Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

October 21, 2019

Coming up at the October 21, 2019 Cambridge City Council meeting

Filed under: Cambridge,City Council — Tags: , , — Robert Winters @ 12:24 pm

Coming up at the October 21, 2019 Cambridge City Council meeting

City HallMost of the controversial business has been either dispensed with (e.g. Cannabis) or neatly stored away for the sake of incumbency protection (Subsidized Housing Overlay) which leaves the agenda open primarily for targeted advertising (dog owners who vote and followers of Greta Thunberg – How Dare You!). Throw in a few street/sidewalk improvements and you have a normal pre-election sampling. Here are the delightfully few things that caught my eye this week:

Manager’s Agenda #9. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of $5,000,000 from Free Cash to the Public Investment Fund Executive Department Extraordinary Expenditures account for the City’s annual contribution to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Green Line Extension (GLX) project.

Here’s what I wrote in January, 2018 on this: "Could this be the new normal, i.e. that developers and host cities who would benefit by new transit should pay for the transit? The realization of the Green Line Extension seems to have been made possible, at least in part, by the promise of financial contributions from Cambridge, Somerville, Medford, and the developer of the NorthPoint area."

In any case, it’s good to see that progress is being made. Indeed, just yesterday while driving back from leading a Middlesex Canal walk in Billerica I passed through some of the construction in Medford/Somerville. It’s really happening.

Charter Right #1. An application was received from &Pizza, requesting permission for a sandwich board sign in front of the premises numbered 3 Brattle Street with a start date of Dec 1, 2019 thru Mar 31, 2020 and a start time of 11:00am and an end time of 11:00pm.

As I wrote for the last meeting: "As for the sandwich board sign in front of &Pizza, I thought having one of the most prominent locations in the heart of Harvard Square would speak for itself – no extra signage required. I’ll add that really good pizza also speaks for itself."

Charter Right #2. That the City Manager is requested to work with the Economic Development division of the Community Development Department to retain a financial/economic analyst to conduct a confidential financial analysis of NED’s pro forma to inform the council in confidence on the value of the proposed upzoning.

To repeat myself once again: "This may make sense in this specific case since the proponent has offered to provide this financial information, but I hope that we don’t go down the road of only approving projects after analyzing the books of the proponents. Ideally zoning should be about good planning and betterment for the city and not on how much profit is permissible in the long run."

Applications & Petitions #2. A refiled Zoning Petition has been received from Joseph T. Maguire of Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. transmitting a proposed revised amendment to the zoning ordinance by creating the Grand Junction Pathway Overlay District.

This was anticipated. Joe Maguire’s feet may be quite warm by the time this reaches the ordination stage. More than a few councillors have promised to hold his feet to the fire in regard to the Eversource substation sub-issue.

Order #8. Zoning Amendment Articles 2.00 and 4.32 regarding opposition to permitting on-demand mobile fueling services to operate in Cambridge.   Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Kelley, Councillor Carlone, Councillor Zondervan

Yet more evidence of the lazy ass, "call the servants" times that we now live in. If pumping your own gas at the filling station is so burdensome that you must use a phone app to have the "little people" show up to do it for you, then maybe it’s time to reconsider your life choices. – Robert Winters

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