Wednesday, July 17, 2024

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


Internet, water bills and more

The Somerville-owned building at 90 Union Square is empty amid new development. (Photo: Marc Levy)

City Council Public Utilities and Public Works Committee, 6 p.m. Monday. This committee run by city councilor Jesse Clingan considers a hefty list of issues. Highland Avenue is first on the agenda, as councilors hear a report from the director of engineering regarding the current timeline for the redesign, utility work and paving on this major urban artery that’s been in disrepair. The committee also hears updates on master plans for an assortment of municipal buildings including schools, firehouses, City Hall and the City Hall Annex. Councilors talk with the Water and Sewer director regarding increases in water bills for households with new water meters as the city has been pushing to replace nonworking meters. Councilors will request that the water department consider offering a forgiveness period for unexpected increases due to prior meter inaccuracies and faulty estimates. Other items on the long agenda include a discussion of municipal broadband; an update on the city-owned property at 90 Union Square that formerly housed the Somerville Media Center and Massachusetts Alliance for Portuguese Speakers; where to store excessive snow this winter; and potential highway safety measures along Interstate 93 in East Somerville. Watchable by Zoom videoconferencing.

Five-story with housing by Foss

246 Broadway Neighborhood Meeting, 6 p.m. Monday. The owners of 246 Broadway, Winter Hill, and their development team present a plan to demolish the existing two-family house nestled between a convenience store and another two-family house across Broadway from Foss Park. They hope to construct a five-story mixed-use building with some affordable residential units, pending approval by the zoning board. There will be an opportunity for the public to discuss potential impacts. Watchable by Zoom videoconferencing.

Developer ‘linkage’ for jobs

Job Creation and Retention Trust annual meeting, 6 p.m. Wednesday. The trustees who oversee Somerville’s Jobs Creation and Retention Trust hold their annual meeting to review the past year and make plans for the coming year. Commercial developments of more than 15,000 square feet are subject to a $2.93 per square foot linkage fee that funds the trust, which is used to create and expand job opportunities for residents. The board will review the status of its 2022-2023 investment priorities and report on the linkage fees received and estimated for 2023. Then they will discuss and vote on their 2024 investment priorities. Watchable by Zoom videoconferencing.

New housing on Alpine Street

Planning Board, 6 p.m. Thursday. The board hears a proposal to tear down a two-story brick office building at 2-4 Alpine St., in the Powder House neighborhood at Cedar Street by the Community Path. The owners are proposing to develop a four-story residential building, which requires site plan approval and one special permit. Watchable by Zoom videoconferencing.

Changes for Cala, Sons of Italy

Land Use Committee and Planning Board joint meeting, 6:30 p.m. Thursday. The committee and the board get together to consider amending the zoning for the Cala building, formerly the Powderhouse School near Teele Square. The proposed amendment would allow arts education and shared workspaces at the mixed-use, mostly residential development. Ward 7 councilor Judy Pineda Neufeld, who sponsored the motion, said an art studio is looking to move into a long-vacant commercial space in the building. The committees will also hear a proposal from the owners of 563-565 Broadway, Magoun Square, to rezone their property, now a three-story 2014 office building, to allow them to build a three-story mixed-use building with 10 residential units and first-floor commercial space. Located across the street from Trum Field, the site has housed the local Sons of Italy Lodge since 1948. Watchable by Zoom videoconferencing.