Saturday, November 19, 2005

Environmental Destruction Extends to Porter Square

Published in Cambridge Day, 11/14/05, by Bob:

Cambridge Day

The Day has, quite properly, given good reporting to the situation in the Porter Square area.

Regrettably, the most important things going on are kept as quiet as possible.

The heavily treed plaza at Porter Station is under attack by the City Manager and the developer/contractor community.

Fine print was included in the last air rights proposal for Porter Station to destroy this plaza for retail. Fine print is included in the city manager’s pending zoning change for North Mass. Ave which is intended to exactly that as well.

The city manager’s North Mass. Avenue zoning proposal would do a lot more than that. The North Mass. Ave. zoning proposal fights to destroy all first floor housing from Wendell Street to Porter Square and to destroy as much first floor open space, private yards, as the city manager can get away with. The zoning proposal even prefers construction of dormitories to construction of market housing.

Even worse, incorporated in the proposal is language to reward destruction of the Three Aces block just north of Harvard Law as well.

The common denominator in this initiative as in so many other city manager zoning initiatives is secrecy. Lovely words, lovely packaging, and secrecy on very destructive things sneaked in.

The city needs more treed plazas such as at Porter Station. The city manager keeps destroying trees.

The city needs to protect its neighborhood businesses such as the Three Aces block. The city manager keeps helping developers/contractors destroying them as well.

The city council should defeat the city managers north Mass. Ave. upzoning to protect the environment of our city.