Cambridge InsideOut - January 3, 2017
1) Civic Infrastructure - Revisited
2) Candidate Slates? - what might we expect in 2017
3) 2017 Candidates
4) "Unfinished Business" - Revisited
5) Cambridge Civic/Political Review 2016 (in case we missed anything last week)
6) Civic Calendar
Civic Infrastructure (from Dec 1, 2015)
Civic landscape today dominated by single-issue advocacy and neighborhood groups that often do not represent their neighborhoods. Common pattern is that some dominant characters eventually drive out other participants rendering the group a narrow agenda-driven entity. Some groups (PSNA, Agassiz-Baldwin) generally have a better focus such as (a) children (Agassiz), or (b) cooperation with the local business community (PSNA).
Groups like the Cambridge Residents Alliance are dominated by zoning and, arguably, efforts to slow or stop new development - residential or commercial/office/lab. The Fresh Pond Residents Alliance is of this type (in addition to serving as a launching point for a City Council candidacy).
For the Cambridge Schools there are also advocacy groups (Special Ed and others), but not necessarily a general forum for broader discussion.
June 7, 2009 - Once upon a time there was a civic organization in Cambridge known as the Cambridge Civic Association (CCA). It was formed in 1945 out of several organizations that had been existed through the 1930s and that had lobbied the state legislature to create the Plan E Charter option (1938) which featured a city manager form of government and proportional representation elections for city council and school committee. These reforms were central to model charter reform movements active in the United States from the early 1900s. The central theme of the CCA in its early days was "good government" in the sense of being anti-patronage and for professionally managed local government. This changed with the introduction of rent control at the end of the 1960s after which the CCA shifted leftward and became permanently lashed to the mast of the rent control vessel. Though the CCA still exists on paper (I believe), it rapidly declined after the statewide abolition of rent control (late 1994) and essentially disappeared a decade later (early 2005).
I bring up the ghost of the CCA today only to point out that when it was created it had some very admirable goals. Here's the original Mission Statement of the CCA:
Purposes: This association is formed for the following purposes:
- 1. To promote businesslike, honest, and efficient conduct of local government, open to public scrutiny.
- 2. To induce residents to take an active interest in the affairs of the City of Cambridge.
- 3. To encourage and support the candidacy of men and women seeking election to public office and to support intelligent, wholesome leadership in public affairs.
- 4. To assure that the best qualified persons are appointed to positions in the City government after consideration of all qualified candidates.
- 5. To promote among the citizens of Cambridge equitable distribution and benefit of public services and equal opportunity for economic security, education, and social advancement.
- Possible additions:
6. To foster an environment of mutual cooperation between local business districts and the neighborhoods they serve.
These are pretty good founding principles for a civic organization.
One founding principle of the CCA that fell into disuse over the years is listed above as #3: To encourage and support the candidacy of men and women seeking election to public office and to support intelligent, wholesome leadership in public affairs. Indeed, I can personally testify to the fact that in its dying years the only reason the CCA made endorsements at all was because the CCA-endorsed incumbents wanted the benefit of having an advertised CCA slate of candidates that would help secure their reelection. There was precious little effort to recruit new candidates or to support them. Today, the benefits of incumbency are greater than ever. The cost of political campaigns have become absurdly high and most of the incumbents now have (City paid) staff who are inevitably political appointees who directly or indirectly assist in the reelection efforts of their bosses. The deck is increasingly stacked against challengers. Furthermore, the salary and benefits for elected councillors are now so sweet that it is unlikely that any of them would ever want to move on to another job.
The Advent of PR in Cambridge - by David Goode
What Slates are Not (from Dec 1, 2015)
Tom Stohlman recently wrote up his version of an explanation of how PR voting works. His illustrations involved cups being filled with water. The representation was a good one, but he completely mischaracterized the role of slates among actual voters. Tom's belief seems to be that most voters identify themselves with one of the various slates in the same way that they might identify as either Democrat, Republican, or other party. Though there are certainly some voters that have such a Black & White view of things, there really isn't much evidence to support that point of view. What seems far more apparent is that voters still are focusing on individual candidates and then appreciate the "advice" that one or more slates seem to provide - even if imperfectly.
The far more dominant factor in this election was that some voters who might previously voted for Leland Cheung chose this time to vote for somebody else - in part due to lack of a campaign, in part due to a concerted effort by Mazen and others to draw those votes away, and in part because of some unpopular stands taken by Cheung, e.g. the 1,000 foot Volpe tower.
A Kelley voter may have been influenced by the advice to vote for other Unity Slate candidates, but there is no natural grouping of some of the Unity Slate candidates other than the political convenience of their having worked cooperatively over the current City Council term. Similarly, a typical Toomey #1 voter might see David Maher as a likely #2 choice, but beyond that the Slate is more like casual advice. A Mazen voter most likely doesn't identify all that much with other candidates beyond perhaps Mariko Davidson. Carlone/Devereux voters might be more inclined to identify with (a portion of) the CRA Slate, but the same certainly cannot be said of most Cambridge voters.
Perhaps Slates may take on more of a distinct identity in future municipal elections, but they were primarily utilitarian this year.
That said, the electorate is changing and the way political association is carried out in future years will have to take this into account.
In terms of candidates, we could really use something analogous to the Farm System of Minor League Baseball.
“Unfinished Business” (from Jan 5, 2016)
I – Housing
II – Citywide Master Plan
III – STEAM/STEM
IV – Bans, Ordinances, and changes in City services
V – Mass & Main
VI – Foundry Building
VII – Volpe Site – Zoning and Possible Uses
VII – The “Sharing Economy”
IX – Miscellaneous other Cambridge-style initiatives that may happen or go nowhere
X – Civic Unity – Race, class, and the never-ending conflicts between different groups, neighborhoods, etc.
Possible City Council and School Committee candidates for 2017 (with age at time of election)
|City Council Candidate||Birthdate||Age||address||Notes|
|Timothy J. Toomey||6/7/1953||64||88 6th St., 02141||incumbent, first elected in 1989, some speculation that he may not seek reelection|
|E. Denise Simmons||10/2/1951||66||188 Harvard St. #4B, 02139||incumbent, first elected in 2001|
|Craig Kelley||9/18/1962||55||6 Saint Gerard Terr. #2, 02140||incumbent, first elected in 2005|
|Leland Cheung||2/11/1978||39||157 Garden St., 02138||incumbent, first elected in 2009|
|Dennis Carlone||5/7/1947||70||9 Washington St. #6, 02140||incumbent, first elected in 2013|
|Marc McGovern||12/21/1968||48||15 Pleasant St., 02139||incumbent, first elected in 2013|
|Nadeem Mazen||9/20/1983||34||720 Mass. Ave. #4, 02139||incumbent, first elected in 2013|
|Jan Devereux||5/13/1959||58||255 Lakeview Ave., 02138||incumbent, first elected in 2015|
|Quinton Zondervan||9/15/1970||47||235 Cardinal Madeiros Ave., 02141||privately announced, registered with OCPF|
|Alanna Marie Mallon||12/6/1970||46||3 Maple Ave., 02139||not yet announced, but registered with OCPF|
|Ronald Benjamin||1/5/1971||46||172 Cushing St., 02138||announced, registered with OCPF|
|Vatsady Sivongxay||2/20/1982||35||59 Kirkland St. #2, 02138||not yet announced, but registered with OCPF|
|Olivia D'Ambrosio||9/13/1983||34||270 3rd Street #305, 02142||not yet announced, but registered with OCPF|
|Theodora Marie Skeadas||8/16/1990||27||988 Memorial Drive #185, 02138||not yet announced, but registered with OCPF|
|Sam Gebru||11/20/1991||25||812 Memorial Dr., 02139||announced, registered with OCPF|
|Dennis Benzan||1/25/1972||45||1 Pine St., 02139||served 2014-15, speculated that he'll seek reelection, but may choose to remain in private sector|
|James Williamson||1/13/1951||66||1000 Jackson Pl., 02140||perennial candidate|
|Gary Mello||5/24/1953||64||324 Franklin St. #2, 02139||ran several times|
|Greg Moree||6/16/1957||60||25 Fairfield St. #4, 02140||perennial candidate|
|Ilan Levy||11/1/1967||50||148 Spring St. 02141||ran in 2015, seems to be planning to do it again|
|Andrew King||4/17/1986||31||40 Essex St., 02139||conflicting reports on whether or not a candidate|
|Romaine Waite||6/7/1991||26||60 Lawn St. #5, 02138||not announced, but may try again|
|School Committee Candidate||Birthdate||Age||address||Notes|
|Fred Fantini||6/8/1949||68||4 Canal Park #203, 02141||incumbent, first elected in 1981|
|Richard Harding||10/16/1972||45||189 Windsor St. #1, 02139||incumbent, first elected in 2001|
|Patty Nolan||8/28/1957||60||184 Huron Ave., 02138||incumbent, first elected in 2005|
|Kathleen Kelly||3/8/1960||57||17 Marie Ave. #1, 02139||incumbent, first elected in 2013|
|Emily Dexter||3/16/1957||60||9 Fenno St., 02138||incumbent, first elected in 2015|
|Mannika Bowman||11/27/1979||37||134 Reed St., 02140||incumbent, first elected in 2015|
|Will MacArthur||5/24/1998||19||18 Shea Rd., 02140||definitely running for School Committee|
Dec 31 - There are others who are likely to be candidates but who have not yet chosen to be identified as such. Please let me know of other candidates. Not all of the individuals listed above may wish to be identified as candidates, and I will be more than happy to remove those names (unless I am absolutely certain they will be running!). Anyone who has filed papers with OCPF (Office of Campaign & Political Finance) is assumed to be running for City Council. - RW
Jan 1, 2017 - It's interesting to occasionally look at the traffic numbers for my civic websites - especially the distinctive spikes that occur every two years around the time of the municipal election. In addition to the legitimate views, there is definitely some annoying Spam in the mix. I more aggressively filtered this starting in late 2014 (hence the dip), but even with the filters the traffic continues to grow. It does seem a bit curious that the hits are growing so far in advance of the 2017 municipal election. Perhaps there's more Spam to beat back, or maybe there's a high likelihood that this will be a very busy municipal election year. - RW
Cambridge Civic/Political Review 2016
May 7 - Moving Day at MIT celebrating the 100th Anniversary of MIT's move from Boston across the river to Cambridge
June 4 - Cambridge River Festival along Cambridge Parkway and Lechmere Canal.
Aug 25 - The 2016 Oldtime Baseball Game at St. Peter's Field on Sherman St. in North Cambridge
March 12 - Under the guidance of Coach Lance Dottin, Cambridge defeated Lowell by a score of 54-38 to win the Division 1 North Championship.
March 14 - At the Boston Garden, the Falcons won over Catholic Memorial in the semifinals by a score of 77-73.
March 19 - In Springfield, Cambridge defeated St. John's by a score of 66-51 to win the Division 1 State Championship.
Retirements and Appointments (just a few significant ones of many):
Police Commissioner Robert Haas retired and Police Superintendent Christopher J. Burke was appointed as Acting Police Commissioner, effective May 8, 2016.
Retirement of Terry Dumas, Director of the Planning and Development Department for over 25 years and as a staff member for a total of 33 years at the Cambridge Housing Authority.
On July 1, CPS welcomed Dr. Kenneth Salim as the new Superintendent of Schools succeeding Jeffrey Young.
Appointments by the City Council:
Mar 11 - Announcement by Richard Rossi that he would not seek a contract extension as City Manager.
Nov 14 - Oath of Office for Louis DePasquale as Cambridge City Manager
Deaths (only a few of the significant passings this year):
Mar 28 - Death of Election Commissioner Peter Sheinfeld.
April 14 - Death of Suzanne Schell Pearce.
June 25 - Murder of Anthony Clay on Harvard Street
In the wider world, let's take special note of the passing of musicians David Bowie (Jan 10), Glenn Frey (Jan 17), Paul Kantner (Jan 28), Keith Emerson (Mar 11), Prince (Apr 21), Leonard Cohen (Nov 10), Leon Russell (Nov 13), and Greg Lake (Dec 7).
Politics and Elections:
Inauguration of City Council and School Committee
One new city councillor: Jan Devereux
Election of the Mayor (Denise Simmons) and Vice Mayor (Marc McGovern)
Two new School Committee members: Manikka Bowman and Emily Dexter
Election of School Committee Vice Chair (Fred Fantini)
March 1 Presidential Primary (Super Tuesday)
September State Primary: Connolly defeats Toomey; Jehlen defeats Cheung
November 8 - Election of "He Who Shall Not Be Named" as President
Initiative Petition on Lifting of Cap on Charter School Defeated
Initiative Petition on Legalizing Recreational Marijuana Narrowly Wins
David Maher selected as next President & CEO of Cambridge Chamber of Commerce
Day-to-Day Stuff and Around Town:
The Plastic Bag Ban went into effect on March 31.
Sept 19 - DPW Commissioner Owen O'Riordan reported on issues relating to the implementation of the Polystyrene Ordinance.
October - Harvard dining hall workers strike over wages, benefits (Cambridge Chronicle, by Amy Saltzman)
Cambridge and much of eastern Massachusetts suffered a severe drought that required Cambridge to purchase water from the MBTA so that the Cambridge reservoirs would not fall below critical levels. [October 31 Committee Report].
Dec 14 - Participatory Budgeting Results Announced
|Early Voting Location||Oct 24||Oct 25||Oct 26||Oct 27||Oct 28||Oct 29||Oct 31||Nov 1||Nov 2||Nov 3||Nov 4||Total|
|Main Library (449 Broadway)||619||396||465||262||289||688||483||376||624||436||848||5486|
|Election Commission (51 Inman St.)||576||399||465||304||304||401||532||399||571||455||564||4970|
|O'Neill Library (Rindge Ave.)||387||208||302||171||207||373||273||216||395||279||478||3289|
|Water Department (at Fresh Pond)||368||207||218||131||157||429||233||216||348||254||474||3035|
|Police Department (East Cambridge)||290||186||225||93||104||263||251||205||349||260||508||2734|
June 13 - City Council Order asking to explore voter reward options for municipal elections.
June 20 - City Council Order to hold hearings of the Neighborhood & Long Term Planning, Public Facilities, Arts & Celebration, and the Government Operations committee to discuss different models for campaign finance reform and publicly-funded municipal elections in Cambridge.
Nov 7 - City Council Order asking opinion of City Solicitor on the possibility of allowing non-citizen Cambridge residents to vote in municipal elections without a home-rule petition. [This Order was subsequently amended to actually send such a Home Rule Petition to the State Legislature without holding any hearings or debate on the proposal.]
Civics and Government:
Envision Cambridge continues: Workshops, Outreach, Appointment of Advisory Committees, Committee Meetings, Updates
Charter School Roundtable and Ballot Question [Divide widens on Question 2 in Cambridge (Cambridge Chronicle, by Natalie Handy)]
Mar 21 - The City Council adopted the Complete Streets Policy and Council Order.
Mar 21 - The City Council adopted a Policy Order committing Vision Zero, a set of goals of eliminating transportation fatalities and serious injuries.
Apr 25 - City Council Order requested information on the feasibility of waiving the motor vehicle excise tax for electric vehicles.
Apr 25 - City Council Order asking if any progress has been made on the willingness of the City of Cambridge (and local developers) to contribute to a successful Green Line Extension.
May 9 - City Manager Richard Rossi communicates to City Council that City intends to commit $25 million toward successful completion of the Green Line Extension (GLX) Project. Somerville will commit $50 million and Medford will also commit funds.
May 31 - Waverly Path Project Opening Celebration
June 9 - Grand Opening of the first phase (Main Street to Broadway along Galileo Galilei Way) of the Grand Junction Pathway.
June 20 - Communication from Richard C. Rossi regarding the acquisition of two parcels of the Watertown Branch railroad from B&M Corporation for the purpose of creating a future multi-use path and greenway.
June 22 - City presentation of possible reconfigurations for Inman Square roadways
June 27 - City Council Order regarding feasibility of the City of Cambridge filing its own home rule petition to reduce local speed limits (as Boston was then also seeking to do).
Sept 12 - City Council Order prematurely call for declaring all residential zones in Cambridge to be “Safety Zones” with 20mph speed limits and all office and business zones reduced to 25mph. [Council adopted state's enabling legislation two months later and set citywide 25mph speed limit.]
Sept 12 - City Council Order asking City Solicitor and other relevant City departments to report back to the City Council on next steps on how to go about lowering our speed limits as well as the timeline for these actions.
Sept 12 - City Council Order seeking to increase the parking permit fee and consider other changes to towards reducing vehicle miles traveled and promoting alternative forms of transportation.
Sept 26 - City Manager Richard Rossi conveys City's Agreement with MassDOT and MBTA regarding funding contribution agreement for Green Line Extension Project.
Oct 17 - City Council Order seeking to form a Vision Zero Working Group comprised of staff from the relevant City departments and residents to collaboratively develop and review traffic safety plans, street designs, public education initiatives, traffic enforcement and related policies with the shared goal of eliminating crashes that result in serious injuries and deaths as quickly as possible.
Oct 17 - City Council Order seeking to restrict the routes of travel and delivery hours of oversized trucks on City streets.
Nov 7 - City Council adopts Chapter 218 of the Acts of 2016, “An Act Modernizing Municipal Finance and Government”, Sections 193 and 194 giving municipalities the authority to reduce speed limits on all ways other than state highways.
Dec 8 - Speed Limit on City-Owned Streets Reduced to 25mph
City of Cambridge implements component of Vision Zero Initiative
Bicycle Specific Blitz of No-Process Orders:
Sept 12 - City Council Order asking for hearing of Transportation and Public Utilities Committee to discuss how City staff review use of bike infrastructure to determine what works, what does not work and what could be improved and to specifically discuss the possibility of making the Western Avenue cycle track a two-direction bike facility.
Oct 17 - City Council Order seeking information from Community Development Department and the Cambridge Police Commissioner on specific recommendations and measures the City should consider in order to prevent future bicycle accidents and fatalities from occurring, and to make our streets safer for bicyclists, motorists, and pedestrians.
Oct 17 - City Council Order calling for pilot system of flex-post separated bike lanes and intersections, along Massachusetts Avenue, Hampshire Street, and Cambridge Street.
Oct 17 - City Council Order to schedule hearing of Neighborhood and Long Term Planning, Public Facilities, Arts and Celebrations Committee to discuss the possibility of adding a bike-bus lane to Pearl Street and any measures that can be taken to accommodate on-street parking preferences of residents.
Oct 17 - City Council Order asking to include separated bicycle facilities or adjacent off-street paths in any plans for reconstructing all or part of Massachusetts Avenue.
Oct 17 - City Council Order seeking a pilot program of segregated bike lanes on Massachusetts Avenue between Cedar Street and Harvard Square; on Cambridge Street between Inman Square and Quincy Street; and on Broadway between Prospect Street and Quincy Street.
Oct 17 - City Council Order asking for segregated bike lanes on both sides of Huron Avenue for the full length of its reconstruction.
Nov 7 - City Council Order seeking a deadline of Nov 1, 2017 for fully implementing the various street improvements and safety measures for increasing bicycle safety that were passed during the Oct 17, 2016 meeting.
Jan 11 - Ordination of Barrett Petition to modify zoning relating to Accessory Apartments and Basement Space
Apr 11 - Inclusionary Housing Study followed by many hearings of the City Council's Housing Committee
[Aug 11 Committee Reports: Report #1, Report #11, Report #12]
The proposals are now before the Ordinance Committee with action expected in early 2017.
Multiple Medical Marijuana Dispensaries filed zoning petitions for favorable sites.
The City Council is currently attempting to address this by alter the allowed uses in certain business zones.
Aug 1 - City Council Order seeking update on the status of the Classification of Commercial Land Use and Recommendations Study.
Sept 12 - The Classification of Commercial Land Use and Recommendations study is reported to the City Council
This may play a significant role in 2017 if the City Council chooses (as is expected) to update the "Table of Uses" for the various business zones in the city.
The series of marijuana dispensary zoning matters plus the recent initiative petition regarding recreation marijuana and potential retail stores may necessitate this discussion.
Aug 1 - Committee Report of the Neighborhood and Long Term Planning, Public Facilities, Arts and Celebration Committee on topic of possible formation of a special working group tasked with developing a framework for the continued stewardship, curatorship and oversight of the Out of Town News Kiosk in Harvard Square.
Sept 12 - City Council Order asking Historical Commission to produce a new status report that reviews the Harvard Square Conservation District’s effectiveness since 2005, and that considers whether new zoning regulations may be necessary to fulfill the community’s goals.
Oct 17 - Committee Report of the Neighborhood and Long Term Planning, Public Facilities, Arts and Celebration Committee on the redesign of the Out of Town News Kiosk.
The year ended with significant activism regarding the future of Harvard Square and specifically the plans for the Abbot Building (Curious George) and neighboring buildings recently purchased with plans for significant alterations. The status of some major vacant spaces, esp. the Harvard Square Cinema, have also been central to this discussion.
Dec 19 - Ordinance Committee Report on zoning petition submitted by Nabil Sater, et al to amend the Zoning Ordinances in the Central Square Overlay District, Section 20.300 (a.k.a. - the Central Square Restoration Petition). This petition received unanimous approval by the Planning Board at its initial hearing.
Kendall Square and Nearby:
Sept 12 - Notification from City Manager of approval of the Kendall Square Foundry Development Partners as the development entity for the Foundry.
This was followed by irate reaction from at least one city councillor. [Councilor calls Foundry process egregious; city manager says project not finalized (Cambridge Chronicle, by Adam Sennott)]
The latest word is that the entire process is being restarted.
Oct 3 - As part of the City's continuing effort to plan for the future redevelopment of the Volpe National Transportation Research Center site in Kendall Square, the City Manager has appointed a "Volpe Working Group" consisting of residents of the surrounding neighborhoods - East Cambridge, the Port, and Wellington-Harrington - along with representatives of the Kendall Square business community and other community stakeholders.
Nov 15 - MIT tapped to redevelop Volpe Center in Cambridge (Boston Globe)
The Dec 3, 2016 fire in the Harrington/Wellington/East Cambridge neighborhoods caused significant damage to six buildings, and fire or water damage to at least five others.
Initial estimates were that there were 48 displaced families, representing 104 individuals, registered with the Red Cross of Massachusetts.
The public can donate to the Mayor’s Fire Relief Fund online at www.cambridgema.gov/firefund or by sending a check to:
Mayor’s Fire Relief Fund
Cambridge City Hall
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
By all accounts, the City, many relief agencies, and a tremendous number of individuals really stepped up to the plate to assist others in the wake of this catastrophic event.
Other City Council Initiatives:
June 13 - City Council Order asking that the Mayor convene a Task Force charged with establishing recommendations for the City Council on what the ideal minimum wage in Cambridge should be, and how to best implement this increase without creating unintended consequences in Cambridge or elsewhere.
There were various hearings and other meetings on the recommendations from the Outdoor Lighting Task Force (and related proposals for zoning changes) that address the potential detrimental impact of outdoor lighting and propose solutions that diminish existing problems and address problems that may be created by new development. [Report][Proposed Ordinance]. The Task Force was appointed Dec 2, 2013 and was originally expected to complete its report and draft Ordinance by Spring 2014. It took a lot longer than that with many different iterations of the proposed Ordinance.
June 20 - City Council Order calling for a joint hearing of the Public Safety and Housing Committees for the purpose of gathering testimony from stakeholders in the City regarding the impact of short-term rentals on our communities with a view in mind to draft an ordinance that meets the goals outlined above, and to refer that proposed ordinance to the Ordinance Committee at the appropriate time.
Councillor Kelley's June 20 Communication on "Short-Term Rentals in Cambridge: An Overview of Current Usage and Patterns as well as Policy Recommendations".
Aug 1 - Committee Report of Public Safety Committee and Housing Committee on the presence and impact of short-term rental units (Airbnb, FlipKey, VRBO, etc.) in Cambridge.
Broadband Task Force:
Sept 26 - Broadband Task Force recommendations and Tilson Report.
One estimate is that it would cost $187 million dollars to build such a network with no guarantee that customers would leave Comcast or another Internet service provider in favor of such a new network.
June 13 - City Manager's recommendation that the City Council approve an Order to take the property at 859 Massachusetts Avenue by eminent domain at a cost of $1,363,875. (This would be a friendly taking from the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce.)
June 20 - City Council approves this taking and related expenditure. City Manager Richard Rossi explained at the meeting that the facilities study as well as the $5 million renovation cost will cover three buildings - the newly acquired 859 Mass. Ave. building as well as 831 Mass. Ave. (the Lombardi Building) and 3 Bigelow St. (currently used for transitional housing). It is anticipated that 859 Mass. Ave. will be used for housing and 3 Bigelow St. will be converted to municipal uses and possibly joined to an expanded 831 Mass. Ave.
Sept 26 - After multiple City Council Orders calling for the City to take the long-derelict Vail Court property on Bishop Allen Drive, the City Manager brought in a recommendation and plan to take Vail Court by eminent domain. This was approved by the City Council, and the cost is now being challenged by the previous property owners.
3:00pm The City Council's Ordinance Committee will conduct an additional public hearing to amend the Zoning Ordinance on the petition of the City Council to delete the existing Section 20.700 – Medical Marijuana Overlay Districts; create a new Section 11.800 – Medical Marijuana; and list Registered Marijuana Dispensary within Section 4.35 of the Table of Use Regulations, allowed only by Planning Board Special Permit within Business A, B, B-1, B-2, C, Industry A-1, B-1 and B-2 districts. This hearing to be televised. (Sullivan Chamber)
7:00pm Planning Board meeting (2nd Floor Meeting Room, City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway)
1. Update from the Community Development Department
2. Adoption of Planning Board meeting transcripts
7:00pm 47 Bishop Allen Drive, Special Permit for construction of 23 residential units pursuant to Sections 4.26 Multifamily, 2.304.4 Waiver of Setback Requirements, 20.304.6 and 6.35 Reduction of the Parking Requirement, 6.22.2 off site accessory parking within 400 feet, 10.40 special permit and 19.20 Project Review. Watermark Central Venture LLC is the applicant. This public hearing was opened on November 15, 2016 and continued without any presentation or public comment.
8:00pm Medical Marijuana Zoning Petition by the City Council to delete the existing Section 20.700 Medical Marijuana Overlay Districts; create a new Section 11.800 Medical Marijuana and list Registered Marijuana Dispensary with Section 4.35 of the Table of Use regulations, allowed only Planning Board Special Permit within business A, Business B, Business B-1, Business B-2, Business C, Industry A-1, Industry B-1, and Industry B-2 districts. This public hearing was opened on November 1, 2016.
3. 55 Regent Street extension request for the decision and filing of the special permit decision.
4. Discovery Park Subdivision Plan approval as required in the Planning Board PB #198 Master Plan.
5. Board of Zoning Appeal Cases
a. BZA010210-2016 – 40 Whittemore Avenue, Special Permit to upgrade existing telecommunications equipment. Sections 4.32.G.1 and 4.40 footnotes
b. BZA011991-2016 237 Hampshire Street, Sign Variance to install signs above the second story windows.
6. Election of the Planning Board chair (the current Chair is Ted Cohen).
3:00pm The City Council's Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing on a petition by the City Council to amend provisions of the Zoning Ordinance related to Inclusionary Housing, including the insertion of new definitions into Article 2.000 and the substitution of revised zoning text for the current text of Sections 11.200 through 11.206. This hearing to be televised. (Sullivan Chamber)
6:00pm Central Square Advisory Committee meeting (344 Broadway, 4th floor meeting room)
*Case: 907 Main Street
Applicant: Patrick W. Barrett, III
Proposal: The proposed project is located at the corner of Main and Columbia Streets and would be a renovation of the existing building to 58 sleeping rooms on the upper three floors, retail first floor consisting of two of the existing tenants and a hotel lobby and bar and a fifth floor addition to contain a bar. The proposal requires a Planning Board Special Permit to exempt Gross Floor Area for basement space and to waive the Parking and Loading requirements pursuant to Section 20.304.6(2).
*Central Square Restoration Zoning Petition
*Discussion of the proposed Stormwater Retention Tank system in Central Square and the Port.
*Discussion of the public toilet
5:30pm City Council meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
6:00-8:00pm School Committee Curriculum and Achievement Sub-Committee meeting (Attles Meeting Room, CRLS, 459 Broadway)
The Curriculum and Achievement Sub-Committee will meet for the purpose of discussing the proposed FY2018 model for 9th grade English and History.
Wed, Jan 11
3:00pm The City Council's Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss a proposed Municipal Code amendment to Chapter 2.125 to change the name to “Cambridge Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Plus Commission.” (Sullivan Chamber)
Thurs, Jan 12
2:30pm The City Council's Economic Development and University Relations Committee will conduct a public hearing to review City Ordinance 12.08.010 Encroachments onto streets – Permit required – Fee – Exceptions to discuss the City’s policies towards permitting sandwich board and A-frame Signs, and what improvements can be made. (Ackermann Room)
5:30pm City Council meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
5:30pm The City Council's Finance Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the FY18 Operating and Capital Budget. (Sullivan Chamber)
5:30pm City Council meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
5:30pm The City Council's Finance Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the FY18 School Department Budget. (Sullivan Chamber)
5:30pm City Council meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
5:30pm City Council meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
5:30pm City Council meeting (Sullivan Chamber)