Inside Arlington

Experimental News Digest for Arlington, MA

Redevelopment Board, August 28, 2023

The Arlington Redevelopment Board convened with several members joining remotely due to illness. The meeting began with the approval of the meeting minutes from July 10 and July 24, 2023, without any additions or corrections.

Public Hearing for 7 Massachusetts Avenue

The board held a public hearing for an interior renovation proposal for an existing retail space at 7 Massachusetts Avenue. The proposal included switching the positions of the current office space and retail space, with no changes to the building’s footprint or structural work. The board approved the application with conditions, including the inclusion of two interior bicycle parking locations, maintaining the rear courtyard, and submitting a full signage package for review and approval.

Approval of Change of Use and Waiving of Onsite Parking Requirements

The board unanimously approved a motion for a change of use and the waiving of onsite parking requirements, as per Section 6.1.5 in the zoning bylaws.

Renovation Proposal for 355 Mass Ave

The board approved a renovation proposal for 355 Mass Ave, which included turning the residential unit above into a residence for the business owner’s family.

Public Hearing for Calyx Peak at 251 Summer Street

The board discussed a public hearing for a cannabis project at 251 Summer Street. Due to significant changes in the proposal, the board asked the applicant to withdraw the current application and reapply when their materials are fully compiled. The applicant was given until the October 2 meeting to formally withdraw.

Discussion on Lexington Hotel Approval

The board agreed to discuss the approval of the Lexington Hotel, granted three years ago, in the October 2 meeting.

Discussion on Updated Guidelines from the State Regarding MBTA Communities

The board discussed the implications of updated guidelines from the state regarding the MBTA Communities act and their relation to commercial development. The board believes that current zoning and commercial development strategies go further than the updated guidelines. They also discussed the possibility of requiring a special permit for certain bonuses.

Review of the Full MBTA Communities Package

The board discussed the upcoming review of the full MBTA Communities package, scheduled for September 11. This review will include the language around the MBTA Communities zoning proposal, which will encompass multiple sections of the zoning code and create an overlay.

Discussion on Various Procedural Items and New Business

The board discussed various procedural items and new business, including the delegation of warrant drafting, the wording of the MBTA community proposals, a minor change to a lettering in one of the zoning bylaw sections, and requests from the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Community Outreach Section of the MBTA Communities Working Group Meeting

The Community Outreach Section of the MBTA Communities Working Group held a meeting to discuss a postcard they had created to encourage residents to provide comments at a hearing scheduled for September 11. The group had sent out the postcard to the entire town and expected a large turnout at the meeting. It also discussed what would happen if the redevelopment board decided to adjust the map. The meeting concluded with no new business.



Inside Arlington was created by two Arlingtonians who are deeply concerned by the decline in local news and its impact on civic life. Our mission is to provide accessible information to Arlington residents to foster an informed and engaged citizenry. And we want to do it in an economically sustainable way. More…


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