Inside Arlington

Experimental News Digest for Arlington, MA

Redevelopment Board, October 16, 2023

Public Hearing on Zoning Bylaw Amendment Article 13

A resident of Orchard Place proposed a zoning bylaw amendment related to the MBTA Communities Act. She apologized for submitting an article instead of an amendment due to her own ignorance. She gathered over 2.5 times the required signatures to get Article 13 on the warrant and heard many concerns from residents. She was grateful that the Board listened to those concerns and decided to reconsider the height in the neighborhood multifamily district. She intends to submit an amendment to further pursue the boundary of the neighborhood multifamily districts. She will not pursue this article unless there are many amendments that try to reverse the decision on height. The Board will likely vote no action on this article.

Board member Gene Benson asked if her amendment will include a revised parcel list and map. Evans confirmed it would. Benson also asked if she has figured out how to reduce the boundaries while keeping the 5 acre contiguity requirement. Evans believes she has solved that, though it’s been stressful and time consuming. Benson suggested indicating the acreage at Town Meeting for clarity.

Steve Revilak asked if she will provide capacity calculations. Evans is trying to provide those.

Kin Lau confirmed that Evans is using the same footprint, just adjusting heights and setbacks. Evans clarified she is reducing the boundary but staying within the 300-ft notice requirement.

Grant Cook, a resident of Precinct 16, encouraged voting no action, arguing that the changes to decrease height feel like compromise and the units should be consistent with the neighborhood.

Another resident argued for 250 feet as a compromise between no change and the Town’s general approach. He doesn’t believe 250 feet into a neighborhood is unwelcoming.

The Board unanimously voted no action on this article.

Comprehensive Permit Application Hearing

Jim Doherty’s comprehensive permit application hearing was continued to November 6th due to low Board attendance. The 3 year deadline is approaching. Doherty provided an overview at a previous introduction. He submitted comments outlining details. The Board will reschedule to avoid conflict with Town Meeting.

Open Forum

Resident Anne Laroyer asked about trees being cut down related to the hotel special permit. The permit mentioned one tree but three were cut. Steve Revilak clarified that the Board does not have authority over this and suggested contacting the Building Department regarding junk cars and property condition issues.

New Business

Claire Richer reminded that Town Meeting starts tomorrow and zoning articles will be discussed next Monday.

Steve Revilak asked about the status of Calyx Peak, the cannabis dispensary on the November 6 agenda. He also asked about zoning for the business district articles. The Board is still waiting to hear back from Town Counsel.



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