ACTION ALERT: Next Week - Final Vote on Mass+Main Proposal

I am writing today to ask you to take final actions to help ensure City Council approval of the proposed Mass+Main mixed-income residential district that includes an unprecedented 47 new affordable housing units in Central Square.

In recent weeks the Ordinance Committee of the City Council and the Planning Board have both sent positive recommendations on the proposed Mass+Main zoning to the full City Council. Next Monday, May 18th the City Council will vote whether or not to implement these proposed zoning changes. 

We need you to take action in the coming week:

  • Send an email to the City Council describing your support for the project. Feel free to use information from our past Action Alerts on this issue. Personalized messages are powerful, but short messages still go a long way to making sure the City Council knows the broad-based support this project has in our community. Even if you've emailed the council on this issue in the past, it's a good idea to reinforce your past support. 
    • Send your message to council@cambridgema.gov and be sure to copy the City Clerk at dlopez@cambridgema.gov.
    • Emails received by this Friday, 5/15 Thursday, 5/14 at 5pm will be included in the public record for Monday's meeting.
  • Attend the next City Council meeting to speak publicly in support of this important project - the Council Council meets Monday, May 18th at 5:30pm in the Sullivan Chambers at Cambridge City Hall.
    • You can sign up to address the City Council by calling the City Council office starting at 9am next Monday (5/18): 617-349-4280.


A Better Cambridge stands in full support of the Mass+Main zoning, primarily for it's inclusion of 20% affordable housing, including 40 units for low-income families and 7 units for middle-income families. In addition, we endorse other key benefits of the proposal, such as its inclusion of family-sized 3 bedroom units, an innovative approach to reducing parking demand generated by the development, a commitment to making commercial rents affordable to local businesses, and creation of a public market. 

Don't just take my word for it. Last week, the Cambridge Chronicle featured three letters from community members detailing why they believe Mass+Main is the right project for Central Square at this time.

  • Ellen Shachter is a Cambridge resident and attorney who has represented low-income Cambridge residents in housing matters for the past 25 years. She believes 47 new affordable housing units is critical for Central Square. Read her letter here.
  • Carolyn Fuller is an ABC member whose home is directly adjacent to the proposed development. Despite some challenges the development may pose for her property, she supports the project because of the greater benefits it will bring to our community. Read her letter here.
  • Mark Boyes-Watson is a Cambridge resident and an architect who has spent most of the past 30 years designing housing in Cambridge. He believes development like Mass+Main can help stabilize the high cost of housing in our city. Read his letter here.

 
Thanks for your support!

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commented 2015-05-12 15:18:39 -0400
Hi Yulia, thanks for your comment. A Better Cambridge believes fully that more compact housing design including micro units and other space and cost-reducing strategies are key to address the severe housing shortage in Cambridge.

As for the the Mass+Main project, the developer has proposed (and the zoning includes) 5% of the housing units as small “innovation units,” otherwise known as micro units. This 5% equals approximately 12 of the 235 total units.
commented 2015-05-12 15:12:31 -0400
Please consider micro-apartments, tiny houses, and other space- and cost-reducing strategies.
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