Inside Arlington

Experimental News Digest for Arlington, MA

Redevelopment Board, June 05, 2023

  • Postponement of Public Hearing for Docket Number 3752, 251 Summer Street: The hearing was postponed to 26th June to allow for a more detailed planning memo and additional time for the applicant to examine the site. The board clarified their role in ensuring the project’s design appropriateness for the neighborhood, while the select board is responsible for permitting the use of the site. The board unanimously voted to continue the hearing at the next meeting on 26th June.
  • Progress of the MBTA Communities Working Group: The group has been reviewing materials and survey results from their last public meeting. The latest draft of the zoning map considers more density and includes three commercial areas: East Arlington, Arlington Center, and the Heights. The group will discuss these documents at their next meeting and present them at a public meeting on 8th June. They also discussed the potential impact of increased housing density on local services.
  • Committee Schedule Planning: The committee deliberated on dates for their retreat, public hearings, and town meetings. They decided to postpone their retreat until December and hold a meeting on 28th August. They also discussed potential dates for the review of warrant articles and the Fall Town meeting. The committee will review their schedule again on 26th June and consult with the town manager about the exact date for the Fall Town meeting.
  • Discussion on Business Zoning Changes: The committee discussed the potential advancement of certain articles related to business zoning changes to the town meeting. They considered holding jurisdiction over the industrial district and the Arlington Heights business district overlay. They also discussed the importance of setting the tone for how they work with other business districts in the future.
  • Discussion on Zoning and Bylaw Amendments: The committee discussed the need to amend the shade tree bylaw to include larger apartment buildings on Mass Ave or Broadway. They also discussed the possibility of removing a note that allows up to three borders for hire in all residential districts and adding a zoning rule to eliminate single-story buildings in the business districts. They also discussed the potential introduction of an affordable housing overlay district by the Affordable Housing Trust Board.
  • Discussion on Site Plan Review and MBTA Communities: The committee discussed the varying levels of site plan review, including administrative site plan review. They clarified that site plan review is an evaluation of a project that is allowed by right, with reasonable conditions and comments. They also discussed the role of the planning board in Arlington and the potential for administrative site plan review for smaller projects. The committee agreed to keep site plan review on the list for the fall.
  • Update on Hiring: The committee is making an offer to a new economic development coordinator and has posted the assistant director position. They expressed optimism about the interest they’ve seen so far in the position.



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