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April 2013 PSNA Minutes

Agenda

  • Potbelly Sandwich Shop
  • Climate Change Planning
  • Mind's Eye Yarn
  • Tags Reverse Bag Sale
  • Art Grant for a Demonstration Block

Potbelly Sandwich Shop

Potbelly Sandwich Shop hopes to open on the first floor of the former Pizzeria Uno sometime this summer. Representatives presented their plans for the space and associated licenses and explained the history of this franchise, which started as an antique shop in Chicago, and includes a commitment to fundraising for community groups. They are a chain, with about 300 locations, and are just now beginning to expand in New England. They will have a permanent on-site manager, who was present at the meeting.

The details on all that along with menus are available here: http://www.potbelly.com/Company/OurStory.aspx

Because Potbelly is considered a “fast service food establishment,” it needs a zoning use variance. This special permit will allow them to apply for a common victualer license and an entertainment license. The entertainment is unamplified acoustic music during the lunch rush, another corporate tradition. (Interested local musicians are encouraged to contact them.) They do not intend to seek a liquor license.

We expressed neighborhood concerns about trash, which they acknowledged. They do not anticipate a lot of carry-out, and will provide on-site trash receptacles and support clean-up efforts.

Potbelly plans to have 44 inside seats and 22 outside seats on the enclosed patio at the front of the building. They will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends.

The BZA hearing is on May 9.

Climate Change Planning

Jennifer Lawrence of CDD made a presentation on what Cambridge is doing to plan for mitigations in response to climate change. This program has two phases. Phase 1, which is currently underway, involves gathering and evaluating reliable information to prepare an assessment of vulnerability risks to transportation and utilities and to public health and issues of environmental justice.

Phase 2, which begins in 2015, will focus on developing the mitigation plans. The city intends to proceed with efforts to lower its collective carbon footprint while it figures how to handle storm surges and such.

This work should complete by 2016. From what is known now, it’s probably a smart idea to start thinking about where to move the contents of your basement.

For more information, and to follow the progress of this effort, see cambridgema.gov/climateprep.

Mind's Eye Yarn

Lucy Lee plans to sell her hand-dyed yarn business. So far two potential buyers have expressed serious interest. If neither moves forward with the purchase by April 30, she plans a sale of inventory on May 1, which she expects will take about 2 weeks to clear.

Report on the Reverse Bag Sale at Tags

The discount that Tags offered on the weekend of March 23 to those who brought supplies for local food pantries yielded 1200 pounds of food, and put the North Cambridge Food Pantry back on their feet. Thanks to all for your generous contributions!

Art Grant for a Demonstration Block

For a couple of years, a small group of neighbors have been working with the city to put together a pilot program to redesign and reconstruct the sidewalks along Mass Ave between Porter and Harvard Squares to support street trees and other urban amenities. This group has applied for a $25,000 grant for public art for a location within the area along Massachusetts Avenue between Harvard and Porter Squares. The exact location is TBD.