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.

Minutes of 4/14 FPRA Meeting

IMG_8868Here are minutes of the FPRA’s April 14th public meeting held at the Tobin School.

Jan Devereux, FPRA President, gave some area development updates:

  • Tokyo Restaurant (on Fresh Pond Parkway near Tobin School) – the City was contacted by FPRA about the lack of maintenance of the site (snow not being removed from sidewalks this winter, graffiti on the wall, and the “temporary” metal fence falling over onto the sidewalk). The generally derelict condition of the building is also of concern. It is uncertain if the new owner intends to develop the site. Post-meeting update: Staff at the adjoining auto repair business unofficially reported that their boss Eli, who acquired the Tokyo property last fall, said recently that he is thinking of extending the auto repair bay over the Tokyo property. We believe this would require a special permit because it is in the Parkway Overlay District. There is now a policy order on the 4/27 Council agenda, asking the manger to report on the possibility of acquiring the site for affordable housing. Stay tuned.

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88 CPD Post Mortem

The dotted line shows the scale of the original proposal (9-10 stories vs. 6-7)

The dotted line shows the scale of the original proposal (9-10 stories vs. 6-7)

As reported today in the Cambridge Chronicle, the Planning Board approved the McKinnon Company’s 254-unit residential development at 88 CambridgePark Drive last night — pending the resolution of one sticking point before the final decision is recorded (no later than November 21). Continue reading

Comments on Latest Alewife Development Proposal

Aerial view of 180R Cambridge Park Drive

Aerial view of 180R Cambridge Park Drive

The Planning Board will hold a public hearing on July 8 to review a proposed residential development near the Alewife MBTA station. Below is an extract of the comments that the FPRA officers submitted to the Board for consideration. The complete document is here (17 pages). Continue reading

Building on the Great Swamp

Two new buildings facing each other on Cambridge Park Drive will hold 642 apartments. The Pfizer building sits at the end of the cul-de-sac.

Two new buildings facing each other on Cambridge Park Drive will hold 642 apartments. The Pfizer building sits at the end of the cul-de-sac.

Sunday morning I took an exploratory, and revelatory, bike ride, and I feel as if it’s time for a reality check. Is the gargantuan scale and density of all this new development  around Alewife really such a smart idea, even if it is near transit? As a friend asked recently, “Have we drunk the density Kool-Aid?” Folks, I fear we have. Continue reading