The Cambridge City Council agenda for Monday, February 29 is posted on the Open Meeting portal. Here are some highlights of a relatively short agenda.
I already posted on Policy Order #1, which proposes a transfer tax on real estate sales over $1 million. Details of how the tax would be structured remain to be worked out, so if you have suggestions please post them in the comments section on that post.
#3 offers the City Council’s strong support for pending State legislation (H.2871) to require the timely repair of gas leaks when roads are reconstructed. The Cambridge chapter of Mothers Out Front has been leading a “Fix Leaks First” campaign to raise awareness of the dangers posed by methane gas leaks (see map of methane leaks in Cambridge).
#4 is a follow-up to last week’s Ordinance Committee hearing on the Cohen Petition to create a “garage exclusion zone” to prevent street-facing garages from being constructed at the front of very narrow lots. At issue is whether the petition constitutes reverse spot zoning. The Planning Board will hear the Cohen Petition on Tues., 3/8 at 7 pm.
#5 relates to the future of the Out of Town News Kiosk in Harvard Sq. The city owns the historic building and has been discussing how to re-purpose it when the news vendor’s lease expires at the end of 2016. The policy order asks for the creation of a working group to develop a framework for “stewardship, curatorship and oversight” and proposes a public-private partnership with the Harvard Square Business Association to “promote and support commerce.” The order states that a total of $4.5m has already been committed to this project over FY16, FY17 and FY18.
Public Comment and Viewing Meetings:
Public comment begins at 5:30 pm. Each person is allowed to speak for 3 minutes on any agenda item. You may call 617-349-4280 on Monday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm to sign up to speak, or sign in when you arrive (before 6 pm). If you wish to submit written public comments, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and cc City Clerk Donna Lopez at email@example.com.
City Council meetings are televised on CCTV Channel 22 and live streamed on the City Council’s website. Recorded versions of all Council meetings may be found on the city’s Open Meeting Portal.
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Jan Devereux City Councillor Cambridge, MA