Tuesday, July 26, 2011

More detail on my record and that of Cambridge’s Fake Groups — Mass. Ave.

1. General Introduction.
2. La Trémouille petition.
3. Natalie Ward Petition.
4. Anderson Petition.
5. Summary.

1. General Introduction.

Cambridge’s destructive city government works through fake groups to fool people into hurting their own cause, fool them into deferring working for their causes and to stay in office.

The thing which Cambridge’s fake groups find most offensive is somebody who meaningfully stands for causes they are trying to destroy by claiming they support the causes. They cannot justify their own irresponsibility so they personally destroy the activist.

There have been multiple downzonings between Harvard and Centrals Squares. There have been three major big ones, written by me, and two very destructive bad ones.

My three big ones were the La Trémouille petition of 1980, the Natalie Ward petition of 1989, and the Anderson petition of 1998. The destructive ones were the Harvard Square Overlay District of 1984 led by the falsely named Harvard Square Defense Fund and the historically destructive Harvard Square historical petition led by the same falsely named group.

2. La Trémouille petition.

The La Trémouille petition succeeded in zoning changes from about Ellery Street on the west, north and south of Mass. Ave., and on the east to Dana Street on the north and halfway between Bay and Hancock Street on the South.

It was written by a committee appointment by the Mid Cambridge Neighborhood Association and chaired by me. These fake groups work through central / coordinating committees which in turn are controlled by a tiny group, the people really controlling the entity. In turn, the central / coordinating committee is intended to control the overall group.

My committee wrote a downzoning running from the same western extreme but it went on the east to the YWCA, including it, on the north, and on the south to Sellers Street, just excluding the YMCA.

The steering committee demanded that the downzoning be turned into an upzoning.

The petition was intended to minimize traffic and maximize housing. Retail generates nine times the traffic as residential. Office generates three times the traffic.

The city manager’s fake groups maximize traffic in their petitions demonstrating major contempt for the environment. They routinely destroy ground floor open space, making the streets much less habitable. They love retail. Cambridge has too much traffic and twice the jobs it should have for its population, but the fake groups love retail.

The MCNA’s steering committee demanded retail everywhere in the petition on the first floor, with destruction of all first floor housing and open space.

The committee said that was a violation of the vote of the MCNA. The committee filed its petition.

The steering committee opposed the responsible petition filed. It reaffirmed its demands, and falsely stated it was speaking on behalf of the MCNA.

Finally, the petitioners forced a vote of the MCNA. The MCNA rejected its rogue steering committee.

By then, however, we had been fighting the rogue steering committee on the zoning for months and we were forced to cut our losses. The irresponsible buildings on the south side of Mass. Ave near Bay Street are the direct result of the actions of the rogue steering committee. The canyon which is Bay Street is the direct result of the Rogue Steering Committee.

We dropped all of the petition east of Dana Street on the north and east of what is now Bay Square on the south. We reduced commercial density and got Green Street limited to housing or open space in that area.

3. Natalie Ward Petition.

The fake groups repeatedly filed a whole bunch of lovely petitions for Harvard Square. They all lost except for the irresponsible Harvard Square Overlay District.

The Natalie Ward Petition attempted more than any prior petition and succeeded far beyond what the fake groups claimed was possible.

We downzoned an area generally running from Remington Street on the east and Bow Street on the west, with Harvard Street on the north halfway and the back lot lines the rest of the way. On the south, we went to Arrow and Bow Streets. This area was rezoned residential. The model of what we achieved is the Inn at Harvard.

Additionally, we restricted several lots between the intersection of Bow and Mass. Ave. on the north and Mt. Auburn Street on the south to office and residential uses, the same density as the north side.

The block south of Mt. Auburn Street between Banks Street and Putnam Avenue was changed to the adjacent residential zoning from zoning which was the same as the core of Harvard Square.

Three blocks south of Mt. Auburn Street near Holyoke Center were changed to the same neighborhood zoning to reflect the Harvard Houses there.

This leaves a very big gap in the middle.

We had a deal with the Cambridge City Council to wipe out the destructive Harvard Square Overlay District off Mass. Ave. in most of that area.

A key person from the MCNA steering committee came into a neighborhood group meeting and flat out lied that “You have made your deal with the City Council. Now you have to deal with the Planning Board.” That key person bullied this uncompensated yielding of that portion of this major victory.

The rest of the victory was too important to the petitioners. They stood up to the lie to that extent.

4. Anderson Petition.

The Leo Anderson Petition extended the Inn at Harvard zoning with improvements to the area from Dana Street to Inman Street on the north and, on the south from Bay Square to Sellers Street.

We also had citywide changes prohibiting parking garages for commercial use in adjacent residential neighborhoods.

We also improved the Inn at Harvard zoning to protect trees in open space, to provide more protection for neighbors and to provide meaningful protection for adjacent streets which are lower than Mass. Ave.

We modified the terms of the zoning of the commercial block between Ellery and Dana Streets to make them less intrusive.

The key person who lied his way to killing a major part of the Natalie Ward victory saw the petition on the City Council agenda. Without even reading it, he demanded to the city council the commercial upzoning his rogue steering committee had demanded in 1980. The one which the MCNA rejected when we forced a vote.

The petition was more victorious than we asked for when it came to a vote. We asked for a compromise to keep a property owner happy who lived a block away from city hall. We did not compromise enough to keep him happy. The city council went with us.

5. Summary.

The record of the Cambridge Pols with its fake groups is outrageous. The destruction of zoning protections on Memorial Drive fit the very common pattern of fake protections bragged about but turned into lies by undisclosed fine print.

My record is much broader than what I have reported above. The destructiveness of the Cambridge Pols and their fake groups is much broader than what is presented above.

That destructiveness now extends to the Charles River. That destructiveness is now a regional matter.