Master Plan Implmentation Committee - Jun 27th, 2018
Attending: Charlie Kalauskas, Peter Howard, Ralph Wilmer, Wendy Richter, Jenny Raitt, Ann Leroyer.
Guest: Steve Revilak
Approval of Minutes from the April Meeting
Deferred until the next meeting.
Implementation Plan and Schedule
The Committee reviewed items from the Master Plan Implementation Schedule. Schedule items are color coded: pink items are finished, blue items are ongoing, and unshaded items are TBD (i.e., not started yet).
First, the finished items.
1. Recodify and update the zoning bylaw. The attorney general recently approved the recodified bylaw.
19. Seek Massachusetts Survey and Planning Grant funds to complete historic resources study. 135 properties were submitted to the Mass Historical Society for review
71. Add bicycle lanes to Massachusetts Avenue from Swan Place to Pond Lane. This item should be taken out of the "done" group, as the bike lanes have not been added The planning department will consider working on a bicycle/pedestrian master plan, once the new transportation planner is hired. This item may become part of a larger project.
Next, items in progress.
2. Reduce the number of uses that require a special permit. The town hired MAPC to review uses that are subject to special permit requirements. The public process for this item will begin in the fall, and probably go to town meeting in 2019.
3. Consolidate and redefine the business zoning districts on Massachusetts Ave. The town put out an RFP for this project, but received no responses. The town plans to revise and repost the RFP. The budget for this project is $60k. It may be necessary to reduce the scope of the RFP (e.g., signs or the business districts; not both). Signs should take priority, as they have a bigger impact on DPCD staff.
12. Initiate a complete, safe sidewalks plan townwide & 13. Adopt a plan for future sidewalk paving. Work will begin in Fall 2018.
14. Amend the zoning bylaw to strengthen bicycle parking regulations. The planning department will likely work with advocates, the community, and model ordinances. This will not involve a consultant -- just staff and volunteers.
15. Implement the recommendations of the 2014 Arlington Center parking Study. Part of this will be addressed with upcoming studies in the heights.
18. Complete a comprehensive historic resources inventory and survey. This process is under way. The inventory is done, and the survey is the second phase of the Historic Resources Master Plan.
20. Develop a plan for universal access to recreation facilities, parks, and trails. The universal access plan will involve staff, volunteers, and an architect. The work will be funded with a combination of CDBG and DPW funds.
57. Work with MassDOT, DCR, and the City of Cambridge to improve the efficiency of Mass Ave/Route 16 signal in Cambridge. Cambridge is looking into signal improvements.
59. Work with the MBTA to reduce bus bunching and improve the efficiency of bus service. The town will do a bus rapid transit trial this fall, followed by a project evaluation. The next public meeting is Aug. 15th.
72. Advocate to further extend the MBTA Green Line Extension to Mystic Valley Parkway. This item is on hold. The MBTA will extend the green line to College Ave. The College Ave to Route 16 extension is in the very early stages, and there's a lot of work to do at the state level.
76. Integrate master plan implementation within the Board of Selectmen/Town Manager annual goal-setting progress. This item is ongoing and in-progress, but not a discrete task that will ever be finished. Perhaps there should be a category for "annual action items".
91. Expand the storefront sign enhancement program. The program was expanded in 2015, to provide eligible property owners with money for facade improvements. However, there's no longer funding for this program.
Items in the TBD category:
21. Study and consider amending set-backs, FAR, and other techniques that could address concern for neighbor impacts of new large homes constructed in existing established residential neighborhoods. The residential study group will work on this, probably starting this summer.
22. Develop a tree inventory and management plan. This item is important, but not in-progress yet. It will require work and coordination from the tree committee. Perhaps CPA funding could be used for planning (as an open space improvement); this is worth looking at.
23. Address ADA requirements, improved lighting, signs, etc. for the Minuteman Bikeway. There's a plan in place, but no funding.
Some items are in the TBD category because of capacity issues -- a lack of staff, volunteers, or both. At a future meeting, the Committee should identify which of these items to work on next. Perhaps the next meeting could include a discussion of how to prioritize items where the lead entity is not the DPCD (i.e., items where another department has to take the lead). We should begin discussion with lead entities for near-term TBD items.
A number of items involve trees (#83, for example). Perhaps some of these items could be combined, or placed into a common category.
Item 35 (Develop a Master Plan Implementation Plan) should be moved from TBD to the ongoing category.
The Committee should examine items on this list, and see which ones (if any) might be eligible for CPA funding.
Highlights of Woring Group Activities
Mill Brook Study Group. The study group is working on a report that takes the whole corridor into consideration. Follow-up items will be determined by recommendations in this report.
Residential Study Group. The residential study group has two vacancies. They are also working on a report.
Housing Plan Implementation Committee. The committee recently held a forum with four panelists. The panel talked about housing needs, and the shortage of housing available to fill those needs. Next steps will focus on multi-family housing by right, and accessory dwelling units.
Arts and Cultural Plan Implementation Committee. The committee received extra funding from the Barr foundation, to do public art in bus shelters. The Committee is in the process of adopting a new structure.
Zoning Bylaw Working Group. So far, there is one unfilled seat. The group may have its first meeting in July.
There's a question about whether the town's Economic Planner would be involved in the Mill Brook, or other study group. Some areas of Mill Brook could contribute to the town's economic development.
Future Meeting Dates
The next meeting will be Thursday Sept, 13th, at 6:00pm.