Arlington Redevelopment Board - May 6th, 2024

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Meeting held in the first floor conference room of the Town Hall annex. Materials were available from

Review Meeting Minutes

The Board amends and approves their minutes from April 29, 2024, 4--0--1. Ms. Korman-Houston abstained, as she was not present that evening.

ARB Report to Special Town Meeting

Mr. Benson and Mr. Revilak suggest minor edits to the discussion section of Special Town Meeting article 3.

(Steve Revilak, ARB) Mr. Revilak wonders if the presentation to Town Meeting could include some background information on what the MBTA Communities zoning is, and why it's important. With Special Town Meeting on Wednesday, it's too late to add this to the report.

(Rachel Zsembery, ARB Chair) Ms. Zsembery says she'll incorporate that information into her presentation, but in a way that stays in scope of the article. Only the map is in scope, but some background context could be helpful for new Town Meeting members.

(Kin Lau, ARB) Mr. Lau notes that the map hasn't changed since it was show to Special Town Meeting in October. This is really about approving the map.

(Shaina Korman-Houston, ARB) Ms. Korman-Houston suggests a side note to explain that DHCD and EOHLC are really the same state organization; their name was changed while we were developing our MBTA Communities zoning.

(Rachel Zsembery) Ms. says she'll note that, and work with Ms. Ricker on the wording.

Report approved, 5--0.

Open Forum

There's no one to speak at tonight's open forum.

New Business

(Claire Ricker, Planning Director) Ms. Ricker has an update on the Hotel Lexington. She's been in conversations with the applicant, who will appear on June 10th to provide the board with an update. She's also been in touch with Town Counsel on the claw-back clause in the purchase and sale agreement for 1207 Mass Ave. Town Counsel will provide a memo on this topic, in advance of the Board's meeting on June 10.

Ms. Ricker says she's waiting to hear back from the Select Board Administrator, regarding potential dates for a joint ARB/Select Board meeting.

(Steve Revilak) A few weekends ago, Mr. Revilak attended an Open House where Somerville Planning staff showed plans for the reconstruction of Broadway between Route 16 and Teele Square. Other Town Meeting Members from precincts 1 and 3 also attended. The plans included separated bike lanes in each direction, and boarding islands for buses. He thinks it's a big improvement over current conditions. We encouraged Somerville's Transportation Planner and to contact Arlington's Transportation planner, to align street improvements on the Arlington side of Broadway.

(Claire Ricker) Ms. Ricker says we have an outstanding Transportation Improvement Application, to plan improvements on the Arlington side of Broadway. We should hear about the status of that application soon. That work will require matching grants.

(Eugene Benson) Mr. Benson notes that the louvers and vents at 882--892 Mass Ave still haven't been replaced.

(Kin Lau) Mr. Lau says the exterior colors haven't been addressed either.

Mr. Lau says he was recently approached by a newly-formed group of B1 district property owners. They feel like the B1 district has been left behind, and they're planning to attend future ARB meetings.

(Rachel Zsembery) Ms. Zsembery says she'd be happy to meet with them, to discuss what their needs are.

(Eugene Benson) Mr. Benson believes one of the issues is the fact that ground-floor retail isn't allowed in the B1 district. He notes we didn't put any of the B1 properties in the MBTA communities district. He suggests they could be added in the future, now that state guidance allows municipalities to require mixed-use.

Meeting adjourned.