Cambridge InsideOut - July 2, 2019

Robert and JudyPossible Topics:

1) Candidate Updates - 2019 municipal election
Which potential 2019 City Council election campaign accounts have been active?
Rumored New Candidates
Nomination Papers available starting Monday, July 1
New Civic Organization - Cambridge Citizens Coalition (CCC)

2) Overlay at the Planning Board & Ordinance Committee

3) The Courthouse Saga
Courthouse and First Street Garage - and Rep. Connolly

4) Tales from the Open Archives and Car Talk Plaza

5) The Joys of Homeownership

6) Public financing of municipal elections?

7) Anxiously Waiting for Summer Recess - and Nomination Papers - June 24 City Council
State Flag (again); Cannabis - Picking Winners; Arts Task Force Report and Gripe Session; Restricting Rooftop Mechanicals;Vacant Storefronts

8) Infrastructure and the Lack Thereof

9) Looking Back at 30 Years of Cambridge Recycling
May 20, 2004 Presentation - 15 Years
History of Cambridge Recycling - the first dozen years

10) A few more words on the "Overlay" proposal - now officially a zoning petition

11) On the horizon – rent control proposed at State House (H.1316) and HD.1100

12) Books on Cambridge history

13) The Paper of Record - Selections from the Cambridge Chronicle

14) Civic Calendar
Upcoming meetings on Overlay proposal, public financing for municipal election campaigns

2019 Municipal Election: Nomination Papers

Vote!Nomination papers for City Council and School Committee will be available beginning Monday, July 1st at the Election Commission office, 51 Inman Street, Cambridge. The office will be open on Monday, July 1st from 8:30am until 8:00pm. The deadline to file nomination papers is Wednesday, July 31st at 5:00pm. The 2019 Municipal Election Calendar is posted on the Commission’s website:
[Also on the Cambridge Candidate Pages]

The requirements to run for City Council or School Committee are:

1. The person must be a registered voter in Cambridge. To register, one must be 18 years of age by Election Day, a U.S. citizen and a resident in the City of Cambridge.

2. The person must file no fewer than fifty (50) and no more than one hundred (100) certifiable signatures of registered voters in the City of Cambridge.

The Commission has prepared an information kit for candidates containing important dates, Commission policies, services and publications. The kits will be available with the nomination papers on July 1st.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 5, 2019.

List of Candidates who have pulled nomination papers

City Council: Nolan, McNary, Williams, Pascual-Navarro, Toner, Siddiqui, Zondervan, McGovern, Musgrave, Akiba, Kelley, Acevedo, Desir, Azeem, Kopon, Simmons, Mallon

School Committee: Wilson, Fantini, Dawson, Kelly, Lim

June 11, 2019 - Patty Nolan has announced her candidacy for Cambridge City Council.

June 11, 2019 - New City Council candidates emerging (originally posted May 7)

Eight incumbents (assuming nobody else exits) are likely to seek reelection and will be joined by a number of challengers. Here's the list so far:

City Council Challengers
Name Address Birth Year Notes
Adriane Musgrave 48 Haskell St., 02140 1985 ran in 2017, pulled papers July 1
Charles Franklin 162 Hampshire St. #1R, 02139 1992 filed March 5
Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler 19 Trowbridge St #6, 02138 1992 filed March 11
Nicola Williams 8 Brewer St. #5, 02138 1963 filed March 12, pulled papers July 1
Ben Simon 67 Bishop Allen Dr. #2, 02139 1984 filed April 2
Burhan Azeem 471 Memorial Drive, 02139 (MIT) 1997 filed May 7, pulled papers July 1
Gregg J. Moree 25 Fairfield St., 02140 1957 declared June 11, ran in 2017
Patty Nolan 184 Huron Ave., 02138 1957 declared June 11, pulled papers July 1
Jeffery McNary 116 Norfolk St., 02139 1948 pulled papers July 1
Jamake Pascual-Navarro 10 Laurel St. #5, 02139 1976 pulled papers July 1
Paul Toner 24 Newman St., 02140 1966 pulled papers July 1
Sukia Akiba 343 Walden St. --- pulled papers July 1
Hector Acevedo - not actually running 125 Portland St. #4, 02141 1986 pulled papers July 1 but will NOT be a candidate
Deonna Desir 14 Corcoran Lane #4, 02138 1985 pulled papers July 1
Derek Andrew Kopon 8 Wright St. #2, 02138 1980 pulled papers July 1

Several other candidates who ran in 2017 may run again in 2019. They'll be added as confirmed.

Nomination papers will be available from the Cambridge Election Commission beginning Monday, July 1.

Candidates must submit a minimum of 50 valid signatures no later than Wednesday, July 31 at 5:00pm.

Candidates may not submit more than 100 signatures.

Cambridge Candidate Pages (updated as new candidates are identified)

2019 Cambridge City Council Campaign Bank Reports
You can sort the table by any field or open the full spreadsheet which will be frequently updated.

School Committee Challengers
Name Address Birth Year Notes
Ayesha Wilson 15 Concord Ave., 02138 1982 pulled papers July 1
Bernette J. Dawson 71 Oxford St. #8, 02138 1982 pulled papers July 1
Christopher Lim 48 Pleasant St, 02139 1975 pulled papers July 2


July 2, 2019 - Investigation into June 2016 Fatal Bike Collision in Cambridge Complete (Middlesex County District Attorney's Office)
Excerpt from the Summary Statement: "Under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 14, Mr.---, the operator of the Jeep, had a responsibility to open his door only when it was reasonably safe to do so without interfering with the movement of other traffic, including bicyclists and pedestrians. Based on the video evidence provided by CAM14, it appears that Mr.--- opened his door just before Ms. Phillips, the bicyclist, struck it, limiting the time available to her to take action to avoid the collision. Despite this, Mr.--- stated that he checked his mirrors before opening the door and that his view was clear. The witnesses to this crash indicate that Ms. Phillips jumped the curb and entered the roadway from behind the Jeep. The video evidence provided by CAM16 appears to corroborate these statements. This lends credibility to Mr.---’s statement that his view was clear. Had his attention been directed toward the driver’s side rear of his vehicle at the same time Ms. Phillips jumped the curb, Ms. Phillips would likely have been positioned off the roadway or on the passenger side of the Jeep, not apparently approaching the driver’s side of the Jeep. Consequently, Mr.---’s view likely would have been clear, as he stated. Taking into consideration the speed at which Ms. Phillips was travelling reinforces the conclusion that this crash was likely unavoidable on the part of Mr.---, the operator of the Jeep. Under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 85 Section 11B, bicyclists are only authorized operation on sidewalks outside business districts when necessary in the interest of safety. This collision likely could have been avoided had Ms. Phillips rode her bicycle consistently in the rightmost travel lane as directed by the painted markings on the road surface and did not jump the curb onto the sidewalk as was prohibited. This would have made her more visible to other persons in the area, including Mr.--- and allowed him to take precautions for safety accordingly.

City Manager’s Disposition Report pursuant to Chapter 2.110 of the Cambridge Municipal Code

First Street GarageThe City has released the City Manager's Disposition Report, which has been prepared for the City Council, Planning Board, and City Clerk. The Report is available online at

Materials related to the future of the First Street Garage, including the Third Community meeting presentation, the City Manager's Disposition Report, and the First Street Area Parking Planning Study report, are available on the project website.

Planning Board Hearing, July 16, 2019 at 6:30pm, at 344 Broadway
City Council Hearing, July 29, 2019 at 6:30pm, at Cambridge City Hall

Final Report for the First Street Area Parking Planning Study (by the consulting team of Kleinfelder and McMahon Associates)
Complete report available at, and consists of three items:
  • Cover memo from Traffic, Parking, and Transportation Director Joseph Barr
  • Summary report that provides a condensed overview of the study process, analysis, and conclusions.
  • Full report that documents the data collection, data analysis, scenario review, and conclusions.
[First Street Area Parking Planning Study Report Summary] [First Street Area Parking Planning Study Final Report]

Anxiously Waiting for Summer Recess - and Nomination Papers - June 24, 2019 at the Cambridge City Council

Dance Party (photo cropped from Press Release)This will be the last meeting until the Midsummer Meeting in late July. Committee meetings will continue here and there. Dance Party at City Hall this Friday. Candidates can pick up nomination papers for the municipal election starting next Monday (July 1). Here's my first pass at the tastier items on the meeting menu:

Manager's Agenda #10. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of $150,000 from excess FY19 parking fund revenue to the Public Investment Traffic and Parking Department Extraordinary Expenditures account, to establish 20 Mile Per Hour (MPH) Safety Zones on primarily local access streets across the City.

Sooner or later the argument will be made that 15mph is even safer. And so on. In truth, 20mph makes a lot of sense of some streets, but there are plenty of other streets where 20mph or even 25mph feels like an unnecessary crawl. Then again, with traffic congestion worse (by design), it's all academic since you might rarely break 20mph anyway.

Manager's Agenda #11. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to a recommendation from the Planning Board not to adopt the New Street Overlay District Zoning Petition.

That's two strikes. They apparently tried to sweeten the petition this time by including some subsidized housing in the mix, i.e. Let's Make A Deal. This doesn't have the votes to pass. Will there be a third attempt?

Unfinished Business #3. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the proposed Cannabis Business Permitting Ordinance. [ON OR AFTER APR 22, 2019 THE QUESTION COMES ON PASSAGE TO BE ORDAINED]

Communications & Reports #3. A communication was received from Interim City Clerk Paula M. Crane from Councillor Zondervan, transmitting a memorandum regarding Establishing the Equitable Regulation of the Cannabis Industry in the City of Cambridge.

The cannabis train keeps on rolling (slowly) along. The voters approved it but the really wacky part of this is the way some councillors are trying to microscopically tailor the language of the Permitting Ordinance in order to effectively select who will get the greatest advantage in obtaining a permit to operate a cannabis retail store and even how much shelf space will be allocated to what products.

Communications #2. A communication was received from Gregg Moree, 25 Fairfield Street, regarding several issues he needs the Cambridge Police Department's help rectifying.

If ever there was something in writing that should disqualify a City Council candidate, perhaps this is it. I won't bother to link to the text. This man is an embarrassment.

Resolution #1. Resolution on the death of Professor Ifeanyi Menkiti.   Councillor Toomey, Councillor Kelley

I remember riding the MIT-Wellesley Exchange Bus with Professor Menkiti when I worked at Wellesley College. Farewell, sir.

Order #3. That the City Manager is requested to work with the Community Development Department and the City Solicitor to draft a zoning amendment that will count a portion of a new or substantially renovated building's rooftop mechanicals (excluding solar installations) toward its allowed height and/or FAR.   Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Carlone, Councillor Zondervan

This isn't the first time this matter has been addressed. There was the Citywide Rezoning Petition (Sept 2000) that considered issues of bulk and height related to rooftop mechanical equipment (among other things). There was also a zoning petition on this topic introduced in August 2003 and ordained Nov 3, 2003. This followed the Rooftop Mechanicals Task Force Recommendations of June 2003 which also looked at visual and acoustic issues. This new proposal appears to be primarily about height and density and the fact that some of these installations today are much larger than in days of yore.

Order #4. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the City Solicitor and the City Hall building staff to identify a suitable location other than the Sullivan Chamber where the state flag may be displayed in compliance with state law.   Mayor McGovern, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Zondervan

We may soon need a "trigger alert" read at the start of every City Council meeting so that nobody is offended or traumatized by symbols or fabric or furniture or floor coverings. This Order actually symbolizes the distracted priorities of some councillors.

Order #5. That the City Manager is requested to work with the Community Development Department, Assessor’s Office, and the City Solicitor’s Office on developing a Vacant Storefront Registration Policy.   Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Mallon, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Zondervan

Collecting data and developing a database of such vacancies may be useful information, but the real question comes down to how that information will be used. There was a previous Order a couple of years ago that would have taxed such properties into oblivion. A far more thoughtful approach would be to provide incentives and guidance to get most of these properties back into active use - the carrot, not the stick.

Order #10. That the City Manager is requested to explain how Newport Construction was selected to work on the Inman Square redesign despite the serious allegations pending against them in Somerville.   Councillor Zondervan, Councillor Kelley, Councillor Carlone

Apparently the chosen contractor cut some trees down in Somerville. In the case of Inman Square, the City beat them to it.

Order #12. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the Department of Finance and Department of Human Services to explore options for incorporating additional line items in the FY20 Budget to allocate supplemental funds for legal aid services, housing stabilization and tenant education and organizing to prevent displacement and address its ramifications on Cambridge residents and families.   Councillor Siddiqui, Mayor McGovern, Councillor Simmons, Councillor Mallon

These are basically all good ideas aimed at addressing things at a scale that actually matters, i.e. helping individuals rather than a wholesale policy change such as the proposed "100% Affordable Housing Overlay District" that seeks to move privately-owned residential property into public and quasi-public hands by allowing some select property developers to operate under radically different rules than other property owners.

Communications & Reports #2. A communication was received from Interim City Clerk Paula M. Crane transmitting a communication from Councillor Mallon, transmitting notes for the meeting of the ninth and last meeting of the Mayor's Arts Task.  [Links to all Task Force reports]

While the intention of this Task Force is laudable, some of the comments and recommendations of its members cross way over into the political, i.e. echoes of the Sanders campaign and the Occupy phenomenon of a few years back. Former and new City Council candidates have not hesitated to shower fellow Task Force members with self-serving stump speeches. I'm sure some good actions will grow out of this Task Force and a place like Central Square will be better for it, but I hope that delivering personal or political benefits to outspoken Task Force members should not be among the benefits. It's right and proper that we should take a step back every few years and reconsider the various arts initiatives and institutions supported by the City to make sure they are delivering best outcomes for all the residents of the city. However, this really shouldn't be driven by the discontinuation of one person's arrangement with the Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center (CMAC) or the loss of a rehearsal space in the old EMF building in Cambridgeport. - Robert Winters


Cambridge Open Archives

Womens Commission 1983

Dive into the tangled history of Cambridge politics and social activism at 7 local archives from June 24-28, 2019.

Archivists at each site will share treasures from their collections - photographs, art, posters, letters - that tell complex and unique stories about dynamic politicians and dedicated activists; fights over highways and development schemes; a strong mayor vs. Plan E.

See what an archive is, find out what archivists do all day, and see how you can use these resources to learn more about your family and community.

This year's participating archives:

MIT Museum

The Cambridge Room at the Cambridge Public Library

Harvard Semitic Museum

Harvard Art Museums Archives

Cambridge Historical Commission

Cambridge Historical Society

Mount Auburn Cemetery


Info here:

This event is free but registration is required.

Questions? 617-349-4070 or

Magazine Beach Summer Events 2019 Kick-Off -- Friday, June 21

Veterans Memorial Pool Opens Saturday, June 22.

Summer is just ahead! More about our programs here in the next month.

Thomas Magliozzi Dedication

Friday, June 28

5:30pm   Tom Magliozzi Commemorative Plaque Dedication "Hahvahd Squayah"  (DeGuglielmo Plaza, 27 Brattle Street)

Following the unveiling of the plaque, Ray Magliozzi will be on hand to say a few words, along with Car Talk producer Doug Berman, and other Cambridge dignitaries. Denise Jillson, executive director for the Harvard Square Business Association said, “We invite folks to come for the commemoration and stay for dinner and an after-party. A complimentary Italian supper of pasta and meatballs will be served family-style on red and white checkered table cloths for as long as it lasts. In true Magliozzi fashion, dancing is encouraged and hip-swinging, toe-tapping, hand-clapping music will be provided by the Blue Suede Boppers! A festive beer garden sponsored by the Beat Brew Hall will add to the celebration. Brattle Street, between Eliot and Church will be closed for the event.  A vintage ’56 Chevy (Tom’s favorite vehicle) will be on hand for viewing and photo-ops and for those who dare, an open mic will be available for sharing favorite Car Talk stories!”

7:00pm-11:00pm   City Dance Party  (Mass Ave. - from Prospect St. to Lee St.) will be Closed to Traffic (6pm to midnight) but Open for Dancing!)

30 Years of Cambridge Recycling

May 20, 2004 Presentation - 15 Years

History of Cambridge Recycling - the first dozen years

Mar 27, 2019 – A few words on the "Overlay" proposal

Personally, this Overlay proposal obliterates over 35 years of what changes could be expected around where I live, and I don’t live in the upper crust part of town. The limiting factor has been the floor area ratio (FAR) – 1.0 for commercial and 0.75 for residential. I have always lived with the possibility that a higher building could appear next door, but that the footprint of the building would have to be smaller and additional setbacks would create a little breathing room between the buildings. That seemed like a reasonable expectation – one that I could easily live with.

During the time I have owned my triple-decker I negotiated with one neighbor so that a small extension would have a roof line that allowed light to continue to get to my first floor apartment. When the neighboring building changed hands and they wanted to add air conditioning units on the roof, I negotiated to ensure that they would be located far enough from my windows so that the added sound would be acceptable. These are the kinds of negotiations that happen when buildings are at or somewhat above the allowable density. Through it all I maintained very reasonable rents to all of my tenants since 1985.

If this Overlay proposal is approved, a new owner could build straight up to a height taller than my building with no setback whatsoever from the property line. Furthermore, the building could cover almost the entire lot yielding a density between 3 and 4 times what is allowed today. No sunlight whatsoever would get to my building. I would have no rights whatsoever to object.

Do I take this personally? Yes. If this were to happen I would likely look for another place to live after being here for over 40 years. So I’m looking now at the few potentially reasonable city councillors to step in and prevent this from happening. If adding to our already high percentage of subsidized housing units is your priority, you should really find a way to do this that doesn’t involve throwing me and others under the bus. – Robert Winters

Feb 10, 2019 - I'm cleaning up some old email today and found something I wrote a couple of years ago in response to a question about books on Cambridge history. Perhaps you'll find it useful. - RW

It's hard to say where to begin. There was a tradition of Cambridge history-writing in the 19th century that was largely lost during most of the 20th Century. The tradition seems to be having something of a 21st Century revival. Some of my favorites (and I've picked up many of these on eBay) are:

Lucius Paige's History of Cambridge (1877) - you can also read this on the web, e.g.
I mention this one first because it is so often referenced in later histories.

The Cambridge of Eighteen Hundred and Ninety Six (a 50th Anniversary compilation published in 1896 commemorating the transition of Cambridge from Town to City in 1846)
This has a lot of good history in it. I have loaner copies available.

Survey of Architectural History of Cambridge, Volumes 1-5, by the Cambridge Historical Commission
These you can still pick up on eBay and they're at the Cambridge Public Library. I have multiple copies of each volume as loaners.
Volume 1 was originally published in 1967, but a 1989 update is practically a whole other book.

A City's Life and Times, Cambridge in the Twentieth Century, various authors, published by the Cambridge Historical Society, 2007.

Building Old Cambridge, by Susan Maycock and Charles Sullivan of the Cambridge Historical Commission, recently published and available (no sales tax!) at the Cambridge Historical Commission office as well as local bookstores (with sales tax).
This volume started out, I believe, as a successor volume to Volume 4 of the Survey of Architectural History of Cambridge (Old Cambridge), but it grew into something far more comprehensive.

There are at least, I believe, 5 oral history volumes put together by Sarah Boyer and the Cambridge Historical Commission. I believe they may all still be available for purchase at the CHC office, but some are also available at bookstores (and at the Library).

Cambridge on the Charles, by Alan Seaburg, Thomas Dahill, and Carol Rose, published by Anne Minerva Press. Alan and Thomas are friends and fellow Board members with the Middlesex Canal Association (I'm also the webmaster).

There are lots of other miscellaneous books that I really love, including Ten No License Years in Cambridge, published in 1898, that provides great insight into the temperance movement in Cambridge and the roots of the "good government" movement in the 20th Century. It's available in the Cambridge Room of the Main Library.

The books by Tip O'Neill all have some interesting bits and pieces about Cambridge in the 20th Century.

Robert Winters

Featured recent stories in the Cambridge Chronicle (the paper of record):

Cambridge ChronicleIf you would like to subscribe or pick up a free paper copy at various sites, I encourage you to do so. It really is The Paper of Record.

Cambridge councilors look into limiting election donors seeking benefit from City (posted June 11, 2019)

GUEST COLUMN: Housing for all in Cambridge, not at all cost (posted June 11, 2019 by Kelly Dolan, Doug Brown and Alison Field-Juma)

Cambridge officials propose cleaning up area around Jerry’s Pond (posted June 4, 2019)

Cambridge unveils citywide plan outlining goals for next decade (May 29, 2019)

SET UP TO FAIL -- Housing crisis sparks debate over solutions in Massachusetts (May 28, 2019)

River Arts Festival to be held in Central Square (May 24, 2019)

‘Growing in the city:’ Green Cambridge returns to work at neighborhood farm (May 23, 2019)

GUEST COLUMN: Rent control in Cambridge -- why we need it now (May 22, 2019 by candidate Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler)

COLUMN Part 2: How would the affordable housing overlay affect Cambridge residents (May 21, 2019 by Councillor Alanna Mallon)

GUEST COLUMN: Addressing questions regarding affordable housing overlay in Cambridge (May 7, 2019 by Councillor Alanna Mallon)

Several Cambridge councilors object to fiscal 2020 school budget (May 21, 2019)

Somerville Hospital considering converting ED to urgent care clinic (May 20, 2019)

Independent review says no excessive force used in 2018 arrest of Harvard student in Cambridge (May 17, 2019)

Can Cambridge Council remove state flag from its chambers? (May 17, 2019)

OPINION: Rent control in Cambridge - why it didn’t work then and won’t work now (May 15, 2019 by Denise Jillson)

LETTERS: Read what Cambridge has to say about the Sullivan Courthouse project (May 15, 2019)

Cambridge’s Vice Mayor Jan Devereux announces she will not seek reelection (May 14, 2019)

‘The heart of Cambridge:’ Eighteen of city’s oldest small businesses honored (May 14, 2019)

MAP: Here are 18 of Cambridge’s oldest businesses (May 9, 2019)

LETTER: Not too late to reconsider Vellucci Plaza plans in Cambridge (May 14, 2019 by Jonathan Harris)

Cambridge to consider ban on single-use plastic items (May 14, 2019)

Mount Auburn Cemetery abuzz after Bedford resident creates bee sanctuary (May 12, 2019)

Cambridge Democrats to elect delegates for convention (May 8, 2019)

GUEST COLUMN: Approval of Cambridge school budget was a mistake (May 7, 2019 by Leslie Brunetta)

Cambridge aims to reduce trash by 30% in 2020 as part of ‘Zero Waste Master Plan’ (May 7, 2019)

Election commissioners to discuss municipal ballot design (May 3, 2019)

Citizen scientists observe natural world at Mt. Auburn Cemetery (Apr 30, 2019)

Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler announces candidacy for city council (Apr 29, 2019)

SET UP TO FAIL -- Housing crisis makes traffic worse in Massachusetts (Apr 29, 2019)

2020 Cambridge budget plan addresses affordable housing, schools, sewers and streets (Apr 23, 2019)

Cambridge Emergency Communications recognizes dispatchers (Apr 23, 2019)

Early risers blossom at Mount Auburn Cemetery (Apr 19, 2019)

City renames streets to honor women’s suffrage (Apr 18, 2019)

Cambridge police say Naloxone is making a difference in overdose rates (Apr 17, 2019)

Study examines changes to Cambridge’s Port neighborhood (Apr 16, 2019)

DCR kicks off Memorial Drive project in Cambridge (Apr 15, 2019)

Cambridge will require separated bike lanes (Apr 10, 2019)

Cambridge resident marks 50th anniversary of her first Boston Marathon win (Apr 9, 2019)

Top earners: Who earned the most in 2018? (Apr 8, 2019)

Cambridge suffragists to be honored, thanks to push from young resident (Apr 3, 2019)

Proposed affordable housing district in Cambridge speaks to ‘the lost middle,’ official says (Apr 2, 2019)
[Note: There are several misrepresentation of fact in the statements of public officials in this article.]

LETTER: Tearing Cambridge in two for affordable housing (Apr 2, 2019)

GUEST COLUMN: Demystifying Cambridge’s proposed Affordable Housing Overlay (Apr 1, 2019)
[Note: This is a propaganda piece was written by two Board members of A Better Cambridge (ABC), a subsidized housing advocacy group with an affiliated political action committee (PAC) promoting candidates in the 2019 municipal election.]

Cambridge council discusses rise in affordable housing budget (Mar 26, 2019)

GUEST COLUMN: Instead of affordable overlay, raise real estate taxes (Mar 19, 2019)

GUEST COLUMN: Why the zoning appeal on Vellucci Plaza matters (Mar 18, 2019 by John Pitkin)

GUEST COLUMN: Proposed zoning overlay in Cambridge is a major opportunity (Mar 20, 2019)
[Note: This is a propaganda piece was written by two Board members of A Better Cambridge (ABC), a subsidized housing advocacy group with an affiliated political action committee (PAC) promoting candidates in the 2019 municipal election.]

Cambridge offers glimpse of possible affordable housing future (Mar 8, 2019)

Housing crisis fuels homelessness in Cambridge, statewide (Feb 20, 2019)

A breakdown of 40B affordable housing (Feb 13, 2019)


Tues, July 2

5:30pm   The City Council's Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss a proposed amendment to the Zoning Ordinance to create an Affordable Housing Overlay District.  (Sullivan Chamber - Televised)

Mon, July 8

12:00pm   The City Council's Government Operations, Rules & Claims Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss a report from the City Manager and City Solicitor on proposals for a “Cambridge Publicly Financed Municipal Election Program,” a “Cambridge Municipal Election People's Pledge," and to discuss the feasibility of convening a task force or working group to discuss publicly financed elections in Cambridge.  (Sullivan Chamber - Televised)

6:00pm   Half Crown-Marsh Neighborhood Conservation District Commission Meeting  (Lombardi Building, 831 Mass. Ave, Basement Conference Room)

Tues, July 9

6:30pm   Planning Board meeting  (2nd Floor Meeting Room, City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway)

General Business

1. Update from the Community Development Department

2. Adoption of Planning Board meeting transcripts

Public Hearings

6:30pm   PB# 296 (continued from 4/23/2019)
57 JFK Street – Amendment application by Crimson Galleria LP to exempt the existing basement level from GFA and to delete the required contribution to the Harvard Square Improvement Fund based on the total GFA being less than 80% of the maximum permitted on the lot pursuant to Section Article 2.000, Definition of Gross Floor Area and amendment to special permit granted pursuant to Section 20.54.4, Waiver of Parking and Loading Requirements in the Harvard Square Overlay District. (Materials)

7:00pm   Affordable Housing Overlay Zoning Petition (continued from 6/25/2019)
Zoning petition by City Council to amend the Zoning Ordinance of the City of Cambridge by creating a new Section 11.207 entitled “Affordable Housing Overlay” that would apply to all zoning districts in the City of Cambridge and by making corresponding amendments elsewhere within the Zoning Ordinance. (Materials)

General Business items may be taken out of the order in which they appear on the agenda above. Times for General Business items are approximate. Public comments are taken only during a Public Hearing. During the discussion and deliberation on General Business items, the Planning Board does not solicit public comment. The City of Cambridge will provide reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities upon request. Please make requests for alternative formats at least two weeks in advance by contacting the Planning Board staff listed below. For further information concerning this agenda, please contact Liza Paden, Planning Board staff, at 617-349-4647, Applications and Petitions are online at Full zoning petition texts available online at:

Wed, July 10

5:30-7:30pm   Bicycle Committee meeting  (4th Floor Conference Room, 344 Broadway)

5:30pm   Cambridge Election Commission meeting  (1st Floor Meeting Room, 51 Inman St.)



1. Executive Director's Report

2. Assistant Director's Report

3. Commissioners' Reports



New Business

Old Business

Thurs, July 11

5:30-7:00pm   Commission for Persons with Disabilities meeting  (51 Inman St., 2nd Floor Conference Room)

5:30pm   The City Council's Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the refiled petition from Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. to amend the Zoning Ordinance in Article 20 to add at the end thereof the creation of a Grand Junction Pathway Overlay District.  (Sullivan Chamber - Televised)

6:00pm   Cambridge Historical Commission meeting  (Citywide Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Ave.)

Mon, July 15

4:00pm   The City Council's Transportation & Public Utilities Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss a pilot program for regulating and permitting shared electric scooters to operate in Cambridge.  (Sullivan Chamber - Televised)

Wed, July 17

3:00pm   License Commission Public Hearing  (831 Mass. Ave, Basement Conference Room)

5:30pm   CRA Board Meeting  (Police Station, First Floor Conference Room, 125 Sixth St.
Cambridge Redevelopment Authority Board Meeting

6:00pm   River Street Reconstruction - Working Group Meeting #5  (Manning Apartments, 1st Floor Community Room, 237 Franklin Street)
Regular meeting of the River Street Reconstruction Working Group, open to the public.

Mon, July 22

5:30pm   Avon Hill Neighborhood Conservation District Commission Meeting  (Lombardi Building, 831 Mass. Ave, Basement Conference Room)

Wed, July 24

2:00pm   The City Council's Transportation & Public Utilities Committee will conduct a public hearing to receive information about the draft Policy and Regulations for Small Cell Wireless Installations on Public Ways under consideration by the Pole & Conduit Commission and the Historical Commission.  (Sullivan Chamber - Televised)

Thurs, July 25

6:00pm   LGBTQ+ Meeting  (Windsor St. Health Center, 119 Windsor St.)

6:00pm   Pedestrian Committee Meeting  (City Hall Annex, 4th Floor Conference Room, 344 Broadway)

Mon, July 29

5:30pm   Special (Midsummer) City Council meeting  (Sullivan Chamber - Televised)

6:30pm   City Council Public Hearing - First Street Garage  (Sullivan Chamber - Televised)

The City Council will hold a public hearing on the disposition of a leasehold interest in 420 parking spaces and approximately 9,000 square feet of ground floor retail (together the “Leasehold Interest”) in the First Street Garage, located at 55 First Street and owned by the City of Cambridge, to the developer Laggatt McCall Properties, which was conditionally awarded the bid pursuant to G.L. Chapter 30B subject to the review and approval of the disposition of the Leasehold Interest by the City Council pursuant to the City’s Municipal Disposition Ordinance, Chapter 2.110 of the Cambridge Municipal Code (the “Disposition Ordinance”). This hearing will be held pursuant to the Disposition Ordinance as part of the legal requirements for disposing of the Leasehold Interest.

Tues, Aug 6

5:00pm   Regular (Summer) Meeting of the School Committee  (Attles Meeting Room, CRLS)

Sat, Sept 7

9:00am-1:00pm   Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Day  (Field Street Lot at Danehy Park - enter via Fern St.)

Mon, Sept 9

5:30pm   City Council meeting  (Sullivan Chamber - Televised)