Somerville's rezoning proposal
David Guzman and Adam Duchesneau from the City of Somerville presented and answered questions about plans to re-zone Elm Street and Somerville Avenue between Porter Square and Wilson Square. The purpose of this re-zoning is to encourage more business close to the MBTA and existing shopping, without unduly harming adjacent residential areas.
For detailed information see (large) PDF files:
We were particularly concerned about the air rights, which seem too large and do not take into consideration coordination with the City of Cambridge.
One other issue that came up during discussion was the loss of resident parking places along Somerville Avenue. These were removed during the recent reconstruction, and have not been replaced.
North Mass Ave rezoning
Also present was Stuart Dash, from Cambridge CDD, who commented briefly on plans to modify zoning on Mass Ave north of Porter Square with the goal of encouraging ground floor retail.
PSNA encourages the two cities to coordinate more closely, particularly along the boundary between them. The air rights proposal is a case in point.
Ears to the Ground
Stuart Dash mentioned that plans are progressing for bringing the new bike sharing program to Porter Square. It's likely that the lower plaza will be used for this purpose.
Curtis Cook, pastor of the New Hope Fellowship Church, tells us that the city has rejected their application to use the adjacent house, and they have decided not to pursue the matter further.