candidates will be "tax revenue." Another potential source of funds would be donations to the City for this purpose; however, relying only on donations can lead to there being an insufficient amount of money to fully fund the public funding program. Other common elements of public funding programs that have to be addressed are: how will candidates qualify to receive public funds; will a set amount be distributed to each qualifying candidate, and if so, what is that amount; will the amount be distributed based on a matching fund system; what is the candidate spending limit that will be set? The attached report from the "Independent Working Group for Campaign Finance Reform in Cambridge" suggests answers to some of these questions. That report cites the New Haven, Connecticut public financing program. It is worth noting that Berkeley, California enacted a Fair Elections Act of 2016 and has a detailed public funding of candidates plan administered by its "Fair Campaign Practices Commission." Berkeley has a population similar in size to that of Cambridge. The public funding plans created in municipalities in other states are based on those state's laws, the political dynamics in those municipalities, and presumably, on data establishing the costs of campaigns in those communities, the historical size and number of local campaign donations, and the financial means of each municipality to expend money for these purposes. A public funding program for Cambridge should take into account the unique local circumstances of Cambridge City Council and Cambridge School Committee elections (history of numbers and amounts of local campaign donations, amounts spent by the candidates on their election campaigns, any specific factors which may be related to the proportional representation election system, etc.) and should be based in part on actual data from recent campaigns.

Two general legal restrictions on public funding of candidates plans are: participation in them must be voluntary on the part of candidates (see, Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976)); and public funds may not be awarded to candidates based directly on the amount of funds donated by private entities to opposing candidates who opt not to be publicly funded (Arizona Free Enterprise Club's Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett, 564 U.S.721 (2011)).

Finalizing the particulars of a Cambridge plan for public funding of local candidates requires several policy decisions by the City Council. Awaiting Report 17-84 states that a public funding plan that is responsive to community concerns should be developed; so some means of learning what those community concerns are should be pursued. Community concerns could be garnered by the City Council itself or Council Committees through further public meetings on this topic, or through other means such as citizen surveys or public meetings held by other entities which then report back to the City Council. Therefore, it appears that if the City Council wishes to pursue this option further, additional information should be gathered so that the City Council can answer the above questions and make the necessary policy decisions that would be used by City staff to guide them in developing a plan to address the City Council's policy decisions on this issue, which could then be put in the form of special legislation for submission to the Legislature.

Very truly yours, Nancy E. Glowa

CHARTER RIGHT
1. That the City Manager is requested to appoint a Transportation Task Force to develop a large and comprehensive street safety and education plan that speaks to the needs of bicyclist, motorists, and pedestrians, and that can be easily disseminated and understood by all citizens. [Charter Right exercised by Mayor Simmons on Oct 30, 2017]

ON THE TABLE
2. The City Manager is requested to confer with the appropriate departments to organize regular suppers on the second Saturday of each month, starting on the 13th of August, with free food for the Cambridge community in open public spaces throughout the various Cambridge neighborhoods. [Charter Right exercised by Councillor Mazen on June 20, 2016. Tabled on a motion by Councillor Mazen on June 27, 2016.]

3. The City Manager coordinate with the Finance Department, Cambridge Redevelopment Authority, and community stakeholders to outline a proposed system of governance, management, and stakeholder engagement for the Foundry, to be discussed in a public forum with the Council and community. [Charter Right exercised by Councillor Toomey on Oct 31, 2016. Placed On The Table on voice vote of six members on motion of Councillor Toomey.]

4. An application was received from Mundo/Lux, requesting permission for a sandwich board sign in front of the premises numbered 2 Bow Street. [Charter Right exercised by Councillor Cheung on Dec 19, 2016. Placed On Table on a voice vote of 8 on motion of Councillor Cheung on Jan 9, 2017.]

5. That the City Manager is requested to work with the Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department and any other relevant City department to survey of city residents, work, and visitors to determine who is interested in parking in the City. [Charter Right exercised by Councillor Kelley on Jan 30, 2017. Placed On Table on a motion by Councillor Cheung on Feb 6, 2017.]

6. That the City Manager is requested to establish the requirement that all appointments to the City's commissions, advisory committees, and task forces reflect the City's diversity and that the Civic Unity Committee is asked to sign off on all such appointments going forward. [Charter Right exercised by Mayor Simmons on Feb 27, 2017. Tabled on a motion by Councillor Cheung on a voice vote of 8 members on Mar 6, 2017.]

7. That the City Manager is requested to create a permanent office or public-private initiative for the purpose of fostering charitable giving in Cambridge and to work with non-profits to study the local charitable giving landscape, measuring the estimated maximum charitable carrying capacity of the city. [Tabled as amended by substitution on a motion of Councillor Mazen on May 8, 2017.]

UNFINISHED BUSINESS
8. An amendment to the Zoning Ordinance of the City of Cambridge on Beekeeping. The question comes on passing to be ordained on or after Nov 6, 2017. Planning Board hearing held on Oct 3, 2017. Petition expires Jan 3, 2018.

COMMUNICATIONS
1. A communication was received from Patricia Intrieri, 106 Hampshire Street, regarding Cambridge Safety demonstration project.

2. A communication was received from Kent Johnson, regarding support for Policy Order #299 work towards creating a Comprehensive Arts Planning Framework.

3. A communication was received from Hasson Rashid, regarding Making homelessness a protected class.

4. A communication was received from Hasson Rashid, regarding support of Representative Provost and the Cambridge Legislative delegation's effort to pass a "Right of First Refusal".

5. A communication was received from Persis McClennen, regarding property tax and bike lanes.

6. A communication was received from Christopher Craig, 31 Magnolia Avenue, regarding Cambridge Street redesign.

7. A communication was received from JJ Gonson, regarding the closing of Petco on Cambridge Street.

8. A communication was received from Henry Lelaurain, Follen Street, regarding Bike lanes with loss of parking spaces.

9. A communication was received from Peter Valentine, 37 Brookline Street, regarding Coordinate People's needs.

10. A communication was received from Logan Gilbert, regarding Banning commercial bred pets.

11. A communication was received from Leanne Scott, regarding Petco store closing due to ban on commercially bred dogs and cats.

RESOLUTIONS
1. That the City Council hereby goes on record in congratulating Gladys “Pebble” Gifford for receiving the 2017 Jane Thompson Award.   Councillor Devereux

2. Retirement of Kevin McCormick from the Community Development Department.   Councillor Maher

3. The City Council supports local citizens who work to enrich the Massachusetts community through service to the elderly and thank you Iain Hamilton.   Councillor Mazen

ORDERS
1. That the City Manager is requested to work with the relevant City departments and report back to the City Council with an update on the City’s plans to expand the curbside composting program citywide.   Councillor Cheung

2. Cancel the Regular City Council Meeting scheduled for Mon, Nov 27, 2017.   Mayor Simmons, Councillor Toomey

3. That the City Manager is requested to work with the relevant City departments and report back to the City Council if there is anything further the City can do to better educate parents, coaches, referees, and players about concussions and how to handle athletes if they suspect there is a concussion.   Councillor Cheung

4. That the City Manager is requested to work with the relevant City departments to determine the feasibility on installing stretching, body weight, and low-impact fitness equipment at various parks throughout the City and report back to the City Council.   Councillor Cheung

COMMITTEE REPORTS
1. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Dennis J. Carlone and Councillor Leland Cheung, Co-Chairs of the Ordinance Committee, for a public hearing held on Oct 12, 2017 to discuss a Zoning Petition filed by Christopher D. Smith, et al., to create a new Section 13.913 Graduate Student Housing Production Requirement. This petition would require new graduate housing to be built in conjunction with the development of commercial uses in the proposed Planned Unit Development 7 District as well as a phasing plan to implement graduate housing development.

HEARING SCHEDULE
Mon, Nov 13
5:30pm   City Council Meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Wed, Nov 15
3:30pm   The Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss a Zoning Petition by Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc., to create a new Section 13.59.11 Floor Area Ratio and Gross Floor Area Exemption for Up to 10,000 SF of Innovation Office Space and would apply to the PUD-3A and PUD-4C Districts only. This hearing to be televised.  (Sullivan Chamber)

Mon, Nov 20
5:30pm   City Council Roundtable/Working Meeting to receive an update on Envision Cambridge. No public comment. No votes will be taken. This meeting to be televised.  (Sullivan Chamber)

Tues, Nov 21
5:30pm   The Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss a zoning petition filed by Peter Kroon, et al., to amend Section 20.50 of the Zoning Ordinance “Harvard Square Overlay District.” This hearing to be televised.  (Sullivan Chamber)

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

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

Mon, Dec 11
5:30pm   City Council Meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

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

Mon, Jan 1
10:00am   City Council Inaugural Meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Mon, Jan 8
5:30pm   City Council Meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Mon, Jan 22
5:30pm   City Council Meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Mon, Jan 29
5:30pm   City Council Meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

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

Mon, Feb 12
5:30pm   City Council Meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Mon, Feb 26
5:30pm   City Council Meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

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

Mon, Mar 12
5:30pm   City Council Meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Mon, Mar 19
5:30pm   City Council Meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Mon, Mar 26
5:30pm   City Council Meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

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

Mon, Apr 9
5:30pm   City Council Meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Mon, Apr 23
5:30pm   City Council Meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

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

Mon, May 7
5:30pm   City Council Meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Mon, May 14
5:30pm   City Council Meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

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

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

Mon, June 11
5:30pm   City Council Meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

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

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

TEXT OF ORDERS
O-1     Nov 13, 2017
COUNCILLOR CHEUNG
WHEREAS: In 2011, the City Council passed an order asking the City Manager to work with the relevant City departments to develop and create a timeline for implementing a curbside composting program in Cambridge; and
WHEREAS: In FY12, the City received a grant from MassDEP and conducted a feasibility study in the early part of 2012; and
WHEREAS: In 2014, the City of Cambridge began a curbside composting pilot program; and
WHEREAS: In late 2015, the City expanded its curbside composting program to include all households along the Monday morning trash collection route; and
WHEREAS: In the FY18 budget, the City Administration and DPW included funds to hire four new staff members with the goal of expanding the City’s curbside composting program city wide; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to work with the relevant City departments and report back to the City Council with an update on the City’s plans to expand the curbside composting program citywide.

O-2     Nov 13, 2017
MAYOR SIMMONS
COUNCILLOR TOOMEY
ORDERED: That the Regular City Council Meeting scheduled for Mon, Nov 27, 2017 be and hereby is cancelled.

O-3     Nov 13, 2017
COUNCILLOR CHEUNG
WHEREAS: In 2012 the City Council passed an order asking the Law Department to report back to the City Council with the language for an ordinance that would regulate the procedures that organizations should follow in the event of a concussion; and
WHEREAS: In December 2013 the City Council passed to a second reading an amendment to the Municipal Code titled “Concussion Prevention and Management in Youth Activities at City Facilities" but was eventually placed on file in May of 2015; and
WHEREAS: In September of 2015, the Public Health Department promulgated new regulations that applied to all youth athletic programs that apply for permits to use city-owned facilities; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to work with the relevant City departments report back to the City Council on if there is anything further the City can do to better educate parents, coaches, referees, and players about concussions and how to handle athletes if they suspect there is a concussion.

O-4     Nov 13, 2017
COUNCILLOR CHEUNG
WHEREAS: Some public spaces in the City, like Magazine Beach, contain stretching, body weight, and low-impact fitness equipment; and
WHEREAS: Having these features at various parks around the City would go a long way in promoting physical fitness and further encourage residents to use the City’s public spaces; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to work with the relevant City departments to determine the feasibility on installing stretching, body weight, and low-impact fitness equipment at various parks throughout the City; and be it further
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to report back to the City Council once the feasibility is determined.

TEXT OF COMMITTEE REPORTS
Committee Report #1
The Ordinance Committee, comprised of the entire membership of the City Council, held a public hearing on Thurs, Oct 12, 2017 at 2:35pm in the Sullivan Chamber.

The purpose of the hearing was to discuss a Zoning Petition filed by Christopher D. Smith, et al., to create a new Section 13.913 Graduate Student Housing Production Requirement. This petition would require new graduate housing to be built in conjunction with the development of commercial uses in the proposed Planned Unit Development 7 District as well as a phasing plan to implement graduate housing development.

Present at the hearing were Councillor Carlone and Councillor Cheung, Co-Chairs of the Committee; Councillor Devereux; Councillor Kelley; Councillor Mazen; Councillor Toomey; Mayor Simmons; Iram Farooq, Assistant City Manager for Community Development Department; Jeff Roberts, Senior Manager for Zoning and Development, CDD; Chris Cotter, Housing Director, CDD; Arthur Goldberg, Deputy City Solicitor; and Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk.

Also present were Bill Cavellini, 33 Oak Street, Somerville; Ken Eisenberg, 240 Hampshire Street; Quinton Zondervan, 235 Cardinal Medeiros Avenue; Alex Bob, 8 Barstow Avenue, Somerville; Doug McPherson, 24 Harold Street; Nayeli Rodriguez, 440 Mass. Avenue; Ezra Glena, 8 Hall Street; Saul Wilson, 812 Memorial Drive; David Tisel, 5 Lester Terrace, Somerville; Alex Acura, 30 Walnut Street, Somerville; Liz Haney, 4 Aberdeen Street, Somerville; Gerald Alves, III, 55 Pearl Street; Leyla Isik 351 Howard Street; Jonathan King, 40 Essex Street; Britni Crocker, 540 Memorial Drive; Tamara Knox, 378 Washington Street, Somerville; Bella Purdy, 89 Beacon Street, Somerville; Amalie Ribeiro, 11 Inman Street; Talia Fox, 378 Washington Street, Somerville; Lee Farris, 269 Norfolk Street; Alex Meeks, 70 Pacific Street; Michael Turk, 11 Ware Street; Huma Gupta; Dan Bargnia, 54 Portsmouth Street; Max Arielle, 13 Pleasant Place; Daniel Curtis; Peter Su, 72 Dane Street, Somerville; Josh Morrison, 22 Jackson Road, Somerville; Kelly Main, 356 Harvard Street; Gerald Bergman, 82 Elm Street; Ilan Levy, 148 Spring Street; Phyllis Bretholtz, 65 Antrim Street; Zoe Mueller, 70 Irving Street, Somerville; Maia Woluchern, 474 Windsor Street; Griffin Smith, 21 Moore Street, Somerville; and Representative Mike Connolly.

Councillor Carlone convened the hearing and stated that purpose. He announced that the hearing is being audio and visually recorded. He stated that public comment will be two minutes. He outlined the format of the meeting. The petitioners will be heard first who have a presentation. The City Council will be asked if they need clarifications. City staff will be heard next on the petition and then public comment. When public comment is closed the City Council will discuss the petition and make a recommendation. He expected that this will be kept in committee.

The petitioners, Christopher Smith, Douglas McPherson and Kelly Blynn, presented their petition and gave a Presentation (ATTACHMENT A). Mr. Smith explained the reason for the petition in Section 13.913 Graduate Student Housing Production Requirement. The petition calls for the creation of 1800 additional housing units for graduate students, both single and for families. He noted that the petition requires a phasing plan from MIT outlining when graduate student housing will be built. He noted that this petition does not affect the development of the Volpe Transportation Center. He stated that this will explain why graduate housing is necessary, the demand for graduate student housing and why a public commitment to graduate student housing is necessary. He stated that over 500 signed the Graduate Student Apartments Now (GSAN) petition. He gave a history of graduate student housing at MIT. The Clay recommended the construction of 500-600 new beds. He noted that the recommendations of the Clay Report have gone unfulfilled. He stated that two decades ago MIT had a vision for housing 50% of its students on campus but this has fallen short. He explained that only 36% of students live on campus. He stated that the student population has grown more than 10% since 2007 with the most student growth in the School of Engineering and Sloan. The Volpe zoning plan calls for the creation of more lab space.

Kelly Blynn outlined the impact of student housing on residential housing regionally as well as MIT’s graduate student housing policies and development ventures impact the Cambridge housing. She noted that there are four factors driving intense competition in the rental market impacting both students and residents. She noted that students living off campus and double and triple up and outcompete low and moderate renters. She stated that the graduate student regional population is growing. She stated that high income workers are being attracted to the region which also increases competition. The competition is increase while the rental units are declining or flat. All these factors combined create a situation in which vacancy rental rates are lower than what is needed to stabilize rents and home prices are rising rapidly out of reach for low and moderate-income residents. She explained that the Greater Boston Housing Report Card was analyzed. Last year the report revealed that last year the explosion of double and triple decker prices around the region was due to the intense pressure that graduate students and young professionals are placing on the housing market. The graduate student population at MIT and regionally is continuing to grow. She stated that 90% of students live off campus. She stated that in Cambridge 11% of the renters are students living off campus. She stated that competition is caused by young professionals moving into Kendall Square to work at tech companies and the growing life science industries who are able to outcompete long term renters. She noted that the Volpe development as planned will attract more employees than there are housing units available will further intensify the competition. She stated that according to Census Data the number of rental units has decreased. The supply of rental units has declined since 2000. Condo conversion could be a reason. The region declined 5.5% in 2010 and the vacancy rates have not stabilized since and Cambridge is far lower. There was a 6% annual rent growth in Cambridge and 7% in Somerville. This increased competition is driving low and moderate-income residents out of the Cambridge. She stated that the Envision Cambridge Report shows that between 2000 - 2013 Cambridge lost 1600 low and moderate-income families while it gained over 3,000 middle and high-income families. She noted that this also impacts Cambridge commuters and staff. She noted that between 2006-2016 the staff commuting time increased by 8% and the commuting time decreased from 42% to 36%. This may indicate that MIT staff may need to live further from work because they cannot afford to live closer to work.

Doug McPherson discussed the demand for on-campus housing. He spoke about the amount of housing MIT should build and the amount of housing students wanted. He spoke about the survey on graduate student housing preferences. The survey had a response of 23%. The off-campus students were asked if MIT provide more housing would this be preferable; the response was 42%. He stated that the total demand for graduate student beds is 3,850 and since the current housing stock is 2,400 beds there is a 1450 shortfall on the number of beds at MIT. This is if nothing was changed in the current system. If improvements were made that would make graduate student housing more palatable students would prefer keeping their room year to year without having to enter a lottery. He explained that it is mandatory to enter the lottery. He spoke about students choosing who they could live with which is not in the current system. This preference is appealing to the single students. He stated that with these improvement to housing affordability the demand for on campus housing increases to 1750 units. He stated that satisfaction with housing costs is higher for on campus students, especially higher for families. This may be an indicator that middle-income families in general have in seeking affordable housing in Cambridge. He spoke about housing availability. The survey data shows that if MIT builds graduate student housing students will come. This situation has gotten worse over the years. He noted that MIT can afford to build this housing, but it is about priorities. He noted that on Oct 11, 2017 MIT broke ground on a graduate student dorm in Kendall Square. He further stated that MIT is currently building a 1200 space parking garage. He commented that MIT subsidizes employee parking spaces at a level higher than it subsidizes each graduate student bed. He stated that there is room on other MIT parcels for housing. He compared MIT to Stanford. He spoke about the need for a public commitment from MIT. This is a win/win for university, students and provides piece of mind for students and would reduce the impact on residential housing in Cambridge. He stated that it is time for MIT to make a commitment for graduate student housing. He stated that MIT can do better.

Councillor Carlone asked if the City Councillors had any clarifying questions on the petition.

Councillor Cheung asked how could regression tease out the housing cost and the vacancy rate from MIT graduate’s student population and the general population. Ms. Blynn stated that she is unsure of data sources that would show this.

Councillor Carlone asked City staff to come forward. Ms. Farooq and Mr. Roberts came forward. Ms. Farooq stated that the Planning Board will discuss the petition on Oct 17th. She stated that the issue raised about graduate and undergraduate student housing has been discussed by the City for many years. She stated that in 1991 a key topic was for the universities to house their students in the University Relations Committee that spurred the town/gown reporting that occurs annually. The City has concerns with students vying for housing with residents. This is included in the Envision Cambridge process and is a topic being discussed at the Housing Working Group as part of the Envision process. She noted that the data presented by the petitioners is consistent with the data the City has seen. She acknowledged the question by Councillor Cheung as being germane as to how to parcel out impacts of the various influences on the housing market and is challenging for housing, jobs or other influences. She stated that MIT worked on study, the Clay Report, which stated that 500-600 beds were needed. This was not part of the MIT Main Street development, but this development does include 250 beds in their Main Street development, this will be the first building built by MIT. MIT is involved in a study now on graduate student housing on campus. The challenge with analyzing this petition is that zoning relates to what can be built on a site and the notion of requirements to be met off site are not part of the development site. She stated that it is unprecedented for a zoning petition to modify a zoning that does not currently exist or adopted. The analysis work done by MIT on graduate student housing would be a good point for this discussion.

Councillor Carlone opened public comment at 3:08pm.

Bill Cavellini, 33 Oak Street, Somerville, stated that there is no denying the housing crisis and universities have been asked to do their share with this crisis. He stated that it is time for MIT to step up to the plate. He stated that in 2004 he left Cambridge because of the lack of affordable housing due to the loss of rent control in 1994. He stated that before 1994 taxi cab drivers could barely afford to live in most neighborhoods in the City. He stated that currently very few taxi cab drivers live in Cambridge, unless in publicly subsidized housing. MIT stated repeated that it had no intention to increase enrollment, but in the l970 - 1990 it did increase graduate student enrollment but did not increase on campus housing. He stated that most of MIT contribution to the housing stock came from tradeoffs that aided MIT’s real estate investment goals and portfolio. He stated that concessions for housing at University Park was traded off for greater density for the office space elsewhere in the Cambridgeport Redevelopment area. This amount of housing to offset increase demand and created by the new University Park Office space. He stated that none of the housing at University Park was funded by MIT nor was the turnkey housing for the elderly sited by MIT paid for by MIT. The LBJ and Millers River Apartments were funded with federal money that was funneled through MIT.

Ken Eisenberg, 240 Hampshire Street, agreed with Mr. Cavellini. He praised the presentation by the students of MIT. This is not about iconic buildings. He stated that if MIT will not house its own community or help the housing for the greater community their petition should not be approved.

Quinton Zondervan, 235 Cardinal Medeiros Avenue, stated that came to MIT in 1992, got married and was eligible to live on campus in graduate student housing where he lived with his wife for three years. He noted that living on campus was convenient and affordable. He supported this petition. With the Volpe there is leveraging to get MIT to address this issue and if the petition is approved without addressing the student housing petition the leverage will be lost. He commented on the question of much impact MIT has on housing, does this really matter because students and families trying to be at MIT looking for housing will displace a resident. He stated that the impact is significant and should be addressed.

Alex Bob, 8 Barstow Avenue, Somerville, a graduate student at MIT. He stated his support for the petition. When admit to MIT he wanted to live on campus but when he learned that housing was not guaranteed he opted to live off campus. He was unable to find housing in Cambridge, but did find housing in Somerville. He stated that he is rarely at his apartment. MIT has the land, the endowment and should build its share of graduate student housing so that they do not have to compete with families for housing.

Nayeli Rodriguez, 440 Massachusetts Avenue, stated that she is a graduate student and is uncomfortable with the idea that her presence in Cambridge and her silence on the issue of affordability will lead to greater inequality and the greater displacement of her neighbors. She stated that as a resident of Cambridge and a student at MIT exacerbating the shortage of affordable local she could to stand on the sidelines of this debate. She spoke about the character of Cambridge and that a larger campus is needed for students. She believes in being a good neighbor and she urged support for the petition. She submitted her comments (ATTACHMENT B).

Ezra Glen, 8 Hall Street, Somerville, stated that before coming to MIT he worked in local government for many years. He stated that all cities are different but are the same in one aspect in that all are an ecosystem and it needs to be kept in balance. Cambridge is doing great with policing, fire services and schools. He stated that in terms of economic development Cambridge can choose the type of development wanted and how much is wanted. He expressed his concern with housing is at risk of being out of balance. Development will continue, rents will increase, and residents will no longer be here. This is a modest proposal to move this in the other direction. He supported this petition. He stated that an easy solution to the student’s problem is to ask MIT for more money because the students need more money to pay their rent. This is asking for a solution for all.

Saul Wilson, 812 Memorial Drive, stated that he is a Harvard student and spoke about the lack of housing. He agreed that there is a problem with housing affordability in Cambridge. He stated that he is eligible for inclusionary housing in Cambridge. There are two large university where students are eligible for the affordable housing program. He stated that this petition amounts to well-intended ghettoization. This petition suggests that as graduate students we should live in a separate part of the City. The question could be rephrased as if MIT could provide housing for its employees and students should the City provide housing for all its employees. He asked should the City be moved toward the socialist model of housing. He lives in a rental unit and likes interacting with those outside of the university population. The problem is affordability for students and residents and urged the building of housing for all. He has an alternative proposal and submitted an alternate zoning amendment for Graduate Housing (ATTACHMENT C).

David Tisel, 5 Lester Terrace, Somerville, a student at MIT, stated that all know Cambridge is experiencing a housing crisis. He stated that high tech workers are boosting up prices and graduate students are affected by this. He stated that as students one can either live on campus or search for housing. Students triple up in units for families and split the rent. Students do not have a choice because MIT only houses 1/3 of its graduate students. He stated that MIT’s plan for commercial development at Volpe will add fire to this situation. He could not find housing in Cambridge. He stated that the City Council can require MIT to house its student. He submitted his comments (ATTACHMENT D).

Alex Acura, 30 Walnut Street, Somerville, MIT student who comes from California. He wanted to study displacement and how the investment of high tech companies are changing the landscape. He stated that he is here for two years and intends to return to California. He commented that he hopes his time in Cambridge is not a displacement. When he was searching for housing he was unable to find housing in Cambridge that is affordable but did find affordable housing in Somerville. He lives in a group home. The ability to live on campus would be great and there is demand to live on campus and this should not be stressful. He supports the petition.

Liz Haney, 4 Aberdeen Road, Somerville, urged support for the petition. She worked in Cambridge at Lift and helped low income clients. Nearly all the clients had housing issues. The housing lists are closed in Cambridge. She stated that eight years later the situation is the same. Students cannot live on campus. This means that these students are taking housing units in the market from families that would have called Cambridge their home that could not afford to live here. She noted that MIT students come to Cambridge for two years and then the students return home.

Gerald Anes, 55 Pearl Street, stated that he is a Mass. Art student, college that has no student housing. He spoke for students who live off campus as he struggles to pay his rent. He supported the petition, and this will free up housing for residents if there is more graduate housing built.

Leyla Isik, 351 Harvard Street, MIT graduate student living on campus. She understands the impact of the influx of students that places on the rental market in Cambridge. She stated that requiring MIT to meet graduate student housing needs will benefit MIT and slow rental increases and displacement in Cambridge. She submitted her comments (ATTACHMENT E).

Jonathan King, 40 Essex Street, teaches at MIT, stated that research projects are not funding by MIT; they are funded by taxpayers. The research tech engine is import to MIT and the world. Bio-med research students spend long hours in the lab and cannot work from home. These students need to be close to the labs and cannot live 45 minutes away from campus. He stated that the commercial buildings that MITIMCO is building will exacerbate the graduate student housing crises as well as the housing pressure for Cambridge residents. He urged support for this petition. He submitted his comments (ATTACHMENT F).

Britini Crocker, 540 Memorial Drive, graduate student at MIT and urged support for the petition. She stated that if she were not living in graduate student housing she would not be able to live in Cambridge. MIT cares more about grant funding than its students. She spoke about the indifference of the faculty to the plight of the students.

Bella Purdy, 89 Beacon Street, Somerville, an MIT student stated that she pays $900 and lives in a room with three other individuals. She supports the petition and the creation of more affordable housing.

Talia Fox, 378 Washington Street, Somerville, a graduate student at MIT stated that the housing prices in Cambridge are high and requested support for the petition. She stated that she felt uncomfortable entering the housing lottery which is a gamble.

Lee Farris, 269 Norfolk Street, Vice President, Cambridge Residence Alliance, supports this petition and has been concerned with the impact MIT’s growing graduate student and postdoctoral student population on the housing market in Cambridge since 2012. She stated that the CRA has been asking MIT to create more student housing since then. This zoning petition is the only way to get MIT to address this situation. MIT has a working group on housing with graduate students and will report on Oct 15, 2017 but final report will not be ready until 2018. She stated that in 2013 the Clay Report was supposed to be completed before the zoning was passed. This report was not done before the zoning was passed. She noted that all leverage of opportunity was lost. MIT will create thousands of jobs in Kendall Square through the zoning which will add to the demand for housing.

Michael Turk, 11 Ware Street, supported the petition and stated that this is important zoning to move forward. He endorses the principles of housing built first as a condition for other elements of the development plan. This petition understates the demand and need for student housing and the MIT town and gown current report states that 2610 graduate students living off campus in Cambridge. He stated that MIT does not know the exact number of graduate student living off campus. A survey was used to obtain these numbers and the impact on Cambridge may be greater. He submitted documentation from the 2016 Town Gown Report (ATTACHMENT G).

Huma Gupta, 950 Massachusetts Avenue, stated that she is a MIT student, Cambridge resident and voter. She has worked with MIT administrators closely over the year. She explained that she and other MIT students met with MIT Corporate Chairman, Bob Millard in 2015 and discussed this perspective of graduate affordable housing. She stated that Mr. Millard informed the students that graduate student housing was not a priority for MIT. He stated that if it were made a priority faculty would be willing to help MIT come up with alternative real estate development models to create affordable housing. Affordability means that rents should be tied to graduate student stipends or their pay may be increased. She stated that more working groups are not needed more housing is.

Dan Borgia, 54 Portsmouth Street, stated that at Harvard there is a different issue with unionizing graduate students. He commented that this is a double edge sword with your employer being your landlord.

Max Arnell, 13 Pleasant Place, a graduate student at MIT, supported the zoning petition. He spoke about the arguments by MIT against this. He stated that MIT is building luxury units and that he disagrees with the idea that this will help the affordability housing crisis. He stated that data shows that building luxury units while increasing the net housing stocks and that graduate students and current residents are not looking for these units. He urged building units that address the needs of students will be better than luxury units.

Daniel Curtis, 89 Lincoln Way, urged the City Council to pass this petition. He praised Graduate Students Apartment Now (GSAP) team for their leadership on this and the work of the students on this petition. He stated that housing is an issue that affects the entire city and it is appropriate to have a public transparent dialogue with the entire city on this issue. It is necessary that the dialogue end with a transparent, public, binding commitment to ensure that MIT does its part to address this challenge.

Gerald Bergman, 82 Elm Street, stated that he attended the groundbreaking on the MIT graduate student housing and spoke about the glowing remarks made by City Councillors about the work done by MIT in every facet of civic life. There was an effort to discussion this matter last night but the issue was not discussed at the groundbreaking. Four years ago, there was an effort to include as a contingency to the up zoning that MIT got to make sure that graduate student housing was included. The votes were not there for this failed. He stated that here is one month to the next election and he encouraged the students to find the candidates that will support this petition.

Ilan Levy, 148 Spring Street, stated that the this needs to be separated from the Volpe petition. He stated that the MIT zoning may not pass, and he hoped that this is at a turnaround point. He stated that affordable housing for graduate students is a reasonable demand that the City should have done a long time ago. He stated that this needs to be a negotiation on the Volpe petition. He wanted the City Council to find a methodology to force MIT to first address the affordable graduate student housing before adopting the Volpe zoning. He urged passage of this petition.

Phyllis Brethholtz, 65 Antrim Street, praised the graduate students on presenting their case. She stated that in the triple decker next to her there are 2-4 students living in apartments and she has tried to engage these student in the civic life of the City. The students are so immersed in their work and it is unrealistic to be involved in the civic life of the City. If they wanted to remain in Cambridge they do not have housing. She is concerned about young families becoming a part of the City. She supported this petition.

Maia Wolchem, 474 Windsor Street, graduate student at MIT stated that she is one of the students competing with families for affordable housing in Cambridge. She lives in a four-bedroom apartment with three other women and each pays $850 for their individual room. She stated that many do not have the luxury of taking a risk with the student housing lottery. She stated that MIT has a moral responsibility to correct these inequities. She supports the petition.

Griffin Smith, 21 Moore Street, Somerville, MIT graduate student who had to remain in Teele Square due to the affordability issue and this a distance to his job. He is a meditator and hears the stories of families who cannot live in Cambridge and this should not have to be a choice for the most vulnerable families. He submitted his comments (ATTACHMENT H).

State Representative Mike Connolly, 4 Ashburton Place, stated his support for the petition. He stated that 2012-2013 he was involved in this as an activist. The need is more that want is addressed. The opportunity is transformational with the land to increase housing and bring new units on line.

Councillor Carlone closed public comment at 4:09pm.

Councillor Carlone opened discussion with the City Council.

Councillor Devereux praised the students for the presentation and their compelling case. She commented on the lack of MIT administration attending the hearing. This is a win/win for Cambridge community, the institute, the students and the building community. Being in graduate school is a wonderful opportunity to build community and would reinforce the values that MIT is trying to model through its education programs. She wanted to leverage this with MIT. She did not want to push this down the road for another study. She wanted this petition forwarded with a favorable recommendation. She supported this petition.

Councillor Mazen thanked the presenters from GSAN that gave a compelling case. He stated that the urgency of Volpe and this petition is upon the City Council. He stated that being a student at MIT is stressful. He spoke about the experiments and the need to be in the lab for when the experiment finishes. There was an emotional burden with a lack of mentorship and MIT has the resources to assist with housing for their students. All speakers had a unique perspective for the Volpe project. He expects MIT to join in this conversation and there is no need for further working groups. He stated that the need and the data is so clear. He stated that graduate students have a dire need for housing. He stated that when he was in graduate school he spent more than 50% of his stipend for housing and struggled to pay 50% for rent. The presentation strength will bolster the conversation on this petition. This is linked to the Volpe conversation. We do not need to rush to a decision on Volpe without this issue being addressed.

Councillor Cheung stated that the presentation was good and had a level of detail and research. He stated that there is a demand from graduate students, post-doctoral students and others for housing. He supports the attempt behind the petition to force MIT to live up to providing students access to housing. He commented that Stanford is committed to providing housing for its graduate students. He stated that when he was a student he wanted to be part of the graduate student community. MIT would benefit on how it is building a graduate student community by building housing. He stated that by MIT subsidizing housing it is exacerbating the problem in the local housing market. He spoke about how much MIT is contributing to the housing crisis. He asked how many students housed is needed to make a dent in the housing crisis. He spoke about putting pressure on MIT. He commented that it is false to think that the City Council has not done this. He stated that his concern is tying this zoning petition to the Volpe zoning is tricky because this problem is not going away and if Volpe is passed the pressure on Volpe should not be eased. He noted that if any other developer purchased this property they would not be asked to build graduate student housing for MIT. He wanted something done on the Volpe site and to revitalize this site. He stated that he is not willing to sacrifice all the good from the Volpe petition for everyone in the City. He stated that with the meetings held with MIT, Councillor Carlone and he have stated that graduate student housing is a priority. He stated that he is conflicted about this and risking all the good that will come from the Volpe project.

Councillor Kelley asked if MIT was invited to this hearing. He stated that many do not want Volpe to stall. Councillor Carlone responded that MIT decided not to attend the hearing. The City Clerk informed the Chair the MIT was invited to this hearing. Councillor Kelley stated that he wanted the mix of those involved with the parcels talking back and forth to each other. He stated that he felt that this will stall the Volpe petition. He spoke about MIT coming in with a guaranteed commitment. He would have preferred the presentation have a comparison with Boston University or Northeastern rather than Palo Alto and Stanford. He stated that MIT needs to house more people. He questioned what will this petition do to Volpe and what will MIT submit on Monday.

Councillor Toomey stated that this has been a concern for many years on the issue of affordable housing. He would prefer to keep this in committee. He spoke about his commitment for affordable housing throughout the City. He spoke about looking into Lesley and the Harvard Divinity School providing affordable housing for residents. He spoke about his work to change housing incentive for housing for residents. He does not know how this will affect the Volpe petition. The Volpe provides 280 units of housing and he is not will to lose these housing units. Graduate student housing impacts all. This needs more work and suggested that this be left in committee for continued discussion. His main object is to attain affordable housing on this site. He wanted to see the final commitment from MIT.

Councillor Carlone noted that this is normally not in the zoning per city staff and could be in a letter of commitment. He stated that MIT owns the land, MIT has the funding and the students and there is no issue. His vote on Volpe would be based on this petition. He stated that if institution have tax exemption they have responsibility beyond normal responsibilities such as take care of your own. This needs to be resolved now. Volpe will happen one way or another. This will not be resolved today. He stated that rent should be part of the stipend. He stated that when he acquired graduate student housing at Harvard it changed his academic life.

Councillor Devereux stated that without a public commitment from MIT on graduate student housing how will this come before the City Council and will this be on the agenda Monday. Councillor Carlone stated that this should be part of the Letter of Commitment.

Councillor Cheung stated that design guidelines will be discussed at the next Ordinance hearing. He spoke about financing this and graduate student housing should not be counted as profitability of the Volpe site. He would love to put pressure on MIT for graduate student housing and cannot be tied Volpe because it comes in competition with the other community benefits sought.

Councillor Kelley asked if Volpe gets passed and graduate student gets passed, does one negate the other.

Mr. Roberts responded that it is unusual to consider an amendment to another zoning petition that has not been passed yet. He stated that the Volpe petition is a particular kind of zoning where the property owner has asked the City Council to consider zoning change and through the Letter of Commitment is offering public consideration in association with the zoning change which becomes an agreement between City and the property owner. He stated that for the City to consider a petition that might be adopted later that would affect another zoning that was adopted would raise questions about the agreement established between the property owner and the City. There may need to be additional consultation with the Law Department to resolve this question. Councillor Kelley stated that this is a crucial question to consider. The letter of commitment may be non-binding if another zoning is passed. He is confused with the two and does not want to move forward on the Smith petition at this point.

Councillor Mazen stated that passing Volpe rather than refiling the petition is one way of rushing through a land development of the century. This would not be jeopardized by rushing through Volpe. He wanted to pass Volpe this term and was concerned with the expiration date. He stated that the legal question raised by Councillor Kelley just adds fuel to the fire. Councillor Carlone stated that if Volpe has to be refiled it will be a different City Council that will review the petition.

Councillor Carlone now moved Councillor Toomey’s motion to leave the matter in committee.

Councillor Mazen now moved to amend Councillor Toomey’s motion to strike out “to leave the matter in committee” and insert in place thereof “to refer to the full City Council with a favorable recommendation and to leave the subject matter in committee”.

Councillor Kelley agreed to move this forward but did not agree with moving forward with a favorable recommendation.

Councillor Carlone now moved the amendment offered by Councillor Mazen to move forward to the City Council with a favorable recommendation and to leave the subject matter in committee. On this question the roll was called and resulted as follows:
YEAS: Councillors Carlone, Devereux and Mazen – 3
NAYS: Councillors Kelley and Toomey – 2
ABSENT: Councillors Cheung and Maher, Vice Mayor McGovern and Mayor Simmons - 4
And the amendment - Carried

The question now came on the motion to refer to the full City Council with a favorable recommendation and to leave the matter in committee - and on a voice vote of five members the motion - Carried.

The following e-mails were received and made part of the minutes:
Communication from Daniel Totten, 117B Pleasant Street, stating his support of the petition (ATTACHMENT I).
Communication from Adam Hasz, 19 Trowbridge Street, MIT graduate student, in support of the petition (ATTACHMENT J).
Communication from Josh Morrison, 22 Jackson Road, Somerville, MIT graduate student, stating that he would have rather lived in student housing had it been available (ATTACHMENT K).
Communication from Amber Houghstow, 18 Montrose Street, Somerville, a displaced Cantabrigian expressing support for this petition (ATTACHMENT L).
Communication from Kathy Watkins, 90 Fawcett Street in support of the graduate student housing petition (ATTACHMENT M).
Communication from Liz Layton, supporting asking MIT to create 1800 units of graduate student housing to take the pressure off the Cambridge housing supply (ATTACHMENT N).
Communication from Carolyn Shipley, 15 Laurel Street, in support of the petition (ATTACHMENT O).

Councillor Carlone and Councillor Cheung thanked all those present for their attendance.

The hearing adjourned at 4:58pm.

For the Committee,
Councillor Dennis J. Carlone, Co-Chair
Councillor Leland Cheung, Co-Chair


AWAITING REPORT LIST
16-26. Report on the possibility of the City Council implementing a zoning change, on the permitting of all new restaurants where a wood-fired oven is used as a significant method of food preparation.
Councillor Kelley, Councillor Devereux, Councillor Carlone (O-5) from 4/4/2016

16-42. Report on plans for the former Riverside Community Health Center on Western Avenue, including transfer of ownership of the building to the City and the process for determining future usage.
Vice Mayor McGovern (O-1) from 5/2/2016

16-51. Report on the City's policies and best practices in the use and supervision of City Council interns.
Councillor Kelley (O-5) from 6/6/2016

16-52. Report on the City’s use of push-button caution lights at crosswalks and to determine any decrease in pedestrian legal rights should they be hit.  See Mgr #11
Councillor Kelley (Calendar Item #3) from 6/13/2016

16-53. Report on the feasibility of either using City funds to subsidize the cost of installing and removing air conditioning units from Cambridge Housing Authority-owned apartments at a reduced cost.
Mayor Simmons (Calendar Item #4) from 6/13/2016

16-66. Report on how traffic laws pertaining to crosswalks are currently enforced throughout the City and whether there can be stricter laws to ultimately increase pedestrian safety.  See Mgr #11
Mayor Simmons (O-12) from 8/1/2016

16-74. Report on producing a new status report that reviews the Harvard Square Conservation District’s effectiveness since 2005, and that considers whether new zoning regulations may be necessary to fulfill the community’s goals.
Councillor Devereux, Councillor Carlone (O-18) from 9/12/2016

16-83. Report on drafting possible legislation and other recommendations for interim actions to identify and address the public health impacts of any commercial wood-fired ovens.
Mayor Simmons (Calendar Item #4) from 10/31/2016

16-86. Report on which public campaign finance options are legal for municipal elections in Cambridge.  See Mgr #14
Councillor Mazen (O-14) from 10/31/2016

16-94. Report to consider higher frequency enforcement in key transit junctions and corridors.
Councillor Mazen (O-8) from 11/7/2016

16-101. Report on the potential of building below market rental housing on City-owned parking lots along Bishop Allen Drive.
Mayor Simmons, Vice Mayor McGovern (O-4) from 12/12/2016

16-108. Report on whether people displaced and qualify for Emergency Status who are using Section 8 in other cities or towns can retain their resident preference for the purpose of Inclusionary Housing.
Councillor Toomey, Mayor Simmons (O-4) from 12/19/2016

17-14. Report on exploring whether designating the portion of Windsor Street between Cambridge Street and South Street as “one way” would decrease the opportunities for future accidents in this area.
Mayor Simmons (O-5) from 2/6/2017

17-20. Report on whether a Municipal ID program could be established in Cambridge.
Mayor Simmons, Vice Mayor McGovern, Councillor Mazen (O-11) from 2/27/2017

17-22. Report on the potential growth of next-generation wireless technology in the City, to include: the expected footprint of citywide coverage from just one company and what market competition might produce; the integration of public and private infrastructure to support the network; what local standards the City might hope to maintain relative to aesthetics and safety; and how this new technology fits into our Broadband access plans.
Councillor Kelley, Councillor Devereux, Councillor Cheung (O-14) from 2/27/2017

17-27. Report on the feasibility of a Homelessness Trust Fund.
Vice Mayor McGovern (O-7) from 3/6/2017

17-28. Report on the feasibility of creating a warming shelter in the City of Cambridge.
Vice Mayor McGovern (O-8) from 3/6/2017

17-30. Report on the City of Cambridge partnering with the Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Cambridge Neighborhood Association to revitalize Magazine Beach.
Vice Mayor McGovern, Mayor Simmons (O-1) from 4/24/2017

17-32. Report on how the health of senior residents will be monitored during heat events and how the dangers associated with such events will be mitigated.  See Mgr #9
Councillor Kelley, Councillor Toomey (O-6) from 4/24/2017

17-33. Report on bringing Massachusetts closer to 100% renewable energy by 2035, and ensure that the benefits of renewable energy are realized by Massachusetts residents from all walks of life and supporting a goal of using 100% clean and renewable energy in Cambridge, including in building energy use and transportation, by 2035.
Councillor Devereux, Vice Mayor McGovern (O-13) from 4/24/2017

17-40. Report on the practicality of buying the Tokyo site and converting it into affordable housing units.
Vice Mayor McGovern, Councillor Devereux (O-1) from 5/1/2017

17-34. Report on the feasibility of installing a traffic light at the intersection of Raymond Street and Walden Street and to determine whether other traffic-calming measures are needed in this location.
Mayor Simmons (O-5) from 5/8/2017

17-41. Report on how Visual Preference Surveys (VPS) could be incorporated into the planning and zoning process.
Councillor Carlone (O-4) from 6/12/2017

17-42. Report on whether the City of Cambridge has an active voice in any future iterations of the Boston Calling festival in order to address the concerns raised by Cambridge residents.
Mayor Simmons, Councillor Devereux (O-5) from 6/12/2017

17-43. Report on if there are family oriented parks or playgrounds where the City could install a Portland Loo.
Councillor Cheung (O-6) from 6/12/2017

17-44. Report on providing appropriate playground equipment at the King Open playground at the Longfellow School.
Councillor Toomey (O-7) from 6/12/2017

17-51. Report on what options may exist to modify the Sullivan Chamber with an air conditioning system and what the costs for these options might be in a timely manner.
Mayor Simmons (O-8) from 6/19/2017

17-53. Report on determining if new facilities are needed by either DPW or CFD to best carry out their respective missions in the future and, if so, what type of facilities they would need and how much space that would require and where they might possibly be located.
Councillor Kelley, Councillor Toomey, Vice Mayor McGovern (O-7) from 6/26/2017

17-56. Report on monitoring the conduct of any individuals who exhibit aggressive and hostile behavior towards City employees in the workplace, and that if such behavior does occur, that the City Manager take action immediately to ensure the safety of City employees, particularly female employees.
Councillor Toomey (O-11) from 6/26/2017

17-57. Report on the use of the Fern Street path as currently designed and consider options to ensure that the path functions as a safe, shared bicycle and pedestrian path and to work with the Department of Public Works to consider whether it is appropriate and feasible for a skateboarding feature to be included at Danehy Park.
Councillor Devereux (Calendar Item #2) from 8/7/2017

17-59. Report on contacting the owner of the vacant U.S. Petroleum gas station at the corner of Concord Avenue and Walden Street to inquire what plans are being made to remove this blight from the neighborhood.
Mayor Simmons, Councillor Cheung (O-2) from 8/7/2017

17-60. Report on the feasibility of making the section of Kinnaird Street between River Street and Western Avenue into a one-way.  See Mgr #10
Mayor Simmons, Vice Mayor McGovern (O-4) from 8/7/2017

17-68. Report on establishing a public fund that can be utilized in the event that the Trump Administration withholds federal funds from Cambridge as a Sanctuary City.
Mayor Simmons, Vice Mayor McGovern (O-18) from 8/7/2017

17-70. Report on the status of the City’s plans to review and possibly implement a municipal Broadband system.
Councillor Kelley (O-22) from 8/8/2017

17-71. Report on a proposal to design, fund and implement a bike and electric personal vehicle transportation study to provide the City with a comprehensive explanation of who is going where, why and under what conditions via bike or personal electric vehicle.
Councillor Kelley (O-23) from 8/7/2017

17-73. Report on the Municipal Broadband Task Force being reconstituted and on successful cost-effective procurement for phase II by the end of calendar year.
Councillor Devereux, Councillor Cheung, Councillor Mazen (O-25) from 8/7/2017

17-75. Report on streamlining recording and transcription requirements in line with those currently in place for the Planning Board for the Board of Zoning Appeal and the Historical Commission.
Councillor Devereux (O-2) from 9/11/2017

17-77. Report on the intersection of Cedar Street and Rindge Avenue with the goal of clarifying traffic patterns through the intersection.
Councillor Kelley (O-6) from 9/11/2017

17-79. Report on progress for the goal of 1,000 New Affordable Units by the end of the decade.
Mayor Simmons (O-10) from 9/11/2017

17-81. Report on what additional measures or actions can be taken to discourage the speeding of vehicles along the Field Street and Fayerweather Street area.
Mayor Simmons (O-14) from 9/11/2017

17-82. Report on possible solutions to regulatory or legislative gaps on the local or state level that would help clarify how emerging types of conveyances can most safely and effectively be incorporated into Cambridge’s Urban Mobility planning and infrastructure investments.
Councillor Kelley, Councillor Devereux, Councillor Cheung (O-15) from 9/11/2017

17-84. Report by the end of October 2017, potential plans and options, responsive to community concerns, for creating a program of tax revenue financing for candidates running for City Council and School Committee in the City of Cambridge.  See Mgr #14
Councillor Cheung (O-26) from 9/11/2017

17-85. Report on the total amount of incentive contributions that have been received in the past two years, the number and types of incentive projects that have been built (or are in the process of being built), and when the City anticipates initiating a reevaluation of the housing contribution rate.
Mayor Simmons (O-3) from 9/18/2017

17-86. Report on the necessary steps to enforce the anti-idling state law in residential areas by the September 25, 2017 City Council meeting.
Councillor Toomey (O-6) from 9/18/2017

17-87. Report on a schedule for resubmitting a revised draft of the Outdoor Lighting Ordinance that incorporates clearer wording and/or more clearly explains each section in less technical jargon and is more coherent in its entirety, with the goal of seeing such an Ordinance adopted by the end of this City Council term.
Councillor Devereux, Councillor Carlone (O-8) from 9/18/2017

17-88. Report on providing clarification for the benefit of residents, visitors, and business owners on how the City views its obligations and constraints regarding marijuana enforcement and regulation.
Councillor Kelley, Councillor Toomey (O-9) from 9/18/2017

17-89. Report on establishing a comprehensive and robust skilled labor trades program, with a view toward increasing the number of Cambridge residents working in the skilled labor trades.
Mayor Simmons, Vice Mayor McGovern, Councillor Toomey (O-10) from 9/18/2017

17-90. Report on policies regarding urban wildlife management, to develop a plan that is responsive to the reintroduction of native animals to the urban ecosystem, and to provide guidance to residents unsure of how to mitigate the nuisance from certain species.  See Mgr #13
Councillor Kelley (O-11) from 9/18/2017

17-91. Report on establishing an aggressive outreach program to all property owners, with a view towards purchasing any properties possible and converting these properties into affordable housing.
Mayor Simmons (O-13) from 9/18/2017

17-93. Report on recommended traffic calming measures for the area near the intersection of Thorndike and Eighth Street.
Mayor Simmons (O-4) from 9/25/2017

17-95. Report on the status of the all-electric, leaf-blowing park pilot, the effectiveness of the battery-operated equipment, the potential for expanding the all-electric park program, and steps being taken on enforcement and training and to inquire the feasibility of requiring or advising landscape companies to provide or require safety masks for workers.
Councillor Devereux, Councillor Carlone (O-6) from 9/25/2017

17-96. Report on increased traffic enforcement and increased signage of speed limits throughout the city.
Councillor Toomey (O-9) from 9/25/2017

17-98. Report back to the City Council and Ordinance Committee prior to the next Ordinance Committee meeting on Oct 3, 2017 with a simple synopsis of specifically what the city needs from MIT in order to fully realize its vision for the Grand Junction Railroad.
Councillor Cheung (O-11) from 9/25/2017

17-99. Report on the feasibility of hiring more students for the various youth employment programs in the city with the goal of having them assist city staff with community engagement programs.
Councillor Cheung, Vice Mayor McGovern (O-2) from 10/2/2017

17-100. Report on implementing transportation, pedestrian, environmental and humanitarian systems in Harvard Square.
Mayor Simmons, Councillor Cheung (O-3) from 10/2/2017

17-101. Report on the feasibility of reducing the speed limit on Magazine Street, as well as other traffic calming measures.  See Mgr #12
Mayor Simmons (O-4) from 10/2/2017

17-102. Report on the cost and feasibility of installing lighting at city dog parks to allow for greater use of these well utilized and popular parks during the darker months.
Vice Mayor McGovern (O-6) from 10/2/2017

17-103. Report on discussing with Harvard University a plan of action that will resolve the matter of defective windows in such a way that the cost is not placed on the building’s residents.
Mayor Simmons (O-9) from 10/2/2017

17-104. Report on the feasibility of subsidizing the rate of the “100% Green” option in the Cambridge Community Electricity Program to ease any financial burden that residents who want to use entirely renewable energy may feel when purchasing, using existing income thresholds such as the Fuel Assistance Program.
Councillor Devereux, Councillor Carlone, Vice Mayor McGovern (O-10) from 10/2/2017

17-105. Report on repairing Rufo Road as soon as possible.
Councillor Toomey (O-13) from 10/2/2017

17-106. Report on evaluating the Huron Avenue sewer separation project.
Vice Mayor McGovern, Councillor Devereux (O-14) from 10/2/2017

17-107. Report on how to best repair the sidewalks in and around 349 Norfolk Street and at 32 Elm Street.
Mayor Simmons (O-1) from 10/16/2017

17-108. Report on the feasibility of requiring developers to post a signboard at development sites requiring Large Project Review or a Special Permit with contact information for a site manager, a brief description of the project (including whether it is residential, commercial, or mixed-use, and, if residential, the total number of units and inclusionary units, an expected completion date, and a rendering of the street-facing elevation), and a web link where more information is available.
Councillor Devereux (O-2) from 10/16/2017

17-109. Report on providing an update on the pilot program regarding feminine hygiene products in public facilities.
Councillor Devereux, Mayor Simmons, Councillor Cheung (O-3) from 10/16/2017

17-110. Report on the status of the implementation of the EnerGov software across various City departments to streamline the permitting process.
Councillor Devereux, Councillor Mazen, Councillor Cheung (O-5) from 10/16/2017

17-111. Report on the feasibility of implementing neighborways on certain streets in Cambridge, propose two streets to pilot as neighborways, and create a process by which a group of residents can request that their street be considered as future neighborways.
Councillor Devereux, Councillor Carlone, Councillor Cheung (O-7) from 10/16/2017

17-112. Report on immediate and forward-looking measures to improve and prioritize conservation of Cambridge’s tree canopy before the Urban Forest Master Plan is in place.
Councillor Devereux (O-8) from 10/16/2017

17-114. Report on the plan for snow removal relating to the new bike infrastructure in Cambridge.
Councillor Toomey (O-4) from 10/23/2017

17-115. Report on the feasibility of placing “No Smoking” and “No Littering” signage throughout Clement Morgan Park as well as greater lighting and trimming of tree branches.
Mayor Simmons (O-5) from 10/23/2017

17-116. Report on following up with the MWRA and DivcoWest for an explanation detailing the background of the North Point Development project.
Councillor Toomey (O-9) from 10/23/2017

17-117. Report on the elevator breakdowns at Millers River Apartments as well as the reasons for the continual breakdowns of these elevators.
Councillor Toomey (O-3) from 10/30/2017