Progress! With the City Council’s unanimous approval of the Carlone-Maher policy order earlier this week, Cambridge is one step closer to developing a new master plan. So what’s next?
The Fresh Pond Residents Alliance will hold a public meeting on Tuesday, May 13, at 7:00 PM at the Tobin School (197 Vassal Lane). All welcome!
City Councilors will be present to update us on the master plan initiative. (Dennis Carlone, Nadeem Mazen and Marc McGovern are confirmed; others may attend as well.) We will discuss how to make the most of the series of community meetings that will take place with an independent consultant over the next two months. We will talk about next steps, goals and strategies. We invite you to share your greatest hopes and concerns for Cambridge as a whole as well as for our area. This is the moment for neighbors and neighborhoods to come together and talk about the big picture — we must capitalize on this opportunity to weigh in on the future of our city.
BUT while we wait for a plan — what’s on the development horizon?
We also will provide updates on the proposed 93-unit development at 75 New Street, which comes before the Planning Board on May 20, on the status of the Tokyo project, and on the proposed 388-unit development at 180R Cambridge Park Drive, which was approved by the Cambridge Conservation Commission and will come before the Planning Board on June 17.
It was a terrific meeting thanks to those who led and spoke out. Thank you Pebble Gifford for insisting on a sense of the meeting.
I realize we need to be aware of the inclination of our politicians to set up false dichotomies. A couple of City Council meetings ago it was those who are against more development v.s. those who want affordable housing. Last night, there were two efforts to divide us: 1. those who want commercial development v.s. those who want residential development, and 2. Fresh Pond residents v.s. people in the “other room”. These are all false divisions. It seems clear that most of us in Cambridge want enlightened development and affordable housing and that we can all pull together.
I hope when these false dichotomies come up one of us will speak out right away. It’s a technique that tends to divert the conversation and muddy the waters!
I’m all for commercial AND affordable housing development!
Eric, I’m in favor of commercial and affordable housing development, too. Unfortunately, none of these buildings (or the many more soon to follow) provide much of either. In total, a careful analysis of these new buildings finds them to be 98% residential, with no other uses (restaurants, stores, small offices, coffee shops) included in the projects. Similarly, only 15% of these units are affordable; the vast majority are market rate units renting for $3100 or more for a small, two-bedroom apartment (not including parking). So, yes, we are not labeling development as “BAD.” Instead, we are trying to draw attention to what specifically is being built, and in that regard, we find much of it to be severely lacking.