Join us for FPRA Meeting on June 7th at 6:30

The developer of 605 Concord Avenue (the former Bank of America building) has asked for a meeting with the community and members of the FPRA in order to gather feedback on their latest plans for the project. Phil Terzis of Acorn (the developer) has reserved the auditorium at the Tobin School on Tuesday, June 7th at 6:30 pm. The main agenda item is a review of Acorn’s latest design, with a question & answer session to follow the presentation.

At the same meeting, Mike Stanley will also give a short presentation on his Transit X project. This is an innovative attempt to solve a number of major transportation problems currently faced by the Fresh Pond-Alewife region and other, similarly dense urban areas. The effort proposes the development and construction of an automated transit network with high-capacity and low visual impact using personal pods running on an elevated track. More information on the concept is available at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/transitx-carbon-free-mass-transit#/ and at http://www.transitx.com/.

If time allows, we would also like to use this opportunity to update the community on the current status of a number of other pending efforts, including:

o   HURON A: http://www.cambridgema.gov/theworks/cityprojects/detail.aspx?path=%2fsitecore%2fcontent%2fhome%2ftheworks%2fcityprojects%2f2010%2falewifesewerseparationproject

o   HURON B: http://www.cambridgema.gov/theworks/cityprojects/detail.aspx?path=%2fsitecore%2fcontent%2fhome%2ftheworks%2fcityprojects%2f2012%2falewifesewerseparationprojecthuronb

o   CONCORD AVENUE: http://www.cambridgema.gov/theworks/cityprojects/detail.aspx?path=%2fsitecore%2fcontent%2fhome%2ftheworks%2fcityprojects%2f2013%2falewifesewerseparationconcordavenueneighborhood

o   NEW STREET: http://www.cambridgema.gov/theworks/cityprojects/detail.aspx?path=%2fsitecore%2fcontent%2fhome%2ftheworks%2fcityprojects%2f2014%2fnewstreetstreetscapeimprovements

Finally (also if time allows), we may also take the opportunity to consider what might come next for our area:

Note that this will be our final meeting prior to the Summer break. We look forward to a lively and constructive discussion. Thank you for your continuing support of our efforts.

Message to the FPRA from Doug Brown, VP.

Join us for Meeting on Dec. 16th

Fawcett Street site of proposed development

Fawcett Street site of proposed development

The Fresh Pond Residents Alliance will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, December 16, 2015, at 7 pm in the auditorium of the Tobin School at 197 Vassal Lane, Cambridge.

A development team will present preliminary plans for a 50-unit condo project at 95 Fawcett St. The site is currently a warehouse building located across the street from Phase II of the Atmark apartments, where the street curves. The developer is seeking resident feedback before applying for special permits.

Also on the agenda are an update on the Cambridge segment of the Watertown Greenway multi-use path, connecting Concord Ave./Fresh Pond to the Arsenal Mall Area (see draft plans) and a brief discussion of endorsing Green Cambridge’s 2030 Goals for Environmental Sustainability.

BZA Denies Special Permit for Auto Repair at Tokyo

IMG_0104Plans to convert the former Tokyo restaurant on Fresh Pond Parkway to an auto repair garage were scuttled when the Board of Zoning Appeal denied the necessary special permit. The BZA voted unanimously to deny the applicant’s request for a change of use permit at its November 19th hearing. The future of the site is again up in the air. Continue reading

Minutes of FPRA Summer Meeting

Nearing completion on Cambridgepark Dr: The Fuse apartments (244 units)

Nearing completion on Cambridgepark Dr: The Fuse apartments (244 units)

Minutes of our last meeting are attached here: FPRA Meeting minutes 7-22-15

Our next public meeting will be on Thursday, October 1st at 7 pm at the Tobin School (197 Vassal Lane).
The agenda includes (so far):
1. Presentation by CDD staff on a draft urban agriculture ordinance (they are seeking residents’ input)
2. Discussion of a petition on accessory use housing (details to come when petition is filed on 9/21).
3. Continuation of the discussion of the Tokyo project (conversion to auto repair) prior to BZA hearing on 10/22
We expect to hear soon when the Alewife master plan study will officially begin and how community input will be solicited.

Zoning Board hearing on Tokyo Project

Tokyo_August2015
UPDATE: The hearing was postponed until October 22nd. We are talking with the owner about some improvements to the design and landscaping.
On Thursday, August 27th at 7:45pm October 22nd at 7:00 pm the Board of Zoning Appeal will hear the request for a special permit and variances that would enable the former Tokyo restaurant (at 307 Fresh Pond Parkway) to be used as an extension of the auto repair garage next door.
Below are links to the most recent elevations, which have been revised to address some of our suggestions for design improvements. We are waiting for a revised landscaping plan, as one of our greatest concerns is how the parking lot facing Vassal Lane will be screened from the heavily traveled route between Fresh Pond and the Tobin School.

Continue reading

Fresh Pond Residents Alliance to Meet 7/22

The future of the former Tokyo restaurant remains uncertain

The future of the former Tokyo restaurant remains uncertain

The Fresh Pond Residents Alliance (FPRA) will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, July 22nd at 6:30 pm at the Tobin School (197 Vassal Lane, Cambridge). The minutes of the FPRA’s June 16th meeting are attached here.

The July 22nd agenda will include a discussion of the city’s master plan process and a preview of the proposals by the 3 design firms competing for the contract, and a continuation of our discussion of the proposal to convert the former Tokyo restaurant into an auto repair garage, which will come before the Board of Zoning Appeals on August 13th. In addition Pardis Saffari of the city’s Economic Development Department will brief us on an upcoming retail customer intercept survey in the Fresh Pond/Alewife area. Other topics on the agenda will include Harvard’s plan to reduce the outdoor open space on Holyoke Plaza.