- Presentation of proposed lab development at 32-44 White Street, Somerville
- Discussion of motorized scooters and skateboards and similar vehicles and where to put them.
Lab development at 32-44 White Street
Developers Stan Maltsev <email@example.com> and Adam Siegel <firstname.lastname@example.org>, who seek to build a 4-story lab on White Street, presented their proposal for the 4-story lab seek to build on White Street. The site consists of three lots—the one on which Fleming Printing operated until last spring, and the houses on each side. These lots sit entirely in Somerville, and thus the project is not subject to any Cambridge development ordinances. No variance of Somerville ordinances is required.
The project is speculative in that actual sale of the property to SGL Development is contingent on approval of the plans; no tenant has yet been identified.
- Occupancy: 75 people
- They plan to widen the sidewalk along White St to 12 feet
- Parking impact: They plan to install a stacking system below grade to handle 25 cars; only 16 cars could be accommodated without such a system. For bicycles, they plan to have 32 long-term spaces and 6 short-term spaces.
- Deliveries: They anticipate 2-3 deliveries daily, by truck.
- Traffic study to be conducted October 26–29 (Thursday through Saturday); the full report is expected to be available in 3 months.
In response to the question of why a residential use, which seems more appropriate for the site, was not considered, the developers said the variances required to construct a building with the density required to be financially feasible were considerable. Also, the objective of the City of Somerville to expand its tax base is a factor. This project would generate a one-time linkage payment of $150,000 and an annual tax bill $200,000, which is twice the amount that a residential building would generate.
Details about the project are available at this website, which the developers plan to update.
E-bikes and other motorized one-person vehicles
The possibility of renting e-bikes from Blue Bikes raises the need to consider some “rules of the road”. These bikes can reach speeds of 20/mph and weigh 80 pounds.
The effort to establish the rules needed for these vehicles and their many motorized cousins is in the preliminary discussion stage, and Councilor Toner has proposed some.
The conversation covered the expected concerns and issues: keeping these bikes off sidewalks, enforcement of traffic ordinances, requiring helmets, and licenses to operate them.
The power to require licenses for such vehicles requires a change to a state law, which Councilor Tone plans to work with Representative Decker to achieve.