Take Action to Expand Sustainable Growth in Central Square

A Better Cambridge was founded in 2012, in response to attempts by a small group of residents to turn back the clock on sustainable growth in Cambridge by submitting a zoning change that, among other negative impacts, would have permanently preserved certain parking lots in Central Square.

They're at it again. Now this small but vocal group of residents is fighting a smart, sustainable development in the heart of Central Square that would bring much-needed new housing and jobs to a currently underutilized parking lot just a stone's throw from the Central Square T Station.

Thanks to petition signatures and letters from you and hundreds of your friends and neighbors, A Better Cambridge was able to stop the Central Square downzoning. We need you to take action again to ensure our city remains on the path towards sustainable growth.

Next Tuesday, the Cambridge Planning Board will hold a final public hearing on a Special Permit request for development at 10 Essex Street in Central Square (Behind the old Harvest Coop location):

Tuesday, February 18th
7:20 P.M.
at City Hall Annex
344 Broadway

ABC strongly encourages all Smart Growth supporters in Cambridge to attend this hearing to make your support for the project known to the Planning Board.

While this project alone is relatively modest in scale, it is a step towards the type of smart, transit-oriented development that we hope to see more of in Cambridge’s future. This project adds 46 units in what is arguably one of parcels in Cambridge that is best served by public transportation (just steps from the T), multiple Hubway stations, and numerous nearby car-shares. In addition, the developer is requesting relief from the Planning Board to allow the development of only ½ parking space per unit, a request that ABC believes is highly desirable give the site's great transportation access

Read more about the development plans at http://bit.ly/MxiHbv (scroll to the bottom of the page)

Unfortunately, a small but vocal group of residents have come out in opposition to this project. If their vocal opposition to this project sways the Planning Board to reject this Special Permit, it will set a very bad precedent for Smart Growth in Central Square.

In advance of next Tuesday’s hearing, I hope you’ll take time submit written comments to the Planning Board. This is especially important if you are unable to attend the hearing in person, but is recommended for all supporters. Please address comments to Chairman Hugh Russell and submit via email to Liza Paden [email protected] (she will forward to all members of the PB).

While your comments will have the most impact if they are personal, thoughtful, and original, the ABC Leadership Committee submitted an official statement which you can feel free to use for talking points or guidance when drafting your own letter. Our statement has been posted on the ABC website at http://www.abettercambridge.org/abc_letter_pb_10_essex