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Neighbors Protest Proposed Dunkin Donuts

Submitted by on March 16, 2012 – 4:45 pmNo Comment

At the March 13 Agassiz Neighborhood Council meeting, neighbors expressed concern about a new Dunkin Donuts proposed for Mass. Ave. between Harvard and Porter Squares.  Many neighbors felt that an additional coffee store was unnecessary and also took issue with the city’s method for informing the public about the proposed store. Details below were provided by members of the Neighborhood Council.

Cambridge Board of Zoning Appeal (BZA), Fast Food Zoning Variance for Dunkin Donuts, 1678 Massachusetts Ave.

Location of Store:
The variance is for 1678 Mass. Ave., the former site of the Harvard Credit Union and Harvard Law School Coop.  The store would be located between Harvard Square and Porter Square, just north of the Evergood Market.

Public Notice:
The public notice on the door of 1678 Mass Ave. for the first hearing did not refer to fast food.  The description is for a “Café/Coffee Shop” and included zoning article numbers.  The photo below was taken on the night of the hearing (March 8, 2012.)  It was removed the next day.

Below is the listing from the City’s calendar for the BZA March 8th meeting. Note: the listing does not match the sign on 1678 Mass. Ave.
8:45 P.M. CASE NO. 10222
1678 MASS AVENUE Business A-2 Zone
BRANDON WOOLKALIS
Variance: To convert existing store into café/coffee shop.
Art. 4.000, Sec. 4.35.0 & Art. 11.000, Sec. 11.30 (Fast Order Food Establishment).

Zoning Variance Requirements:
To obtain a zoning variance the owner must show a “hardship.”  A Council member reported that the hardship for the owner is finding a tenant that will pay the high level of rent desired.

Neighborhood Council Response:
At the ANC meeting, Council members noted that there are at least 13 nearby businesses that serve take-out coffee and food. Most are locally owned, reasonably priced, and offer seating for customers: Montrose Spa, High Rise Bakery, WraPro, City Market, Harvard Pizza, Simon’s Coffee Shop, Stone Hearth Pizza, Halfshell Pizza, Rosie’s Bakery, Bourbon Coffee, Japonase Bakery & Cafe, Gourmet Market, & Brugger’s Bagels.

What you Can Do:
Residents/businesses/students/etc. can send comments to the Cambridge Board of Zoning Appeals as well as to the Cambridge City Councillors via email or by postal mail.  Comments must be submitted before April 9 at 5:00 PM.  No public comments will be allowed at the follow-up BZA hearing on April 12, 2012.

BZA Contacts
Ranjit Singanayagam at ranjits@cambridgema.gov
Sean O’Grady at sogrady@cambridgema.gov
Maria Pacheco at mpacheco@cambridgema.gov

BZA Address
Cambridge Board of Zoning Appeal
Case No. 10222
831 Mass. Ave.
Cambridge, MA  02138

Additional Information
Call the City of Cambridge’s Inspectional Services Department at (617) 349-6100 and ask for Maria Pacheco.

Send a copy of your email or letter to the Cambridge City Councillors.  If you need additional help, call the Mayor’s office at (617) 349-4321 or individual city councilors at (617) 349-4280.

Mayor: Henrietta Davis: hdavis@cambridgema.gov
Vice Mayor: E. Denise Simmons: dsimmons@cambridgema.gov
Leland Cheung: LCheung@cambridgema.gov
Marjorie C. Decker: mdecker@cambridgema.gov
Craig A. Kelley: ckelley@cambridgema.gov
David P. Maher: dmaher@cambridgema.gov
Kenneth E. Reeves: kreeves@cambridgema.gov
Timothy J. Toomey, Jr.: TimToomey@aol.com
Minka vanBeuzekom: minka@cambridgema.gov

Address:
Cambridge City Hall
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02139

To Stay Posted on the Agassiz Neighborhood Response:
The next Agassiz Neighborhood Council (ANC) meeting is at 7:30 PM, Tuesday, April 10 at the Maud Morgan Arts Center, 20 Sacramento Street.  To sign up for notices, join our email list.

Links to the City of Cambridge Zoning Ordinance:
List of zoning articles: http://www2.cambridgema.gov/cdd/cp/zng/zord/#view
Article 4: Use regulations:

http://www2.cambridgema.gov/cdd/cp/zng/zord/zo_article4_1345.pdf

Article 11 Special Regulations:

http://www2.cambridgema.gov/cdd/cp/zng/zord/zo_article11_1345.pdf

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