Inside Arlington

Experimental News Digest for Arlington, MA

Redevelopment Board, May 01, 2023

  • Review of Memorandum of Understanding for ARB Properties: The board reviewed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for ARB properties, which pertains to three articles recently approved by the town meeting. The draft MOU included changes and comments from an attorney and stipulated that the town manager should give the redevelopment board the opportunity to participate in any future solicitation of leases for transparency. The board was keen on retaining the rights to approve or discuss leases before execution. The board agreed to bring back the draft MOU with the suggested changes for further discussion at a future meeting.
  • Discussion on Leasing of Parking at 23 Maple: The board discussed the potential leasing of the parking at 23 Maple for the benefit of the property. The board was against the idea of reassigning parking rights from 23 Maple to another entity. They also wanted to ensure that any administrative work related to leases, such as rent collection and renewals, would be taken on by the facilities department.
  • Potential Use of Properties for Town Offices: The board discussed the potential for the properties to be used for town offices. They agreed that there should be a cap on the percentage of the properties that could be leased to town departments. They also agreed that 23 Maple should not be used for town offices.
  • Potential Transfer of Properties to Third Party: The board discussed the potential for the properties to be transferred to a third party, such as a non-profit or a developer. They agreed that they should have a say in any such disposition. They also discussed the potential for the properties to be used for emergency shelters, as the town currently does not have any such facilities.
  • Establishment of MBTA Communities Working Group: The meeting moved on to the establishment of the MBTA communities working group and the launch of the MBTA communities process.
  • Community-wide Survey: The board discussed the progress of a community-wide survey that allowed the community to express their preferences and visions for potential district locations. The results of the survey were being analyzed by consultants to understand the community’s preferences and to identify potential locations for districts.
  • Future Meetings and Community Engagement: The board discussed the schedule for future meetings and the process of engagement with the community. They planned a meeting with a working group focusing on how to encourage people to schedule meetings and provide feedback before May 19. They also discussed the possibility of presenting preliminary findings to the community and receiving feedback before making final revisions.
  • Presentation of Findings and Finalizing Scenario: The board discussed the possibility of presenting the findings to the board on May 15 and finalizing a scenario by the end of June. They acknowledged that the meeting and survey would likely generate new ideas that hadn’t been considered yet.
  • Additional Funding for the Project: The board discussed the need for additional funding to continue the project beyond June. They discussed the possibility of applying for more technical assistance through the Massachusetts Housing Partnership or the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. They also discussed the possibility of asking the town for additional funding.
  • Updates on Approved Projects: The board discussed the possibility of providing updates on the progress of approved projects. They expressed interest in understanding what had happened to projects after they had been approved. The board agreed to discuss this topic at a future meeting.



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