City Council Agenda Highlights (12/17/18)

The City Council’s last meeting of 2018 will take place on Monday, December 18, starting at 5:30pm. The agenda is here. I will be out of town for this week’s meeting but here are a few of the items of interest. The next regular meeting of the Council will be January 7, 2019.

City Manager’s Agenda

#1 Report on Enforcement of the Bike Lane Bill: This memo details the increased enforcement efforts to keep bike lanes clear of cars and provides data on parking tickets issued and motor vehicle citations.

#3 STEP Grant for Traffic Enforcement: Allocation of a $22K state grant to conduct high-visibility traffic enforcement in locations with high crash rates.

#4 Replacement of Heating & Cooling Unit at Police Headquarters: $3.1M will be appropriated from Free Cash for this work.

Unfinished Business

#7 Adult-Use Cannabis Zoning: The zoning for adult-use cannabis retail sales and small (< 10K sf) facilities for cultivation or production could be ordained at this meeting (the petition expires on 12/31 so if it is not acted on it would need to be re-filed). The applicants would need a special permit from the Planning Board. Stores could be located in most business and industrial districts no less than 1,800 feet apart except if one of the locations was operated by an Economic Opportunity Applicant. There would be a buffer of either 500 or 300 feet between a retail store and a K-12 school or public playground or youth facility. Applicants would negotiate community host agreements separate from the zoning approval process for their locations. The Planning Board is hearing applicants for two medical dispensaries this Tuesday 12/18 at 541 Mass Ave and 200 Mons. O’Brien Hgwy. Medical dispensaries can apply to offer retail sales as well once the zoning is in place.

Policy Orders

#1 Timing for Table of Uses Update: This order renews requests made over the past few years for CDD to provide a schedule for when the zoning table of uses will be updated.

#2 EV Charging at the Curb: I co-sponsored this order with Councillor Kelley to formally ask a question that arose at the committee hearing I held earlier this year about electric vehicles. We need to offer ways to charge Evs at the curb rather than relying solely on chargers off-street in parking lots, garages and driveways.

#3 Education Needed for Sharing Streets with Trucks: At the recent committee hearing I co-chaired with Councillor Kelley on truck safety we discussed the need for more education for cyclists and pedestrians about the dangers posed by large trucks and how to avoid their blind spots.

#4 Disclosure of Beneficial Ownership: Councillor Siddiqui sponsored this order to explore with the Assessor’s Office the feasibility of requiring businesses that acquire property to disclose their beneficial ownership.

Late Policy Orders

#1 Support for Protected Bike Lanes on Museum Way, O’Brien Highway and the Craigie Bridge (follow up order to last week’s discussion on adding a painted bike lane to the Craigie Bridge)

#2 Request for More Detailed Data on Housing Evictions (follow up order to last week’s memo on eviction research)

#3 Mayor’s Blue Ribbon ask Force on Tenant Protections: The group will be formed by early next month.

Committee Reports

#1 Transportation Hearing on Progress toward a Bike Network

#2 Neighborhood and Long Term Planning hearing on the Harvard Sq Kiosk Renovation and Plaza Redesign Project

#3 Public Safety and Transportation Joint Hearing on Truck Safety

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