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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Board Of Alderman To Discuss Winter Hill & East Somerville Re-Zoning On 2/11/2010

Before you shoot me an email or make a comment, I know that these are not part of Ward 5.

At the Committee of Land Use meeting, chaired by Ward 5's Sean O'Donovan, an ordinance to modify the Corridor Commercial District (CCD) and Transit Oriented Districts (TOD) pertaining to articles 6, 8, and 9 was presented by the Executive Director of Strategic Planning and Community Development, Monica Lamboy.

To summarize, according to Miss Lamboy, "the current zoning has not spurred desired redevelopment of vacant or underutilized land, low density development." She would like to see this community built upon by implementing neighborhood-friendly/focused stores (especially in the wake of Star Market's closing on Broadway) and creating businesses that would lead to new jobs and economic growth. This, of course, would be accentuated by the anticipated green line extension to Gilman Square, the development at Assembly Square, and the existing Orange Line Station at Sullivan Square.

The overall proposal promotes a rebirth of the Winter Hill and East Somerville areas, however, it was specifics such as parking, lack of public outreach, and ease of obtaining special permits that concerned committee members. The overly-highlighted and disorganized draft proposal did not make the meeting go smoothly as most were unable to read it and a modified reprint was provided towards the end of the meeting.

Miss Lamboy and company now have until the next regularly scheduled Board of Alderman meeting (2.11.2010) to revamp the proposal, revisiting the concern-causing areas mentioned above. Hopefully, she'll leave the highlighter out of it.

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