November 2017

Thursday, November 16, 2017 - 7:00pm

Thursday, November 16, 2017 (Annual Meeting)

Porter Square Neighbors Association
North Cambridge Senior Center
2050 Massachusetts Avenue


* Annual Election of Officers
* Email List Update
* Future PSNA Activities

* Ears to the Ground



We elected the following new officers:

President:  Ruth Ryals (who conducted the rest of the meeting)

Vice President:  Vacant

Secretary and Treasurer:   Margaret Studio


Follow Up on the January 11, 2018 BZA Hearing for 1791 Mass Ave

Last night the Board of Zoning Appeal (BZA) voted 5-0 in favor of granting a comprehensive permit for the proposed fully afforadable housing development at 1791 Mass Ave which will provide 40 units (many 2-3 bedrooms, allowing families).

The plans call for the restoration of the Second Empire Victorian  (the "old dentists home") on the Avenue, a large new building behind it, and the renovation of two historic houses at the rear (on Frost Terrace).


Please join in a tour and Q & A Saturday noon at proposed 1791 Mass Ave development with Larry Field

I'm organizing an "on site" tour and Q & A session with the developers next Saturday (January 6) at noon. It will last less than one hour and won't interfere with any football watching.

If you haven't heard about 1791 Mass Ave, the developers are proposing to transform the run-down Victorian on the property (last used as a medical office) into a 100% affordable family community with 40 apartments. The front building will continue to have its Victorian look but a new structure will be added in the rear.

BZA Hearing for 1791 Mass Ave.

There will be a BZA Hearing on the Comprehensive Permit sought for the affordable housing development proposed for 1791 Mass Ave on January 11th at 7:30 pm at the Citywide Senior Center 806 Mass Ave.

Please come and speak that evening or offer your comments in writing to  Written comments must be submitted prior to the Hearing and include the Case Number (#4874).

The developers were asked by the Planning Board at the meeting on 12/5/17 to reconsider the design (especially of the part of the building facing the Newport Rd. Condominiums) and other issues raised that night. The video of the meeting can be found at htpp://cambridgema.igm2/citizens/default.aspx?

The revised design and additional materials should be posted at on 1/5/18.

The PB refused to hear comments on parking issues that evening, but in the face of numerous complaints on the proposal to provide NO parking, the developers commissioned a parking study showing that at 7:30 on a week night there are 130+ parking spaces available on nearby streets.  I will ask them to post that study, so you may review it vis a vis your own experience.

PSNA members overwhelmingly affirm the need for affordable housing and confirm the appropriateness of this location in our neighborhood, with some reservations re size, design, open space.  Many have concerns over the lack of parking in an area already short on that. The folks at Newport Condominiums oppose both the design and the size of the development and have hired their own consultant who testified at the PB meeting.

This will probably be the last chance for anyone (pro or con) to speak up about this important proposed development.

See you there!