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Petition as Filed

WHEREAS the city's zoning code has not been comprehensively revised since 1961; and

WHEREAS the zoning changes that have been made since then have affected only particular areas; and

WHEREAS the total density and scale of development that has occurred since the rezoning of 1961 is now creating unmanageable and unacceptable congestion on Cambridge's streets; and

WHEREAS this development is also causing the loss of open space and a spread of impervious surfaces, thereby eroding environmental quality and the character of residential neighborhoods and increasing the danger from flooding; and

WHEREAS tall buildings permitted by current zoning cast shadows and are a blight on nearby low-density residential neighborhoods and streets; and

WHEREAS developments permitted by zoning have provoked opposition by neighbors and have led to increasingly frequent conflicts about the zoning in many different areas; and

WHEREAS it is both possible and desirable to contrive zoning which supports our municipal public policy of creating and maintaining housing affordable by households of low and moderate income; and

WHEREAS planning of public open spaces can be furthered by the protections of zoning; and

WHEREAS public review of substantial developments is beneficial for both neighbors and developers; and

WHEREAS the Cambridge Community Development Department, in cooperation with residents and members of the business community have completed numerous studies, including the Growth Policy Document and a series of neighborhood studies, all of which provide a basis and guide for changes in zoning; and

WHEREAS Harvard University and M.I.T. have adopted policies of expanding only within their respective campus districts; and

WHEREAS the Cambridge Community Development Department's draft Cambridge Economic Development Policy finds that "Cambridge's high quality of life is one of the City's most important economic assets;" and

WHEREAS continued excessive development now permitted by zoning poses a serious and immediate threat to the quality of life that is expected by residents and that is vital for the City's future economic prosperity; and

WHEREAS the purposes of the Cambridge Zoning Ordinance are to lessen congestion in the streets; conserve health; secure safety from fire, flood, panic and other danger; provide adequate light and air; prevent overcrowding of land; avoid undue concentration of population; encourage housing for persons of all income levels; facilitate the adequate provision of transportation, water supply, drainage, sewerage, schools, parks, open space and other public requirements; conserve the value of land and buildings; conserve natural resources and prevent blight and pollution of the environment; encourage rational use of land and appropriate economic development; and preserve and increase the amenities of the City; and

WHEREAS zoning regulations require periodic modification to respond to changing conditions;

NOW THEREFORE, we the Undersigned respectfully petition the Honorable, the City Council of the City of Cambridge, to amend the Cambridge Zoning Ordinance as follows:

A. Reduce FAR, Height, and Allowable Density

PURPOSE: With the intent of preventing undue congestion and over-building of the land; of maintaining compatibility of scale between existing and new construction; and of reducing over-shadowing: Reduce the allowable density, floor area ratios per lot, and building heights in select and designated zoning districts not recently re-zoned, by amending the Ordinance as follows:

A.1 (1) Amend Table 5-1 of Section 5.31, Residential Districts, such that the dimensional requirements of designated columns are changed to read as follows:

District

(1)
Max. Ratio of Floor Area to Lot Area

(3)
Minimum Lot Area for Each D.U. in Sq. Ft.

(6)
Maximum Height in Feet

Res. A-1

0.4

6000(l)

 
Res. A-2

0.4

4500(l)

 
Res. B

0.4

2,500(j)

 
Res. C(i)      
Res. C-1

0.6

   
Res. C-2

1.25(m)

 

45(m)

Res. C-2B

1.75

 

45

Res. C-2A

2.5

   
Res. C-3    

120(k)

Res. C-3A

2.0(d)

 

120(k)

Columns not designated hereby, and table cells in gray, shall remain unchanged.

(2) Amend the second sentence of footnote (j), which establishes requirements for lots larger than 5,000 sq ft in Res B districts, such that it reads as follows:

"... For those portions of any lot exceeding 5,000 square feet, the applicable Maximum Ratio of Floor Area to Lot Area shall be 0.30 for all permitted residential uses, and the Minimum Lot Area for Each Dwelling Unit shall be 5,000 square feet for a market-rate unit, or 3,000 square feet for an Affordable Unit. ..."

(3) Establish in districts Res C-3 and Res C-3A a maximum 55 foot cornice height requirement by adding to Subsection 2 of Section 5.31, Footnotes, a new footnote (k) reading as follows:

"(k) All portions of buildings exceeding 55 feet in height constructed after the date of ordination of this amendment, including those structures otherwise excepted in paragraph 5.23, shall be set back from the center-line of any public street by a distance equal to their height. Lengths of the building facade totaling no more than 10% of the combined street frontage of the lot shall be exempted from this provision."

(4) Facilitate inclusion of an Affordable Unit in Residence A districts by adding to Subsection 2 of Section 5.31, Footnotes, a new footnote (l) reading as follows:

"(l) For each Affordable Unit, the minimum lot area requirement shall be reduced to 3,000 square feet per unit."

(5) Allow for greater Height and Floor Area Ratio in the Residence C-2 district only, applying to College and university buildings and dormitories in the Institutional Use Overlay district, and hospitals, by adding to Subsection 2 of Section 5.31, Footnotes, a new footnote (m) reading as follows:

"4.33.b (5) and (7) uses in the Institutional Use District described in paragraph 4.54, and 4.33.d(1) uses wherever located in a Residence C-2 District shall conform to the following requirements: Maximum height - 55', Maximum Floor Area Ratio - 1.75."

 

A.2 (1) Amend Table 5-2 of Section 5.32, Office Districts, such that the dimensional requirements of designated columns are changed to read as follows:

District

(1)
Max. Ratio of Floor Area to Lot Area

(6)
Maximum Height in Feet

Office 1

0.60

 

Office 2

1.0

85(d)(e)

Office 3

2.0

120(e)

Office 3A

2.0

120(e)

Columns not designated hereby, and table cells in gray, shall remain unchanged.

(2) Establish in districts Office 2, 3, and 3A a maximum 55 foot cornice height requirement by adding to Subsection 2 of Section 5.32, Footnotes, a new footnote (e) reading as follows:

"(e) All portions of buildings exceeding 55 feet in height constructed after the date of ordination of this amendment, including those structures otherwise excepted in paragraph 5.23, shall be set back from the center-line of any public street by a distance equal to their height. Lengths of the building facade totaling no more than 10% of the combined street frontage of the lot shall be exempted from this provision."

A.3 (1) Amend Table 5-3 of Section 5.33, Business Districts, such that the dimensional requirements of designated columns are changed to read as follows:

District

(1)
Max. Ratio of Floor Area to Lot Area

(6)
Maximum Height in Feet

Bus. A

   

Bus. A-1

   

Bus. A-2

1.25(h)

 

Bus. B

3.0

80(p)

Bus. B-1

2.0(b)

55(c)

Bus. B-2

2.0

55(f)

Bus. C

1.0

50(g)

Bus. C-1

1.25(h)

45(k)

Columns not designated hereby, and table cells in gray, shall remain unchanged.

(2) Delete from Table 5-3 and from Subsection 2 of Section 5.33, Footnotes, all references and text for footnotes (l), (n), and (o). And further, amend footnote (b) by replacing the number "3.25" with the number "2.5"; and amend footnote (h) by replacing the number "1.75" with the number "1.25".

(3) Establish in the Business B district a maximum 55 foot cornice height requirement by adding to Subsection 2 of Section 5.33, Footnotes, a new footnote (p) reading as follows:

"(p) All portions of buildings exceeding 55 feet in height constructed after the date of ordination of this amendment, including those structures otherwise excepted in paragraph 5.23, shall be set back from the center-line of any public street by a distance equal to their height, except for buildings in the Harvard Square and Central Square Overlay Districts. Lengths of the building facade totaling no more than 10% of the combined street frontage of the lot shall be exempted from this provision.""

A.4 (1) Amend Table 5-4 of Section 5.34, Industrial Districts, such that the dimensional requirements of designated columns are changed to read as follows:

District

(1)
Max. Ratio of Floor Area to Lot Area

(6)
Maximum Height in Feet

Ind. A-1

0.75

 

Ind. A-2

3.0

70(e)

Ind. A

1.25

55(d)

Ind. B-1

2.0

70(e)

Ind. B-2

0.75

45(c)

Ind. B

2.5(f)

120(e)

Ind. C

0.5

 

Columns not designated hereby, and table cells in gray, shall remain unchanged.

(2) Establish in districts Industrial A-2, B-1, and B a maximum 55 foot cornice height requirement by adding to Subsection 2 of Section 5.34, Footnotes, a new footnote (e) reading as follows:

"(e) All portions of buildings exceeding 55 feet in height constructed after the date of ordination of this amendment, including those structures otherwise excepted in paragraph 5.23, shall be set back from the center-line of any public street by a distance equal to their height. Lengths of the building facade totaling no more than 10% of the combined street frontage of the lot shall be exempted from this provision.""

(3) Facilitate increased floor area ratio for college and university buildings in Industrial B districts by adding to Subsection 2 of Section 5.34, Footnotes, a new footnote (f) reading as follows:

"4.33.b (5) and (7) uses in the Industry B District shall conform to the following requirement: Maximum Floor Area Ratio - 4.0."

A.5

(1) Amend Table 5-5 of Section 5.35, Open Space Districts, by replacing the number "0.25" of line (1) with the number "0.10".

A.6

Amend permitted FAR and/or height in designated special districts as follows:

(1) Reduce townhouse density in Residence C-1 districts by eliminating from Section 11.15.2 the existing floor area ratio of 0.825 and combining the text remaining into a single paragraph, such that this Section begins as follows:

"11.15.2 Maximum Floor Area Ratio. In a townhouse development, the maximum permitted floor area ratio in districts where townhouse developments are permitted shall be as normally applicable in the district. Where a townhouse development is constructed on a lot with one more pre-existing structures..."

<remainder of 11.15.2 concludes unmodified>

And further, modify townhouse height generally by replacing all text of the second paragraph of subsection 11.15.13 with the sentence following:

"However, the maximum height of a townhouse development shall not exceed the height allowed in the zoning district."

(2) In Section 13.33, District Dimensional Regulations (in PUD-2 districts), in subsection 13.33.1, replace the number "3.0" with the number "2.5", and replace the number "4.0" with "3.0".

(3) In Section 13.43, District Dimensional Regulations (in PUD-3 districts), in subsection 13.43.1, replace the number "3.0" with the number "2.5".

(4) Amend Section 13.54, Height (in PUD-4 districts), by adding additional text after the first sentence as follows:

"Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 5.23, customary roof structures in this district shall not exceed twenty-five percent (25%) of the lot area or a height of twenty (20) feet. Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 5.40, the Omnibus Transition Requirements shall not apply to buildings in the PUD-4 district where the district of greater restriction is an Open Space District, or when the line dividing this district from a district of greater restriction falls in the center of a public street."

(5) In Section 13.63, District Dimensional Regulations (in PUD-5 districts), in the entirety of subsection 13.63.2, replace all existing text with the paragraph following:

"The maximum ratio of the floor area to total area of the development parcel shall be 1.25."

Additionally, in the entirety of subsection 13.63.4, replace all existing text with the paragraph following:

"The maximum allowable height of any building in the planned unit development shall be eighty-five (85) feet."

(6) In Section 17.13.1, Maximum FAR (in Special District 1), in the subparagraph (1), replace the number "3.0" with the number "2.0"; and in subparagraph (2), replace the number "3.5" with the number "2.5".

A.7

In districts as further designated below, establish a maximum 55 foot cornice height requirement by adding a new paragraph reading as follows:

"All portions of buildings exceeding 55 feet in height constructed after the date of ordination of this amendment, including those structures otherwise excepted in paragraph 5.23, shall be set back from the center-line of any public street by a distance equal to their height. Lengths of the building facade totaling no more than 10% of the combined street frontage of the lot shall be exempted from this provision."

Said paragraph to be inserted as a new subsection into the Ordinance at each location indicated by the enumeration following (and affecting the designated district referenced):

13.34.4 (PUD-2)

13.44.4 (PUD-3)

13.63.5 (PUD-5)

14.34.1 (MXD)

13.34.4 (SD-1)

A.8

Further limit exceptions to height regulations by changing the text of paragraph 5.23 to read:

5.23 Height Exceptions: The provisions of this Ordinance governing the height of buildings and structures in all zoning districts shall not apply to customary roof structures such as chimneys, water towers, air conditioning equipment, elevator bulkheads, skylights, screened enclosures, ventilators, domes, towers, or spires constructed after the date of ordination of this amendment, if such features are not used for human occupancy, do not exceed ten (10) feet in height, and the total area of all such roof structures does not exceed seven (7) percent of the lot area.

A.9

Provide additional protections for the North Cambridge neighborhood by doing the following:

(1) Eliminate the PUD-IC zone in its entirety by deleting from the Ordinance paragraphs 13.10 through 13.18.4.

(2) Amend Article 11.70, FLOOD PLAIN AREA OVERLAY DISTRICT, by doing the following:

a) Modify Section 11.72, Establishment and Scope, to include both the 100 and the 500 year floodplains, by amending the second sentence to begin as follows:

"The Flood Plain Overlay District includes all special flood hazard areas designated as either Zone A or Zone B ..."

<sentence concludes unmodified>

b) Modify Section 11.75, Criteria, by adding two new subsections enumerated and reading as follows:

"(1) The proposed construction is in compliance with the procedures and recommendations of 43 FR 6030, FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT GUIDELINES, as published in July 1986, or any more recent edition thereof.

(2) The proposed construction shall not result in a ratio of floor area to lot area greater than 0.5"

And further, renumber the existing subsections (1) through (6) as (3) through (8) respectively.

A.10

Make any other technical corrections to this Ordinance as necessary to ensure implementation of intent and consistency of regulation, including but not limited to the following:

(1) Remove the condition requiring special permits for parking exemptions in the Harvard Square Overlay district be conditioned on a reduction of floor area or a cash contribution, by deleting in its entirety paragraph 11.54.4.2(a).

(2) Bring the provisions of paragraph 14.34 regulating height in the MXD district into consistency by deleting the entire third sentence, beginning: "This requirement..."

(3) Delete paragraph 17.13.2(1), which allows additional height up to 120 feet in SD-1.

B. Housing and Affordable Housing Incentives

PURPOSE: With the intent of encouraging below-market-rate housing renovation and construction at diverse and well-distributed locations throughout the residential and mixed-use neighborhoods of Cambridge; and of encouraging housing construction integrated within the various commercial districts and centers of Cambridge, amend the Ordinance as follows:

B1. Definitions

Add to Article 2, in appropriate alphabetical order, the definitions following:

"Dwelling Unit, Affordable. A dwelling unit occupied by a qualified very low income, low income, or moderate income eligible household, and for which the total aggregate cost of rent, mortgage debt service, property taxes and insurance, and/or basic utilities (water, sewer, electricity, and gas and/or fuel oil for heat) does not exceed thirty percent (30%) of the income of said household."

"Cost-of-Living Factor. The ratio of the Consumer Price Index ("CPI"), All Consumers, All Items in the Boston area, published by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics for the year in which the Owner applied for the special permit, to the CPI for the year 1997."

"Eligible Household. For the purposes of promotion of affordable housing, an eligible household is one whose total income does not exceed a fixed percentage of the median income of households in the City of Cambridge adjusted for family size. This definition creates three classes of eligible households:

Eligible Household, Very Low Income. An eligible household which does not exceed fifty (50) percent of such median income.

Eligible Household, Low Income. An eligible household which does not exceed eighty (80) percent of such median income;

Eligible Household, Moderate Income. An eligible household which does not exceed such median income." <end new definitions >

 

B2. Modify Section 11.200

B2.1

At the beginning of Section 11.200, and on the first page of Article 11, change the title of Section 11.200 to read:

"INCLUSIONARY ZONING FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING"

B2.2

Amend Section 11.201, Definitions, as follows:

(1) Delete the entire paragraph beginning "Covered Project..."

(2) Add to Section 11.201, in proper alphabetical order, the following new definitions:

"Housing Development shall mean any construction, rehabilitation, or renovation of a property, which includes in part the construction, rehabilitation, or renovation of Dwelling Units pursuant to this Ordinance."

"Linkage Coefficient shall mean a monetary payment per square foot due in linkage payments for Projects in non-residential districts, and is hereby set at a 1997 rate of:

Three dollars ($3.00) per square foot of habitable gross floor area.

Three hundred dollars ($300.00) for each parking space in a parking structure, and fifty dollars ($50.00) for each parking space in an uncovered, at-grade parking lot."

"Linkage Project shall mean a lot, or the portion thereof, buildings and structures, and which buildings or other structures are the subject of a special permit as described in Section 11.202(1). Any existing building or other structure which is not the subject of a special permit application is not part of the Linkage Project."

B2.3

Replace Section 11.202, Applicability, in its entirety with new text as follows:

"11.202 Applicability.

(1) An Owner shall be subject to the provisions of Section 11.203.1 et seq., and all related provisions, whenever the Owner applies for a special permit pursuant to:

(a) All special permits listed in Section 10.48 for uses itemized in Sections 4.32, 4.33(c), 4.34, 4.35, and 4.36.

(b) Other special permits increasing intensity when required for uses itemized as follows:

Subection 4.33(c) (use permit for non-commercial research facility)

Subection 4.35(o) (use permit for fast-order food establishment)

Subection 4.36(b) (use permit for automobile oriented fast order food establishment)

Subection 4.56(c)(4)-(6) (use permit when required for college or university facility)

Subection 4.56(d) (institutional use permit of non-commercial research facility).

(2) An Owner shall be subject to the provisions of 11.203.2 et seq., and all related provisions, whenever the Owner seeks to renovate or construct a residential structure. Whenever an Owner is eligible for incentive zoning pursuant to Section 11.203.2 et seq., and is also eligible for an affordable housing-related density bonus pursuant to another section of this Ordinance, the Owner may elect, in his or her complete discretion, which section to apply."

<end new text>

B2.4

Replace Section 11.202 in its entirety with new text as follows:

"11.203 Special Permits Promoting Affordable Housing.

"11.203.1 Linkage Contribution to Affordable Housing Trust as Condition on Certain Special Permits. It shall be the purpose of this sub–section to link increases in density or intensity of non-residential development to the City's efforts to promote affordable housing availability.

(a) Linkage Contribution. An Owner of a Linkage Project shall, as a condition of its special permit, make a one-time Linkage Contribution to the Affordable Housing Trust, the amount of which shall be calculated pursuant to the following schedule:

(i) For a Linkage Project of less than or equal to Two Thousand Five Hundred (2,500) square feet in gross floor area, no Linkage Contribution shall be required.

(ii) For a Linkage Project of greater than Two Thousand Five Hundred (2,500) square feet in gross floor area, Linkage Contributions shall be calculated by multiplying the gross floor area in excess of Two Thousand Five Hundred (2,500) sq/ft, by the Linkage Coefficient, and by the Cost-of-Living Factor.

This Linkage Contribution shall be in the form of a direct cash payment to the Affordable Housing Trust.

(b) Reduction in Linkage Contribution for Creation of Affordable Housing Units. If a Project is subject to a Linkage Contribution pursuant to Section 11.203.1 and, in addition, the Owner elects to create Affordable Unit(s) pursuant to 11.203.2, the Owner may reduce the Linkage Contribution due to the City under this subsection by an amount equal to the fair market value of total housing subsidy provided to occupants of Affordable Units pursuant to Section 11.203.2, but in no case to exceed the total value of the Linkage Contribution.

11.203.2 Incentive Zoning for Creation of Affordable Housing Units. An Owner of a Housing Development shall be entitled to Density Bonuses described in subsection (a) below by issuance of a special permit by the Planning Board, if the Owner first satisfies the conditions of subsection (b) below, and such additional conditions as the Planning Board, in its reasonable discretion, may require in furtherance of the purposes of this Section 11.200, and consistent with the specific standards for construction and occupancy of Affordable Units described in Section 11.204.

(a) Density Bonus for Creating Affordable Housing.

(i) FAR Bonus. Upon satisfaction of conditions set forth in subsection (b) below, the Owner shall be entitled as of right to an additional twenty-five percent (25%) above the existing Maximum Ratio of Floor Area to Lot Area (FAR Ratio) applicable to the Project, except in a Residence C3 district.

(b) Additional Incentives for Housing Formation. Upon satisfaction of conditions set forth in subsection (b) below and upon proper showing to the Planning Board as described below, the Owner shall also be entitled to the following additional incentives:

(i) Reduction in Minimum Lot Area per Dwelling Unit. Upon good showing to the Planning Board that the Project is better served by creating more Dwelling Units, including Affordable Units, than would otherwise be permitted in the Zoning District, the Owner shall be entitled to a reduction of up to twenty-five percent (25%) below the existing Minimum Lot Area for Each Dwelling Unit applicable in the Project's Zoning District.

(ii) Relief from Yard and Setback Requirements. Upon good showing to the Planning Board that the parcels abutting the Project are not substantially negatively impacted, the Owner shall be entitled to such relief as the Planning Board determines is necessary from the following requirements applicable in the Project's Zoning District: Minimum Lot Width in Feet; Minimum Yard in Feet (including Front, Side and Back Yard setbacks).

(iii) Relief from Parking Requirements. Upon good showing to the Planning Board either that (1) the Project is situated in an area with street parking availability sufficient to accommodate the number of additional cars associated with affordable units generated by the Project, or (2) the residents of such Dwelling Units are unlikely to own a car, the Owner shall be entitled to such relief as the Planning Board determines is appropriate from parking and related requirements.

(c) Conditions Precedent for Density Bonus and Incentives. Before issuing any special permit under this Section for any Density Bonus or housing incentive, the Owner of the Housing Development must enter into a written agreement with the City of Cambridge, and record an Affordable Housing Restriction for such lot at the Middlesex South Registry of Deeds, which each provide for the creation of Affordable Units as follows:

(i) Density Bonus and Incentive Requirements. The Owner shall agree to create, or cause to be created, Affordable Units exclusively for the use and occupancy of Eligible Households in an amount at least fifty percent (50%) of additional gross floor area permitted as a result of a Density Bonus or Incentive pursuant to this Section, but in no case less than one such Affordable Unit on the lot. The gross floor area of corridors and stairs associated with said Affordable Units may be counted as part of this 50% requirement.

(ii) Designation of Rental Restrictions on Affordable Units. The following rental restrictions will apply to the Affordable Units of such Housing Development: the first Affordable Unit shall be restricted to a Very Low Income Eligible Household; the second and third Affordable Units shall be restricted to Low Income Eligible Households; the fourth Affordable Unit shall be restricted to a Moderate Income Eligible Household. Rental restrictions for any additional Affordable Units will be designated by repeating the preceding schedule.

(iii) Deviations from Density Bonus and Incentives. In granting a special permit under this Section 11.203.2, the Planning Board may allow for deviations from such dimensional requirements to permit the use of any state or federal housing assistance funds, or to permit the creation of additional Affordable Units beyond the minimum number of required Affordable Units. In granting any deviations, however, the Planning Board shall find that the approved Housing Development continues to advance the purposes and intent of this Section 11.200, and the standards for construction and occupancy more particularly described in Section 11.204. Before approving such special permit, the Planning Board must receive the written report of the Affordable Housing Trust, established in Section 11.205, that in the Trust's opinion all the standards of Subsection 11.204 have been met.

(d) Enforcement. Every special permit issued under this Section 11.203.2, and every building permit issued in reliance on such special permit, shall state as conditions precedent to final approval the satisfactions of (1) those requirements placed on the Housing Development pursuant to subsection 11.202.2(b), (2) the applicable design restrictions pursuant to section 11.204, and (3) the terms of the owner's agreement under subsection 11.203.2(b). All such requirements, terms, and conditions shall run with the land, and shall bind the original owner's successors, heirs, assigns, and agents. If the original or any subsequent Owner violates any such requirement, term, or condition, then in addition to pursuing any other remedy available, the City shall immediately commence a civil action in the Superior Court in the name of the Inspectional Services Commissioner under Chapter 40A, Section 7 of the General Laws, seeking an injunction requiring compliance with such requirement, term, or condition.

<end new text>

B2.5

Replace Section 11.206 in its entirety with new text as follows:

"11.204 Standards for Construction and Occupancy of Affordable Units. The following standards are intended to provide guidance to the Planning Board in instances where a Density Bonus is sought by an Owner pursuant to Section 11.203.2, and to the Board of Trustees in making any report to the Planning Board thereto. In granting any special permit, the Planning Board may allow for deviations from, or further define, these standards consistent with the purposes and intent of this Section 11.200.

(a) Similar Sized Affordable Units. Affordable Units shall be comparable in services and size to Dwelling Units in the neighborhood where such Affordable Units are to be located. Units shall generally be designed and intended for families with children. Where the Affordable Units are for elderly, handicapped, or other special needs households, this similar size standard shall not apply.

(b) Diversity of Beneficiaries. The Affordable Units shall, to a reasonable extent, serve Eligible Households of diverse sizes and incomes, including very low incomes, throughout the City, and make efforts to affirmatively market such Affordable Units to minority Eligible Households in the City.

(c) Affordable Housing Restrictions. The Affordable Units shall be subject to restrictions providing that they shall:

(i) be occupied by Eligible Households;

(ii) be conveyed subject to restrictions, which to the extent legally possible, shall guarantee the permanent availability of the Affordable Units to Eligible Households. Such restrictions shall include, but not be limited to, limited equity deed restrictions;

(iii) to the extent possible, give preference to Eligible Households who are Cambridge residents;

(iv) be occupied by Eligible Households selected by the Community Development Department from among Eligible Households who are Cambridge residents;

(d) Before a building permit will be issued, the Owner of a Housing Development shall have submitted to the Superintendent of Buildings a report from the Community Development Department certifying that final development plans are in conformance with the plans approved pursuant to any special permit process, and that the conditions of the special permit have been met."

<end new text>

B2.5

Modify Section 11.205 by replacing, on line four, the reference to "11.203(a)" with "11.203.1".

B2.6

Replace Section 11.204 in its entirety with new text as follows:

"11.206 Additional Bonus for Zoning District Resident C. Pursuant to a special permit, the Density Bonuses and Incentives described in Section 11.203.2(a) shall apply to a housing development of any size in a Resident C zoning district, where such housing development provides that a minimum of 50 percent of the Dwelling Units added by the new construction, rounded to the higher number in case of an odd number of additional units, shall be Affordable Housing units pursuant to this Section 11.200."

C. District Boundary Transitions

With the intent of minimizing unwarranted nuisance in residential districts, and of preventing juxtapositions of significantly different constructions at zoning district boundaries, amend the Ordinance by doing the following:

C1.

Renumber Sections 5.41, 5.42 and 5.43 as 5.54, 5.55, and 5.56 respectively, and place them in the appropriate location of Section 5.50, SPECIAL DIMENSIONAL REGULATIONS.

C2.

Create a new Section 5.40, which shall read in its entirety as follows:

"5.40 OMNIBUS TRANSITION REQUIREMENTS

Provisions of this Section shall apply to construction on lots in any zoning district, either residential or non-residential, which abuts any other district having greater yard (setback) requirements, and/or lower height limitations, as follows:

(a) The Transition Control Plane shall be a plane or warped surface perpendicular to the district boundary line and slanting over the district of lesser restriction at an angle of forty-five (45) degrees.

(b) No part of a building nor vertical building plane in the district of lesser restriction shall project above or forward of the Transition Control Plane unless it is fully compliant with the minimum yard and maximum height requirements of the district of greater restriction.

Exemption 1: Where the district boundary line falls within a lot, then the Transition Control Plane shall be set at the lot line within the district of greater restriction, and all construction in the district of lesser restriction shall be compliant with both (b) above and also the dimensional regulations applicable to that less restrictive district.

Exemption 2: Requirements of this Section 5.40 shall apply only to structures built after <date>, which is the date of ordination of this Section.

(c) Where other provisions of this Ordinance establish additional requirements for greater yards or lesser heights than permitted hereby, construction shall comply with the most stringent requirements." <end new text>

D. Enhanced Public and Design Review

PURPOSE: With the intent of promoting greater public awareness of, and participation in, proceedings required for approval of any special permit or variance, and of securing consistent design excellence and reliable harmony of new construction with adjoining building and uses, enhance and extend current design review procedures by amending the Ordinance as follows:

D1. Improved Public Notice

D1.1

To the end of Section 10.42, Procedure (for special permits), add a new Section 10.42.1, which shall read in its entirety as follows:

"10.42.1 On-site Notification Panels

Any applicant for a variance and/or special permit shall be required to erect and maintain one or more public notification panels at the site for which said variance and/or special permit is being requested. Requirements for these panels are as follows:

(a) Location and Number. Panels shall be securely mounted at the street line of the subject property, or if within the property, then not more than twenty (20) feet from the street line in a highly visible location which can be approached by the public. For lots of frontage equal to or less than two hundred (200) feet, one panel shall be provided; one additional panel shall be provided for each additional five hundred (500) feet of frontage over the first 200 feet.

(b) Schedule and Duration. Required panels shall be installed at the subject property not less than two weeks before the first public hearing, and maintained in legible condition until all review proceedings are complete, and the final determination obtained.

(b) Content. Panels shall display the following information:

1. A title in capital letters of 4 inches high saying "NOTICE OF REQUEST FOR VARIANCE AND/OR SPECIAL PERMIT".

2. The address of the subject property, and the area of the lot or parcel in square feet.

3. The name of the applicant, and also of the owner of record if different.

4. The zoning district or districts applicable to the subject property.

5. A brief description of the intended scope of the proposed construction or project.

6. An itemized listing of each zoning variance or special permit requested, including section of the Ordinance, a summary of what that section requires, and what consideration or exception is requested by the applicant.

7. Dates of scheduled public hearings, and deadlines for decisions; where dates are not known for certain at the time of posting of the panel, then approximate dates shall be used, with an instruction for telephoning for exact dates.

9. The name and address of the municipal agent or body to whom written comment may be sent.

9. The municipal phone number for obtaining further information.

(c) Graphic and Construction Standards. Panels shall be not less than 18 inches by 24 inches in dimension; they shall be larger as necessary to legibly display all required information. No text on the panel shall be smaller than 12 point type. Panels shall be made of materials adequately weather-resistant and durable for the duration of the review and approval proceedings. All panels shall be designed, fabricated and located subject to the approval of the Cambridge Community Development Department. Panels which are stolen, destroyed or rendered illegible during the review proceedings shall be promptly replaced. <end new text>

D1.2

In Section 10.33 (descriptive of variance procedures), amend the first sentence, which ends in "... Chapter 40, G.L.", by adding a comma and additional text such that this sentence concludes "... Chapter 40, G.L., and additionally, by on-site notification panels as required by Section 10.42.1."

D2. Extended Public Review

Modify the Development Consultation Procedure of Article 11.40 to include more projects and greater public participation by doing the following:

D2.1

Amend Section 11.41, Purpose, by adding the text "... abutter, local resident, and ..." to the first sentence, such that this sentence begins:

"This Section 11.40 has been adopted to provide for abutter, local resident, and City professional staff review of and comment on development proposals ..."

D2.2

Delete existing section 11.42 in its entirety, and substitute in lieu thereof new text for section 11.42 reading as follows:

"Except for development proposals located within an overlay district, planned unit development district, historic or conservation district, or other special district which requires alternative consultation and design review procedures, the following types of proposal located as described shall be subject to development consultation:

(1) Within areas of special planning concern: Any addition, renovation or new construction which increases non-residential gross floor area by one hundred square feet (100 sq ft) or more; or any erection of a sign; or any other exterior alteration facing a street, excepting painting, brick repointing or masonry repairs, building cleaning, gutter replacement, or similar routine maintenance."

(2) Within Res A, Res B, and Res C and C-1 districts: Any project which creates one or more new dwelling units; one or more new parking spaces; or additional residential gross floor area of one thousand (1,000) square feet or more.

(3) Anywhere in the City: Any addition, renovation, or new construction which (a) increases residential gross floor area by two thousand (2,000) square feet or more; or (b) creates two (2) or more additional residential dwelling units; or (c) any project involving the creation of two (2) or more additional parking spaces, whether at grade or in a structure. <end new text>

D2.3

Amend Section 11.44, Large Project Procedure, by deleting existing text in its entirety, and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"Any development proposal involving an increase in gross floor area or a change of use of two thousand (2,000) square feet or more shall comply with the review procedure following:

(1) Prior to application for a building permit, the applicant shall submit the materials specified in Section 11.45 to the Community Development Department.

(2) Within five (5) days of the receipt of said material, the Department will schedule a public review of the proposal, and notify the participants identified in Section 11.46 of this review. The Department shall select a time and place suitable for said review, but shall endeavor, where feasible, to coordinate this review with the regular meeting of an appropriate established neighborhood group, committee, or task force. The public review shall be scheduled to occur not later than twenty-three (23) days following the submittal of materials by the applicant.

(3) The Department shall provide the applicant with one or more weather-resistant public notices of said public review, and the applicant shall place these notices in visible locations at the subject property. Size and content of these notices shall be as determined by the Department, and shall include some information similar to that required by Section 11.42.1.

(4) Within seven (7) days of the completion of the public review, the Department shall prepare and make available written comments on the development proposal and a consultation compliance certificate."

<end new text>

E. Open Space Protection

E1. Definitions

(1) Delete from Article 2 the definition of "Usable Open Space" in its entirety.

(2) Add to Article 2, in appropriate alphabetical order, the following new definitions:

"Open Space, Beneficial. Beneficial open space is that part of the lot or lots which is in open air and unobstructed to the sky. Trees, plantings, arbors, fences, flagpoles, sculptures, fountains and pools, recreational and drying apparatus, and similar outdoor equipment and improvements shall not be considered obstructions when located within beneficial open space. Driveways and parking areas for vehicles shall not be counted as part of beneficial open space."

"Open Space, Green. Green open space is that part of beneficial open space which consists of land at grade surfaced in friable, permeable organic material and capable of supporting the growth of grass, ground cover, bushes and shrubs, trees, and/or similar vegetation. Green open space may include concrete, unit masonry, or similar impervious pedestrian walkways provided that said walkways have a width not exceeding forty-two (42) inches or half the width of the area in which they are located, whichever amount shall be less."

"Open Space, Usable. Usable open space is that part of beneficial open space developed for the activity of occupants of a building which is used wholly, or in part, for residential purposes. Except as provided elsewhere, usable open space must have a width and length of at least fifteen (15) feet; must have a slope of not more than ten (10) percent; and must, except for dwelling unit balconies, be accessible to all occupants of a building. As provided for elsewhere, balconies, terraces, decks and similar above-grade parts of the structure may be counted as part of beneficial and usable open space if meeting all conditions specified."

E2. Modification of Open Space Requirements

E2.1

(1) Amend Table 5-1 of Section 5.31, Residential Districts, such that the title of the last column reads "(7) Min. Ratio of Beneficial Op. Sp. to Lot Area", and that requirements of this column are as follows:

District

(7)
Min Ratio of Beneficial Op. Sp. to Lot Area

Res. A-1

0.5(m)

Res. A-2

0.5(m)

Res. B

0.4(m)

Res. C(i)

0.35(m)

Res. C-1

0.35(m)

Res. C-2

0.3(m)

Res. C-2B

0.3(m)

Res. C-2A

0.2(m)

Res. C-3

0.2(m)

Res. C-3A

0.2(m)

Columns not designated hereby shall remain unchanged.

(2) Add to Subsection 2 of Section 5.31, Footnotes, a new footnote (m) reading as follows:

"(m) Of the lot area required to be beneficial open space, not less than half (50%) shall be usable open space, and not less than half (50%) shall be green open space.

Exemption 1: Where an existing residential lot is less than five thousand (5,000) square feet in area, then the beneficial open space requirement shall be reduced by one (1) square foot for each square foot of area by which said lot falls below 5,000 square feet.

Exemption 2: This requirement for beneficial open space shall not be construed to prevent the creation of one dimensionally conforming parking space and access driveway to same."

E2.2

Establish that a portion of required yards shall be green open space in Office, Business, and Industrial Districts by doing the following:

(1) Create a new green space footnote which shall read as follows:

"One half (50%) of the aggregate total area of required front, side and rear yards shall comply with the requirements for green open space. Furthermore, said green open space shall be distributed such than not less than one half (50%) of each required side and/or rear yard abutting a residential district shall comply with the requirements of green open space."

(2) In Table 5-2 of Section 5.32, Office Districts, change the title of column (5) to read "(5) Minimum Yard in Feet(f)", and add the green space footnote above to Subsection 2, Footnotes, as footnote (f).

(2) In Table 5-3 of Section 5.33, Business Districts, change the title of column (5) to read "(5) Minimum Yard in Feet(q)", and add the green space footnote above to Subsection 2, Footnotes, as footnote (q).

(2) In Table 5-4 of Section 5.34, Industrial Districts, change the title of column (5) to read "(5) Minimum Yard in Feet(f)", and add the green space footnote above to Subsection 2, Footnotes, as footnote (f).

E3. Modifications for Consistency

Make any other technical corrections to this Ordinance as necessary to ensure implementation of intent and consistency of regulation, including but not limited to the following:

(1) Amend Section 5.22.1 to read, in its entirety, as follows:

"Usable open space shall be provided on every lot used for residential purposes except for those in the Cambridge Center MXD District, and the ratio of usable open space area to total lot area shall be as specified in column seven (7) of the Tables of Dimensional Requirements of Article 5. Not less than one-half (50%) of the required usable open space shall be provided at ground level, or within ten (10) feet of the lowest level used for residential purposes. Areas of other types, and at other levels, such as balconies and decks serving individual dwelling units, and/or balconies, decks, and improved roof areas accessible to all building occupants, may be calculated as part usable open space area requirement if and only if:

(a) they are not used as walkways or corridors;

(b) they have both a width and a length of at least six (6) feet, and minimum area of seventy-two (72) square feet; and

(c) in aggregate, they do not account for more than twenty-five (25) percent of the total usable open space requirement."

<end text modification>

E4. District Boundary and Map Changes

Change the zoning district designation from that which currently exists to Open Space (Subsection 3.11, item 1) for the public parks and playgrounds following:

Location Assessor’s Lot and Plat
Ahern Field, Kennedy School Complex lot #87, plat 32
Blair Pond lot #271 and #275, plat 267
Brattle and Fresh Pond Parkway lot #15, plat 246
Cambridge Common lot #1, plat 171
Canal Park all or portions of lots on Plats 8 and 9 consisting of City-owned land which together make up the parcel known as Lechmere Canal Park
Corcoran Field / Raymond Street Park lot #41, plat 205
Corporal Burns Playground plat 130
Dana Park lot #20 and #21, plat 103
Donnelly Field lot #1, plat 38: an area of the lot between York St and a line parallel to York St 550 ft distant therefrom
Fort Washington plat 66
Hoyt Field lot #157, plat 126
Library Park / War Memorial / Mid-Cambridge Park plat 138: an area of the lot containing the Main Library between Broadway and a line parallel to Broadway, 200 ft distant therefrom; and all of the lot which was the former site of Cambridge High and Latin
Morse School, Lindstrom Field plat 98: that portion of the lot labled Park Land
Old Morse Playground and Park lot #32 and #35, plat 97
Rindge Field lot 5, plat 197; lot 3, plat 197; lot 20, plat 198
Riverside Press Park lot #59, plat 129
Russell Field lot #91, plat 269
Sacramento Field lot #29, plat 155
Sancta Maria Field lot #322, plat 267D
Sennott Park lot #10, plat 88
Soccer Field at Pacific and Sidney Streets lot #57, plat 95
Tobin School /Fr. Callahan Playground lot #80, plat 260: an area of the lot between Concord Ave and a line parallel to Concord Ave, 550 ft distant therefrom

In accomplishment of these changes, formulate and adopt legal descriptions of lots, metes and bounds as necessary, and amend the Zoning Map to represent district boundaries so modified.

F. Facilitate Replacement of Destroyed Structures

Facilitate the post-catastrophe reconstruction of non-conforming residential structures, or structures housing conforming uses, by deleting the first sentence of Section 8.23 in its entirety, and substituting two new sentences as follows:

"8.23 If any nonconforming residential structure occupied by residential use, or any nonconforming structure containing any conforming use, is partly or totally destroyed by fire, explosion or other catastrophe, such structure or use may be rebuilt, restored and used again as previously. Nonconforming structures housing nonconforming uses which are partly destroyed or damaged by catastrophe may be rebuilt, restored and used again as previously only if the cost of building restoration is less than fifty percent (50%) of the replacement value of the building at the time of catastrophe. If a conforming structure or use ..."

< the remainder of 8.23 continues and concludes unmodified>

>> END OF THE PETITION <<