Wednesday, April 17, 2024

An expanded Crimson Galeria would step back from the Winthrop Square park in Harvard Square, developers say.

A Central Square Business Improvement District, $73.5 million around the city and voting rights

bullet-gray-small City Council, 5:30 p.m. Monday. The city manager is making the formal request for a nonprofit Central Square Business Improvement District, which will take fees from property owners within the district and use the estimated $1.2 million annually to revitalize, promote, maintain and program the area; and is responding to long-awaited and languishing orders about urban farming, lodging houses and an updated table of uses for property with a mea culpa that the Community Development Department’s work on zoning changes – and it’s a ton – lands on a single person, though two new zoning staff will help the department prioritize. A $678 million budget is being submitted for the next fiscal year, and there are requests for massive amounts of money (some $73.5 million) coming to the council, including $22 million in improvements at Fire Station Headquarters; $20.5 million for various water pollution abatement projects; $10 million for improvements at City Hall; $10 million to get design and reconstruction started at the Tobin School building; $4 million for street and sidewalk reconstruction; $4 million to redo Eliot Street as part of Harvard Square kiosk and plaza improvements; and $3 million for improvements at the Department of Public Works. Councillors, meanwhile, have voting-rights orders to talk about, including on extending municipal voting rights to noncitizens and people as young as 16, and supporting a state bill making it easier for people to vote absentee. And they’re expressing alarm about a proposed Eversource substation for Fulkerson Street in East Cambridge.

The council meets at City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square.

Getting to zero waste, including with less plasticware

bullet-gray-small Health & Environment Committee, 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday. This committee run by vice mayor Jan Devereux and city councillor Quinton Zondervan will discuss the Zero Waste Master Plan and ways to reduce single-use plastics.

The committee meets at City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square.

Council works on approaches to tenant protection

bullet-gray-small Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on Tenant Displacement, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Led by councillor Sumbul Siddiqui in partnership with Mayor Marc McGovern, this task force seeks to provide comprehensive policy guidance on how to protect Cambridge renters.

The committee meets at City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square.

School Committee members look to improve practices

bullet-gray-small School Committee Governance Subcommittee, 6 p.m. Tuesday. Members will discuss “better governance practices” for the School Committee and review and make recommendations for its budget process.

The committee meets in the Dr. Henrietta S. Attles Meeting Room at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, 459 Broadway, Mid-Cambridge.

Crimson Galeria plans return for Harvard Square

bullet-gray-small Planning Board, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. There will be an update on the apartments being built around St. James’s Episcopal Church in Porter Square, but the news is the return of a proposal to enlarge The Crimson Galeria at 57 JFK St., Harvard Square, home to Staples and restaurant such as BonChon, The Maharaja, Shake Shack, Tom’s Bao Bao and the announced Veggie Grill. The owners want to add a 9,295-square-foot third floor, a 8,090-square-foot fourth floor (most of it general office space, but with a 1,700-square-foot roof deck) and a 2,409-square-foot mezzanine to the existing 36,609 square feet – with exemption of some basement space and from parking and loading requirements as allowed by the City Council in 2016, after the board had approved Crimson Galeria expansion plans in 2015.  

The board meets on the second floor of the City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, Mid-Cambridge.

Chinese staple is gone, but lunch at Alden & Harlow?

bullet-gray-small License Commission, 3 p.m. Wednesday. Commissioners will consider a couple of disciplinary issues at Central Square establishments, note the closing of P.F. Chang’s at the Cambridgeside mall and hear a request from Alden & Harlow to open at 11 a.m. weekdays in Harvard Square, rather than at 4 p.m. 

The commission meets in the basement of the Michael J. Lombardi Building, 831 Massachusetts Ave., Mid-Cambridge near Central Square.

How students and parents feel about their IEP

bullet-gray-small School Committee Special Education and Student Supports Subcommittee, 6 p.m. Wednesday. Members will discuss student and parent experiences with the Individual Education Plan process, which addresses students’ special education needs.

The committee meets in the Dr. Henrietta S. Attles Meeting Room at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, 459 Broadway, Mid-Cambridge.

Affordable housing overlay zoning discussion goes on

bullet-gray-small Housing Committee, 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday. This committee run by city councillors Sumbul Siddiqui and E. Denise Simmons will continue discussion on affordable housing overlay zoning and related matters.

The committee meets at City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square.

Urban forest renewal consultant sums up findings

bullet-gray-small Urban Forest Master Plan Task Force, 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday. A consultant team will present a cost-benefit analysis of its recommendations, provide information on their investigation into Cambridge’s canopy loss and present results of planting strategies on the urban heat island model.

The task force meets in the media library of Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, 459 Broadway, Mid-Cambridge.

Sidewalk and street reconstruction plan gets look

bullet-gray-small Joint meeting of the Bicycle, Pedestrian, and Transit Advisory Committees, 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday. The committees meet to discuss the city’s Five Year Plan for Sidewalk & Street Reconstruction – now including requirements for bicycle infrastructure such as protected bike lanes.

The board meets in the fourth-floor conference room of the City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, Mid-Cambridge.

Final Cambridge Digs Deep sums up, looks ahead 

bullet-gray-small Cambridge Digs Deep, noon to 2 p.m. Saturday. The fifth and final in a series on race, equity and inclusion reviews and responds to themes that have emerged throughout the series, reflecting on what personal actions can be taken and hearing from city officials about potential next steps.

The session will be held in the main cafeteria of Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, 459 Broadway, Mid-Cambridge.

This post was updated April 23, 2019, to correct a budget amount.