Election Commissioner Polyxane Cobb confers with City Solicitor Donald Drisdell during the certification meeting on Wednesday October 21.
Update October 25, 2010:
The City Council deferred the decision on rescission or referendum tonight, sending the issue to the City Manager and Law Department tell them exactly what their options are. They have 20 days from the date of signature certification to repeal or it goes to the voters as a referendum. Those who voted in favor of the amendment spent most of the meeting railing about their displeasure with the referendum process and paid signature gatherers. One of the few calm and factual moments came when Councillor Kelley contradicted Councillor Decker's assertion that there were currently no regulations on(building identification) signs by pointing out that yes there are in fact. That they are not allowed but the Board of Zoning Appeals chooses to ignore that and grant variances based on ridiculous claims of "hardship".
According to Save Our Skyline spokeswoman Karen Schwartzman, "No challenges were filed" to the controversial zoning amendment which would loosen the rules governing signage in Cambridge. Challengers had forty eight hours to bring official objections to the 11,461 signatures of registered Cambridge voters. It is thought that, with an approximately 50% cushion over the 7200 or so required, a challenge would fail.
According to the state statute governing this process the Council must reconsider the the amendment "immediately". If they do not repeal it in its entirety, it goes to the voters as a referendum. The Council has the option of calling a special election or if not, it will appear on the ballot in November 2011.
The matter appears on the agenda for the City Council meeting scheduled for Monday October, 25 at 5:30 PM. as item No. 2 under the section entitled Communications and Reports from City Officers for Monday, October 25, 2010. The text is as follows:
"A communication was received from D. Margaret Drury, City Clerk, transmitting notification of the certification of 11,461 signatures of registered voters by the Election Commission of a referendum petition entitled "SAVE OUR SKYLINE" filed with the Election Commission on October 15, 2010 . The petition protests Paragraph D.3 of Section 7.16.22, Building Identification Signs, and Paragraph E of Section 7.16.22, General Waiver of Sign Limitations, part of Ordinance No. 1335 amending Section 7 of the Zoning Ordinances of the City of Cambridge (the Sign Ordinance).
View attached file"
Click below to see the certification document and the first page of signatures and the text of the petition.