City Council Agenda Highlights (11/26/18)

The Cambridge City Council will hold a regular meeting on Monday, November 26, 2018, starting at 5:30pm. This week’s agenda is brief, as it follows a short holiday week. As always, the meeting will be recorded and live-streamed on the Open Meeting Portal and televised on Channel 22-CityView.

City Manager’s Agenda

#1 Loan Appropriation Request for Renovation of Two City Buildings: The manager is requesting to borrow $3M for planning and feasibility studies for improvements to 831 Mass Ave (The Lombardi Building, which houses Inspectional Services, the Historical Commission, the License Board and the Consumers Council) and 3 Bigelow St (currently vacant, formerly transitional housing). The two buildings are adjacent to each other and the current uses could be reshuffled in the renovations. Construction would be funded through a future appropriation.

#2 Loan Appropriation Request for Renovation of Fire Headquarters: The manager is requesting to borrow $3M for design to renovate the main fire station at Broadway and Cambridge St. Construction would be funded through a future appropriation.

Once formally adopted (not until our Dec. 10 meeting), both these loans would be included in the FY19 bond issue.

Policy Orders

#1 Update on Urban Agriculture Zoning: I sponsored this request for an update on when we can expect to see draft zoning for urban farming and food production, the second portion of the Urban Ag task force process that began several years ago (beekeeping was approved last year; hen keeping would be the third and final part). Last we heard in June, draft zoning was expected this fall. See report on WBUR about the future of farming and new methods of urban food production.

#2 Small Business Saturday Promotion: This order asks the City to work with business associations and Cambridge Local First to plan more promotion to highlight next year’s Small Business Saturday that supports small businesses and local retail.

#3 Televise Tree Hearing: The Health and Environment Committee will discuss the latest LiDAR tree canopy study at a public hearing on Tues. Dec. 4 at 5:00pm. This order requests that the hearing be live-streamed and televised. The study also will be discussed at the next meting of the Urban Forest Master Plan Task Force on Thurs. Dec. 29 at 6:00pm at the CRLS Media Cafe.

Public Comment and Viewing Meetings

Public comment begins at 5:30 pm. Each person is allowed to speak for up to 3 minutes on any agenda item except for communications from other members of the public. There is an online system for signing up for public comment that goes live on the Friday morning before each Monday meeting. Here is the link. You also may call 617-349-4280 on the Monday of the meeting from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm to sign up to speak, or sign up when you arrive at City Hall by going to the City Council office after 5:00pm and using the public computer terminal on the desk by the door. Regardless of how you sign up you should do so before 6:00 pm on Monday. To submit written comments, please email and cc City Clerk Donna Lopez at If received after Thursday at 3pm, your comments will appear on the public record (under “Communications”) at the next subsequent Council meeting.

City Council meetings are televised on Channel 22-CityView and live-streamed on the City’s Open Meeting Portal and on the City’s YouTube site. Recorded versions of all Council meetings may be found on the Open Meeting Portal.

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Jan Devereux
City Councillor
Cambridge, MA