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

ABC Opposes MBTA Forging Ahead Service Cuts

A Better Cambridge sent the following statement to the Fiscal Management and Control Board yesterday: A Better Cambridge opposes the MBTA’s Forging Ahead plan. Our transportation system and our affordable housing crisis are inexorably linked - we cannot solve one without the other. The MBTA system is the backbone of our region and our city—Cambridge needs safe, reliable public transit for residents, commuters, and visitors to thrive. The Governor, legislature, and MBTA must find a better way forward that does not compromise equitable access to our transit system and economy, including waiting on federal funding and finding alternative revenue sources. Please take service cuts off the table and ask the state house to find new funding and act to protect our essential transit.

ABC November News: 2072 Mass Ave hearing, neighborhood associations, & more

(Sent on Monday, November 30th, 2020.) On Thursday, December 10th at 6pm, the Board of Zoning Appeal will be deciding whether to grant a comprehensive permit for the 49-unit affordable housing project at 2072 Mass Ave (near Porter Square). A Better Cambridge is strongly in support of this project - in addition to providing 49 units of badly-needed affordable housing, some at deeply affordable rates, it is a great model of what Passive House, sustainable development should look like along corridors near transit. Sadly, some neighbors are complaining about scale and parking; pro-housing voices are needed, especially if you live nearby. Continue reading