Cambridge City Council meeting - Dec 7, 2015 - AGENDA
CITY MANAGER’S AGENDA
1. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the appointment of the following person as a member of the Human Rights Commission for a term of three years, effective Dec 7, 2015: Robert Slate
Mr. Slate, who was born in Cambridge, and lived in Cambridge in the early 1980s, following his graduation from Harvard, recently relocated to the Agassiz neighborhood with his family. He has worked as a writer, educator, community organizer, communications specialist and outreach coordinator for a range of organizations in Connecticut and Chicago, addressing health care, fair housing and child advocacy. He currently works as Information and Marketing Coordinator with Health Care for All, in Boston, and wants to share his communications and outreach skills with the Commission, in an effort to continue to promote the equity and diversity for which Cambridge is so well known. The Cambridge Human Rights Commission welcomes Mr. Slate's insight and energy in support of its work to address discrimination in Cambridge.
2. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the appointment of the following person as a member of the Kids' Council for a term of three years, effective Jan 4, 2016: Alanna Mallon
Alanna Mallon, Community-at-Large member
Alanna has been an extremely valuable member of the Kids' Council in her role as the Education Liaison to the Mayor and is a parent of 2 children in the Cambridge Public Schools. She has contributed a great deal to the "Find It Cambridge" website project and other issues that the Council and Youth Council have been addressing over the last 2 years.
3. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of the Friends of the CLC grant in the amount of $23,700 to the Grant Fund Human Services Salary & Wages acct. ($21,753) and to the Other Ordinary Maintenance acct. ($1,947) which will support the Bridge Program advising, coaching and mentoring, for the ESOL/Certified Nursing Assistant Program, and education and career advising for other CLC students.
4. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of a $500 donation from the Cambridge Police Patrol Officers' Association to the Grant Fund Human Services Other Ordinary Maintenance account which was used to purchase turkeys for the Turkey Give-Away to families attending the Frisoli basketball league championship.
5. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of the Mass Formula Grant in the amount of $128,924.47 funded by the Mass Exec. Office of Elder Affairs to the Grant Fund Human Services Salary and Wages account ($73,545.16), to the Other Ordinary Maintenance account ($50,134.31), and to the Travel and Training account ($5,245) and will be used to provide transportation for seniors to medical appointments and weekly food shopping trips and will support one part-time weekend coordinator position, an office aid, a meals assistant and several instructors who provide services at the Citywide Senior Center.
6. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the reappointment of the following person as a member of the Public Art Commission for term of three years, effective Dec 7, 2015: Alex Van Praagh
7. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to a Planning Board recommendation to adopt with suggested modifications the PUD-KS (Volpe Site) Rezoning Petition.
Referred to Petition
8. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to a Planning Board recommendation to adopt the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority/MXD Rezoning Petition in the revised version dated Nov 4, 2015, with suggested clarifications.
Referred to Petition
9. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 15-94, regarding a report on a list of parking stickers issued to each development in the past ten years.
10. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to proposed amendments to the Community Benefits Ordinance.
Referred to Committee Report #7
Dec 7, 2015
To the Honorable, the City Council:
I am hereby transmitting for your consideration, the proposed amendments to the Community Benefits Ordinance. It is my hope that these proposed changes to this Ordinance sufficiently address the interests and concerns expressed by the Ordinance Committee. The proposed amendments outlined below address the key areas of interest as identified by the Committee:
A requirement to conduct a comprehensive needs assessment every three to five years.
The inclusion of guiding principles that the Committee shall consider, subject to and consistent with the City Council's Funding Priorities. These guiding principles are intended to help the Committee accomplish the goal of prioritizing needs, possibilities, and resources regarding Community Benefits.
An amendment to expand the Committee membership to include more residents.
A reduction of terms to three-year member terms.
The addition of a Vice Chair for ease of continuity in meetings.
In addition, there are several other minor changes that are also included for further clarification. You may find all proposed amendments are specified in the attached, "Amendments to the Community Benefits Ordinance."
Very truly yours, Richard C. Rossi, City Manager
11. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the appointment of Nicole Murati Ferrer, Esq. as Chair of the License Commission, effective Jan 11, 2016.
Dec 7, 2015
To the Honorable, the City Council:
For the past several months, the City has been engaged in a hiring process to find a permanent replacement for the head of the License Commission. I am pleased to inform you that Nicole Murati Ferrer, Esq. has accepted the City's offer to become the next Chair of the License Commission, effective Jan 11, 2016.
Nicole, is joining the City after more than a decade of service to the City of Boston. She most recently served as the Labor Relations Counsel for the Boston Public Schools (BPS), where she was responsible for all labor-related issues and proceedings. Prior to her employment at the BPS, Nicole served as the Chair of the Boston Licensing Board and as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Boston Law Department. She was appointed to the Licensing Board by former Governor Deval Patrick in February of 2011 and served in that capacity until Dec 2014.
As the Chair of the Boston Licensing Board, Nicole managed and directed the Board, as well as the Department and its staff. During her tenure, she worked closely with the City's agencies including the Mayor, Fire, Police, Neighborhood Services, lnspectional Services, City Council, and Consumer Affairs Departments. Under Nicole's leadership, the Department updated its application forms, streamlined office procedures, and implemented new policies and procedures to ensure compliance with state liquor laws.
I am confident that Ms. Murati Ferrer in her new role in the City will seek to build on existing successes in the License Commission and take the lead on efforts to further improve and modernize the day to day operations of the department. Nicole holds a Juris Doctor from the Northeastern University School of Law and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Puerto Rico.
I hope that you will join me in welcoming Nicole Murati Ferrer to the Cambridge License Commission.
Very truly yours, Richard C. Rossi, City Manager
12. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the transfer of $25,000 from the General Fund Mayor Salary and Wages account to the General Fund Mayor Other Ordinary Maintenance account to cover costs associated with the Boards and Commissions event and other increases in other ceremonial events. This transfer will allow for current and anticipated costs for the remainder of the fiscal year.
13. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the transfer of $45,000 from the General Fund Police Salary and Wages account to the General Fund Police Other Ordinary Maintenance account to cover the cost of replacing windows on the second floor of the Robert W. Healy Public Safety Facility due to the settling of the building.
1. An application was received from the Syed Nuruzzaman, requesting permission for a curb cut at the premises numbered 154-158 Magazine Street; said petition has received approval from Inspectional Services, Traffic, Parking and Transportation, Historical Commission and Public Works. Response has been received from the neighborhood association. [Charter Right exercised by Councillor Carlone on Applications and Petitions Number Two of Nov 23, 2015.]
Adopted as Amended
Calendar item #1 Dec 7, 2015
ORDERED: That the Commissioner of Public Works be authorized to construct curb cuts over sidewalks in front of estates upon the streets as hereinafter named, the expense thereof to be charged to the appropriation for Public Works Department, Paving (Edgestones and Sidewalks). The entire cost of material and labor furnished to be repaid to the City by the owners of abutting estates, and authorization is conditioned upon use of materials specified by the Department of Public Works and the Department of Traffic, Parking and Transportation. [Syed Nuruzzaman, 154-158 Magazine Street]; and be it further
ORDERED: The City Council approves Charles River Nominee Trust's curb-cut permit for the corner property at 154-158 Magazine St., with the curb to be located on Tufts, as shown on the plan entitled "Plot Plan, 154-158 Magazine Street, Cambridge, Mass., Scale 1" = 20', dated Aug. 24, 2015, by AGH Engineering, filed with Cambridge Inspectional Service Department, subject to the following conditions: The associate parking area, as shown on that plan, is only for the parking of a van or truck from time to time when needed to perform maintenance work at the 154-158 Magazine St. property. To assure that there will be no resident parking at any time, either a fence or plantings will separate the single parking space from the remainder of the lot.
ON THE TABLE
2. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 15-60, regarding a report on restaurant employee parking. [Charter Right exercised by Councillor Toomey on City Manager Agenda Number Twenty-five of Sept 21, 2015. Placed on Table on motion of Councillor Toomey on Sept 28, 2015.]
3. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 15-107 and Council Order Number 54, dated 9/21/15, regarding the minimum wage. [City Manager Agenda Number Six of Sept 28, 2015 Placed on Table on motion of Councillor Mazen.]
4. That the Council go on the record to state that the second Monday of October henceforth be commemorated as Indigenous Peoples' Day in Cambridge, in recognition of the indigenous people of America's position as native to these lands, and the suffering they faced following European conquest of their land. [Order Number Fifteen of Oct 19, 2015 Placed on Table on motion of Vice Mayor Benzan.]
5. That the City Manager is requested to confer with relevant City departments to draft a Home Rule petition that would allow Cambridge to establish a Job Creation and Training linkage fee to be managed by a Cambridge Jobs Trust. [Charter Right exercised by Councillor Cheung on Order Number Two of Oct 19, 2015. Placed on Table on motion of Councillor Cheung on Nov 2, 2015.]
6. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to proposed amendment to the Living Wage Ordinance. The question comes on passing to be ordained on or after Nov 16, 2015.
APPLICATIONS AND PETITIONS
1. An application was received from Esmeralda Lambert d/b/a Esmeralda, requesting permission for a sandwich board sign in front of the premises numbered 54 Church Street.
2. An application was received from The Comedy Studio, requesting permission for a sandwich board sign in front of the premises numbered 1238 Massachusetts Avenue.
1. A communication was received from Mike Connolly, 20 Harding Street, regarding a Comprehensive Housing Plan.
2. A communication was received from Joseph Sullivan, 79 Upland Road, regarding a Comprehensive Housing Plan.
3. A communication was received from Rachel Wyon, 283 Sidney Street, regarding the Comprehensive Housing Plan.
4. A communication was received from Joseph E. Connarton, Executive Director, PERAC regarding Appropriation for Fiscal Year 2017.
5. A communication was received from Laura Younger, Director of Administration, American Red Cross of Massachusetts, 130 Main Street, transmitting her thanks and gratitude to Councillor Denise Simmons and the City Council congratulating her recent affiliation with the American Red Cross.
6. A communication was received from Councillor Craig Kelley, transmitting a communication from a resident regarding car share zoning.
7. A communication was received from Phyllis Bretholtz, 65 Antrim Street, transmitting a note of thanks for Volpe Site Vote.
8. A communication was received from Aaron Weber, endorsing car-sharing services.
9. A communication was received from Carol O'Hare, 172 Magazine Street, regarding the curb cut petition for 154-158 Magazine Street.
10. A communication was received from Kathy Roberts, 321 Huron Avenue, in support of Order #3.
11. A communication was received from Doug Brown, 35 Standish Street, in support of the Barrett zoning petition.
12. A communication was received from Kiril Alexandrov, 406 Franklin Street, in support of the Barrett petition.
13. A communication was received from Hubert Murray, 204 Erie Street, in support of Order #3.
14. A communication was received from Hasson Rashid, 820 Massachusetts Avenue, regarding issues related to homelessness.
15. A communication was received from Patrick Barrett, 234 Broadway, regarding the Barrett, et al. zoning petition.
16. A communication was received from Liz Keating, 122 Larch Road, in support of Order #3.
1. Resolution on the death of Evelyn F. Grace. Mayor Maher
2. Condolences to the family of Pat Dance. Councillor Simmons
3. Happy 50th Anniversary to Arnell and Marcell Jones. Councillor Simmons
4. Thanks to the Cambridgeport students for their efforts in sending care packages to members of the military abroad. Councillor Toomey
5. Congratulations to Darrin Korte on being named Executive Director of the Cambridge Community Center. Councillor Toomey
6. Thanks to Corinne Espinoza for her service as the interim Executive Director of the Cambridge Community Center. Councillor Toomey
7. Congratulations to Parsnip Restaurant on the occasion of its grand opening. Councillor Cheung
8. Thanks to Andrew Ivanoskis for service to the Kennedy-Longfellow School as well as the greater Cambridge community through his deep commitment to volunteerism. Mayor Maher
9. Condolences to the people of San Bernardino County, California. Councillor Carlone
10. Resolution on the death of Juan Luis Del Valle. Vice Mayor Benzan
11. Speedy recovery wishes to Sheila T. Russell. Mayor Maher
12. Resolution on the death of Rose (Dadaian) Bejoian. Mayor Maher
13. Thanks to the teachers and staff of the Cambridge Public Schools, the Cambridge Police Department, the Cambridge Fire Department, the City administration and the families and children of the Cambridge Public Schools for ensuring the students of Cambridge remained safe in light of violent threats. Councillor McGovern
1. That the City Manager is requested to consult with Harvard to determine if there are other means to address construction needs that would not result in the removal of pear trees on Dunster and Holyoke Streets. Councillor McGovern
2. That the City Manager is requested to approach the current owner of the Tokyo restaurant site on Fresh Pond Parkway regarding the City's interest in purchasing this property for the development of affordable housing opportunities. Councillor McGovern, Councillor Simmons and Mayor Maher
3. That the City Council go on record denouncing the anti-muslin libel spread by Breitbart.com and similar organizations. Councillor Carlone
4. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the Community Development Department and other relevant City staffers to determine the feasibility of establishing City-financed "gap vouchers," similar to those being considered by the City of Waltham, and to consider whether additional measures such as establishing standalone City-issued housing vouchers could be established. Councillor Simmons, Councillor McGovern and Councillor Carlone
5. That the City Manager is requested to confer with Police Commissioner and the Director of Traffic, Parking, and Transportation to enforce no parking within Centanni Park and install appropriate signage. Councillor Toomey
6. That the City Manager is requested to consult with the appropriate City personnel and report back to the City Council on what specific steps will be implemented in the coming year to ensure that the City's Boards and Commissions adequately reflect the rich diversity of the City, and to ensure that a greater level of citizen outreach and engagement by these entities is pursued. Councillor Simmons
7. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the Finance Department to establish a parallel fund to the fund proposed in the Community Benefits Ordinance and to confer with the Finance Director to ensure that the parallel fund will be able to accept money from private entities and that it will spend the collected money in a similar manner to the Community Benefits Fund Councillor Cheung
8. That the City Manager is requested to maintain access to the green space in front of the King Open School along Cambridge Street for as long as possible before demolition occurs. Councillor Toomey
9. That the draft Cambridge Wage Theft Prevention Ordinance be forwarded to the full City Council with a favorable recommendation for referral to the Ordinance Committee with the stipulation that minutes and notes are sent to the City Manager where his questions and commentary will be forwarded inclusively. Councillor McGovern
Referred to Ordinance Committee
10. That the modified MXD and KSURP text be substituted for the original petition. Councillor Cheung
11. That the City Manager is requested to direct the Commissioner of Inspectional Services to prepare a memo outlining the challenges that his department will encounter regarding the zoning amendment relating to the creation of accessary apartments, how inspections will be conducted and how resident will be encouraged to seek inspections; and be it further and the City Manager is requested to report back to the City Council on this matter in a timely manner. Vice Mayor Benzan
12. That the revised MXD and KSURP text submitted by CRA be substituted for the modified petition. Councillor Carlone
1. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Dennis J. Carlone and Vice Mayor Dennis A. Benzan, Co-Chairs of the Ordinance Committee, for a public hearing held on Nov 18, 2015 to discuss a proposed amendment to the Zoning Ordinance to amend Article 6.000 to create a new Section 6.24 Car-sharing Provision that will create a definition and general provisions for Car-sharing and will allow the limited use of parking spaces.
Passed to 2nd Reading
2. A communication was received from Paula Crane, Deputy City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor E. Denise Simmons and Vice Mayor Dennis A. Benzan, Co-Chairs of the Economic Development and University Relations Committee for a public hearing held on Nov 18, 2015 to continue discussions around the need for establishing a wage theft ordinance.
3. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Craig Kelley, Chair of the Public Safety Committee, for a public hearing held on Nov 17, 2015 to discuss the rodent problem in the City.
4. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Dennis J. Carlone and Vice Mayor Dennis A. Benzan, Co-Chairs of the Ordinance Committee, for a public hearing held on Nov 19, 2015 to continue discussion on the petition filed by the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority (CRA) to amend the Zoning Ordinance in the Kendall Square Urban Renewal Plan area (KSURP) and to amend the current zoning for the MXD District in Kendall Square to reflect the proposed changes to the plan.
5. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Vice Mayor Dennis A. Benzan and Councillor Dennis J. Carlone, Co-Chairs of the Ordinance Committee, for a public hearing held on Nov 19, 2015 to discuss a petition filed by Patrick W. Barrett III, et al. to amend the Cambridge Zoning Ordinance by amending Article 2.000 ("Definitions") and Article 4.000, Section 4.22 ("Accessory Apartment").
Passed to 2nd Reading
6. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Dennis J. Carlone and Vice Mayor Dennis A. Benzan, Co-Chairs of the Ordinance Committee, for a public hearing held on Dec 3, 2015 to continue discussion on the petition filed by the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority (CRA) to amend the Zoning Ordinance in the Kendall Square Urban Renewal Plan area (KSURP) and to amend the current zoning for the MXD District in Kendall Square to reflect the proposed changes to the plan.
Passed to 2nd Reading
7. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Dennis J. Carlone and Vice Mayor Dennis A. Benzan, Co-Chairs of the Ordinance Committee, for a public hearing held on Dec 1, 2015 to discuss the proposed Community Benefits Ordinance.
Passed to 2nd Reading as Amended
COMMUNICATIONS AND REPORTS FROM CITY OFFICERS
1. A communication was received from Tanya L. Ford, Executive Director, Cambridge Election Commission, transmitting the Final Official Results from the Municipal Election held on Tues, Nov 3, 2015 for City Council.
2. A communication was received from Tanya L. Ford, Executive Director, Cambridge Election Commission, transmitting the Final Official Results from the Municipal Election held on Tues, Nov 3, 2015 for School Committee.
Mon, Dec 7
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Tues, Dec 8
5:00pm The Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss a zoning petition filed by Kiril Stefan and Catherine Alexandrov, et al. to amend the Cambridge Zoning Ordinance to extend the Business BA-3 zone on Western Avenue currently in existence from Howard to Jay Streets onto the even number side of Western Avenue from #s 158-168 which is three houses from the corner of Kinnaird Street to Jay Street. Click here to view the proposed ordinance. This hearing to be televised. (Sullivan Chamber)
Wed, Dec 9
5:00pm The Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss a zoning petition filed by the Friends of MAPOCO, to amend the Cambridge Zoning Ordinance by a new sub-district of the Massachusetts Avenue Overlay District along Massachusetts Avenue between Porter Square and Cambridge Common. Click here to view the proposed ordinance. This hearing to be televised. (Sullivan Chamber)
Thurs, Dec 10
1:30pm The Finance Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the financial aspects of Community Benefits. (Sullivan Chamber)
5:00pm The Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss a zoning petition filed by Milford Medicinals, Inc., to amend the Cambridge Zoning Map to include 1001 Massachusetts Avenue in the MMD-1 Zoning Overlay. Click here to view the proposed ordinance. This hearing to be televised. (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Dec 14
10:00am The Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing to continue discussion on the proposed amendments to the Municipal Code Chapter 2.121 entitled "Living Wage Ordinance." (Sullivan Chamber)
5:30pm Roundtable/Working Meeting to discuss Transportation Issues. No public comment. No votes will be taken. Meeting will not be televised. (Sullivan Chamber)
Tues, Dec 15
6:00pm The Neighborhood and Long Term Planning, Public Facilities, Arts and Celebration Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss and raise community awareness about PrEP, a new preventative medication that can be taken by individuals who are at high risk for contracting HIV. (Sullivan Chamber)
Thurs, Dec 17
2:00pm The Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the proposed amendment to the Municipal Code entitled Exotic Animal Ordinance. Click here to view the proposed ordinance. (Sullivan Chamber)
5:00pm The Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the refiled Elizabeth M. Stern, et al. petition to amend the Cambridge Zoning Ordinance and Zoning Map by changing the current zoning designation of Lot 84 (2551 Massachusetts Avenue) and Lot 65 (7 Richard Avenue) on Assessing Block Map 186 from Business A-2 to Residence B and remove both from the MAOD and the NMAS, redraw the zoning district boundary lines so the two lots are in the Residence B zone and not in the MAOD or the NMAS and revise Article 20, Sections 100-111. This hearing to be televised. (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Dec 21
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Jan 4
10:00am City Council Inaugural Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Jan 11
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Jan 25
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Feb 1
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Feb 8
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Feb 22
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Feb 29
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Mar 7
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Mar 14
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Mar 21
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Mar 28
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Apr 4
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Apr 11
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Apr 25
5:30pm City Council Meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
TEXT OF ORDERS
O-1 Dec 7, 2015
WHEREAS: Harvard University plans to remove 11 pear trees on Dunster Street and 14 pear trees on Holyoke Street for construction staging; and
WHEREAS: The removal of trees runs counter to city goals; and
WHEREAS: Many in the community have raised concerns regarding Harvard's plan; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to consult with Harvard to determine if there are other means to address their construction needs that would not result in the removal of these trees and to report back to the City Council as to any outcome.
O-2 Dec 7, 2015
WHEREAS: It has come to the attention of the City Council that the Board of Zoning Appeals has denied the special permit request to convert the former Tokyo restaurant on Fresh Pond Parkway into an auto repair garage putting the project in jeopardy; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to approach the current owner of the site regarding the City's interest in purchasing this property for the development of affordable housing opportunities.
O-3 Dec 7, 2015
WHEREAS: A free press and an informed public are essential for a well-functioning democracy; and
WHEREAS: In the U.S., we are fortunate to have a wide spectrum of media outlets whose viewpoints are usually represented by fact based evidence and first-hand account information; and
WHEREAS: In an age where the ease of technology allows for any group or organization to produce "news," certain media outlets have the ability, and too often the willingness, to mislead, unfairly portray, and smear the honorable work of individuals in an attempt to build readership and sell subscriptions; and
WHEREAS: This form of news media is rightfully disregarded as illegitimate tabloid, nonetheless, it is important that we as a community publicly condemn these organizations who blatantly fabricate the truth; and
WHEREAS: Most recently, our fellow colleague and councillor, Nadeem Mazen, was the target of such baseless attacks by the online magazine Breitbart.com; and
WHEREAS: Breitbart.com has a history of outrageous and sensationalized journalism designed for shock value but which has no proven basis in truth whatsoever; now therefore be it
RESOLVED: That the City Council go on record denouncing the anti-muslin libel spread by Breitbart.com and similar organizations; and be it further
RESOLVED: That the City Clerk be and hereby is requested to forward a suitably engrossed copy of this resolution to Breitbart.com on behalf of the entire City Council.
O-4 Dec 7, 2015
WHEREAS: With the affordable housing crisis continuing to impact communities across the country, many municipalities are actively exploring new and different means of increasing the opportunities for people to be able to secure affordable housing in their communities; and
WHEREAS: Cities like Waltham are actively contemplating the feasibility of creating city-financed "gap vouchers," to increase the value of HUD-financed housing vouchers, in order to increase the likelihood that those with such vouchers will be able to afford the steep rents in Waltham, something they might otherwise be unable to do; and
WHEREAS: Similarly, Cambridge residents who obtain mobile vouchers are often finding that they must look for housing outside the city, because the steep rental prices in this city put most apartments out of reach, even when a resident has obtained a voucher; and
WHEREAS: As the City continues seeking ways to address the affordable housing crisis, new ideas must be considered and explored for viability, and the concept of creating city-financed "gap vouchers" seems well worth investigating to see if it would allow more Cambridge residents to have a better chance of remaining in their community; and
WHEREAS: It is also well worth investigating whether there could be a viable way of having the City establish stand-alone, City-issued housing vouchers; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to confer with the Community Development Department and other relevant City staffers to determine the feasibility of establishing City-financed "gap vouchers," similar to those being considered by the City of Waltham, and to consider whether additional measures such as establishing standalone City-issued housing vouchers could be established, and to report back to the City Council about this in a timely manner.
O-5 Dec 7, 2015
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to confer with Police Commissioner and the Director of Traffic, Parking, and Transportation to enforce no parking within Centanni Park and install appropriate signage.
O-6 Dec 7, 2015
WHEREAS: One of the great strengths of Cambridge is the rich diversity found throughout our community, as people from all walks of life, from all over the world have come here over many generations to make Cambridge their home; and
WHEREAS: Throughout the 2014-2015 City Council term, the Civic Unity Committee has continued discussing ways in which the City could better speak to the concerns of our diverse population, and one frequent area of concern has been whether the City's Boards and Commissions could be doing a better job of reflecting the City's diversity; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to consult with the appropriate City personnel and report back to the City Council on what specific steps will be implemented in the coming year to ensure that the City's Boards and Commissions adequately reflect the rich diversity of the City, and to ensure that a greater level of citizen outreach and engagement by these entities is pursued.
O-7 Dec 7, 2015
WHEREAS: The City of Cambridge has a track record of supporting and encouraging charitable activities in the City that benefit the Cambridge community; and
WHEREAS: The City of Cambridge is establishing a new Community Benefits Fund that will support charitable actions and foundations in the City; and
WHEREAS: If they desire to, community members and businesses should have the ability to support Cambridge charities' efforts to fully serve the community; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to confer with the Finance Department to establish a parallel fund to the fund proposed in the Community Benefits Ordinance; and be it further
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to confer with the Finance Director to ensure that the parallel fund will be able to accept money from private entities and that it will spend the collected money in a similar manner to the Community Benefits Fund; 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 Dec 7, 2015
WHEREAS: The green space in front of the King Open School is frequently used by neighbors as a place to walk and exercise their dogs; and
WHEREAS: The property will soon be preparing for demolition; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to maintain access to the green space along Cambridge Street in front of the school for as long as possible before the demolition occurs.
O-9 Dec 7, 2015
ORDERED: That the draft Cambridge Wage Theft Prevention Ordinance be forwarded to the full City Council with a favorable recommendation for referral to the Ordinance Committee with the stipulation that minutes and notes are sent to the City Manager where his questions and commentary will be forwarded inclusively.
O-10 Dec 7, 2015
ORDERED: That the modified MXD and KSURP text be substituted for the original petition.
O-11 Dec 7, 2015
VICE MAYOR BENZAN
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to direct the Commissioner of Inspectional Services to prepare a memo outlining the challenges that his department will encounter regarding the zoning amendment relating to the creation of accessary apartments, how inspections will be conducted and how resident will be encouraged to seek inspections; and be it further
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to report back to the City Council on this matter in a timely manner.
O-12 Dec 7, 2015
ORDERED: That the revised MXD and KSURP text submitted by CRA be substituted for the modified petition.
TEXT OF COMMITTEE REPORTS
Committee Report #1
The Ordinance Committee held a public hearing on Wed, Nov 18, 2015 at 5:40pm in the Sullivan Chamber.
The purpose of the hearing was to discuss a proposed amendment to the Zoning Ordinance to amend Article 6.000 to create a new Section 6.24 Car-sharing Provision that will create a definition and general provisions for Car-sharing and will allow the limited use of parking spaces (ATTACHMENT A).
Present at the hearing were Councillor Dennis J. Carlone, Co-Chair of the Ordinance Committee; Councillor Leland Cheung; Councillor Craig Kelley; Councillor Nadeem A. Mazen; Councillor Marc C. McGovern; Councillor E. Denise Simmons; Jeff Roberts, Zoning and Land Use Planner, CDD; Stephanie Groll, PTDM Officer; and City Clerk Donna P. Lopez.
Also present were Francis Donovan, 42 Irving Street; Jeremy Pomp, 42 Upham Street, Melrose, Zipcar; Brian Allyn, 20 Dodge Street; Margaret McMahon, 14 Highland Avenue; and Stephen Kaiser, 191 Hamilton Street.
Councillor Carlone convened the hearing and explained the purpose. He stated that the meeting is being audio and visually recorded. He outlined the format of the hearing and at the conclusion a recommendation will be made.
Stephanie Groll gave a quick review of car sharing (ATTACHMENT B). Car sharing gives one access to a car without the responsibility of owning a car. She explained that one car can be used by many people. She stated that one-third of Cambridge residents do not own a car. In 2000 Zipcar was founded in Cambridge. Today there are 3 car sharing companies in Cambridge: Zipcar, Enterprise and Turo, formerly known as Relay Rides. People become members and rent cars either on the Web or by phone. Cars are rented by the hour or day and it includes insurance and gas. Members tap their membership card on the windshield and this opens the car. She explained why it is important to have car sharing and gave statistics about car sharing members. She stated that for every one car sharing vehicle takes 9-12 private cars off of the road.
There has been a decrease in parking permits issued and the population is up. In a survey of 1,000 Cambridge residents 46% got rid of their car or did not buy a car because they joined a car share service. She added that the Census data shows a shift in the way people drive. She outlined the character of a car sharing vehicle for a day. Ms. Groll stated that the Inspectional Services Department has received no complaints about car-sharing in Cambridge.
She explained the community process that was followed. Nine neighborhood meetings were held and there was an on-line survey completed by 1,000 Cambridge residents. She added that 85% of residents wanted car sharing in a residential area. To encourage the elimination of cars it is more beneficial to have car sharing in residential areas and closer to people's homes.
Jeff Roberts explained the aspects of the zoning (ATTACHMENT C). He spoke about the purpose of the proposal of car sharing. The current zoning addresses cars owned by a particular household. Under this proposal multiple households use less cars and the zoning does not know how to handle this. This has not been clearly defined and regulated in the zoning ordinance and this proposal seeks to do this. He stated that it is being made more widely available throughout the City. The zoning regulates parking and not cars. This proposal establishes that parking is parking and a vehicle used for car-sharing is still parking. The petition addresses general and specific limitations on car sharing to address some of the functional characteristics and concerns. He stated that the Planning Board has held their hearing on the petition and the recommendation will be on the Agenda for Nov 23rd.
The language in the intent is similar to the zoning language relating to the intent of the parking requirements. The definition establishes car sharing vehicles and car sharing organizations and uses state law language adopted in 2010 that defines car sharing and the definition is being consistent with the state law. The general limitation of a car shared car is when parked are the same as any other motor vehicle. He explained the details of the petition. All condo owners must agree to allow car to park in garage. Car sharing vehicles must be registered with the Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department was a Planning Board recommendation.
The Planning Board recommendation only allows full size parking spaces to be used. The specific limitation speaks to pay parking garage and would not have limitation for car sharing vehicles. He stated that accessory parking facilities can have car sharing vehicles and occupants of office buildings can use a car sharing vehicle. There is no limitation of car sharing vehicles in accessory parking facility in the petition.
The Planning Board did have concerns and suggested a limitation on the number of required parking spaces for the use and that car sharing vehicle be only allowed to occupy a portion of the required spaces and that 75% of parking spaces must be preserved for resident parking. On residential lots no more than 30% of the spaces can be used by car sharing vehicles but the Planning Board can grant a special permit to modify the percentage. He stated that car sharing would not be allowed on single family driveways or parking spaces in single family residential lots. The Planning Board recommended that there be a grandfather provisions as long as they go through the registration process. Other modification could be by special permit by either the Planning Board or the Board of Zoning Appeals.
Councillor Carlone opened public comment at 6:01pm.
Francis Donovan, 42 Irving Street, spoke about the weak points of this idea. Car sharing is making the place a better place for many. To bring car sharing into the parking statutes sets up commercial parking in residential zones. Residential zones have been protected from such use for over one hundred years. He stated that this is a trust issue.
Mr. Donovan supplied a handout. In it an area where a car sharing is presently located is designated pink; Cambridge is generally a pink City (ATTACHMENT D). West Cambridge is the only area that is not totally pink. This indicates that every car share site is within a five minute walk from a residence. It is not a great idea to move quickly into a residential areas. He did not want a car sharing location under his window. He is glad that the Planning Board added in a provision for input from abutters. Residential parking should be controlled by a special permit and in areas less served and the needs of the abutters need to be considered. He suggested the Board of Zoning Appeals. He concluded that expanding this into residential zones is unnecessary.
Jeremy Pomp, General Manager, Zipcar, 424 Upham Street, Melrose, spoke in favor of the proposal before the committee. He spoke about previous personal testimony and letters of support for Zipcars. He stated that Zipcar was founded in Cambridge fifteen years ago and it has 20,000 members and Zipcar is their car. Zipcar partners with Harvard University, MIT, and the MBTA, residential and commercial buildings to provide ease of access. He looks forward to collaborating with those in Cambridge that are seeking to provide greater transportation options.
Brian Allyn, 20 Dodge Street, spoke in favor of car sharing. He is an avid car sharing user for three years. He explained how he uses car sharing vehicles. He stated that the benefit of Zipcar is the variety of vehicles that are offered. He looks forward to using this in the future.
Margaret McMahon, 14 Highland Avenue, stated that car sharing is an exemplary concept, but felt that the present proposal which allows a commercial activity in a residential area without the consent of those living in the area is a violation of private property and personal rights. She is opposed to a commercial activity in a residential area. If approved she wanted language that homes or apartments abutting the designated car sharing area protect the abutters. She stated that the special limitation does not protect the abutters because it only recognizes the owner of a car sharing space.
Stephen Kaiser, 191 Hamilton Street, stated that it is unclear what the recommendation of the Planning Board is. He stated that Planning Board recommendation has modifications and is dated in October. He submitted his comments (ATTACHMENT E). Councillor Carlone stated that the Planning Board made a recommendation and it is on the agenda for Nov 23. Mr. Roberts stated that the Planning Board recommendation was favorable with modifications. Mr. Kaiser stated that the Planning Board recommendation had many staff modifications. He questioned which version of the petition should be discussed. He support car sharing and he wanted quality zoning that allows for this. He highlighted the difference in Planning Board version in 6.24.5(b) ii with the words "privately owned automobiles" and "car sharing vehicles." He stated that both are privately owned vehicles. The language does not make sense. He also noted that automobiles is not defined. He supported the language in the original petition. His goal is to get good zoning. He does not know how this is resolved. He stated that the two versions are different.
Councillor Carlone stated that the Ordinance Committee does not have the Planning Board's recommendation.
On a motion by Councillor Simmons public comment ended at 6:20pm.
The City Council discussion began.
Councillor Cheung stated that Cambridge has an aggressive PTDM Ordinance. He was happy to see the data about the number of cars that will be eliminated with car sharing. He stated that there are 20,000 Zipcar members. He wanted to move this forward. He stated that the Planning Board made modification to the petition. He wanted to refer this to the full City Council and incorporate the modifications. No action was taken on the motion. Zipcar started in Cambridge and he wanted car sharing on regulatory footing.
Councillor Simmons stated that she supports Zipcar and it will reduce SOVs. However, she noted that when Hubway was allowed to grow there was public uproar and she wanted due diligence to be done so as to not impact neighbors. How does the word get out to the impacted neighborhoods and how can more people participate? Ms. Groll stated that there would be a public process with details of what the new zoning means. Councillor Simmons stated that for the neighborhoods that do not have Zipcar saturation she wanted to ensure that these neighborhoods are informed and not impacted.
Mr. Roberts stated that the intent of the Planning Board was to ensure that a person who lives in a single family home can use car sharing vehicle in any way appropriate. A car share vehicle could be parked overnight.
Councillor McGovern stated that a single family home could use car sharing space, he supports car sharing. The population is moving in this direction. He does not see that a parade of people will be using residential streets for car sharing vehicles. He noted that no one owns on-street parking spaces. He asked if this has been piloted in any area in the City. Ms. Groll stated that the sites were not piloted, they just operate. She does not have information on the usage. He spoke about people feeling disrespected with Hubway which is why it is important to let abutters know about a curb cut, but not in this instance. He wanted people to be notified ahead of time that they are losing parking spaces on their streets.
Mr. Roberts noted that in zoning we are regulating private property. Curb cuts are on public property. He spoke about the time it takes to get something approved. This is why in the zoning the language must be clear. He spoke about property rights, things that are allowed as of right or not. Outreach is about education of what is allowed and what requires discretion review.
Councillor Cheung stated that Zipcar has been the pilot for many years. He views this as a housekeeping item.
Councillor Kelley stated that he rented a Zipcar space and it was wonderful. There is a valid point of when the Zipcar renter goes to Zipcar they are walking by other people's property. He thought it should be done by special permit or some application process, even minimal. There has to be an easy solution to this.
Councillor Carlone spoke about this being a bookkeeping process for the Traffic Parking and Transportation Department. Mr. Roberts stated that the intent of registering all spaces is an administrative step and the Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department reviews the space to ensure access and egress is safe. This is done for garages, etc. Councillor Carlone questioned whether the Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department would keep a record of the complaints. Mr. Roberts responded that complaints could be dealt with on an administrative level. Councillor Kelley stated that he did not want a special permit process. He felt that parking uses is being characterized as parking and not shared cars. He wanted the neighbors given an opportunity to be heard about car sharing spaces.
Councillor Mazen supported Zipcar and car sharing. The main objection is neighborhood placement. He spoke about the data and he himself depends on Zipcar and he is pleased with the cost savings and the results. He spoke about not being able to find a Zipcar near him when needed. He wanted the Zipcar placement more readily available in residential areas. Councillor Kelley cared about the neighbors knowing about this new use in residential areas. There is not much credibility around the cramped parking impact.
Councilor McGovern questioned if there is some type of notification process that could be created for this process. Mr. Roberts stated that this will have to be reviewed. He spoke about the complexities that could be involved. Special permits have a regulation process with notification. He stated that consultation with the Law Department will be needed. Councillor Kelley added that people will be upset if notification cannot be figured out.
Councillor Cheung stated that good points are being made. He stated that this is 280 Zipcars in 82 locations. The number is so small. He did not want to get hung up on this issue. We should deal with issues as they arise. This is a commercial company providing a use; but this is a residential use. This is a bit of a difference. Councillor Cheung again moved that the matter be forwarded to the full City Council with a favorable recommendation and later discuss the upcoming Planning Board recommendation. No action was taken on this motion.
Councillor Carlone asked how we could get car-sharing locations that are on a public street. Ms. Groll stated that this only addresses off-street parking. Councillor Carlone added that when an existing public space is removed there is an outcry. Ms. Groll spoke about putting car-sharing vehicles on public street. Councillor Carlone asked in reference to grandfathered spaces will the standards remain and will they be reviewed. Mr. Roberts stated that existing space used for car sharing needs to register with Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department and if it is a legally non-conforming parking space will be grandfathered. Any time a car sharing space location is changed it would have to be re-registered with the Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department.
Ms. Groll stated that the existing Zipcar spaces have no complaints with ISD. Councillor Carlone asked does the City have standards that relates to a complaint and could the city take the space away. Mr. Roberts stated that if space is used in violation of zoning then enforcement can be taken.
Councillor Carlone questioned the ten-foot restriction from an abutting building. Mr. Roberts stated that under current zoning rules there would not be a parking space within ten feet of a lot. There may be a non-conforming parking lot near a non-conforming house and the preference would be to have the car sharing space away from the building.
Councillor Carlone suggested reviewing language change mentioned by Mr. Kaiser. He suggested letting the neighbors discuss this new regulation; this builds community.
Councillor Kelley responded that this is more complicated that we think. There are no complaints on Zipcars because they are in commercial areas now. He wants this right and he feels that without some process the City Council will be discussing this again. He does not think that this is ready for the City Council yet. Councillor Carlone stated that the City Council will be receiving the Planning Board recommendation on Friday and will review the Planning Board's comments. Due to the Planning Board recommendation being discussed at the hearing with the official transmittal being made on Nov 20, 2015, a copy is attached (ATTACHMENT F). There will be a period to raise questions and there will be ample time to review the details.
Councillor Carlone moved that the matter be referred to the full City Council without a recommendation together with the additional comments relating to notification of residents. Councillor Kelley stated that he wanted the notification process clear. The motion carried on a voice vote of five members.
Councillor Carlone stated that the e-mails received will be made part of the report. They are:
Joan Pickett, 59 Ellery Street, stated that the proposed ordinance is in need of revisions to reflect the rights of abutting property owners (ATTACHMENT G).
Jennifer L. Craig stated that she does not want to lose any more parking spaces in her North Cambridge neighborhood (ATTACHMENT H).
Councillor Carlone thanked all those present for their attendance. He stated that the concerns focus on the process and the notification to the abutters
The hearing adjourned at 7: 19pm on motion of Councillor Cheung.
For the Committee,
Councillor Dennis J. Carlone, Co-Chair
Committee Report #2
The Economic Development & University Relations Committee conducted a public hearing on Nov 18, 2015 beginning at 10:00am in the Sullivan Chamber.
The purpose of the hearing was to continue discussions around the need for establishing a wage theft ordinance.
Present at the hearing were Councillor E. Denise Simmons, Co-Chair of the Committee; Councillor Marc McGovern; Vali Buland, First Assistant City Solicitor; Christian Schlachte; Neal Alpert; and Paula M. Crane, Deputy City Clerk.
Also present were Lindsay McCluskey, Greater Boston Labor Council; Darlene Lombos, Community Labor United; Lou Mandarini; Allie Padgett, New England Regional Council of Carpenters; Jan Devereux; Phillip Reason, Community Labor United; and John Cusack, Carpenters Local 40.
Councillor Simmons opened the hearing and gave an overview of the agenda of the hearing (Attachment A). Councillor Simmons stated that she has convened this hearing as part of the continuing efforts to ensure that Cambridge remains a leader in establishing best employment practices, raising the bar in how Cambridge treats its own employees, and striving to ensure that all people working in the community are treated fairly. She stated that in September, this committee met to begin discussing the possibility of the City of Cambridge adopting a Wage Theft Ordinance. She stated that, at that hearing, the committee heard from allies in the labor sector, the Greater Boston Labor Council and the SEIU, who explained what a Wage Theft Ordinance is and why the City should consider adopting such an ordinance. She said that she wished to continue that discussion today. She noted that this hearing is just one step in the process of determining if this is an appropriate and workable ordinance for the City of Cambridge to adopt, and that people should not feel as if every question must be raised and answered by the conclusion of this hearing. She invited Ms. McCluskey and Ms. Lombos to walk the committee through the proposed changes to the DRAFT Cambridge Wage Theft Prevention Ordinance.
Ms. McCluskey gave an overview of the information included in the summary of draft language (Attachment B) for a potential Cambridge Wage Theft Ordinance (Attachment C). She stated that in essence, this ordinance is designed to ensure that the City of Cambridge is not doing business with companies that have a track record of wage violations. She said that this builds in protections to ensure that workers are protected from future wage violations if the City is doing work with such companies.
Ms. McCluskey explained that 5.01.012 of the proposed ordinance relates to the establishment of an Office of Wage Theft Prevention, which would be dedicated to the implementation and oversight of the City's Wage Theft Prevention activities. She stated that an Executive Director would run the office, would be responsible for staffing, and would report to the City Manager. She stated that an Advisory Council would be established with representation from the Greater Boston Labor Council, the Immigrant Worker Center Collaborative, community organizations, and the Chamber of Commerce. She added that this entity would receive notice preceding any action on a license or permit issues by a City department and would notify the departments involved of any violations the applicant has had in the past three years.
Section 5.010.03 of the proposed ordinance related to Wage Bond requirements for certain permits and licenses. Ms. McCluskey stated that it would require employers that have admitted in writing to a wage theft violation within the past three years of license or permit application to obtain a wage bond or other insurance equal to one year of wages for all employees for duration of the license or permit. This bond would serve to ensure that workers would continue to be paid in the event of a complaint against the vendor they work for being filed.
Ms. McCluskey explained that Section 5.01.014 encompasses outreach to community organizations. She stated that the Office of Wage Prevention would establish and maintain a community outreach program to work with communities impacted by wage theft, and to create industry-specific educational materials for workers and educational materials for employers. The Office of Wage Theft Prevention would issue grants to organizations it partners with on outreach.
Ms. McCluskey explained that Section 5.01.015 relates to certifications and disclosures. She stated that every licensing, permitting, procuring, and contracting department in the City would create a certification and disclosure requirement for applicants providing they have not had a wage theft violation within the last three years, the disclosure of past violation in the application and notification to applicants that they have a duty to report violations.
Section 5.01016 relates to City procurement, contract and debarment. Ms. McCluskey explained that every RFP issued by the City must include certification and disclosure requirements, notify bidders of their duty to report violations and notify bidders that they may not contract with the City if they have been debarred by the City or State. She stated that successful bidders would provide certification of compliances, must post a notice accessible to all employees, and shall furnish monthly payrolls to the City. She stated that any bidder that had a violation within the last three years would be required to obtain a wage bond or other form of insurance equal to one year of wages for all employees. She added that if a wage theft complaint were to be filed against a City contractor, notice would be served and a hearing would be set. She noted that the City could issue an order to revoke the contract, suspend the contract, debar the contractor, or set conditions of future contracts with the city.
Ms. McCluskey stated that Section 5.01.017 relates to severability. She stated that if any provision of this Chapter was held invalid or unenforceable by any court, such holding would not invalidate or render unenforceable any other provisions.
Ms. McCluskey explained that a similar wage theft ordinance was proposed in Boston and that Boston has implemented the standards by way of an Executive Order. She stated that Boston has taken up various pieces of this recommendation and the hope is that Cambridge will do more and go further in developing these standards.
Ms. Lombos stated that the process that was undertaken to develop the language is very important. She said that this is one of the strongest pieces of legislation in the country. She stated that the process of developing this policy included input by workers, experts, and policy makers, and is the right kind of collaborative process that results in solid and effective legislation. She stated that Boston's Executive Order has many elements of their initial proposal. She encouraged the committee to look at the language and stressed the importance of bottom-up policies. She added that this is a solid legal policy that enforces Cambridge's commitment to workers.
Councillor Simmons asked Mr. Mandarini to explain to the attendees the purpose of a wage bond. Mr. Mandarini responded that wage bonds are commonly used in the union setting. He stated that it is insurance policy that ensures payment to employees if a legal process is underway. He noted that there are several companies that sell wage bonds. He noted that requirements to purchase vary and added that a wage bond is available in all sizes and amounts. Councillor Simmons stated that wage bonds can be expensive but noted that the most important aspect of a wage bond is that an employee is not left in limbo without being paid if a complaint against their employer has been issued. She noted that while this is an important part of doing business, many companies do not have wage bonds. She stated that it is important for the City to know that companies that the City is doing business with have met all the requirements in order to pay their employees. Councillor Simmons noted that the City has gotten into the practice of outsourcing some services, and establishing a wage theft ordinance will send a message that all employees, even if contracted independently, will be paid equal to one another if they are doing the same work for the City. She stated that it is important to have protections for people who work in the City's name, even when they are not technically working directly for the City.
John Cusack stated that this is the fair thing to do. Councillor Simmons said that the City of Cambridge can be an example and send the message that we are going to pay anyone who works for the City a fair wage with benefits. She stated that she has heard numerous stories about misclassifications and the withholding of wages. Enacting this new ordinance would help prevent these scenarios.
Phillip Reason stated that there is an important value of having a wage bond. He stated that although it is an expensive tool, it is an important tool to have if a company has had a history of wage violations. He said that if you are a company that has not had wage violations within the past three years, then you do not need to worry as you will not be required to procure a bond. He stated that while it is frustrating when there is a violation, the wage bond continues to provide a sense of security for the workers. He stated that by having a Wage Theft Ordinance, the City will be taking responsibility and letting workers know that they are protected.
Councillor McGovern stated that the point of City Council committees is to be able to thoroughly vet out issues on a given topic before said topic goes before the full City Council. He stated that within his first three months of being elected to the City Council, he and some of his colleagues marched on three or four picket lines focusing upon workers who felt they were being mistreated, and the organizations they worked for were washing their hands of these complaints because these were subcontracted workers. He stated that it is difficult to urge organizations doing business within the city to treat their workers a certain way when he cannot point to the City itself as an example of this preferred treatment. He stated that this discussion is important because sometimes you don't know that wage violations exist, since people that are being violated often do not have a voice or feel safe to file a complaint. He asked if there is any sense of how often wage theft violations happen in Cambridge. Ms. McCluskey responded that they are currently working to document the numbers of wage theft violations, as there is no formal reporting system. She did state that there are over 5,000 every year that get filed with the Attorney General's office, but these complaints have not been broken down by geography. She said that in a span of five years, they have recovered lost wages of over $5 million dollars from just their organizations. She stated that every year, the Commonwealth recovers more than $20 million dollars in wage violations.
Councillor McGovern stated the reality is that one violation is too many. He said that the point is that if companies are operating properly in the first place, then they will not be subject to a wage bond. He stated his belief that this represents a reasonable ordinance and could probably be required of all companies without too much difficulty. Darleen Lombos stated that wage theft is more rampant in the private sector.
Councillor McGovern asked when the Executive Order was implemented in Boston. Mr. Lombos responded that it was implemented in October of 2015. She explained that that this was done in Boston by Executive Order and that many pieces were put in place incrementally. Councillor McGovern asked if Boston hired a person dedicated to the implementation and oversight of the Executive Order or if this position was absorbed by a department already in place. Ms. Lombos responded that Boston hired a person under the Workforce Development Department. She stated that Boston figured out how to expand a current office. Ms. McCluskey stated that the person would report to the City Manager and stated the possibility of this person being incorporated into the City Manager's office. Councillor McGovern asked if this is separate from the issue of displaced workers, and Ms. McCluskey confirmed that it is a separate issue. Councillor McGovern stated that when he speaks to developers and businesses, they note the importance of predictability. He stated that they look would more favorably on set standards as opposed to violations being filed, and therefore this ordinance change would help add to that sense of predictability.
Councillor Simmons stated that it would have been beneficial to have a representative of the City Manager's Office present at the hearing, but added that the issue will forwarded to the full City Council with a favorable recommendation by the committee. She said that it can then be vetted by the full City Council. Councillor Simmons stated that this piece of legislation speaks to the work of the Income Insecurity Task Force. She stated that legislation gives additional credibility to the work that is being done on this issue in the City of Cambridge.
Jan Devereux stated that the Wage Theft Ordinance is promising and added her support. She asked whose record a wage bond would be tied to, a General Contractor or a subcontractor. Ms. Lombos stated that a General Contractor could require a subcontractor to carry a wage bond. Councillor Simmons asked for additional clarification from Ms. Lombos. Ms. Lombos stated that whoever has the actual contract with the City has to have the wage bond, and that organization is also responsible for its contractors.
Jan Devereux asked how it came to be that the threshold for violations would be the previous three years. Mr. Mandarini stated that there was some internal discussion about this, and that Massachusetts has a statute for a filing period. He stated that it is drawn from the Mass Wage Act. Ms. Devereux inquired about liquor licenses and whether those would be covered under this ordinance. Ms. Lombos stated that Boston requires the same form for liquor licenses as they do for all contractors.
Councillor Simmons stated that she likes the reporting system piece of the proposed ordinance. She stated that the advocacy piece is very important to her. She stated that community engagement is very important as well. She stated that it is important for the City to be "in-front" of the issue. She stated that she feels that the position of Director of Wage Theft Prevention is important in terms of contract compliance in general. She said that there is nothing that says that wage theft compliance would be the only responsibility for this position, as it could entail compliance in many areas. She stated that it is important to recognize that if there is an ordinance, it is only as strong as the City's ability to enforce it.
Councillor Simmons asked how often one would check to see if a wage bond is in place. Mr. Mandarini responded that it would be checked yearly. Councillor Simmons stated that if she bought a bond and did not pay the premium and it was cancelled, one wouldn't know. Mr. Mandarini pointed to Section 5.01.013, located on page six, which states that the wage bond must be obtained for the duration of the license or permit. He said that with respect to the procurement side, the wage bond language says that it has to be in effect for the life of the contract. Ms. Lombos stated that they feel secure because in Boston the vendors must sign an affidavit which is a legal document. (CM Form 16 - Attachment D).
Ms. Lombos stated that this ordinance would do three things: Having the City set the example to all employers; Setting protections for workers; and ensuring that workers get paid in a timely manner if there is a wage violation. She stated that the Attorney General is overloaded with cases. She noted that outreach to community organizations sends a message that we are hoping people will report any violations they witness, and establishing this ordinance would help the City to enforce their own policies. She stated that if this office is set up, this would improve the ability to ensure that violations are reported, and that companies are in full compliance. She stated that, in full disclosure, Boston has rolled this ordinance out in phases and this is one piece that has not yet been rolled out. She added that this is currently an informal process.
Ms. Lombos stated that she will send a report to Councillor Simmons about how we frame the need for a wage theft ordinance, and she will work to get more specific statistics. She stated that in the report there is a section that discusses the costs of wage theft in multiple arenas: the worker, their families, their neighborhoods, their cities, the states, and the businesses themselves. She noted that if an individual worker is not getting paid, there is a definite ripple effect felt across the community.
Councillor McGovern made the following motion:
ORDERED: That the draft Cambridge Wage Theft Prevention Ordinance be forwarded to the full City Council with a favorable recommendation for referral to the Ordinance Committee with the stipulation that minutes and notes are sent to the City Manager where his questions and commentary will be forwarded inclusively.
The motion - passed.
Vali Buland stated that she will review the submitted materials.
Councillor Simmons thanked all those present for their attendance.
The hearing was adjourned at 10:57pm.
For the Committee,
Councillor E. Denise Simmons, Co-Chair
Committee Report #3
The Public Safety Committee held a public hearing on Tues, Nov 17, 2015 beginning at 5:30pm in the Sullivan Chamber.
The purpose of the hearing was to discuss the rodent problem in the City.
Present at the hearing were Councillor Craig Kelley, Chair of the Committee; Councillor Dennis J. Carlone; Councillor E. Denise Simmons; Councillor Timothy J. Toomey, Jr.; John Nardone, Assistant Commissioner of Operations, Public Works Department; John Fitzgerald, Public Works; Kari Sasportas, Cambridge Health Alliance; James Comer, Cambridge Housing Authority; and City Clerk Donna P. Lopez.
Also present were Jen Bash, Dudley Street and Young Kim, 17 Norris Street.
Councillor Kelley convened the hearing and explained the purpose. He stated that the hearing is being privately recorded and videotaped. He distributed a list of issues that should be discussed after his presentation (ATTACHMENT A). His presentation showed pictures of rats (ATTACHMENT B). He stated that rats will not go away and that the issue at hand is how to live with rats and minimize their presence. He stated that rats are a common problem throughout the City, to include North Cambridge where the issues that precipitated this meeting took place. Dumpster Alley is an area in North Cambridge where the rat problem is severe. The totes and dumpsters in the alley, behind a number of restaurants and businesses, are not properly closed and have maintenance concerns. Retaining walls for nearby properties are being damaged by the rats. He showed rat dirt and burrows. There is a problem with the way that the trash is handled. He showed a recycling container in Gold Star Park as an example that trash management problems are not limited to dumpsters. Squirrels and skunks may be considered pests by people but they are covered by the definition of wildlife and thus protected by state law but rats are not defined as wildlife and thus lack such protection. It does not take much for a rat to live on in terms of food, water or shelter. He showed the Margaret Fuller House which had a large rat infestation and caused much damage to the foundations of building. He stated that there are rat problems in East Cambridge and The Port (Area IV) as well, noting that rats are here to stay. He showed trash containers on Mass. Avenue and showed a rodent siting map which showed all rat sightings for the last three years and clearly showed that rats are an issue throughout all of Cambridge, though some areas have more rat issues than others. Rats and trash management are not only in Cambridge. He showed an area in Connecticut. There is no easy answers to rats. He spoke of high quality trash containers may help to address the rodent problem but emphasized that there is no superhero action that will eliminate rats.
He moved to his communication for discussion. He spoke about the Dudley Street rodent issue. He asked all to introduce themselves. He would rather this be a conversation and to have a rat management program.
Councillor Carlone told of an issue with rats when he had seen a rats get flooded and what came out surprised him in terms of how big the rats were. Rats came here from ships from Norway.
Jen Bash lives at 14 Dudley Street where the rats are seen multiple times per week. She has paid $1,500 for pest control abatement for rats.
Young Kim, 17 Norris Street, stated that the back of his house abuts Ms. Bash's house. He spoke about the damage done to his foundation from the snow and rats. His contractor found a skunk in his basement and it was taken to the vet by an animal control officer. He spoke about another issue on Norris Street where a property owner does not handle the trash correctly.
James Comer, CHA, was here to discuss issues of rats at CHA property.
John Nardone announced that he is a member of the Rodent Task force.
John Fitzgerald stated that he oversees the trash crews and enforcement of trash put out for pickup on the public way. More enforcement has been done on Dudley Street given recent rat concerns but generally each pickup area is broken into four quadrants with each quadrant reviewed for compliance once a month.
John Hawkinson stated that he has tried to report rat situations to ISD. He stated that he has given up reporting issues to ISD. He stated that the city needs to do more.
Councillor Kelley stated that he had addresses for those who filed a rodent complaint via CRS. He wanted to understand the response from these complaints. He wanted to do a survey of people who filed rodent complaints to determine whether the city response worked well but needed to check with City staff to determine whether that would be appropriate.
Kari Sasportas, represented the Health Department, which is available for support and to answer questions.
Councillor Kelley stated that he put a list of rat-related issues together for discussion. He asked Mr. Nardone if he felt that there is enough authority in the regulations. This is an opportunity to change the City ordinance. Mr. Nardone spoke about enforcement on public property from a DPW perspective. He stated that the Public Works Department enforces the regulations on public property. He stated that barrels on sidewalk with open lids is enforced by Public Works. There are 2 sanitary officers employed by City. In 2009 a dumpster ordinance was ordained. The city has the ability to charge a fine of $300. Mr. Nardone explained that on private property ISD enforces the regulations. A dumpster permit is issued by ISD. He further stated that ISD also enforces the State Sanitary Code. He stated that ISD has been working on the Dudley Street issue. Councillor Kelley asked if Public Works sees the need to change the ordinance. Mr. Nardone stated that the ordinance has teeth and can issue fines and that he did not think a change was needed from DPW's perspective. Ms. Bash asked about large building that have trash; is this private property. Mr. Nardone responded in the affirmative. Ms. Bash asked how the trash being put out is enforced. Mr. Fitzgerald stated that the workers go out and inspect the location. He explained that Dudley Street has been inspected. Ms. Bash stated that she received a ticket for trash in error and asked how often does this happen. She stated that it was only a warning. Mr. Fitzgerald stated that this is a common problem and it is a judgment call. Mr. Nardone stated that the Public Works Department does not target any specific property and there can be confusion about who is responsible for putting out trash improperly.
Councillor Carlone spoke about problems with a rat infested house in Cambridge but nothing could be done. Rats were found and nothing could be done. Something is not right with this situation. He stated that when it comes to health of the public this should be addressed. Mr. Nardone stated that this starts with ISD and getting the property owner to do the right thing. He spoke about placing a lien against the property. The city-wide rodent contact allows the City to go onto private property and abate the property. If it is severe Public Works would get a waiver from the owner to abate the property. He stated that 4 properties have signed up and their properties will be bated. He stated that the Dudley Street residents are doing the right thing. Ms. Bash commented that some residents are doing the right thing but not everyone is. Mr. Nardone stated that the bating is limited to severe situations and then the responsibility would be turned over to the property owner to maintain once the situation was brought under control.
Mr. Hawkinson stated that he is upset that no one from ISD is here. He questioned how effective is the fines. He reported the problem to ISD and tried to work with the property owner and nothing happened.
Mr. Nardone stated that Public Works and ISD have the tools with the Sanitary Code. It is about getting rid of the rats but there is a process that has to be followed. Councillor Carlone spoke about the lack of the follow through by the City. He stated that a rat is a situation that is different from parking in a space without paying the meter. He stated that the City did not address the rodent issue for a year but no one can park illegally very long without getting ticket.
Mr. Kim stated that he could not report a problem with trash for immediate resolution because it was after normal working hours; it was taken care of the next day but should have been addressed earlier. Mr. Nardone gave the following telephone number to report rodent problems or other DPW issues after regular working hours; it is 349-4800 and is manned 24/7.
Councillor Kelley stated that the Dudley Street residents interacted with all the city departments. He asked about the jurisdiction authority. Mr. Nardone stated that Public Works enforces complaints on public property; ISD enforces private property issues. Ms. Sasportas stated that the Health Department can enforce the Housing and Food codes which is under the Sanitary Code. The Health Department can help but does not have enforcement issues. She stated that the Housing Code covers infestation on private property. Councillor Kelley wondered how from a dumpster standpoint issues could be addressed faster. Mr. Nardone noted that ISD has jurisdiction to go onto property to resolve the issues. Councillor Kelley asked who should be fined for the dumpster - the property owner or the restaurant owner. Mr. Nardone responded that the license holder will be charged. Councillor Kelley added that the fence allowed the rats access to the dumpster in Dumpster Alley and that he thought ISD was going to work to get it replaced and the Alley power washed. Mr. Nardone if the fence is okay from a structural standpoint there is no violation. Councillor Kelley stated that dumpsters are difficult to manage to keep pests out of; they are not air tight containers.
Councillor Kelley asked what can be done better with follow through. He stated that there should be a zero tolerance for open dumpsters when there is clearly a rodent problem. Ms. Bash stated that she took pictures for 2 months before ISD issued a fine. She was disappointed that there was no representative from ISD at the hearing. The offenders were fined pennies compared to what the cost was to the responsible property owners for abatement.
Councillor Carlone spoke about a creative solution with the License Commission. The restaurant was closed for one week for making stairs slippery which was caught on camera. Councillor Kelley stated that when the dumpster was cited it went before the License Commission and the solution was to threaten to revoke all 250 dumpster permits from the offenders unless action was taken on two dumpsters cited for maintenance issues. Councillor Kelley stated that the City gives the owner of the broken overfilled dumpster another chance again and again which leaves citizens thinking that nothing is being done. Mr. Nardone stated that the dumpster license is issued from ISD and the hearing was held at the License Commission. Councillor Kelley noted that all are confused about who is responsible for what and that it would have been useful for ISD to have a representative at the meeting to address some of these issues. Mr. Kim asked why the city cannot take the dumpster away if it is affecting the health of the residents; it could be revoked or the dumpster could be towed.
Ms. Bash began recording rodent siting in September. She stated that she has reported 6 rodent sightings and only one was reported with the follow through. She reported graffiti and it was gone within a week. She wanted this same response and follow through for rodents. Councilor Kelley noted that he was hoping to get a better understanding of how effective citizens thought the City's follow-through was by writing people who had filed complaints and conducting an on-line survey. Councilor Kelley also noted that, while the situation in Dumpster Alley was very troubling, there were lots of other places in the area where a rat could find food, water and harborage so it was not fair to blame the entire rat problem on the people responsible for Dumpster Alley.
Councillor Simmons asked how does open data interface with the rodent reporting. Mr. Nardone stated ISD has been using Energov which includes sightings. Councillor Simmons stated that remedies could also be seen on the open data. This is an opportunity to track sightings and remedies. Councillor Kelley stated that enforcement authority is still unclear. He stated that there are many places where rats can get food and the jurisdictional authority to enforce related issues is still unclear.
Mr. Nardone stated that Public Works manages the trash on the day of collection. People are responsible for their own trash for the 6 days it is on their property. He stated that Dumpster Alley is a problem; this is about managing trash. Mr. Nardone stated again that private property is the authority of ISD and they will inspect and will work to clean things up and issue fines. He explained that there is a legal process. The License Commission has authority for restaurants. Clarity is needed.
Councillor Carlone stated that a dumpster goes on the public sidewalk and is designed to go on both public and private property. He stated that the system is not working as it is now. He stated that people are unhappy with the current situation. He wanted to expand who is responsible.
Mr. Kim stated with all the jurisdictional issues how does the property owner know who to call. Why does it take so long and take the residents to badger the city offices for resolution. Ms. Sasportas stated that state regulations have due process built into them and it can take time.
Ms. Bash asked if the catch basins will be baited on Dudley Street. Mr. Fitzgerald explained the process that the City has followed where 5 locations were baited. He stated that three locations showed rodent activity and the follow up in November showed that these three locations showed no rodent activity. Mr. Kim stated that if you question 5 pest control companies you will get 5 different answers. Ms. Bash asked that the Public Works clean up the area around the trash receptacles in North Cambridge and East Cambridge. Mr. Nardone stated that the city has 2 power washing trucks that could work on this issue. Ms. Bash asked if the violations could be reported on the iReport. Mr. Nardone stated that he would look into this. Mr. Fitzgerald suggested calling Public Works at the number given by Mr. Nardone.
Councillor Carlone noted that in difficult neighborhoods pictures are posted and the word gets out about the problematic residents. Are there any statistics of the state of the art procedures that could be implemented? Mr. Nardone stated that Public Works is using all the common tools that are available. It is about spreading the word; this is a city-wide issue. He stated that the big belly receptacles helped the problem in Central Square.
Councillor Kelley stated that things have fallen apart on this issue.
Councillor Kelley thanked all those present for their attendance.
The hearing adjourned at 7:01pm.
For the Committee,
Councillor Craig Kelley, Chair
Committee Report #4
The Ordinance Committee held a public hearing on Nov 19, 2015 beginning at 5: 41pm in the Sullivan Chamber.
The purpose of the hearing was to continue discussion on the petition filed by the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority (CRA) to amend the Zoning Ordinance in the Kendall Square Urban Renewal Plan area (KSURP) and to amend the current zoning for the MXD District in Kendall Square to reflect the proposed changes to the plan. http://www2.cambridgema.gov/cityclerk/AppsPetitionsOrder.cfm?item_id=11280
Present at the hearing were Councillor Dennis J. Carlone, Co-Chair of the Committee; Councillor Leland Cheung; Councillor Craig Kelley; Councillor Nadeem A. Mazen; Councillor Marc C. McGovern; Councillor E. Denise Simmons; Jeff Roberts, Zoning and Land Use Project Planner, Community Development Department (CDD); and City Clerk Donna P. Lopez.
Also present were Tom Evans, Executive Director, CRA; CRA Board members: Kathy Born, Chair, Barry Zevin, state member; Jason Zogg, CRA; Stephen Kaiser, 191 Hamilton Street; Rich McKinnon, l Leighton Street; Sam Seidel, 43 Harris Street; and Ben Lavery, representing Boston Properties.
Councillor Carlone convened the hearing and explained the purpose. He stated that the hearing is being audio and video recorded. He explained the format of the hearing. http://www2.cambridgema.gov/CityOfCambridge_Content/documents/CombineMXDPetition.pdf
Councillor Carlone stated that before the committee there is a modified proposal which was received by the City Council two weeks ago.
Mr. Evans stated that the CRA sent to the City Council a modification of the original petition and the modification to the KSURP. He gave a Power Point presentation on the modifications to the petition (ATTACHMENT A). He stated he would outline the MEPA process that the CRA has been going through with the state which is a requirement of the Kendal Square Urban Renewal Plan. He stated that he would highlight changes to the MXD petition and CRA commitment to the Urban Renewal Plan. He outlined the MXD district. In the urban renewal plan the super blocks are labeled parcels 2, 3 and 4. Parcel 1 was the original Volpe project. The land in the MXD was originally owned by CRA and was disposed through a development agreement on a parcel by parcel basis to Boston Properties who was selected as the master developer for parcel 2, 3 and 4 with different transaction structures. He outlined the other owners of land as Biogen, Whitehead and The Broad in parcels 2, 3 and 4.
The goals are aligned with the K2 plan nurturing Kendall Square innovation, creating great spaces and making the area environmentally sustainable for working living and playing. The infill development of the K2 plan identified 4 major sites for new construction: in parcel 2 on top of the north parking garage, to the west is a small commercial building at 11 Cambridge Center, to the southern area there is an area in front of the Whitehead Institute (the Whitehead has received its zoning but needs to incorporate into the urban renewal plan). He stated that there is also a proposal to add 15,000 square feet to the Broad Institute. He outlined the infill development concept plan totaling 1 million GFA of new development of which 600,000 is commercial of which 60,000 is reserved for the Whitehead Institute. The residential infill totals 400,000 square feet - additional in the EIR.
He explained the Parcel 2 infill development and the Broadway perspective. Office space will be on the garage parcel as short term office leases, meeting spaces similar to other innovation and co-mingling spaces. He stated that the front door of the innovation space on Broadway showed a commercial building set back on the garage with a second building behind. There is a residential tower at the corner of Broadway and Galileo Way. On parcel 4 there is a proposed mixed use development concept with both a residential and commercial element on top of the current location of the MIT Coop. He stated that there is 15,000 square feet in the Broad Building for office space. Whitehead expansion onto Main Street is carried in the KSURP only as the zoning has been approved.
Mr. Evans gave an update on the MEPA process. The current EIR outlines the significant environmental impacts required by the state and is required by the urban renewal plan. This is an EIR built off of the initial document from 1977. This document has been written as if it were a brand new document. There has been a full multi-modal study and includes analysis of the parking for cars and bikes and includes air quality and GHG emissions. There was also a focus on climate change adaptation and relates to the issues of storm water, and the capacity for water and sewer demands. Hazardous materials is also looked at due to the area being an infill area. He stated that as a result of the EIR work and the transportation piece the CRA is proposing bike and pedestrians improvements and continued work on the Grand Junction Path. Three intersections were identified for multimodal safety improvements because of the conflict between all the transportation modes. He stated that the major focus for the KSURP is to create a funding strategy for transit improvements and capacity. He stated that rather than expanding roadways or intersection improvements CRA wanted to establish a transit enhancement fund that would provide the T or other transportation entities improvements to the Kendall Square transit capacity. He stated that the best approach is unknown for these improvements so what is proposed is to enter into MOU with City and State that would set aside funds and standards on how the funds would be used to implement the recommendations of Kendall Square Mobility Task Force, created by the state to look into mobility concerns.
He outlined the makeup of the Mobility Task Force. The transit improvement focus is currently underway now. There is an ongoing commitment to analyze the traffic in Kendall Square, which is a 20-year commitment. CRA has met with MEPA to analyze traffic on the previous EIR. He stated that the mode share is strong and if it continues the monitoring will either continue or increase. He stated that the issues of the storm water and wastewater management were reviewed and commitments were made for rainwater reuse. Neighborhood scale storm water solution would be coordinated with Public Works. There is an opportunity to come up with resiliency measures outside of the MXD district. He stated that contributions would be made to assist the Kendall Station.
Mr. Evans outlined the proposed revisions. The original petition contained a middle- income height bonus to provide incentive to build middle income units. Since then the CRA board and the Planning Board have recommended a requirement of 5% for middle income and making the height bonus a vertical allowance for building construction only for residential uses and with a limitation on floor plates of 12,000 square feet. A housing phasing provision was included. A second residential project would be timed to come before the commercial development. The innovation space was increased from 5 % to 10 % on a recommendation from the City Council. The 10% is excluded from the GFA and the urban renewal plan. He stated that there is a 25% requirement for local independent retail without banks being counted as active retail. He further stated that active retail has to be on Main, Broadway and Ames Street. He stated that there was a discussion about parking. The original proposal was to have no minimum parking caps for commercial; this remains the same. He stated that peer buildings in Kendall Square were researched for residential parking. It was reviewed as to what percentage of the units were utilizing parking spaces in the garage. It was found that the major projects are between 4.6 utilization rates with less 1/2 renting a parking space. He stated that data was requested to look at all the buildings; this is still being complied. Residential permits assigned to the buildings are within the range of 0.12 - 0.25. He stated the overlap with on-site parking is unknown. There may be rented parking spaces with the same person having a residential parking permit. The data is being used to understand the behavior. He stated that the modification increased parking to .4 parking spaces per unit.
Mr. Evans spoke about the difference between the zoning and the urban renewal plan which feeds into the infill development concept. He stated that the special permit would be approved by both the CRA board and the Planning Board and includes analysis of site planning and phasing, housing/commercial program, open space/programming, transportation and infrastructure and sustainability. He stated that there was concern from the Planning Board acting in a sub-board capacity as contained in the original petition. He wants a means for the CRA and the Planning Board to collaborate. He explained the change in the modified petition. He explained that both boards would make independent decisions. If a special permit is approved it would move into a design review process. A joint hearing would be held to consider design issues. Both boards would work together instead of having a sub-board.
Another change to the petition was to add other elements to the special permit review - MEPA requirements, open space programming, retail plan, building commissioning, and a district/steam energy study. CRA collected data on development in Kendall Square. The CRA would track a number of programs coming out of the KSURP for ongoing and implementation of the plan including redesigning open space to create a more vibrant Kendall Square. He highlighted other aspects of the Implementation Plan.
Ms. Born stated that this process has been gratifying to her. This is a process where the petitioner has come to the City Council, listened and responded to the issues raised.
Jeff Roberts stated that this petition came to Planning Board and was discussed on two occasions of Oct 13th and Nov 10th. The CRA modification were responsive to the concerns of the Planning Board. The Planning Board voted to submit a positive recommendations to the City Council on the modified petition which will be forthcoming.
Councillor Carlone opened public comment at 6:15pm.
Sam Seidel, 43 Harris Street, commented on the comprehensive work of the CRA and the Urban Renewal Plan. He stated that the process is challenging. He urged the City Council to engage with a full heart on this. He stated that the contributions are positive. He spoke about the transit enhancement fund, how we need to support the T and the regional transit system. He stated that one of the ways is to use the development power and funding that are coming into the region to help the T meet their demand backlog as well as future demands. He stated that increasing ridership needs a steady hand. Regional agencies are interested in working on this matter. This needs analysis by State, regional, City and agencies including the T. This is possible and doable.
Stephen Kaiser, 191 Hamilton Street, stated that in 1965 the original KSURP was approved and it is still growing and evolving. The situation 4 years ago was that there was no legal redevelopment board and it came to the awareness of the City Council. The City Manager made four appointments. He stated that the CRA has totally turned around and is executing a true planning process. It has regular meetings with public comment and is working well with citizens. The CRA is forced by law to do planning first and then do zoning. He commented on the EIR plan for MEPA. The CRA has thought about the plan and is not doing zoning first. He listed three positives performances: organization, planning and incorporating transit into the analysis for planning. He stated Mr. McKinnon did the first transit study. The CRA, Boston Properties and MIT all became involved with the transit. He called them open conspirators for transit. He stated that important aspects of the EIR study is that there are no traffic solutions here. He stated that the traffic on Third Street increases by 30% in five years. He noted that the traffic is backed up now. The only potential solution is transit. The redline ridership currently is only 1/4 of the ridership capacity system. The redline capacity is 40,000 riders per hour and is currently only transporting 8-9,000 passengers per hour. He is disappointed in the architecture of the proposed 145 Broadway building; he is worried about wind. The transit is going so well it needs to be emphasized. He spoke about the importance of the T running on time and how it will increase capacity.
Rich McKinnon, 1 Leighton Street, spoke on behalf of the Whitehead Institute whose zoning has been approved. He stated that because of the cooperation with CRA and the Whitehead personnel the two petitions work well together. He stated that based on this cooperation the Whitehead Institute supports the CRA petition.
Councillor Carlone closed public comment at 6:28pm.
The City Council discussion began.
Councillor Carlone stated that the CRA has done its homework and he appreciates the urban design study process undertaken. This has not been seen on other proposals for this area. He spoke about the need for quality architectural guidelines. He spoke about the shape of the residential building and the wind at the former Badger Building. He stated that the mixture of uses is right with the types and sizes to enliven both sides of Broadway. He stated that a residential tower does not work well for middle income families. Towers do not address what Cambridge needs most.
Carlone asked about the innovation space being exempt from being counted as square footage. He asked if a percentage for innovation space could be required in zoning. Mr. Evans stated that the goals was to require innovation space but not penalize it. The CRA can lower the barrier of entry into these spaces. A pricing limitation is an idea that the CRA wants to continue to pursue. The vision is to find ways to bring lower costs to qualified people who need it. He stated that it needs means testing. Some of the CIC space will not qualify for the MIT/Volpe/MXD zoning guidelines as to how this space is divided up. He stated that CIC helped to craft the language in the MIT petition based on the issues in their space. There are limitations with the Badger Building with the way it is organized. Councillor Carlone stated that the innovation space needs to be defined as a public benefit for new companies and startups to move in. Ms. Born stated that price regulation is not typical part of zoning but the process of approval for the infill design concept leaves room for agreement for developers. Councillor Carlone noted that when the lease runs out in the Badger Building the rental price will be expensive. Ms. Born stated that she shares his aspiration. Mr. Evans stated that through the special permit process occupancy, shared space and short term leases will be written into the special permit. The goal is to keep the creativity going for new businesses.
Councillor Carlone stated that he wanted the grocery store and pharmacy to both be in the document; they are key to Kendall Square. He spoke about the importance of perspective tenants is all about rent price. Mr. Evans stated that the Ames Street development is planned to attract retail in a small foot print for a pharmacy. He stated that the CRA is working to open one or two of the donut holes in the Kendall Square development. He stated that the space can be created to accommodate a pharmacy and a grocery store, but at the end of the day these companies have to take action to acquire the space and create the retail. Councillor Carlone stated that he knows 2 supermarket chains who would like to be in this area. Ms. Born spoke about the possibility of two story grocery stores.
Councillor Carlone asked if the 75% is a linear foot number on Broadway. Mr. Evans stated that 75% of the linear feet frontage can be transferred to other frontage with Planning Board approval. Councillor Carlone stated that the 75% should not be reduced. Councillor Carlone asked what the 100,000 square protected open space is. Mr. Evans stated that 100,000 square feet is required to be city owned or coveted or CRA owned open space. Councillor Carlone stated that publicly accessible open space is at grade.
Councillor McGovern thanked the CRA for including the 5% middle income requirement. He stated that he wanted 20% low-moderate housing and 5% middle income housing. He stated that families would rather not be on the 10th floor of a building, but he would rather have the units than not. He asked what it would take to get additional units. Mr. Evans stated that people are coming here that do not expect housing with a back yard. If you add supply for those who do not have families it takes focus off the three bedroom units. This is a supply side solution. Councillor McGovern stated that Kendall Square is becoming more of a residential area and he wanted the open space thought out and have the open space useable. He spoke about indoor play space in these buildings that can be used in the winter that is educational and recreational. Mr. Evans spoke about play space at Pork Chop Park and a winter garden. Councillor McGovern stated that the indoor component is important.
Councillor Simmons spoke about the 20% plus 5% housing. She spoke about the work done on inclusionary and she agreed with the 25%. She commented on a homeownership model. All the housing going on line now is rental. She wanted to include the homeownership component. On the retail - the grocery store - she asked can we have a grocery store and one that the landlord is willing to let in a grocery store that has a large enough square footage.
She commented on MIT, Volpe and CRA developing at the same time. She wanted the CRA to be more assertive in the overall conversation and that there be only one conversation. She spoke about development overload coming together at the same time. She stated that City Council has to discuss with CDD what type of ground floor retail the City Council wants in this area.
Councillor Mazen asked how we advance having a retail plan for the City and could an economic plan be incorporated into the plan? Councillor Carlone stated that the zoning could specify the uses. There could also be a city-wide ordinance. Mr. Roberts stated that CDD has a robust and active Economic Development retail staff and that works with retailers who would be more knowledgeable about this. He stated that there are two sides of the equation and retailers should be included in the equation. He suggested involving the types of retailers they are looking for and what conditions would allow the retail to be considered. Councillor Carlone commented that first local stated spaces of certain size should be specified so that it brings in small businesses. He stated that the bonus is an incentive. He agreed with Mr. Roberts that a select group should meet with CDD. Mr. Evans stated that the CRA is trying to pilot programs and put resources to programs and have had conversations with the Economic Development staff at CDD to see where the gaps are in retail and what the barriers to local retailers are. Councillor Carlone stated that the CRA can accomplish this. Councillor Mazen suggested that a meeting be held in January. Mr. Evans stated that the petition expires before the holiday. CRA can discuss this. Councillor Mazen stated that MXD and Volpe is a great area to try this.
Innovation space only activates the diversity of socio-economic innovators. He noted that innovative space is not for the low income companies. Cambridge needs to lead to earmark the 10% means test with the innovation space or to recruit innovators. He supported 20 % low-moderate housing plus 5% middle income housing. He wanted more.
Councillor Cheung agreed about the importance of local retail. He stated that there was 50% with MIT and he wanted to stay with this. Retail and the innovation space parallel each other. He wanted 25% affordable housing and wanted indoor space. He asked architecturally how could MXD better integrate with the Volpe site. He wanted more conversation. He supported meeting with CDD who is working with local entrepreneurs. It is important to get this right.
Councillor Carlone stated that the Volpe and northern portion of MXD could connect future lateral roads on either side of the Sixth Street; he hoped the CRA board will encourage this connection. Mr. Evans agreed that connectivity from Third Street to and beyond Sixth Street was important.
Councillor Carlone noted that the petition expires on Dec 22, 2015. He stated that meeting should be scheduled with CDD to discuss the retail aspect with the Economic Development Division of CDD.
Councillor Carlone explained that the modified language was referred to the petition.
Councillor Cheung moved that the modified petition be substituted for the original petition - and on a voice vote of four the motion - Carried.
Councillor McGovern stated that he wanted to see what it would take to get to the 20% low and moderate housing and he wanted to hear back from the CRA whether this is feasible. Ms. Born stated that the City Council can make amendments to the petition. She explained that the CRA cannot negotiate on the floor. All of the CRA deliberations have to be in open session with public notice in a transparent fashion. This response from the CRA is the last proposal that the CRA can offer to the City Council. Ms. Born further explained that the 15% floats with the inclusionary housing requirements of the zoning and if this is changed to 20% it will change to 20% for Kendall Square and will have the addition of 5% middle income.
Councillor Cheung stated that the petition may need to be refiled and he does not see how this can be advanced. He stated that this should remain in committee. He stated that there are still questions that many of the City Councillors have. He stated that the increase in the percentage for housing and the retail are substantive changes that require analysis. He does not see how this can happen before the expiration of the petition. He would prefer to keep this in committee. He stated that in regard of Ames Street housing block, he had asked Boston Properties (the largest land owner of the MXD) whether the 15% required affordable housing is actually a true 15%. Boston Properties did not take the City up on including an additional middle income housing component and did not build the affordable units.
Councillor Cheung moved that the matter remain in committee and the meetings as requested be held. No action was taken on the motion. Councillor McGovern asked what would be the impact to keep this matter in committee? Mr. Evans stated that the opportunity to discuss changes is tied to timing. The market is strong now and there is a sense of urgency. He stated that the CRA is trying to coordinate a number of things. He stated that refiling the petition may put the CRA in a less positive position
Ben Lavery, representing Boston Properties, stated that there is a focus on retail. He spoke on the Ames Street residential development, which is actively seeking a 12,000 retail opportunity which includes 4,000 square foot ground space and a second space of 8,000 square feet. Although the footprint is small, it will attract a pharmacy or small grocery store. He stated that building will be delivered in 2018 and it is not uncommon that the building be built before retail tenants are leased. Commitments are not done far out time-wise. He stated that the inclusionary housing unit count will be resolved. City officials are actively being engaged. He stated that there is flexibility by Boston Properties to resolve this in a manner that will work with their financial obligations and with the City's expectation on the project. He apologized to Councillor Cheung for the lack of communication. If the petition is refiled there may not be the same opportunities as they currently exist. He stated that an urban retail groceries have been executed by Boston Properties at the Prudential Center with Shaw's and will execute one at North Station with Star Market. In response to a question by Councillor Carlone, Mr. Lavery stated that the size of Shaw's is a full size grocery 40,000 square feet and the North Station site is slightly smaller at 25,000-30,000 square feet.
Councillor Mazen stated that he wanted to see negotiations done differently. He stated that the petition should be refiled. The existing petition is not what is wanted - more is needed on behalf of the developer. In good faith on the part of the City Council a meeting could be scheduled right after the refiling.
Councillor Cheung moved to keep the matter in committee and move quickly to have an Ordinance Committee hearing after it is refiled. No action was take on this motion.
Councillor McGovern asked is there really no way to have another Ordinance Committee hearing before Dec 22, 2015. The committee was informed that the matter needed to be reported out of committee and the petition needed to be passed to a second reading. This could be done on Dec 7th. The petition would be ready for ordination on Dec 21, 2015. If there is not agreement at this point the petition would not be acted upon and would need to be refiled. Councillor McGovern stated that he would like to see if the issues could be resolved without the petition expiring. Could another Ordinance hearing be held? The City Clerk stated that another hearing could be held on the matter between now and Dec 22, 2015. It is possible. Councillor Cheung stated that his goal is to negotiate the best outcome and keep the petition in committee.
Councillor Mazen asked if this could be held in committee and have an Ordinance Committee hearing before Dec 7, 2015, pass it to the full City Council at that time and report it to the City Council. Councillor Mazen stated that if the matter were forwarded to the full City Council tonight and if there are not substantive changes before Dec 7th it would not be passed to a second reading. Councillor Cheung stated that he wanted more conversation on this. He would not state how he would vote on this petition. He stated let us have the discussion in committee.
Councillor Mazen asked if it is possible to have another Ordinance Committee hearing on this petition before Dec 7th. The City Clerk suggested possible dates. Councillor Carlone stated that the issue is now whether the CRA can schedule a special meeting of their own in time. Mr. Evans stated that the CRA would hold a hearing earlier than the Ordinance Committee hearing.
Councillor Carlone moved that the subject matter be kept in committee and another Ordinance Committee hearing be scheduled for Dec 3, 2015 at 9:00am to receive additional information from the CRA for the next Ordinance Committee hearing as follows:
20% low-moderate housing, 5% middle income housing,
Innovation and retail space, and
A breakdown of the additional housing (requested by Councillor Cheung based on information requested by Councillor Toomey).
The motion to keep the matter in committee carried on a voice vote. Councillor Mazen appreciated the cooperation on this matter.
Councillor Carlone thanked all those present for their attendance.
The hearing adjourned at 7:55pm.
For the Committee,
Councillor Dennis J. Carlone, Co-Chair
Committee Report #5
The Ordinance Committee held a public hearing on Nov 19, 2015 beginning at 2:16pm in the Sullivan Chamber.
The purpose of the hearing was to discuss a petition filed by Patrick W. Barrett III, et al. to amend the Cambridge Zoning Ordinance by amending Article 2.000 ("Definitions") and Article 4.000, Section 4.22 ("Accessory Apartment"). (ATTACHMENT A).
Present at the hearing were Vice Mayor Dennis A. Benzan and Councillor Dennis J. Carlone, Co-Chairs of the Committee; Councillor Craig Kelley; Mayor David P. Maher; Councillor Marc C. McGovern; Councillor E. Denise Simmons; Councillor Timothy J. Toomey, Jr.; Jeff Roberts, Zoning and Land Use Planner, Community Development Department (CDD); and City Clerk Donna P. Lopez.
Also present were Patrick Barrett, 234 Broadway; Marilee Meyer, 10 Dana Street; Doug Brown, 35 Standish Street; Carol O'Hare, 172 Magazine Street; Dave Lewis, 58 Regent Street; Tony Madan; Pebble Gifford, 15 Hilliard Street; Amy Munsat, 71 Standish Street; Jan Lewis, 58 Regent Street; Jan Devereux, 255 Lakeview Avenue; James Williamson, 1000 Jackson Place; Wayne Bingham, Cedar Street; and Stephen Kaiser, 191 Hamilton Street.
Vice Mayor Benzan convened the hearing and explained the purpose and stated that the hearing is being audio and visually recorded.
The petitioner, Patrick Barrett, gave a presentation (ATTACHMENT B). He stated that the public process was limited and this petition came about after discussions with the community and his neighbors. He explained that this petition began two years ago. He stated that basement apartments are low hanging fruit. He stated that families are faced with difficult decisions of being over or under-housed. If the petition is adopted as written, housing units will be created. He stated that the current zoning has accessory housing. He stated that the City is constantly looking to increase housing. This is done by density. He stated that the Harvard Defense Fund submitted a similar petition previously. He stated that there is a significant housing for large houses. Opportunities across the City can be found to create accessory uses. A variance is currently required to do this. He stated that the Master Plan for the City and none of the studies will say less housing is needed. The Master Plan wants to preserve the neighborhoods. He had a list of amendments. He stated that the Planning Board had difficulty distinguishing two family houses to allow this. The two family caveat is eliminated. This may be something for the Master Plan to decide. The proposed changes are outlined in the maps (ATTACHMENT C-1 - C-3); the red are additional units; 1007 additional units will be created without changing the contextual, construction of what is existing. He stated that Part A and Part B effects both sides of the City. This amendment should be used as a tool. He discussed areas that were issues for the Planning Board. He did not want to create an administrative burden and he suggested eliminating the affidavit provision. The last portion refers to Part A. He stated that there is no long term effect on neighborhoods and parking which were concerns for residents and the Planning Board. The map shows where accessory units will be allowed. He eliminated the requirement for parking for accessory units because a special permit is required for parking. This purpose of this petition was to create homes and give flexibility to homeowners. This petition gives something to homeowners. He stated that a suggested amendment is that parking is added and could be eliminated by a special permit. He stated that Part B eliminates GFA space above six feet for a single or two family homes by as of right or special permit. He noted that many basements have illegal uses. He stated that the Building, Sanitary and Municipal Ordinance do not line up. He stated that under the Building Code currently in a single or two family home it allowed finishing off a basement at 6'8" or greater. Depending on the FAR a variance or special permit may be required. He is suggesting that for single and two family homes it is allowed. He is trying to create parity. He stated that in the Sanitary Code spaces that are 6'11" or lower are not livable or habitable. The Municipal Ordinance lines up with 6"11" GFA. He stated that eliminating height in basement units does not make sense. He stated that there are many units that are unknown by ISD or the Fire Department that are not up to code and are potential hazards. This creates underground units. He asked for allowance for people to use these spaces and bring them up to code. He stated that the biggest issue is flooding and there are areas in the City where this cannot be done, but this will still be an issue for a 6'11" basement. He included that this should be allowed in large commercial spaces. He stated that he owns the property where Toscanini’s is located and has used basement space for 30 years and now it is a kitchen. He noted that basement spaces are being used. He stated that if the City is looking to find creative ways to use space to rezone a large are to allow additional structure there is already existing basement space that can be used. He suggested in his amendment that the special permit provision be eliminated. He stated that there are open space, set back and height requirements that prevent building throughout the City. These will still control what is able to be used and Article 8 would still apply. This is a way to create parity for a proposal that has not received support over the years. He explained part B. He stated let us use this space, know where these spaces are, what they are being used for and tax the property. We are taking existing space and use it more effectively, preserve the neighborhood, and help families.
Jeff Roberts noted that the Planning Board heard this petition on Oct 27, 2015 and recommended that the petition needed further study. An advance copy of the Planning Board recommendation which will be on the agenda for the Nov 23rd City Council was distributed (ATTACHMENT D). Mr. Roberts stated that the Planning Board felt that there were some good points to the petition such as using the existing housing stock with more flexibility, but felt that there were aspect of the proposal that needed further study. Accessory units operate in a full set of zoning requirements and development controls and that the challenge be looked at in a comprehensive way and be considered in the city-wide process and establish goals and objectives.
Councillor McGovern asked if the amendments submitted last night to the City Council address the Planning Board concerns. Mr. Roberts stated that this is the first time he has seen proposed changes and cannot comment.
Vice Mayor Benzan opened public comment at 2:46pm.
Marilee Meyer, 10 Dana Street stated that she was lost in the details. Her impression is that the petition is a city-wide up-zoning for properties that may or may not be appropriate. The Planning Board stated that this is not ready for prime time and is not directed at affordable housing. Mid-Cambridge is the most dense neighborhood but Mr. Barrett is talking about West Cambridge. This is encouraging infill with some of these properties. She stated that parking, entries to the unit, windows and window wells, density, noise and regulations and utilities are concerns. She spoke about the requirement of the Historical Commission regarding foundations. She did not want the historical character of the neighborhood lost. This petition benefits the petitioner.
Doug Brown, 35 Standish Street, signed the petition and it is a valid way to get more housing. He agreed with the amendments proposed and limits unintended consequences. He stated people live in sub-standard spaces, have to follow the expensive variances or do the changes illegally. He stated that not every accessory unit will benefit or vice versa some additional living space may be sought and may be in a basement or attic. Regarding the historical significance these requirements and rules still apply; approval from Historical Commission is still required. He stated most houses are already over on the FAR and when all the requirements are added in not much is left. He supports this proposal and urged the City Council to pass it.
Carol O'Hare, 172 Magazine Street, stated that a major amendment has been proposed and reached the City Council last night and did not get circulated ahead of time. She stated that owner occupied amendment was amended from the original petition would be dropped. She objected to the initial owner occupied accessory apartment because there was no mechanism to ensure owner occupancy would continue if the house was sold. This should continue longer than the original owner occupancy provision. This amendment was not filed and due to this amendment being major this process needs to start over again. She submitted her comments (ATTACHMENT E). She spoke of the exclusion of the living space from the FAR for residential units that are not accessory units would apply to new and existing construction. The special permit process is not the place to rezone basement space throughout the city. There should be a uniform way to decide this in zoning. This amendment is right for the Master Planning process or the amendment should begin the process again.
Pebble Gifford 15 Hilliard Street, stated that she has an accessory apartment that was grandfathered. She stated that there are problems with this petition. She suggested that each zoning district should be reviewed as to how this would work. She stated that it is ill advised to rezone the entire City with a broad brush as this proposal does. She was involved in drafting the original accessory apartment ordinance in 1970. No changes could be made to the envelope of the building. Parking was a requirement and had to be owner occupied house and provide some income to fix the house. This has worked in a limited way. She stated that you need a separate means of egress which is expensive. She suggested looking at this in a district by district way and not city-wide. Low income housing should be addressed in the Master Plan. She stated that groups cannot be discriminated against such as a group of students living in these units.
Amy Munsat, 71 Standish Street, stated that she is an architectural designer. She stated that for over 25 years she has seen situations where people are struggling to stay in their homes. There is an existing housing stock and this is a way to allow flexibility to redesign their spaces that fits them at where they are in their lives. This addresses numerous issues including aging in place, addresses sustainability and livable space and adds income to families. She stated that so many people could take advantage of this.
Jan Devereux, 255 Lakeview Avenue, signed the petition last summer and agreed with the flexibility intent to owners to the existing housing stock. She stated that some of the amendments are acceptable. She stated that the additional 623 units is a limited impact because of the burden to create the separate egress and having the capital to do this. Only half of this number may actually benefit which is a small number of units. She added that the current accessory housing ordinance does not require that it be owner occupied.
James Williamson 1000 Jackson Place, spoke about flooding which is a significant issue. He suggested taking a look at where flooding would be a problem. Height may be an issue, unit size, livability and minimum square footage. He likes the theory of low and moderate income people being able to do something to remain in their homes. Protecting the affordability of the units is a conundrum. Neighborhood density and parking are issues. He stated that there are complexities with this. He agreed with the Planning Board on this.
At this time Councillor Carlone assumed the chair.
Stephen Kaiser, 191 Hamilton, a homeowner of a three decker since 1972. The discussion is for one or two family houses. He stated that if he paints his house he can have low rents. His primary concerns are flooding and basements. He stated that no study has been done by the proponent about the flood levels and storms. He agreed with the Planning Board recommendation. He stated that in July 2010 there was 4 inches of rain in 70 minutes. As a result the Public Works building and the Somerville Fire station were flooded. This is a practical concern and it is not addressed in the petition. He is more in opposition. He spoke about destabilization of neighborhoods. If this were passed it would result in high cost renovations and it would lead to high rents and Cambridge cannot lose low and moderate income housing. He stated that the proposal needs further study. He urged the City Council not to pass the proposal. He submitted his comments (ATTACHMENT F).
Wayne Bingham, Cedar Street, stated that there is construction on each side of his house and the children are being woken up at 7am. He asked why there must be development taking place on every square inch of land in Cambridge. He asked is the City pro-developer or pro-neighborhood. He stated that the neighborhoods are gone.
Tony Madan stated that this is a way to get affordable housing. He spoke about the rents charged for a basement apartment compared to a sunny upper floor apartment. This will be an incentive for landlords being property up to code.
Public comment closed at 3:27 pm on motion of Councillor Carlone.
Vice Mayor Benzan assumed the Chair and asked the pleasure of the City Council.
Councillor McGovern spoke about historical concerns and flooding issues will there be a process to approve what gets built. Mr. Barrett stated that this is to align the Building, Sanitary and Municipal Codes. All approvals will be needed in order to build. He stated single and two family houses can be renovated at 6'11" without a special permit. He stated that you want ISD inspectors to look at these units. He stated that some properties are not allowed to do this. He stated that basements could be renovated but not be accessory space. Councillor McGovern stated that height and density are issues. This is a way to create affordable units and a way to let family members, seniors and students stay in their homes. People who want to live close to their work want to live in the City. He wanted assurance that these units would be low income units. Mr. Barrett states that there is no owner occupied required in the accessory apartment. He stated that if you want to create accessory units for low income residents you can, but it is not his intention. He wants to create flexibility and more housing for everyone, not just affordable housing.
Councillor Carlone stated that the thrust of proposal makes sense. He suggested above garages as added living space. Scandinavian countries build in the attic and add elevators especially for the elderly. He stated that this would make sense in some instances and not in others. He spoke about using a French drain for moisture in basements. He stated that renovations needed could be expensive and this is where the rents may be affected. The premise makes sense. The Planning Board recommendation that this be part of the Master Plan makes sense and getting it right makes sense.
Mayor Maher stated the petition shows the creativity for housing and access to housing. He stated that basement overlay district was done last term along Mass. Avenue from the Cambridge Common to Porter Square. We are seeing what can be done in these apartments. Mr. Roberts outlined the projects that are ongoing. Mayor Maher stated that there is a provision about the flood zone that the Public Works Commissioner has to sign off if the units are in a flood zone. This has merit and he is grateful that this was brought forward. There is an opportunity to continue to look at this and have adapted the recommendation. Mr. Barrett stated that PART A and B are different. The accessory apartment part could be brought into the Master Plan process but the Part B does not need study by the Master Plan. He is talking about freedom and flexibility to use space in a safe, legal way.
Vice Mayor Benzan commended Mr. Barrett. How do we prevent a sell-off of single and two family homes? Mr. Barrett stated that the inclusion of two family structures complicates this proposal and he included two family units to create units. Mr. Barrett stated that in his original proposal he included ownership affidavit. The current ordinance does not require any chain of ownership.
Councillor Toomey moved that the matter be referred to the full City Council without recommendation. The motion carried on a voice vote of five members.
The following e-mail was received and made part of the report:
Communication from Carole Perrault stated that the petition is not ready for prime time and its impact on historical and architectural character of neighborhoods needs to be thoroughly understood (ATTACHMENT G).
Vice Mayor Benzan thanked all those present for their attendance.
The hearing adjourned at 3:52pm.
For the Committee,
Vice Mayor Dennis A. Benzan, Co-Chair
Committee Report #6
The Ordinance Committee held a public hearing on Dec 3, 2015 beginning at 9:04am in the Sullivan Chamber.
The purpose of the hearing was to continue discussion on the petition filed by the CRA to amend the Zoning Ordinance in the Kendall Square Urban Renewal Plan area (KSURP) and to amend the current zoning for the MXD District in Kendall Square to reflect the proposed changes to the Plan.
Present at the hearing were Councillor Dennis J. Carlone, Co-Chair of the Committee; Mayor David P. Maher; Councillor Nadeem A. Mazen; Councillor Marc C. McGovern; Councillor E. Denise Simmons; Iram Farooq, Assistant City Manager for Community Development Department (CDD); Jeff Roberts, Land Use and Zoning Project Planner, CDD; and City Clerk Donna P. Lopez.
Also present were Tom Evans, Executive Director, CRA; and CRA Board Members: Kathleen Born, Chair, D. Margaret Drury, Vice Chair, Barry Zevin, State Member; Benjamin C. Lavery and Mike Cantalupa, Boston Properties; Stephen Kaiser, 191 Hamilton Street; Heather Hoffman, 213 Hurley Street; and John Hawkinson, 2 Clinton Street.
Councillor Carlone convened the hearing and explained the purpose. He stated that the meeting is being audio and video recorded. He outlined the format of the hearing.
Tom Evans, Executive Director, CRA stated that last week SEIR certification was received from the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs that the KSURP adequately and properly complies with the MEPA regulations (ATTACHMENT A). This has allowed the CRA to advance the urban renewal plan. The letter lays out benefits and mitigation for the project. There is a focus on transit investment. This has been a discussion between the CRA, State and the City. There is a memo prepared by CRA transmitting further modification to the Kendall Square Urban Renewal Plan Amendment and the MXD Zoning petition (ATTACHMENT B). He stated that the three policy area discussed by the CRA were in the innovation space to lower the financial barriers for companies and individuals entering innovation space and to access the shared working environment; retail and marketing to fill up the space; and to evaluate options to expand the inclusionary housing and middle income housing component of the project. The memo contains parallel language for both the zoning and urban renew plan. Mr. Evans went into more detail on the three policy areas discussed by the CRA Board.
Innovation space. The GFA exemption was included. This would allow the exemption to expand to 20% of the overall commercial space but the requirement remains at 10%. In order to qualify for the innovation space to be exempt from the GFA at least 5% of the innovation space needs to be offered to the City and CRA to provide space for means testing individuals and companies. There are mechanism to figure out how to make this workforce development program work. CRA is committed to filing these spaces and resources will be provided by the CRA.
Retail planning. There are already conditions in the MXD zoning and Plan regarding retail. We are looking at retail that will activate the streets, that provides all the amenities and services that a neighborhood wants and provides economic opportunities for local businesses. The retail space needs to be managed for the project so a robust set of requirements has been added to the retail plan that will be part of the Infill Development Concept Plan. This would include marketing and target users of the space for independent retailers, grocery stores and pharmacies. This would be part of the original plan and then annually there will be an audit of the progress. A plan is set and we stick to the plan.
Affordable housing. When the numbers were reviewed for affordable housing levels and the landscape of other areas in the City the CRA brought this plan up to matches other areas in the City. The 17% inclusionary and 3% middle income from an earlier petition was matched by the CRA. The 3 bedroom requirement was added for 5% of the GFA dedicated to residential units. This is counted as unit area and the 5% is committed to 3 bedroom units for families with children. In the concept requirements in the MXD there is a specific housing program that looks at the distribution of units from an affordable, bedroom and tenancy aspect. In the permitted application the CRA would look at targets and would be monitored through the permitting process.
He spoke about the Urban Renewal Plan and the MXD. This aligns with the K2 plan which set goals to advance the evolution of Kendall Square and supports the innovation economy. This area needs to become a full service neighborhood which includes housing and retail. This is what the City has requested for the next steps for Kendall Square. He stated that there is an institutional interest for Kendall Square Urban Renewal Project for the CRA. Without the existence of federal, state or municipal funding for the CRA the current and future budget relies on land sales proceeds to move forward on projects. He stated that the CRA has plans to invest in Kendall Square. He explained that the real estate transaction that the CRA has with Boston Properties and other property owners in the area is the mechanism for the CRA for funding for their strategic planning. The key element for the CRA being the petitioner is for the future of Kendall Square and to be able to make strategic investments in Cambridge. There is a demand for what the CRA can do for the City.
Kathy Born, CRA Chair, stated that the CRA board views this Ordinance process as a positive aspect with the City Council. She stated that the CRA board has responded to the request of each City Councillor. She stated that the CRA board met on Dec 1, 2015 and considered the four areas discussed by Mr. Evans. This was a meaningful discussion. This process is unlike any other process in the City that she has ever participated in its thoroughness and openness.
Councillor Carlone spoke about the reconstituted organization of the CRA and its goal is to make Kendall Square a better area.
Jeff Roberts stated that the Planning Board recommended adoption of the petition and their report will be officially on the Agenda for Dec 7, 2015 (ATTACHMENT C). The Planning Board had a favorable view of the changes made to the petition dated Nov 4, 2015. This was responsive to comments made by the Planning Board. The proposal aligns with the K2 plan. The Planning Board did not see the changes just presented by the CRA but they do not contradict comments made by the Planning Board. The Planning Board acknowledged the efforts made by CRA board and staff to use their ability and powers as a unique organization within Cambridge to advance the City's goals for Kendall Square and work towards implementing a plan. Ms. Farooq stated that the Planning Board felt that the petition moved in a positive direction.
Mayor Maher questioned what the total square footage for the additional development is and the breakdown of housing, commercial and retail. Mr. Evans stated that the petition increases the GFA by 1 million square feet with 600,000 square feet commercial and 400,000 square feet residential. Mayor Maher what is retail generated by this. Mr. Evans responded 50,000 square feet in the EIR. Mayor Maher asked with the 400,000 square feet of residential how many units is this? Mr. Evans responded 520 units and later in the hearing corrected this to 560 units. Mayor Maher asked how important this is to the future of Biogen. Mr. Evans stated that Biogen wants to grow in Kendall Square. They see themselves growing by 10% over the next 10 years and want to have collaboration with the research scientist, drug production and manufacturing the product. He stated that Kendall Square has synergy. This is critical for them to grow in Kendall Square. He stated that it is important also to the Broad Institute to grow. Mayor Maher suggested exploring taking the garage down rather than building over the garage. Mr. Evans noted that this is prohibitively expensive and the development on the site would not be consistent with the urban design goals making up the cost. This is a fully subscribed operating garage serving Biogen and other clients in the area and the loss of the space and finding replacement parking it is unknown how this would be done. It was an eight digit figure.
Mayor Maher the fees generated by development within MXD that help fund what the CRA does - what will this allow the CRA to do going forward. Mr. Evans stated there is an existing formula that will be used for the new development this is around $15 million. These negotiations have not begun. He stated that the issues discussed in Kendall Square in the MXD include open space management, increased role in transportation, economic development programs, innovation, the Foundry and workforce development have been the issues discussed regarding CRA. He spoke about the CRA strategic plan and where there are unique opportunities. A micro-grant fund was created which will allow community to bring ideas to the CRA.
Councillor Simmons stated that the CRA Board has been cooperative because it is hard to understand all the development that is occurring in Kendall Square. She stated that the City is trying to keep pace with the need of affordable housing. Companies like Biogen bring people to Cambridge through their workforce who can afford high rents. She asked if the units are increased to 17% for low-moderate and 3% for middle income. Mr. Evans stated that in the allocation of inclusionary and middle income unit's preference for larger units could not be shown. If you have three studios versus 3 bedrooms it may be more valuable from the inclusionary objectives to use the square footage of the three bedrooms rather than the three studios. The demand for two and three bedrooms is high and hardest to meet so square footage is being used rather than the units. She stated that in the future the inclusionary housing she hopes will increase to 20%- 25%. Of the 560 units how many under the current proposal will be affordable low and moderate. Mr. Evans stated that the 560 units at 17% = 95 units with 17 middle income units. In the MXD this can go up if it goes up citywide. Councillor Simmons spoke about the need for affordable units. The city needs to establish a comprehensive retail plan. She spoke about ground floor retail being affordable. She wants ground floor retail in Kendall Square to be economically diverse as possible. She hopes that this petition goes forward to the City Council to amend the zoning.
Councillor Mazen thanked the CRA for the rapid turnaround of the work. He is excited to see the innovation space. He stated that the 5% innovation space set aside for below market rate is 5% of the 10% or is 5% of all the commercial space. It turns out that it is 5% of the 10%; this needs to be higher. He suggested that it be 25% of the 10% and could go up to 20%. He wanted to see a below market component in the retail. Retail is an economic development project in itself. He wanted new business fostered. How can the loop be closed. Mr. Evans noted that the innovation space the increase in the percentage can be worked on. Modification can be brought back to the CRA Board. He spoke about the right to first refusal. Language can be created. Councillor Mazen stated that Volpe and MXD is closer to the heart of a dense innovative Kendall Square. If there is more commercial in exchange for more community benefits and more fees for CRA. Mr. Evans stated that 25% can be worked on. The retail startup costs are a burden and the CRA has looked at supplementing this with partnership of the City. Councillor Mazen stated that there are a type of shops that have a minimal tenant improvement cost by have a need for training and inventory and to work with a below market tenant that does not have a large amount of cash would be important to work with. He suggested a loan or a grant. He spoke about a model for low income ground floor retail. Ms. Farooq added that this is important notion because the City programs are targeted toward equity. There is restriction as to where the funding can be used. The City's support for businesses in Kendall Square is limited.
Councillor Carlone stated that this is an increase in zoning of 1M square feet and this is an incentive. This approach is looking at urbanistic weaknesses in Kendall Square and using the square footage to heal portions of the square. Any additional request put forth will lower the price of land and development.
Councillor McGovern thanked the CRA for turning this around so quickly for what the City Council was requesting. He likes the statement that diversity will be reviewed for retail. What is in Kendall Square is geared to those who work in Kendall Square or can afford higher rents. What is defined as local retail? Mr. Evans stated this is an involving discussion in the land use planning field. The definition in the zoning is in the Mass + Main is defined as a retailer that has no more than 10 establishments. Councillor McGovern asked does the owner have to be a Massachusetts resident. Mr. Evans stated that zoning can control use and not the owner. Ms. Farooq stated that there are constraints to what can be controlled through zoning and are difficult to enforce. Councillor McGovern asked how local businesses are subsidized. He commented that sometimes chain stores are more affordable. How do you keep business local and affordable? He asked for the housing in phases and how will the housing come on board. Mr. Evans stated that zoning has a trigger that only 60% of commercial space can be accessed until a residential space is undertaken. The lease for the building on the corner expires in 2017 and will be available for vertical construction for housing. The final component will be commercial and housing together closer to the T area and will not occur for 10 years. The housing will be paced with the commercial with the open space being done as soon as possible. Councillor McGovern stated that sometimes incentives work. He wanted more requirements in place for the developer. Mr. Evans stated that it is a requirement to access the additional square footage. The incentive is that the commercial is capped until the residential is done. Ms. Farooq stated that this gets factored in when the master plan special permit is done. The Planning Board can include requirements. Councillor McGovern spoke about home ownership opportunities for middle income. Mr. Evans stated that this is dealt with in the special permit review process and will be written into the housing plan. This will be encouraged and monitored. He spoke about a hybrid building with a mix of rental and ownership. He explained the financing difficulty with this. Ms. Farooq stated that the Planning Board does not regulate tenancy. He stated that the 17% and 3% is an improvement. He will continue to request 20% and 5%. What will the financial impact be if all 3 bedrooms would be affordable? He wanted all 3 bedrooms affordable. He stated that it would be helpful for the community to see what the community benefits are. He would vote to refer this to the full City Council.
Mayor Maher spoke about home ownership opportunities. He stated that we have to think out of the box on this. This is not just as simple as zoning. The City has to have their housing priorities out front and home ownership is a priority. People are being driven out of the City because of the cost of housing. This proposal on its merit is good. He is prepared to move this forward. He would amend to have CDD provide language to increase housing to 20% and 5%. If Boston Properties takes the garage down the percentage will stay at 17% and 3 % and if not the percentage is 20% and 5%. This would create 140 affordable. Ms. Farooq stated that CDD will work with the CRA to bring revised language. Home ownership is difficult to do through zoning. She stated that the other approach rather than zoning is that there be a signed agreement.
Councillor Simmons stated that she supported the amendment offered by Mayor Maher. She spoke about a comprehensive housing plan which includes a provision for homeownership. She supported this going forward. This should be adopted before it expires.
Councillor Carlone stated that there are urban design and homeownership. He suggested have two lobbies so that one portion can be homeownership. The original 1970 plan for Kendall Square had a number of super blocks. He spoke about the integration of Volpe and Boston Properties is important and how can this happen. Mr. Evans stated that the Sixth Street walkway is owned by CRA and other areas are owned by Biogen and Boston Properties. He stated that the linkages have been put in. This is a goal written into the Urban Renewal Plan. This needs to be written into the special permit requirement. The CRA would support this. He hopes that the garage is integrated. Workforce he does not understand why this is not incorporated as part of the process. Ms. Farooq stated that the K2 study recommended that there is a $10 square foot with 1/3 for workforce development. She stated that the Workforce development Division of CDD works on this. Councillor Carlone stated that it is the responsible of the companies. He stated that retail adds value also. He stated that the size of local retail is important. He stated that there is a mechanism to subsidizing local small business through a lower tax rate but it is not used. If certain standards are met the lower tax rate could be used. He supported all that was heard today. He thanked CRA for their efforts to make Kendall Square a full service community. He stated that we are not talking about a true neighborhood yet.
Councillor Mazen stated that because of the good faith effort by Boston Properties and the CRA this petition will be moved to the full City Council.
Councillor Carlone moved that the revised petition submitted by CRA be substituted for the modified petition. The motion carried on a voice vote of five members.
Public comment began at 10:55am.
Heather Hoffman, 213 Hurley Street, spoke about housing that will make people want to stay in Cambridge - this is homeownership. What is being built is for rapid turnover and not for people to stay in Cambridge. What is wanted is people who are invested in the community. She stated that having housing that is affordable is also. She spoke about the noise in Kendall Square. She stated that the MXD is not governed by the regular noise ordinance; it is governed by its own noise regulation - it should be 100 feet out and then enforcement. Families are not going to want to live in a noisy place or a place with many bars. There are 10 units of affordable housing that could be utilized now but because of the disagreement in the zoning language they are not. She stated that if Boston Properties wants to trade off affordable units in the future for 10 units now she would support this.
Stephen Kaiser, 191 Hamilton Street, stated that the microphones work better without the projector on. He has been a supporter of this petition. He wanted to see housing in Kendall Square; this is crucial, but it is important to have transit for the addition 1 million square foot of development. He praised the CRA for their professionalism, openness and leadership. He would have supported Mayor Maher motion on taking down the garage if it were made earlier. He suggested that the Mayor submit this as a petition to amend the zoning in January with the new City Council.
Mike Cantalupa, Boston Properties, 90 Broadway, stated that from a planning process the proposal of CRA is an outgrowth of K2. This has been a well-run process. This is an infill development plan. Large companies in Kendall Square are interested in this plan passing. Biogen would like to move their Weston offices back to Cambridge. He spoke about the KSURP. He commented on the mention of the North garage coming down. There are above ground garages which are hidden with development. The Ames Street residential building will hide the garage. It has been planned to hide the North garage. He stated that taking this garage down has not been considered. Boston Properties funds retail tenants. He suggested less restrictions rather than more. He highlighted companies in Kendall Square. Regarding the 3 bedroom units, the current proposal is a percentage of FAR. He asked what the percentage could be for homeownership. He added that the incentive to build housing on Ames Street takes time. Councillor Carlone stated that housing goes in waves. There are instances where condominiums make sense when the market is right. He stated that this is in the design of the buildings. Mr. Cantalupa stated that the MXD is tapped out now and without this amendment moving forward there is no growth in the district.
John Hawkinson, 2 Clinton Street, stated that on page five the CRA in 14.36 should be read in concert with page nine of the Planning Board's recommendation because the language does not achieve what is desired. If the intention is to have 17% of floor area run with the percentage of affordable housing and if the City Council raised the affordable housing in the City it would raise in the district. The language creates a requirement for floor area in the MXD district without removing the 15-5% from the rest of the ordinance. The language requires both restraints which is not the intent. He requested that staff look at this. He stated that regarding homeownership the City Council should give the Planning Board discretion to negotiate in the special permit process what is an appropriate degree of homeownership. He stated that the criteria in the special permit process does not include homeownership as an option. He also spoke about the expiration of zoning petitions is not consistent with Chapter 40A. He stated that there is no requirement to refile zoning petition. He stated that the Dec 22, 2015 is artificial.
Public comment closed at 11:22am.
No action was taken on the motion to amend offered by Mayor Maher.
Councillor Carlone stated that the Planning Board recommendation formally submitted on Dec 7, 2015 be will be tied into the whole process and finding.
Councillor Carlone moved that the matter be referred to the full City Council without a recommendation - hearing no objections - the motion carried.
Councillor Carlone thanked all those present for their attendance.
The hearing adjourned at 11: 26am.
For the Committee,
Councillor Dennis J. Carlone, Co-Chair
Committee Report #7
The Ordinance Committee held a public hearing on Dec 1, 2015 beginning at 10:16am in the Sullivan Chamber.
The purpose of the hearing was to discuss the proposed Community Benefits Ordinance (ATTACHMENT A).
Present at the hearing were Councillor Dennis J. Carlone, Co-Chair of the Committee; Councillor Craig Kelley; Mayor David P. Maher; Councillor Nadeem A. Mazen; Councillor E. Denise Simmons; Lisa Peterson, Deputy City Manager; Nancy Glowa, City Solicitor; Ellen Semonoff, Assistant City Manager for Human Services; Ellen Kokinda, Assistant Planner, Community Development Department; Louis DePasquale, Assistant City Manager for Fiscal Affairs; Jeana Franconi, Budget Director; and City Clerk Donna P. Lopez.
Also present were Stephen Kaiser, 191 Hamilton Street; Elaine DeRosa, CEOC Executive Director; Jan Devereux, 255 Lakeview Avenue; Beyazmin Jimenez; Sarah Kennedy, Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, 859 Massachusetts Avenue; Courtney Trudell, Just-A-Start; Daniel Lander 74 R Fayerweather Street; and Lee Farris, 269 Norfolk Street.
Councillor Carlone convened the hearing and explained the purpose. He stated that the hearing is being privately recorded. He explained the format of the hearing.
Deputy City Manager Peterson spoke about the proposed ordinance as an important piece of the community benefits process. She introduced the city staff who worked on the community benefits proposal. She spoke about the framework being proposed on community benefits. The framework describes the establishment of the fund that the City Council established in August. There is a Finance Committee hearing scheduled for Dec 10, 2015 to discuss the funds and what is available. The framework was developed by city staff in collaboration with the Cambridge Nonprofit Coalition (CNPC). The comprehensive needs assessment has begun and she explained what the needs assessment goals are.
The City Council has a critical role in the process. The City Council will establish between 3-5 funding priorities based on the outcome of the needs assessment. This allocation may appear in the budget for community benefits in the future; it will not be in the next budget. She spoke about the governance process. The Ordinance establishes a community benefits advisory committee. The committee would recommend community benefits allocations to the City Manager. The staff will establish rules and regulations to be implemented. She reviewed the guiding principles for the community benefits funding. She noted that support and technical support will be provided by the City to non-profit providers in the application process. All this has been developed to be in compliance with the Anti-Aid amendment.
City Solicitor Glowa outlined the framework of the ordinance. The definition of community benefits is more extensive. The duties of the City Council, City Manager and the Community Benefits Advisory Committee are outlined as well as the length of terms for members. The committee will consist of 11 members with terms for 5 years and the initial terms will be staggered. She outlined the makeup of the committee. The members of the committee shall be classified as special municipal employees as outlined in Chapter 268A of the MGL. The ordinance shall take effect upon passage.
Councillor Carlone opened the hearing for questions from the City Council.
Councillor Simmons expressed concern about the composition of the committee. She spoke about the possibility of appointing an alternate to the committee in the event that members do not attend the meetings. She also suggested that a Vice-Chair or Co-Chair be also appointed. She thanked the community based organizations who have been involved in this process. City Solicitor Glowa responded that this is possible. She stated that 11 members will be appointed and 6 will represent a quorum and with numerous absences another appointment can be made by the City Manager. She would review the suggestions made by Councillor Simmons.
Councillor Mazen spoke about whether the constitution of the group will protect new innovators without affecting the existing nonprofits. Deputy City Manager Peterson spoke about the possibility of appointing a member of a nonprofit that is not part of the nonprofit group. He wanted greater inclusion for those nonprofits not included as yet. Deputy City Manager Peterson noted that this will work based on the needs of the community. Ms. Semonoff spoke about the City's desire for inclusiveness. The application process will be widely distributed so that they can be included for the funding. She spoke about the broad knowledge of opportunity for funding. City Solicitor Glowa spoke about the wide representation from the community on the committee.
Councillor Mazen stated that a resident dominated committee will also be most useful. He stated that committee members may come to a decision rapidly. He spoke about having a majority of members on the committee be from the community.
Councillor Kelley stated that the committee makeup looks fine. He asked is there any other committee make up model that can be reviewed. He stated that government must be dynamic. Ms. Peterson stated that the community benefits process being inclusive is important, and that is why the needs assessment is required. She stated that there are a few different committee models that make funding recommendations to the City Manager. There are committees comprised of residents and service providers that work effectively.
Councillor Simmons stated that a more robust volunteer force needs to be developed. She spoke about having insiders and outsiders on the committee. She wanted authentic members on the committee. She liked that the nonprofits could choose from amongst themselves. She wanted the committee to truly represent the community. She does not want an employee being on the committee because there may be bias. She wanted a neighborhood representative.
Councillor Carlone asked how state law limits the records being made public. Ms. Glowa stated that some financial records may not be public and this was a provision to remind those on the committee that generally the records are public.
Councillor Carlone opened public comment at 10:50am.
Stephen Kaiser, 191 Hamilton Street, spoke about this ordinance being in draft form and he supports this. The acoustics are better today in the Chamber. He stated that it should be a priority that what is said is heard. He stated that the definitions in the ordinance could use work. He stated that the community benefits is tied to a fund set up in the budget. He spoke about the limitation of the community benefits funding. He spoke about coordination, reason and fairness. He stated that the objectives are good, but there is a danger of anti-community. The emphasis should always be on community benefits for the common good. He noted a caution - nonprofits and organization receive funds and should not be overtaken by education reform. He was interested in transportation related funds. Any contribution the City can make to improve transit is important. The funds can also be used for planning purposes.
Elaine DeRosa, 4 Pleasant Place, CEOC Executive Director, explained the context of the establishment of this process. She spoke about the elimination of funding for nonprofits. She stated that for the nonprofits the community benefits proposal was seen as a way to preserve nonprofits' help for low-income residents of the City. This is a community benefit. A needs assessment has not been completed in Cambridge for a long time. The assessment does build the proper framework for the City and the true needs of the community. Regarding the voice of the community -- nonprofits work hard to bring the community voice to the City Council. She spoke about the diversity of residents who rely on the nonprofits to voice their needs and concerns. The nonprofits in Cambridge want to do more and better serve the populations they serve. The nonprofits are excited about this proposed ordinance.
Lee Farris, 269 Norfolk Street, was happy that we are talking about spending the community benefits funds. She spoke about her concerns concerning the composition of the committee. She spoke about city employees being on committees representing the City. She supported the suggestion that the committee have a majority of community residents, not city employees or nonprofits. She suggested a youth, an elder and a public housing resident. She spoke about the Participation Budget process. She suggested funding from community benefits to be used through the Participatory Budget process for staffing. She suggested public voting on proposals and ideas. She suggested that the needs assessment be updated periodically. She commented on funding generated from Kendall Square development being citywide or for the immediate neighborhoods affected. Should nonprofits on committee refrain from approving funding for their agencies?
Jan Devereux. 255 Lakeview Avenue, spoke about the inclusiveness of the committee. She stated that the terms should be shorter and not have automatic reappointments. Why is there only one public meeting and whether there will be additional public meetings to engage the public in the process? She agreed about updating the needs assessment periodically
Councillor Carlone closed public comment closed at 11:10am.
Councillor Carlone opened the hearing for City Council discussions and comments.
Councillor Simmons stated that in 2.127.070 C. she wanted an alternate appointment. She wanted a co-chair or vice-chair model. She stated that this ordinance came out of a community process. She spoke about the importance of the benefits being for the most affected areas. How can mitigation be worked in? She stated that the size of the committee could be increased. She wanted a senior citizen voice, and youthful voice on the committee. She suggested shortening the term or having term limits; this should be reviewed. She stated that there is no mention of the financials in the ordinance - there is no reference to where the funds are coming from. What does the community benefits process relate to?
Councillor Kelley stated that he had no problem with the ordinance as written. He wanted ex officio clarified. Ms. Glowa stated the ordinance could read City Manager or his or her designee. Councillor Kelley preferred this wording. Councillor Kelley stated that this was created because of nonprofit requests from big development projects and this was to take out some of the randomness of the process. He stated that the communication around these decisions will be crucial.
Ms. Peterson stated that the goal is to have the City Council develop the fund. The framework outlines the funding objections and priorities. If these need to be in the ordinance this could be included in the ordinance. She explained that all members of boards and commissions need to have ethics training and voting could be recused.
Councillor Mazen wanted principles in the ordinance, but not funding priorities because they shift. He spoke about the alignment and funding process. He would prefer a majority resident voice. He wanted more residents involved in an effort to not create a negative voice. This needs improvement.
Councillor Kelley stated that he wanted to understand the complexities of keeping the boards and commissions properly staffed and trained. He requested an explanation from the administration on this.
Councillor Carlone stated that the effort is wonderful and serves the greater public needs. He spoke about representing a broader base. He spoke about numerous committee makeups that include consultants, city employees and staff. This is an issue.
He asked how often the needs assessment will it updated. Ms. Semonoff stated that it is not included in the ordinance; but would be done 3-5 years to ensure that the City Council goals are included or reaffirmed. Councillor Carlone stated that this should be included in the final draft. He noted that the City Council goals have not fundamentally changed over the years. He was concerned with only one annual committee meeting. He suggested a working committee. Ms. Peterson noted that this committee's meeting would be posted and would be open to the public. The annual meeting would make recommendations. Councillor Carlone spoke about the most affected neighborhoods where the need is greater in these areas. He suggested strengthening the connection here. For physical needs, such as traffic or a park, will the developer be responsible and the City included. Ms. Peterson stated that the City can ask for mitigation for construction projects. Developers are doing infrastructure improvements themselves. Ms. Peterson commented that the community benefits is a contract for services. Community benefits funds were not seen as coming back to the City. Councillor Carlone commented that this is a great effort and the comments presented should be incorporated into the draft.
Ms. Peterson stated the committee could be comprised of 13 members. Before ordination the ordinance could be amended.
Councillor Kelley stated that these are systematic changes such as appointments and annual meetings, communication and inclusiveness.
Councillor Simmons stated that a broader look at boards and commissions is needed. She moved that the matter be referred to the full City Council. Councillor Kelley moved to amend Councillor Simmons' motion to refer the matter with a favorable recommendation. Councillor Carlone commented that responses are expected on the issues raised.
Councillor Mazen stated that he preferred that recommendations should not be given by City Council until more work is done. He suggested that the recommendation be without a favorable recommendation. Councillor Kelley stated that he believes that the proposed ordinance is as good as it gets. Councillor Simmons stated that she would support referring the matter to the full City Council.
At this time the committee took action on the motion made by Councillor Kelley to refer the matter to the full City Council as is with a favorable recommendation. A roll call vote was taken on the matter and resulted as follows:
YEAS: Councillor Kelley and Mayor Maher - 2
NAYS: Councillors Carlone, Mazen and Simmons - 3
the motion - Failed.
The committee now proceeded to the motion by Councillor Mazen that the matter be referred to the full City Council without a recommendation. A roll call vote was taken on the matter and resulted as follows:
YEAS: Councillors Carlone, Kelley, Mazen and Simmons and Mayor Maher - 5
NAYS: None - 0
and the motion - Carried.
Councillor Carlone thanked all those present for their attendance.
The hearing adjourned at 11:49am on motion of Councillor Carlone.
For the Committee,
Councillor Dennis J. Carlone, Co-Chair
AWAITING REPORT LIST
14-29. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on what options exist for dedicated office space for members of the City Council.
Councillor Simmons, Councillor Cheung & Councillor Carlone 04/28/14 (O-5)
14-51. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the potential for creating a program to enable bilingual high school students to learn language interpretation skills and to practice those skills at community meetings and events throughout the City.
Councillor Carlone, Councillor Mazen, Councillor McGovern & Councillor Cheung 06/02/14 (O-5)
14-57. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on drafting an ordinance that would limit the sale of single-serving PET bottles of 1 liter or less and develop a task force to provide clear guidelines for this ordinance.
Councillor Cheung, Councillor Simmons, Councillor Mazen & Vice Mayor Benzan 06/09/14 (O-3)
14-79. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the feasibility of implementing a Neighborhood Captain Program.
Councillor Simmons & Vice Mayor Benzan 07/28/14 (O-11)
14-111. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the feasibility of hosting a Cambridge Challenge Competition for Transportation that offers a prize to the resident or group of residents that come up with the best viable solution to solve our greatest traffic issues.
Vice Mayor Benzan, Councillor Carlone, Councillor McGovern & Councillor Mazen 10/20/14 (O-16)
14-113. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the feasibility of reducing the minimum income requirement under the Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance for single person households made up of a senior and/or disabled resident and provide any challenges associated with the proposed reduction.
Vice Mayor Benzan, Councillor McGovern, Councillor Simmons & Councillor Carlone 10/20/14 (O-19)
14-119. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on review of drone use in Cambridge for developing a City regulation or Ordinance on such use.
Councillor Kelley, Councillor Cheung & Councillor Mazen 10/27/14 (O-5)
14-127. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on best way to implement PaperHealth in Massachusetts Area Hospitals.
Councillor Mazen 10/27/14 (O-15)
14-135. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the legal limitation of the City to regulate all manner of vehicular traffic within Cambridge borders, including loading and unloading zones, truck and bus timing regulations.
Councillor Kelley 11/10/14 (O-6)
14-137. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the feasibility of posting speed limit signs of 20-25 miles per hour on city streets.
Councillor Carlone 11/24/14 (O-2)
14-147. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on ways to streamline both the City's process and the City's technology for replying to Massachusetts Public Records Law requests and to examine how major cities' open data and FOIA requests are handled, including options for a full time data management team including representatives of the City Clerk's office, the City Solicitor's office, and IT.
Councillor Mazen 11/24/14 (O-13)
15-02. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the feasibility of taking Vail Court lot by eminent domain.
Vice Mayor Benzan 01/05/15 (O-3)
15-08. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on working with applicable boards and commissions to assist them in clarifying yearly goals and initiatives, to provide increased administrative oversight and accountability where necessary, and where possible, discuss ways to increase resident involvement.
Councillor Mazen 02/20/15 (O-15)
15-15. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on with language that could create a Grand Junction Overlay District that would help to create incentives and ensure the completion of the Grand Junction Multiuse Path.
Councillor Toomey 02/23/15 (O-24)
15-16. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on determining the feasibility of executing the recommendations of the STEAM Working Group.
Councillor Mazen, Vice Mayor Benzan, Councillor Carlone & Councillor McGovern 02/23/15 (O-25)
15-20. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the results from the PSI pilot and coordinate with the legal department to report back to the City Council on whether aspects of the ordinance could be safely adopted with specific attention to disposal of unwanted phone books.
Councillor Cheung 02/20/15 (O-34)
15-28. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on studying emerging business types and how they are affected by the Zoning Ordinance; evaluate ways to facilitate home-based businesses; and report on the status of the Table of Use work.
Councillor McGovern, Mayor Maher & Vice Mayor Benzan 09/22/14 (O-5)
15-32. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the analysis that has been done on financial conditions that apply to new development in Central Square, including the report by economic consultant Sarah Woodworth.
Councillor Carlone, Councillor Kelley & Councillor Mazen 03/30/15 (O-9)
15-33. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on parking needs and availability in Central Square including the possibility of adding additional levels to the Green Street garage.
Councillor Simmons, Vice Mayor Benzan & Councillor Carlone 03/30/15 (O-12)
15-34. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on inventorying a small set of innovative urban planning researcher at local universities and bring these resources into Cambridge's planning discussions.
Councillor Mazen 03/30/15 (O-14)
15-35. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on how best to develop partnerships with local universities developing software and other resources related to city planning.
Vice Mayor Benzan 03/30/15 (O-15)
15-36. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on determining what types of traffic, parking, and other citations the city has legal jurisdiction over and to confer with the appropriate city departments to institute a day-fine policy in Cambridge.
Councillor Mazen 04/13/15 (O-2)
15-38. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the feasibility of implementing "smart" parking solutions in the City of Cambridge, including: multi-spot meters, demand based price structuring, solar powered meters, RFID payment, floating car share vehicle spots as Boston is pursuing, pay by phone, meters that accept credit/debit or rechargeable parking card, and smart phone application integration.
Councillor Cheung 04/13/15 (O-4)
15-40. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on responding to the International Town-Gown Association's Town-Gown Relations Survey.
Councillor Cheung 04/13/15 (O-6)
15-45. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on existing capacity to address excessive noise complaints; analyze noise complaint trends; create a noise map of existing industrial noise that impact residential areas; and provide noise measurement and enforcement capabilities and responsibilities including 24/7 noise response capacity.
Councillor Kelley & Councillor McGovern 04/27/15 (O-7)
15-49. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on progress being made at the former Tokyo Restaurant site.
Councillor McGovern, Mayor Maher & Councillor Cheung 04/27/15 (O-13)
15-58. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on traffic impacts and school enrollment impacts due to new development in the Alewife area.
Councillor Kelley, Councillor Cheung & Councillor McGovern 06/01/15 (O-1)
15-61. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on suggested changes to Cambridge's policy regarding advertising revenue that could help support the continuation and expansion of Hubway.
Councillor Toomey 06/15/15 (O-5)
15-62. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the feasibility of permitting cyclists to advance simultaneously with the pedestrian "walk" signal and on piloting bicycle-specific signal faces at the Cambridge-Hampshire Streets intersection.
Councillor Mazen 06/15/15 (O-7)
15-65. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on signing the White House and Small Business Administration's "Startup in a Day" pledge and on the next steps the Council needs to take to successfully see the City adhere to the pledge.
Councillor Cheung 06/22/15 (O-3)
15-66. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the feasibility of the City getting involved with the President's TechHire initiative.
Councillor Cheung 06/22/15 (O-4)
15-67. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the possibilities to install ADA compliant sidewalks, create protected bike lanes, and consider additional features to improve the safety of young students and all other users in the area from the north side of Huron Avenue between Fresh Pond Parkway and Aberdeen Avenue, between Aberdeen Avenue and Glacken Field, or between Glacken Field and the Russell Youth & Community Center.
Councillor Mazen 06/22/15 (O-6)
15-70. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on reaching out to Easton Coach, Peter Pan, and Brush Hill Tours to relay the concerns raised regarding tour buses operating on restricted streets and to determine what actions should be taken against these companies and to determine how to enhance efforts to prevent tour buses from parking in multiple metered spaces in Harvard Square.
Councillor Simmons, Councillor McGovern, Councillor Cheung & Councillor Toomey 08/10/15 (O-3)
15-71. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on compiling a report of the housing and financial assistance options the City and its community partners offer to seniors living on fixed incomes in order to help them remain housed in their current units and to estimate how many seniors on fixed incomes are in danger of being priced out of their units in the coming half-decade.
Councillor Simmons 08/10/15 (O-4)
15-72. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on what kinds of incentives could be provided to landlords who choose to refrain from increasing the rents on their tenants.
Councillor Simmons 08/10/15 (O-7)
15-73. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the diversity of direct reports to the City Manager and steps taken to reflect Cambridge's diversity in his hiring practices, specifically in management positions, during his term.
Councillor Cheung & Councillor Simmons 08/10/15 (O-8)
15-74. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on implementing an affordable municipal identification card program for the City of Cambridge.
Councillor Cheung & Vice Mayor Benzan 08/10/15 (O-9)
15-76. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on a design, fund and implement an ongoing airplane noise management program in the current budget year.
Councillor Kelley & Councillor Cheung 08/10/15 (O-12)
15-78. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on developing and implementing a plan that would address the issues with tour bus parking.
Councillor Kelley & Councillor Cheung 08/10/15 (O-14)
15-80. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the possibility of expanding Ahern Field.
Councillor Toomey 08/10/15 (O-17)
15-83. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on an update for plans for the creation of the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) coordinating office, including any financial pledges from the City to implement the STEAM working groups recommendations.
Vice Mayor Benzan, Councillor Cheung & Councillor Mazen 08/10/15 (O-22)
15-84. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on any legal protections the City can enact, either through Ordinance, Home Rule Petition or additional avenues, to protect tenants from dramatic rent increases and/or unfair evictions.
Councillor Simmons & Councillor McGovern 08/10/15 (O-26)
15-87. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on developing and implementing both short and long term solutions to the paths from Rindge Avenue and behind the Russell Field that converge at the western end of the Russell Field House and proceed toward the back entrance/exit to the Alewife T Station.
Councillor Mazen 09/21/15 (O-3)
15-88. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on safety, trash issues and infrastructure concerns in Central Square.
Vice Mayor Benzan & Councillor McGovern 09/21/15 (O-6)
15-89. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on zoning and building potential along Cambridge Street and Gore Street between Second and Third Streets.
Councillor Toomey 09/21/15 (O-8)
15-90. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on installing a four-way stop sign at the intersection of Fifth & Otis Streets.
Councillor Toomey 09/21/15 (O-10)
15-93. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the possibility of creating a new part-time dog park steward for each Cambridge dog park.
Councillor Kelley 09/21/15 (O-19)
15-94. Report from the City Manager: See Mgr #9
RE: report on the feasibility of creating an electronic list containing the number of parking stickers issued to each development in the past ten (10) years should be made publicly available, to include, if possible, any demographic information that would help inform car ownership discussions such as age of the car owners.
Councillor Kelley, Vice Mayor Benzan, Councillor Mazen & Councillor McGovern 09/21/15 (O-21)
15-95. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on implementing a program so that Cambridge's various public notifications for events such as BZA or Planning Board meetings are legibly printed and convey useful information in a similar manner as those used in Somerville.
Councillor Kelley & Councillor Carlone 09/21/15 (O-25)
15-97. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on emulating the public art program begun in Japan that transforms sewer covers into original artwork.
Councillor Toomey 09/21/15 (O-28)
15-98. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on determining whether after-hours staff is needed in the Animal Commission.
Councillor Simmons 09/21/15 (O-29)
15-102. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on ascertaining how many refugee families Cambridge could reasonably offer asylum to, including the provision of basic necessities of life.
Councillor Mazen 09/21/15 (O-36)
15-103. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on initiating communications with the City of Boston and Waze to determine Cambridge's eligibility as a part of the pilot program to monitor traffic patterns in real time and respond to deviations in expected patterns - and whether Cambridge can join the Boston pilot if a new Cambridge only pilot is infeasible.
Councillor Mazen 09/21/15 (O-38)
15-104. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on developing a plan that incorporates local artists and designers in the process of beautification of civic infrastructure, on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis.
Councillor Mazen 09/21/15 (O-40)
15-106. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the next steps necessary to working with league presidents to strengthen the regulation on concussions within their jurisdiction and expanding education on concussion to a broader group.
Councillor Cheung 09/21/15 (O-42)
15-108. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on ways to make the crosswalk from Charles Park to the entrance of the Galleria safer to pedestrians, and to improve the line of sight for drivers and cyclists and to evaluate whether the location of the Super Tour bus kiosk and station is appropriate considering the high volume of traffic on the road and hazard to pedestrians.
Councillor Kelley & Councillor Toomey 09/28/15 (O-1)
15-109. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on finding a collaborative solution to the specific problem of increased air traffic from 33L RNAV, including sharing the cost of an independent noise impact report in the current budget year.
Councillor Kelley 09/28/15 (O-4)
15-110. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on investigating the feasibility of installing meters that accept modern payment solutions: including credit and debit cards, rechargeable parking cards, and smart phone application payment.
Councillor Cheung 09/28/15 (O-6)
15-111. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on to drafting an ordinance extending Cambridge's big bank retail storefront limitations to the rest of Porter, Harvard, Central, and Kendall Square.
Councillor Cheung 09/28/15 (O-7)
15-114. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on drafting an Ordinance to ensure the discontinuation of the use of neonicotinoid pesticides in Cambridge.
Councillor Mazen 09/28/15 (O-11)
15-115. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the ability to increase funding for affordable housing in a manner which would not adversely impact real estate taxes on existing housing units or cause a shift in taxes from commercial, industrial and personal property taxes to the residential class and given the limitation upon the tax classification, any recommendation must not jeopardize the current tax distribution by shifting a greater burden on the residential taxpayers which would result in making existing housing less affordable for current residents.
Councillor McGovern, Councillor Simmons, Vice Mayor Benzan & Councillor Kelley 09/28/15 (O-13)
15-116. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the feasibility of installing signs ordering motorists to slow down when approaching the intersection of Fayerweather Street and Concord Avenue and to determine whether other additional measures to increase vehicular safety in this area should be implemented.
Councillor Simmons 09/28/15 (O-16)
15-117. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the feasibility of allowing employees to opt in to a program that would see a percentage of their mandatory retirement deduction instead be directed towards payment of student loans.
Councillor Cheung 10/19/15 (O-1)
15-118. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on expanding the hose distribution program indefinitely for all new trees planted in sidewalk wells or behind sidewalks and explore establishing a credit to be applied to the water bills of participants, not to exceed $50 per year.
Councillor Kelley, Vice Mayor Benzan, Councillor Cheung & Councillor McGovern 10/19/15 (O-3)
15-119. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the feasibility of a redesign contest of Carl Barron Plaza.
Vice Mayor Benzan 10/19/15 (O-4)
15-120. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the planning work done thus far on the Alewife bridge/platform project and to review the next steps the City can take to see the bridge constructed.
Councillor Cheung 10/19/15 (O-9)
15-121. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the feasibility of extending the 15% discount to condominium accounts where a meter serves one or more units and where all owners are seniors who pay their own water bills into the water and sewer discount program.
Councillor Cheung 10/19/15 (O-10)
15-122. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the progress of contract negotiations with the Police and Fire Unions.
Councillor Cheung, Councillor McGovern & Councillor Simmons 10/19/15 (O-12)
15-124. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the feasibility of installing a walk signal at the intersection of Putnam Avenue and Western Avenue.
Councillor Simmons 10/19/15 (O-14)
15-125. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the feasibility of installing a speed bump on River Street in order to slow down cars racing over the bridge as they enter Cambridge.
Councillor McGovern 10/19/15 (O-16)
15-126. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on conferring with appropriate shuttle operators about operating smaller shuttle service vehicles during off-peak hours.
Councillor Toomey 10/19/15 (O-17)
15-127. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on assessing all the catch basins along Cambridge Street to be certain vents and traps are functioning correctly and determine if any need to be replaced or repaired and consider long-term fixes to the foul odor issues.
Councillor Toomey 10/19/15 (O-19)
15-128. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on whether pedestrian safety can be improved at problematic intersection by incorporating illuminated pedestrian crossing signs similar to recently installed signage in the Union Square area of Somerville.
Councillor Toomey 10/19/15 (O-22)
15-129. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on current enforcement of Section 5.20.020 of the Public Transportation Ordinance and what potential obstacles there are to enforcement.
Councillor McGovern 10/19/15 (O-30)
15-130. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on whether more resources are needed to maintain the tree canopy, such as the need for an additional water truck and whether mulch and watering cans can be made available to residents for use in tree wells to keep down the weeds and addressing other issues and ideas raised at the Health & Environment hearing held on Sept 16, 2015.
Councillor Cheung 10/19/15 (O-31)
15-131. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on addressing the concerns related to motorists ignoring traffic signs and signals at the intersection of Sherman Street and Rindge Avenue and Raymond and Walden Streets.
Councillor Simmons 11/02/15 (O-2)
15-132. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on address the safety concerns in Harvard Square to determine what measures should be taken to increase pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicular safety.
Councillor Simmons 11/02/15 (O-3)
15-133. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on investigating the feasibility of installing solar panels on suitable City-owned rooftops.
Councillor Cheung 11/02/15 (O-4)
15-134. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the feasibility of establishing an online database of "problematic landlords."
Councillor Simmons 11/02/15 (O-5)
15-135. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report to evaluate traffic calming methods to prevent motorists from making long turns in the Speedway lot.
Councillor Kelley 11/02/15 (O-6)
15-136. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on ways to improve the safety of pedestrians at the intersection of Fresh Pond Parkway and Brattle Street.
Mayor Maher 11/02/15 (O-7)
15-137. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on what specific efforts are made to purchase goods and services from locally-owned, Cambridge-based businesses.
Councillor Simmons, Vice Mayor Benzan & Councillor Cheung 11/02/15 (O-10)
15-138. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on implementing a comprehensive housing plan as part of an early action item of the pending citywide planning process.
Councillor Carlone, Councillor Mazen & Councillor Simmons 11/23/15 (O-1)
15-139. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on including in the Master Plan and Alewife Study a plan for relocating the DPW facilities.
Councillor Toomey 11/23/15 (O-7)
15-140. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the feasibility of the Police Station becoming a Safe Trade Station.
Councillor Cheung 11/23/15 (O-13)
15-141. Report from the City Manager:
RE: report on the feasibility of allocating housing and in-kind human services resources for Syrian refugees.
Councillor Mazen 11/23/15 (O-15)