Inside Arlington

Experimental News Digest for Arlington, MA

Redevelopment Board, April 08, 2024

Arlington Redevelopment Board Meeting April 8, 2024

64 Brooks Avenue Dormer and Exit Gate Proposal

The board discussed a public hearing regarding the installation of a dormer and an exit gate onto the Minuteman bikeway at 64 Brooks Avenue. Claire Ricker, director of planning, noted the property’s two-family home is non-conforming, and the applicant seeks a special permit. The board then debated if this case requires Environmental Design Review (EDR) considering its impact on architectural integrity. After discussions with the head of Inspectional Services, who regarded the dormer as a standard addition without special concerns, the board concluded the project does not warrant EDR. The board proposed that the Director of Inspectional Services and the Planning Director can administratively decide on whether such projects require board review in the future. A motion was made and unanimously approved that the docket does not meet EDR criteria and does not require a special permit, allowing the applicant to proceed without further review from the board.

Master Planning Process Update

Ricker offered an update on the Arlington Master Plan (AMP) Update Process, titled “AMP Up,” as an update to the 2015 Master Plan. She discussed the plan’s components, achievements since 2015, and the process going forward. An advisory committee of 12 community members and representatives from different town boards will be appointed, with applications currently being collected. The committee will assist in drafting an RFP for planning consultants, and the project is aimed for a more detailed work focus in specific areas. A timeline for the update was presented, with key milestones stretching into 2025, including public meetings, drafting zoning changes, and reviewing by ARB.

Arlington Heights Business District Updates

The board reviewed updates on creating a comprehensive business district in Arlington Heights. Initial soft kick-off meetings were held with local business associations, and there’s good interest from property owners. Public outreach plans were outlined, including a presence at local events and drafting zoning with the committee. The board will revisit the zoning proposal in October 2024 and, following further public input, potentially bring it to town meeting in Spring 2025.

Special Town Meeting Discussion

The board discussed a proposed warrant article that aims to correct a procedural flaw in a previous warrant concerning MBTA community zoning. The board revised the article and draft amendment language to align with state law and previously approved multifamily housing overlay districts. The final main motion language would be determined at an upcoming hearing on April 29.

Open Forum and New Business

There was no open forum or new business except for Gene Benson’s realization that when proposing to delete the Inland Wetland District, the board did not delete the corresponding line in section 4.1.2 of the zoning bylaw. The board will assess how to address this oversight potentially through an amendment at the town meeting.

The meeting was adjourned following a unanimous vote.



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