February Newsletter: New Zoning and Linkage Fees are Proposed

A Better Cambridge mourns the sudden death of Brian Murphy, Assistant City Manager for Community Development. Brian was a dedicated and gifted public servant who never sought the limelight and was a strong advocate for affordable housing. We extend our deep sympathy to his family on their untimely loss.

We hope everyone is surviving through these weeks of snow. The last few weeks have seen significant cancellations and delays for city programs. Below you will find the February ABC Newsletter.


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As part of a zoning overhaul in Somerville, the city has released a summary of key changes in the zoning code. Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone has publicly pledged that 9,000 new units of housing need to be built in his city β€” already the densest city in MA. This number is up from their original estimate of 6,000 new units. Once they looked at the projected demand, the Mayor and city upped their estimates.
Somerville Zoning Changes

The Boston Globe recently published an article focused on an empty lot in Kendall Square including possible uses for the space and the plans of the owner to build a performance facility.
Boston Globe

An overhaul of Lechmere station as part of the Green Line extension is set to begin this spring. It is scheduled to be completed in 2017.
Cambridge Chronicle

Below is the link to a much anticipated Cambridge Incentive Zoning Ordinance Study recommending changes in linkage fees.
City of Cambridge

Late-night weekend service on the T was extended through June. A final decision on the program will be announced in April.


The next A Better Cambridge general meeting will take place on Thursday, March 5th at 7 pm. Location TBD.

The Planning Board will hold a hearing on the Normandy Twining zoning petition on Tuesday, February 24th.

The Neighborhood and Long Term Planning, Public Facilities, Arts and Celebrations Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss emerging technologies for master planning and comprehensive zoning at 3 pm on Thursday, February 19th. Local researchers will present their work on data science and neighborhood planning policy.
City of Cambridge

True Story Theater & the Cambridge Historical present The Port/Area IV Stories of Belonging on Wednesday, February 25th at 6:30 pm at the Central Square Theater.
True Story Theater

The participatory budget process is moving into the next phase. If you're a Cambridge resident 12 years of age or older, you can vote on how to spend $500,000 from the City's Capital Budget.
Full particpatory budgeting information here



Only 45% of Cambridge workers drive to work alone. Since 2000, this has dropped by 5.3%, whereas nationally it has risen.