80% of Cambridge Voters Support High Density Development Including Affordable Housing

80% of Cambridge Voters Support High Density Development Including Affordable Housing

In 2010, Cambridge, as well as the rest of the Commonwealth, faced a ballot question that, in the words of its supporters, would "repeal ... the law that promotes subsidized, high-density housing". Cambridge rejected the ballot question by an almost 4 to 1 margin.

Ballot Question 2, proposed by initiative petition, dubbed "Comprehensive Permits for Low- or Moderate- Income Housing" sought to repeal a section of the state zoning code that streamlined the process by which developers apply for permits to build developments that include affordable housing. While those developments would still be allowed, supporters acknowledged that this would effectively end the creation of high density housing that included affordable units. They argued, as do some opponents of development in Cambridge, that rather than making housing more affordable, these projects raised the overall cost of housing. They asserted that adopting Question 2 would create incentives for smaller scale affordable housing.

Opponents of Question 2 asserted that approval of this question would end affordable housing development and, statewide, they prevailed with 58% of the votes cast on this question.

Cambridge results were much more striking. Nearly 80% of Cambridge voters supported high density development of affordable housing. Neighborhoods in the City were uniform in their support. Ward 1 Precinct 1, which encompasses much of East Cambridge had the lowest support where only 69% of voters on this question supported high density developments that include affordable housing. Ward 7 Precinct 1, part of the Agassiz neighborhood, showed the strongest support with 86% of voters opposing Question 2.

The map below show city-wide results for Question 2 by Ward and Precinct. The darker the green, the greater the support for high density development with affordable housing included. Clicking on the map will show detailed results for each area.


July 13, 2012 - 4:21pm — HRASHID

(Photo Featuring Meetings Facilitator and Presenter, Iram Farooq from the City of Cambridge's Community Development Depaprtment).

On July 12, 2012, I had the honor and privilege to attend the Mid-Cambridge Open House of the recently orchestrated Charrettes , one meeting in a series being held from July to August 2012. The Cambridge Public Library was the venue for this themed “Central Square Planning Neighborhood Outreach Series,” presented by the Cambridge Community Development Department, there hired consulting agency Goody Clancy, and C@ Advisory Committees. On the previous evening at the Cambridge Senior Center, the first in the Charrettes Series of ‘Central Square Planning Meetings was held. At the Cambridge Public Library as well as at the Senior Center, Iram Farooq from the Cambridge City Hall, held the honors as lead facilitator. Both of her presentation can be found at www.cambridgema.gov/k2c2. Her presentations were all about shaping the future of Central Square, and the balance between new development and infrastructure. On new developments for instance, a fair amount of discussion took place between the audience and presenters, surrounding the, “ The Forest City Up-zoning Petition for the All-Asia Block,” which comes before the City Council Ordinance Committee Wednesday July 27th. at 4:00 PM in the Cambridge City Council Chambers. The Ordinance Committee is a committee of all City Councilors. You can e-mail your opposition to approving the current Forest City Petition to the Council as a group , or individual councilors who you may relate to. Other concerns and issues relating to the central Square development planning, where mostly responses from members of the audience, high scrutinizing of the planning concepts, as they related to things like density of buildings, transit orientated development, affordable housing, parks, traffic, parking, the land and it’s possession and usage, retail diversity, and population density.

Please join the upcoming discussions, your voices are essential instruments and tools of progress. OPEN HOUSE CHARRETTES are to be held at the following locations


Monday, July 16, 6:30–8:30pm
Morse School - Cafeteria
40 Granite Street
Area Four
Wednesday, July 18, 6:30–8:30pm

Area Four Youth Center

243 Harvard Street Riverside
Thursday, July 19, 6:30–8:30pm
Cambridge Senior Center
806 Mass Avenue

Area 4 Meeting called by CDD to discuss Central Square – Thursday, July 18, 6:30 pm, Area 4 Youth Center

City Council Ordinance Committee – discussing Forest City again – Wednesday, July 25th, 4:00 pm, City Council Chambers

City Council Summer Meeting – the final date to approve Forest City up-zoning petition –Monday, July 30th 5:30 pm, City Council Chambers

All committee meetings are open to the public. In addition to regular committee meetings, there will be planning public meetings/study area walking tours to solicit broader participation. Information on the Kendall Square-Central Square Planning Study (K2C2) is available at http://www2.cambridgema.gov/cdd/cp/zng/k2c2/index.html. If you have any questions, please contact Iram Farooq at ifarooq@cambridgema.gov or 617-349-4606.

Wed, July 18

5:30pm Cambridge Redevelopment Authority Meeting (Endeavor Room, 3rd Floor, Marriott Hotel, Two Cambridge Center, Kendall Square)

Agenda: Parcel 4 update – a. design update with the Developer; b. proposed transactions
Please send any questions regarding this meeting to: Tracy Mercer of the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority at mercer@cra42.com or 617-492-6800 x16. [The offices of the CRA are located at One Cambridge Center, 4th Floor Cambridge, MA 02142.]

Thurs, July 19

4:00pm The City Council's Ordinance Committee will conduct a follow-up meeting on the petition to amend the Zoning Ordinance by adding to Section 5.50 entitled "Special Dimensional Regulations" a section 5.54 entitled "Special Regulations for Municipal Elementary and Middle (K-8) Schools. (Sullivan Chamber)
For more information or to become involved, please contact Elaine Thorne at ethorne@cambridgema.gov (617-349-4648) or Iram Farooq at ifarooq@cambridgema.gov (617-349-4606).
Visit the K2C2 website at www.cambridgema.gov/k2c2.

Finally, don’t for get that Mayor Henrietta Davis & President Drew Faust of Harvard University, Cordially invite Cambridge Seniors to the Annual Harvard Yard Luncheon, Wednesday, August 1st 2012. It will be held at 11am -2pm, In the Harvard Yard (rain date Thursday, August 2nd). Cambridge resident seniors only – no children please. For tickets call Yuliya @ 617-349-6295.
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