Join Meetings in Cambridge November 21-27: Build Taller in Affordable Housing Overlay | Wbactive

A depiction of a once-proposed building at 2072 Massachusetts Ave., North Cambridge that would have a better chance of being developed as part of an expansion of the city’s Affordable Housing Overlay zoning.

Charging electric vehicles and a “green fleet”

Health and Environment Committee10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday. This committee, chaired by Councilwoman Patty Nolan, discusses ways to expand the availability of EV charging and reviews the city’s “green fleet” policy of purchasing all-electric vehicles for municipal use — a sore point for Nolan over the years , as more employees join us with inquiries about purchasing non-electric vehicles. The committee meets at City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square. Televised and viewable via Zoom video conference.

Affordable housing overlay new

City council5:30 p.m. Monday. If there is to be “more new affordable housing and fewer missed or stalled opportunities” from the affordable housing zoning adopted in October 2020, it needs to be revised, Burhan Azeem and other councils say in a policy order. They are aiming for “substantially relaxed dimensional requirements for a citywide network of corridors and plazas,” which could mean up to 25-story buildings in areas such as Central, Harvard and Porter Squares and Albany Street, Alewife Brook Parkway, Bishop Allen Drive, Broadway, Cambridge Street, Concord Avenue, First Street, Fresh Pond Parkway, Massachusetts Avenue, Memorial Drive, Mount Auburn Street, Prospect Street and Sydney Street. This meeting also envisages a proposal for the Ordnance Committee to consider a memo on Neighborhood Conservation Districts that some may find less than welcome.

An inventory of the city and plans for various lots are also likely to draw attention, as city councilors have long called for affordable housing to be built in city parking lots. Ten lots are listed as “vacant or underutilized” in an inventory that shows the city’s holdings of 551 acres across 167 lots, with parks, playgrounds and other open spaces accounting for 481 acres across 93 lots. (15 parking garages and car parks are listed, but also 21 school buildings, eight fire stations, seven community buildings, three Cambridge Health Alliance care centers and two vacant lots – Vail Court and Cherry Street. Some already have intended uses, such as housing on Cherry Street , while the Vail Court lot is slated to serve as a residence but was bound in court.) City Manager Yi-An Huang’s report agrees that “City-owned surface parking lots present the opportunity for redevelopment across multiple municipal targets.”

Huang is also asking for $200,000 for a needs assessment and planning study for municipal real estate in the central plaza area over the next 15 years aimed at “determining how the city can best use our real estate to support municipal services and advance the city’s priorities.” and says the council should have feedback on how “to support the creation and protection of cultural and human services” in about 18 months. This is the expected end date of a comprehensive mapping and analysis of the cultural infrastructure currently underway with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council in partnership with Boston and Somerville.

The Council meets at City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square. Televised and viewable via Zoom video conference.


Energy Performance Certificate Act

Economic Development and University Relations Committee12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. This committee, chaired by Councilman Paul Toner, receives an update from the Community Development Department on changes to the Building Energy Use Disclosure Ordinance and discusses the environmental and economic impact of the act on residential, commercial and academic real estate and communities. The committee meets at City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square. Televised and viewable via Zoom video conference.

City administration evaluation process

Government Operations, Rules & Claims Committee3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday. This committee, chaired by Vice Mayor Alanna Mallon, oversees the council’s annual assessment process for city managers — a process that was missed toward the end of Louis DePasquale’s tenure. The committee meets at City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square. Televised and viewable via Zoom video conference.

Basic Rules of Charter Review

Charter Review Committee, 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. The group establishes ground rules for decision-making for its deliberations and a framework for community engagement, and reviews a proposed value statement. Viewable via Zoom video conference.

East Cambridge Nature Reserve

planning board6:30 p.m. Tuesday. The preliminary report from the East Cambridge Neighborhood Conservation District Study Committee comes under scrutiny — more controversial than it might sound, as the study faces opposition from people who think conservation districts add to the cost and complications of the housing they need. Also before the board: a petition to carbon accounting zoning and updating a proposed Citizens Bank branch at MIT’s 610 Main St. building near Kendall Square. The Board meets on the second floor of the City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, Mid-Cambridge. Televised and viewable via Zoom video conference.

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