Friday, July 19, 2024

These are just some of the municipal meetings and civic events for the coming week. More are on the City Calendar and in the city’s Open Meetings Portal.


A rendering of the 190-unit senior housing building proposed for the Cambridge Highlands, (Image: B’nai B’rith Community Development)

Senior housing near wetlands

Conservation Commission, 10 a.m. Friday. Commissioners will walk 89 Blanchard Road, in the Cambridge Highlands, to review a proposal by the nonprofit B’nai B’rith Housing to add 110 units of affordable senior housing (covering 87-101 Blanchard Road) to an existing 80 under the provisions of Affordable Housing Overlay zoning – but in a wetland resource area. A hearing for the project continues online at at 7 p.m. Jan. 22, on zoom. Public comment will be accepted during the public hearing, but not the site walk.

Jerry’s Pond; order for orders

City Council, 5:30 p.m. Monday. A new push will be heard for the city consider a grander vision in helping return the fenced-in Jerry’s Pond in North Cambridge as a public amenity – the first policy order by new councillor Ayesha Wilson, who notes that staff resistance (and the taking away of $600,000 for a study) doesn’t match up with the goals of the Envision Cambridge plan or economic justice goals for the area’s many lower-income residents. A Somerville tuition relief program using federal Covid-relief funds is being held up as an example Cambridge could follow to get graduate degrees for municipal employees and residents attending Lesley University for social work, mental health counseling or human services.

City Manager Yi-An Huang asks councillors for a sit-down to prioritize the orders carrying over from last year. “The council has also been steadily increasing the number of awaiting reports carried forward into each new council term, growing from 20 (33 percent) forwarded into the 2018-2019 term to 68 (71 percent) forwarded into the 2024-2025 term,” Huang sad. “If in 2024 the council passed another 100 awaiting reports, even if the city dropped a lot of existing work and spent twice as much time on responding to awaiting reports, we would still not get through the whole amount!” He also promised an update on Tuesday’s fatal fire on Chester Street in North Cambridge. 

The council meets at City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square. Televised and watchable by Zoom videoconferencing.

School officials get organized

School Committee special meeting, 6 p.m. Tuesday. Members missing from Monday inauguration ceremonies will be sworn in, a vice chair will be elected and 2024-2025 rules will be adopted. The committee meets in the Dr. Henrietta S. Attles Meeting Room at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, 459 Broadway, Mid-Cambridge. Televised and watchable by Zoom videoconferencing.

Central Square Dunkin’ Donuts

Planning Board, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. A Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee with locations citywide seeks a special permit to move into the 655 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square, storefront that’s been empty since Starbucks left in November 2022. Also: A plan for a a seven story, 22-unit residential building at 48-50 Bishop Allen Drive, also in Central, seeks an extension. Watchable by Zoom videoconferencing.