ABC June 2021 News: Zoning and Racial Justice, New Member Orientation, and more

(Sent on June 23rd, 2021.)The ABC/Sunrise Missing Middle Housing proposal has run out of time allotted by state rules governing zoning petitions. At this month’s Ordinance Committee hearing, it was clear that the proposal has succeeded in changing the conversation toward substantial -- not merely symbolic -- reform of our outdated zoning laws. It's not yet clear what form the conversation will take going forward, but ABC will continue to advocate for an end to exclusionary zoning. Zoning reform would be more feasible if the City’s Planning Board, which reviews proposed zoning amendments and special permits for development, were more concerned by the harms of maintaining the status quo than by proposals for change. If you or a pro-housing friend may be interested in filling one of the vacant seats on the Planning Board, please apply or encourage them to apply now! The deadline is June 25. Continue reading

Statement Regarding Anti-Housing Rally

In our housing and climate crises, it is indefensible for the City to continue to prohibit new triple-deckers and fourplexes in residential neighborhoods, while allowing and encouraging new 2+-million-dollar detached houses. Small multifamily apartment buildings are some of Cambridge’s most affordable and sustainable housing stock, and the regulations that ban them have an ugly, racist and classist history. Continue reading

ABC May News: Planning Board vacancy, exclusionary zoning updates, & more

(Sent May 27th, 2021.) The City of Cambridge is seeking applicants for residents interested in serving on the Planning Board, which reviews proposed zoning amendments and special permits for development. Despite its tremendous influence over Cambridge’s future, the Planning Board’s membership is not representative of the city’s diverse, majority-renter population. If you or someone you know may be interested in serving on the Planning Board, please apply or encourage them to apply! The deadline is June 25. Continue reading

ABC April 2021 News: MMH at Planning Board, Cambridge RISE, Affordable Housing & more

(Sent April 27th, 2021.) The Planning Board will resume its review of the ABC/Sunrise Missing Middle Housing petition on Tuesday, May 11 at 6:30. The MMH working group is developing a series of potential amendments to the petition, in response to concerns from Councilors and CDD, which may be released soon. Continue reading

ABC March 2021 News: Missing Middle Housing hearings, “The Affordable City”, & more

(Sent March 24, 2021.) Please join us in supporting the ABC/Sunrise Missing Middle Housing zoning petition before the Planning Board on Tuesday, March 30 and the Ordinance Committee on Thursday, April 8. For details on how to submit comments, please see the full public comment guide, but importantly, emails must be sent in advance - for the Planning Board to receive a written statement, it must be emailed by 5:00 pm on March 29. Continue reading

ABC February 2021 News: Member meeting, new affordable housing developments, and more

(Sent Feb 22, 2021.) At tomorrow’s ABC Member Meeting (Tuesday at 6:00pm), we’ll be laying out plans for the City Council election in November. Come and contribute ideas for the ABC Platform and discuss how we can support strongly pro-housing voices on the Council. If you are not a member but wish to attend, you can become a member here and send us an email to get the invite. Continue reading

ABC January 2021 News: Missing Middle Housing and more

(Sent Saturday, January 30th.) On Monday, February 1, the City Council will first take up the Missing Middle Housing (MMH) zoning petition, which we’ve been very pleased to launch alongside Sunrise Boston. This petition would address several equity, affordability, and sustainability problems with current neighborhood zoning, by allowing up to 3 stories of new multi-family housing in any residential area, while removing the requirement to include often-under-utilized off-street parking spaces. Continue reading

Missing Middle Housing Announcement

Advocates from Sunrise Boston and A Better Cambridge launched the Cambridge Missing Middle Housing Petition today, gearing up for a push to ease zoning restrictions in Cambridge’s residential neighborhoods. The proposal — a joint venture of the youth climate justice group and the housing advocacy organization — would create a zoning category for residential neighborhoods that allows new “missing middle” housing: up to three stories of multi-family housing like townhouses and three-deckers. Continue reading

Why Cambridge Needs Zoning Reform: 2072 Mass Ave Reflects Our City’s Planning and Its Values

The proposed 100% affordable housing development at 2072 Mass Ave is a sustainable, transit-oriented project that has incorporated community feedback on design and neighborhood impact to date. As housing advocates and proponents of more sustainable, equitable development strategies, A Better Cambridge is all in on this Passive House development.  Continue reading

ABC Support Letter for 2072 Mass Ave

Re: 2072 Mass Ave (BZA-017326-2020) – Letter of Support Dear Members of the Board of Zoning Appeal, A Better Cambridge (“ABC”) wholeheartedly supports the proposed 100% affordable housing development at 2072 Massachusetts Avenue near Porter Square in Cambridge; we hope that the BZA will agree and approve this valuable project. Continue reading