Somerville Redevelopment Authority to Consider Union Square Revitalization Plan Wednesday
The plan will likely involve proposals for the Union Square Green Line station and a new library.
The plan is likely connected to an effort by the city to purchase parcels of land in Union Square for the construction of the Green Line Extension's Union Square Station.
Earlier this month, the city announced a memorandum of understanding with the MBTA to purchase land in Union Square and provide a permanent easement to the transit authority so it could build and operate the station. In return, the MBTA agreed to make the station operational by late 2016 or early 2017.
When the city made the announcement, it said the Somerville Redevelopment Authority would likely acquire the parcels on the city's behalf for an estimated cost of around $8 million.
The parcels the city plans to acquire are located near the intersection of Prospect Street and Webster Avenue.
The Revitalization Plan might also involve a proposal to build a new main-branch library in Union Square—another project that would require the city to acquire land, likely along Washington Street around Ricky's Flower Market.
Based on the agenda for Wednesday's Somerville Redevelopment Authority meeting, the authority will move to declare part of Union Square a "decadent area." It will also move to submit the 2012 Union Square Revitalization Plan to the Somerville Board of Aldermen.
The Board of Aldermen is scheduled to take up the matter Thursday night.
According to the Massachusetts law cited in the Somerville Redevelopment Authority agenda, a "decadent area" is defined as follows:
“Decadent area”, an area which is detrimental to safety, health, morals, welfare or sound growth of a community because of the existence of buildings which are out of repair, physically deteriorated, unfit for human habitation, or obsolete, or in need of major maintenance or repair, or because much of the real estate in recent years has been sold or taken for nonpayment of taxes or upon foreclosure of mortgages, or because buildings have been torn down and not replaced and under existing conditions it is improbable that the buildings will be replaced, or because of a substantial change in business or economic conditions, or because of inadequate light, air, or open space, or because of excessive land coverage or because diversity of ownership, irregular lot sizes or obsolete street patterns make it improbable that the area will be redeveloped by the ordinary operations of private enterprise, or by reason of any combination of the foregoing conditions.