Thursday, March 28, 2013
Fred Berman asks the Somerville Board of Aldermen to fight for more lucrative development at an Assembly Square parcel.
Thursday, March 28
Fred Berman, a former Board of Aldermen candidate who's been involved in Assembly Square development issues, sent the following letter to the Somerville Board of Aldermen. The letter asks the aldermen to reject a zoning amendment for the former IKEA site in Assembly Square. Berman argues the amendment could lead to a big-box supermarket that isn't in the best interest of the city. He provided the letter to Somerville Patch. Here it is: Dear Members of the Board of Aldermen, On Tuesday, April 2, the Land Use Committee will be voting on a zoning proposal to allow a ground floor supermarket to exceed the 50,000 square foot cap that was put in place to preclude more big box development at Assembly Square. The proposed zoning amendment would …
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
The city moves to make significant changes to the way it plans and assesses real estate development.
The city Tuesday released the names of 20 people who will serve on a zoning advisory committee that will counsel officials as Somerville moves to enact its first major zoning overhaul in a generation. According to an announcement from the city, the advisory committee will aid the mayor and the Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development as they work to make significant changes to the city's zoning code. The announcement says Somerville's most recent zoning overhaul was 23 years ago, and the codes haven't kept up with all the changes Somerville has undergone in that time. Speaking to Somerville Patch in October of 2012, Brad Rawson, a senior planner with the Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development, said Somerville'…
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
A public "Somerville by Design" process will kick off on Oct. 17 with a "visioning session" at The Center for Arts at the Armory.
The city of Somerville is launching a urban planning initiative called "Somerville by Design," which will kick off with a "visioning session" on Oct. 17, according to an announcement sent by the mayor's office Tuesday. The purpose of "Somerville by Design" is to seek opinions about the future of Magoun, Ball and Gilman squares, which could be home to MBTA train stations by the end of the decade if the Green Line Extension progresses as planned. "Somerville by Design" will also inform city planners in an effort to significantly overhaul residential zoning laws in the city, according to Brad Rawson, a senior planner with the city's Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development. The two issues—residential zoning laws and visions for …
Friday, April 13, 2012
The Somerville Board of Aldermen passed two new zoning ordinances Thursday night intended to increase pervious surfaces in the city.
Ward 2 Alderman Maryann Heuston recalled how years ago a neighbor paved over his rose garden to make room for more parking. As of Thursday night, that's no longer allowed. In what Rebekah Gewirtz, aldermen of Ward 6, called it "a big victory for the city," the Somerville Board of Aldermen Thursday night passed two new zoning ordinances designed to increase the amount of pervious area in the city. (Pervious means water can flow through it. Much of Somerville is covered by impervious concrete and asphalt.) The two new zoning ordinances "encourage green roofs [and] limit impervious surfaces," Gewirtz said. They also strive to "reduce the heat island effect," she said. Areas with lots of asphalt trap heat on hot days and increase the …
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Neighbors and developers face the Zoning Board of Appeals' decision on the subdivision of the lot at One Benton Rd. on March 2.
It’s a large white house, on a rolling corner lot on the edge of a historic district. The address: One Benton Road. The problem: Neighbors want the Spring Hill property kept whole but a developer is seeking to split the lot in two and build more condos on the site. The developer, MLM Realty Trust, applied for permission to subdivide the lot last summer, but the Planning Board denied the proposal. Numerous residents requested the board block the change then. Now, lawyers for the developer will face the Zoning Board of Appeals on March 2. Richard Di Girolamo, Esq. one of the lawyers representing MLM Realty Trust, said he believes that the Planning Board was outside of their jurisdiction according to Massachusetts case law when denying the …