Tuesday, July 16, 2024

These are just some of the municipal meetings and civic events for the coming week. More are on the City of Somerville website.


A lot at Somerville Avenue and Rossmore Street could become a pocket park for Somerville’s Union Square. (Photo: City of Somerville)

Overseeing police

Civilian Oversight Listening Sessions, noon to 1:15 p.m. and 6 to 7:15 p.m. Monday. The Civilian Oversight Task Force hosts three meetings to hear the public’s views about civilian oversight of police. Established by the city’s Department of Racial and Social Justice, the task force is gathering data by researching potential oversight models and talking to community members. After collecting feedback about the priorities and concerns of the community, the task force will make policy recommendations to the mayor about the formation, duties and powers of a civilian oversight entity. All listening sessions will include a briefing on the rationale for establishing civilian oversight and an introduction to civilian oversight models across the country, followed by a question-and-answer session. The two Monday sessions take place via Zoom. An in-person listening session, which is limited to 40 attendees, will be held Wednesday from 6 to 7:15 p.m. at The Dojo at Somernova, 15 Properzi Way.

Armory of the future

Armory public meeting, 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday. The public gets its final chance to weigh in on the proposed master plan for the Armory arts center at 191 Highland Ave. The city initiated a planning process last year to determine the building’s future. As the next step in that process, the city seeks community feedback on potential programmatic and business models for the arts center. One of the models would eliminate the nonprofit Center for Arts at the Armory, which has been in charge of programming for the space. This virtual meeting will be moderated by Create Today, a consulting firm that has been facilitating the planning effort. Watchable by Zoom videoconferencing.

New parklet proposed

217 Somerville Ave. pocket park community meeting, 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. The Public Space and Urban Forestry Division presents its preliminary plans to transform 217 Somerville Ave., a vacant lot of approximately 0.15 acres that meets Rossmore Street in Union Square, into a pocket park. Division staff is leading a community process with a professional landscape architect to develop the park design and construction documents. At this first community meeting hosted by Ward 2 councilor J.T. Scott, city staff will present the history of the site and potential park features, then hear the public’s ideas about the space. Watchable by Zoom videoconferencing.

Trees on trial

Public shade tree hearing, 5 p.m. Thursday. Members of the public consider the fate of two pairs of trees slated for removal. At 267 Alewife Brook Parkway, two red maples in fair condition are in conflict with planned sewer replacement. At 18 Loring St., two London plane trees in good condition, 18 and 20 inches in diameter, are proposed for removal at the request of the homeowner due to documented structural damage from the trees’ roots. Any objections to the removal of these trees must be submitted in writing to the tree warden before or during this public hearing. Watchable by videoconferencing.