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Citywide Growth Management Advisory Committee

Record of Meeting

January 16, 1998, 8:00 to 10:00 a.m.

Attendees: Larissa Brown, Philip Dowds, Alfred Dussi, Allan Jones, Geneva Malenfant, Brendan Noonan, John Pitkin, Terrance Regan, Susan Schlesinger, Robert Simha, Silvia Urrutia, Pam Winters.

Staff: Stuart Dash, Beth Rubenstein

Consultant: Philip Herr.

Agenda items for this first meeting of the Citywide Growth Management Advisory Committee (CGMAC) included discussion of committee function, ground rules, a brief overview of the Growth Management (or Pitkin) Petition and Planning Board and Council actions on it, discussion of materials needed to advance committee goals, and agenda for the next meeting.

Phil Herr presented a brief overview of the Pitkin Petition and summarized those items which were adopted by City Council as well as those deferred for future analysis and recommendation. (See P. Herr handout, attached.) This new Citywide Growth Management Advisory Committee was formed to make recommendations to CDD regarding information pertinent for evaluating the impacts of alternative growth management policies, and to advise CDD on timetable, method of citizen participation and use of consultants in its further study of zoning amendments.

Petition topics or goals identified for further analysis include: prevent congestion, scale compatibility/avoid overshadowing, minimize disruptive district transitions, prevent worsening of flood risk, encourage inclusion of affordable housing, preserve open space.

A discussion took place regarding the need to define a vision of Cambridge: what is the City and what should it be? How does zoning help achieve the City we want? Several individuals expressed an interest in background materials, including existing plans, demographic materials, potential economic impacts, the City's Growth Policy Document, sample neighborhood plans, etc. to inform the discussion. CDD staff will assemble and distribute these materials prior to next meeting.

CDD will organize a Zoning Orientation for interested committee members to provide an overview of zoning issues (FAR, setbacks, etc.) for those with less experience in zoning or those wanting to refresh their knowledge. Time to be established.

The following Ground Rules were discussed and agreed to:

Following discussion, there was general agreement regarding the advantages of keeping the committee functioning as a whole, with subcommittees limited to those established only for specific purposes.

Next steps include: