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Special ANC Meeting – Friday, December 4th at 7 PM

Submitted by on December 2, 2015 – 1:06 pmNo Comment

Agassiz Neighborhood Council seal

Friday, December 4th, at 7:00 pm
in the Maria L. Baldwin School Cafeteria
85 Oxford St, Cambridge, MA 02138
NOTE: The regularly scheduled ANC Meeting on Tuesday, December 8th has been canceled

The Planning Board and City Council will both be holding, early next week, hearings on a local citizens re-zoning petition applying to Mass Avenue between Porter Square and the Cambridge Common (abbreviated as “MA-PO-CO”).

So we can learn first-hand about what this very important petition requests, I’ve called a special, earlier-than-usual meeting of our Agassiz Neighborhood Council. We will meet this Friday, December 4th, at 7:00 pm.

Because we expect more attendees than usual, including neighbors from the west side of Mass. Ave, as well as interested Porter Sq. Neighborhood Association members, we will hold our special meeting in the Baldwin School cafeteria. (As most of you know, the Maria Baldwin School is located at the S.W. corner of Oxford and Sacramento Streets. Enter through the Sacramento Street door.)

Here are some highlights of the zoning-petition requests:

  1. Pedestrian-friendly ground-level uses, such as retail, will be required of all new construction.
  2. Ground-level parking will be prohibited unless behind a retail store (i.e. no stilt buildings above exposed parking lots).
  3. Smaller, more-affordable retail storefronts will be encouraged, to promote a variety of local merchants and restaurants over national chains, which usually require more space.
  4. Fast-food establishments will no longer be allowed by right, but will require a variance for suitability in each instance.
  5. There will be new incentives to developers to build more than the one-parking-space-per-dwelling-unit required by current zoning, so that any surplus can be rented out to local merchants and service providers (most of whom lack resident parking stickers), thus helping hard-pressed local merchants in a reasonable way, as well as protecting on our side streets from further congestion.
  6. New buildings near historic structures shall be of compatible size and contextual style.
  7. Various technical adjustments are included, requiring more building setback and wider sidewalks.

The local citizens who have presented this petition will be there to answer all your questions. Local developers and City Councilors are expected to come as well. It should be a very informative and lively discussion. Sure hope you can attend. Feel free to invite any interested friends; we’ll have much more room than usual. We’ll start at 7:00 sharp and adjourn no later than 9:00 pm. on Friday.

Fred Meyer
Moderator, Agassiz Neighborhood Council

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