City Council Special Permits: Moving Cambridge in the Wrong Direction

ABC opposes the Carlone Petition, currently before the Planning Board, which would give the City Council exclusive authority to grant certain large Special Permits for development in this city. We are concerned that it could seriously hurt our ability to create new housing at the scale needed to meet the needs of all Cambridge families.

Can we count on you to take the following actions and express your opposition to this proposal?

1. Send a letter expressing your opposition to the Carlone Petition to Chairman Hugh Russell and members of the Planning Board by emailing [email protected] who will then forward your letter on to the board. You might consider copying the City Councilors at [email protected].

2. Attend the Planning Board meeting and make voice your opposition directly to the Planning Board members: Tuesday, August 5 at 7pm in the Second Floor Meeting Room at 344 Broadway.

Last week, ABC member Seth Zeren wrote in the Cambridge Chronicle:"I have worked for a municipality where the legislative branch had taken on the power of granting special permits. The system was so problematic that there were active attempts to move away from it."

With Seth's experience in mind, we need your help to make sure Cambridge doesn't move toward a system that:

  • Increases the politicization of development, 
  • Relies on the opinion of City Councilors who are not experts on development, zoning, or city planning,
  • Increases uncertainty in the planning process, which will help ensure only large, wealthy developers can pay to build in our city -- and likely result in new developments that don't meet the needs of our diverse community.

Your action will be critical to helping stop this misguided and potentially disastrous proposal for Cambridge families. I hope we can count on your support.