Amend the text of the Zoning Ordinance of the City of Cambridge by adding the following section 11.500:11.500 PLANNING OVERLAY REQUIREMENTS
Purpose. The purpose of this section 11.500 is to provide temporarily for the review of large-scale development in order to ensure conformance with the Cambridge Growth Policy Documen!t, 'Towards a Sustainable Future' and guarantee that the city infrastructure can support potential increases in traffic; and to subject such judgment to an elective body, the City Council, that the will of the public at large be expressed as to such conformance.
11.501 Term of Effect. The provisions of this section 11.500 apply to any building permit granted between Wednesday, July 1, 1998, and Friday, October 1, 1999, inclusive.
11.502 Applicability. The provisions of this section 11.500 apply to all new construction of 40,000 square feet or more gross floor area; and to all renovations and rehabilitations of 40,000 square feet or more gross floor area involving a change of category of use, such categories being defined as those numbered and bolded in section 4.30 of this Ordinance. The provisions of this section also apply to any project that will bring the total construction on the lot, or any abutting lot or lots that are or have been in common ownership at any time since May 1, 1998, to 40,000 square feet or more gross floor area during the effective period of this section. The provisions of this section apply to all zoning districts in the city without exception.
11.510 Establishment of the City Council as a Special Permit Granting Authority
11.511 For the term of effect as provided for in paragraph 11.501 the City Council of the City of Cambridge is established as a special permit granting authority in accordance with Chapter 40A of the General Laws. The sole purpose of this authority is to hear and decide applications for a special permit as required by this section 11.500.
11.512 Formation of a Large Project Review Committee. A committee to be known as the "Large Project Review Committee" consisting of the entire city council will decide applications for a special permit as required by this section 11.500. The mayor will appoint the chair of this committee and it will be at the discretion of the chair at what time and place hearings are held. In other particulars the committee will function as the other committees of the city council.
11.513 Procedure. The procedure for the granting of a planning overlay special permit is as specified in paragraph 10.42 of this Ordinance. The Large Project Review Committee may additionally solicit information and advice from city departments and the Planning Board as it requires. Approval of the special permit requires a two-thirds majority vote of the membership of the committee.
11.520 The Planning Overlay Special Permit
11.521 Before a building permit for a project to which paragraph 11.502 applies can be issued, the project must receive a special permit called a "planning overlay special permi!t." No application for this permit will be accepted unless is it is accompanied, at a minimum, by the following documents:
(a) the information required by the Large Project Submittal Requirements as described in paragraph 11.45 of this Ordinance.
(b) a traffic study certified as being done in a complete and reliable manner by the Traffic and Parking Department. Such certification must be issued or denied within ten (10) days of its request and must only certify the methodology used, not necessarily the accuracy of the data.
(c) a certification from the Superintendent of Buildings that all other special permits and variances required for the issuance of a building permit have been granted.
11.522 Criteria for Special Permit. In granting a planning overlay special permit the Large Project Review Committee will ensure that the project conforms with the Cambridge Growth Policy Document, 'Towards a Sustainable Future.' Additionally, the Committee shall, before issuing a special permit, find that the project will have no substantial adverse impact on city traffic.
11.523 Enforcement. The Superintendent of Buildings will require certification from the Large Project Review Committee that it has issued a special permit to the applicant to which paragraph 11.502 applies before issuing a building permit to that applicant.
11.524 Expiration. A planning overlay special permit will expire after one (1) year if construction on the project has not begun and no extension has been granted by the Large Project Review Committee. Such extension may only be granted for good cause. If expiration takes place the Superintendent of Buildings will revoke any building permit granted under the special permit effective the date of expiration.