Support the Carlone-Mazen-Simmons Master Plan Order

photo (1)Dennis Carlone’s petition for a new master plan is the basis for a very important policy order, co-sponsored by Councillors Nadeem Mazen and Denise Simmons, on the agenda for the City Council meeting on Monday, April 7 at 5:30 pm.

Read full text of the Carlone policy order here.

We support the Carlone-Mazen-Simmons policy order over another planning-related policy order sponsored by Mayor David Maher, Vice Mayor Dennis Benzan and Councillor Marc McGovern.

The two policy orders come in response to growing public concern about the impact that the recent surge in development is having on traffic congestion, housing affordability, social equity, pedestrian/bike safety, the environment and open space – to name a few. While both policy orders recognize that residents citywide are demanding – and deserve – a greater voice in the planning process, we believe that the Carlone-Mazen-Simmons order goes further toward ensuring a more democratic and comprehensive process because it places our elected City Council at the helm, rather than appointed staff.

In our opinion, the competing policy order would more likely sustain the unsustainable status quo that has residents in the Fresh Pond area and across the city up in arms. Quite frankly, we don’t think that we could have filled the Tobin cafeteria at our first meeting on March 24 if the status quo was giving residents a meaningful say in the planning process. Monday night’s Council meeting will no doubt spark a lively debate, and a favorable outcome could be critical to the future of our neighborhood.

What you can do to help NOW

1. Contact the City Council in support of the Carlone-Mazen-Simmons master plan initiative (Policy Order #14). Send emails to and cc to be entered into the public record. Or call (617) 349-4280.

2. If you have a relationship with Councillors Kelley, Cheung, or Toomey (the three who are not co-sponsoring either policy order), please contact them directly to ask that they support the Carlone order for a master plan.


3. Attend Monday’s Council meeting and speak in support of the Carlone-Mazen-Simmons master plan initiative. Call (617) 349-4280 after 8:30 am on Monday to sign up to speak, and/or sign in when you arrive at City Hall (by 5:30 pm) to add your name on the public testimony list. You will be given three minutes to express your views.

If you can make it to City Hall on Monday at 5:30 pm, we encourage you to do so. Even if you don’t feel comfortable speaking, you can applaud other speakers to show your support, and the debate is sure to be instructive on many levels.

Need talking points for your comments?

The Cambridge Residents Alliance has developed a MENU of TALKING POINTS that you could use to frame your emails and comments to the Council.

Learn More

You are also welcome to attend the CRA meeting TODAY at 4:00 pm (Sunday 4/6) at St. Bartholomew’s Church off Prospect St. (next door to the Area 4 Youth Center). The group will be discussing the Carlone policy order and why a comprehensive master plan is so urgently needed.

Other Important Actions

75 New Street is on the Planning Board’s agenda for Tuesday, April 8, at 7:20 pm at City Hall Annex (344 Broadway). Thank you to everyone who submitted comments by email. We need folks to come and speak at the hearing, too. The 3-minute rule applies, so focus your comments on the aspect of the proposal that most concerns you.

Please forward this link to neighbors & friends. You and they can request to join our list by emailing

Thank your for caring enough about the future of our neighborhood and our city to read to the end of this post.

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Join the Conversation, Mon. 3/24, 7:00-8:30 pm

IMG_6155Like living near Fresh Pond? The future of Huron Village, as we know it, is on the line. Thousands of new units are in the pipeline, including 93 more units proposed at 75 New St. between Fresh Pond and Danehy Park, 20 units planned for the former Tokyo restaurant site, and 108 units on Concord Ave. at Wheeler St. by Trader Joe’s. The majority are small luxury units; where is the affordable family housing we need? See map of recent development. 

Inappropriately high-density development in the Concord Ave.-Alewife area is already having a negative impact on our quality of life and on the environment and safety. Namely:

  • Increased traffic congestion
  • Increased air & noise pollution
  • Public transit at or nearing maximum capacity
  • Reduced safety for pedestrians and cyclists
  • Threat to fragile Fresh Pond-Danehy-Alewife eco-system

When will we reach the tipping point?

The Fresh Pond Residents Alliance invites you to a discussion forum.

Monday, March 24, 7:00-8:30 pm at the Tobin School

  • Share your concerns and ideas.
  • Learn what residents can do to ensure that future growth is sustainable.
  • Help preserve the future quality of life in our neighborhood!

Join our group by emailing:

Phase I of a 108 unit + retail development on corner of Concord Ave. & Wheeler St. by Trader Joe's.

Phase I of a 108 unit + retail development on corner of Concord Ave. & Wheeler St. by Trader Joe’s. Traffic on Wheeler empties onto Concord right at the rotary and will add to traffic going in and out of the shopping center at the same intersection. A nightmare for drivers and people going to and from Fresh Pond Reservation.