Update: Planning + Development News in the City of Cambridge

As we continue on the path toward a new citywide Master Plan, I want to let you know about two recent editorials that reflect on the latest efforts to inject a greater sense of accountability and collaboration into the city's special permit process.

First, DigBoston News Editor Chris Faraone writes about the Carlone petition, the Sullivan Courthouse debate, and the movement to get big money out of local politics. His column hits newsstands and kiosks on Wednesday, but you can read it online right now: http://digboston.com/boston-news-opinions/2014/09/veto-power-developers-run-somerville-and-cambridge-and-theres-nothing-anyone-can-do-about-it/

Next, Cambridge Day Editor Marc Levy goes even more in-depth on these topics, dissecting some of the statements that were made in opposition to my plan to give the city council additional authority over the Sullivan Courthouse and other troubling projects in the Fresh Pond Alewife flood plain area; read Marc's piece online, here: http://www.cambridgeday.com/2014/09/28/five-head-scratch-inducing-statements-from-the-battle-over-big-development/

Residents who are concerned about these issues will have two important opportunities to continue the discussion, tomorrow, September 30th.

At 3 pm tomorrow, the council's Housing Committee will conduct a hearing to provide updates on affordable housing topics such as inclusionary zoning, linkage, the Nexus Study, and three expiring use buildings (Briston Arms, the Close Building, and Fresh Pond Apartments) where affordable units will need to be preserved. The meeting will be held at 831 Massachusetts Avenue, in the Basement Conference Room.

Then at 7 pm, the Planning Board will meet to discuss the fate of the Sullivan Courthouse redevelopment. As a result of my earlier policy order, the meeting will be held in the East Cambridge neighborhood, at the Kennedy Longfellow School, 158 Spring Street.

I look forward to attending both meetings -- and as always, I will be pushing for policies that knit the community together and help contribute to the public realm -- and I plan to have more to say about all of this in the near future, so please stay tuned.

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