Inside Arlington

Experimental News Digest for Arlington, MA

Town Meeting, May 13, 2024

Article 31: Inclusion of 5-7 Winter Street in Multifamily Housing Overlay District

Multifamily Housing Overlay District Amendment

The meeting discussed a proposed zoning bylaw amendment to add the lot at 5-7 Winter Street to the Multifamily Housing Overlay District filed by John Leone. The property was previously omitted due to being listed on the National Historic Register.

ARB and Leone Amendment

The Arlington Redevelopment Board (ARB) was split 4-1 but ultimately recommended favorable action. The board felt that there should be no issue with individual owners seeking to add their property to the district to preserve their right to redevelop, similar to their directly abutting neighbors.

John Leone, the petitioner, who has a financial interest in the property, explained the property has been in his family since 1957 and is seeking inclusion due to the property being surrounded by parcels already in the district. An amendment proposed by Leone was to add the parcel to the district list and map for conformance with Attorney General’s requirements. Leone’s amendment was approved.

Discussion Points

  • Concerns were raised about the appropriateness of individual parcels coming before town meeting for this type of amendment.
  • Questions were asked about the process for other owners facing similar issues and potential for communal solutions instead of one-off inclusions.
  • The impact on historical buildings was discussed; however, amendments aimed at subdividing the lot to include only the non-historic part in the district were proposed hypothetically.
  • Some favored preserving historic properties while others acknowledged the fairness issue due to the property being surrounded by included parcels.

Vote Outcome

The Town Meeting approved the amendment to include 5-7 Winter Street in the Multifamily Housing Overlay District with 165 in the affirmative, 16 in the negative, and 4 abstentions.

Notices of Reconsideration

A notice for reconsideration was filed for Article 17 after the adjournment of the meeting.

(Note: The summary includes details about Article 31 and relevant discussions but does not cover other articles as they were not discussed in detail in the provided transcript.)



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…


Receive Inside Arlington by email: