Arlington Redevelopment Board - Oct 16th, 2023

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Meeting held in the main room of the Community Center at 27 Maple Street. Materials were available from

Rachel Zsembery was unable to attend tonight's meeting, and Kin Lau acted as chair.

Article 13 - MBTA Communities Act Neighborhood District

This article was submitted by Wynelle Evans and 100 registered voters.

(Wynelle Evans, proponent) Ms. Evans says she made a mistake in submitting Article 13; what Article 13 proposes to do should have been submitted to town meeting as an amendment to Article 12, and she expects the ARB to vote no action. Ms. Evans thinks it was a worthwhile effort to gather signatures and listen to concerns. She thinks that a three-story limit in the Neighborhood Multifamily (NMF) District made people feel heard. She intends to submit an amendment (to Article 12) that would change the NMF district's boundaries. The amendment will probably be filed tomorrow.

(Eugene Benson, ARB) Mr. Benson agrees that a vote of no action is the appropriate course. He asks if Ms. Evans will provide a parcel list and updated map to show how she's proposing to change the NMF boundaries.

(Wynelle Evans) Ms. Evans answers in the affirmative.

(Eugene Benson) Mr. Benson notes that there are acreage and contiguity requirements for the multifamily districts. He asks Ms. Evans if she's looked that this.

(Wynelle Evans) Ms. Evans says she's done her best to look at this.

(Steve Revilak, ARB) Mr. Revilak asks Ms. Evans if she'll be able to provide town meeting with an updated capacity number, to reflect the changes being proposed in the NMF district.

(Wynelle Evans) Ms. Evans says she'll try.

(Kin Lau, ARB Vice-chair) Mr. Lau asks Ms. Evans if she plans to provide town meeting with a map.

(Wynelle Evans) Ms. Evans says she'll provide town meeting with a version of the Alternative 1 map which shows the changes.

(Kin Lau) Mr. Lau asks Ms. Evans if she's proposing to add any properties to the district.

(Wynelle Evans) Ms. Evans says she'll propose the addition of five properties, which have already been noticed for the original map change.

The chair opens the hearing to public comment.

(Grant Cook) Mr. Grant encourages the ARB to vote no action on Article 13. He's not happy with cutting the proposal. He'd like to see the NMF district extend 450' from Mass Ave rather than 250'. Mr. Cook says that his house is 350' away from Mass Ave. He hopes we stick with the plan we have.

(Steve Moore) Mr. Moore would like to argue the opposite. He thinks 250' is a good compromise, and he doesn't think 250' is unwelcoming. He doesn't feel that scaling the district back is inappropriate and asks if any capacity analysis has been done.

(Eugene Benson) Mr. Benson notes that there is no main motion for Article 13. He says that Ms. Evans will submit an amendment to Article 12, and it's up to town meeting to discuss the pros and cons.

The board votes "no action" on Article 13, 3--0.

Docket 3602 - 1207-1211 Massachusetts Avenue

(Kin Lau) Mr. Lau notes that there are only three members of the board here tonight, and it takes four to approve changes to a special permit. Therefore, the board will not be able to vote this evening.

(Jim Doherty, applicant) Mr. Doherty says he gave most of his intro when he spoke to the board a few weeks ago.

There's a discussion of continuing the hearing to November 6th.

Vote to continue the hearing until November 6th passes, 3--0.

Open Forum

(Ann Leroyer) Ms. Leroyer says she was here for the hotel hearing (i.e., Docket 3602). She asks what Mr. Doherty was referring to, when he said he'd spoken to the board a few weeks ago.

(Claire Ricker, Planning Director) Ms. Ricker says that Mr. Doherty spoke during Open Forum at the Board's August 28th meeting. He stated his intention to ask for an extension to his special permit.

(Ann Leroyer) Ms. Leroyer says there were three trees removed from behind the DAV building. Part of one tree had fallen down on the roof. She says the special permit conditions only mentioned the removal of one tree. Ms. Leroyer says there are five junk cars on the site, and asks if anyone has raised a concern over the abuse of the property. She says the site can be improved, but it's still terrible-looking. She hopes that someone can look into the junk cars.

(Eugene Benson) Mr. Benson says the board has no authority of junk cars.

There are no more comments from the public.

New Business

(Claire Ricker) Ms. Ricker reminds the board that the special town meeting starts tomorrow night.

(Steve Revilak) Mr. Revilak asks if there's been any update on the docket for Calyx Peak.

(Claire Ricker) Ms. Ricker says that will be on the schedule for November 6th.

(Steve Revilak) Mr. Revilak asks if there have been any decisions regarding the voting quantum for the various zoning articles.

(Claire Ricker) Ms. Ricker says she's still waiting to hear back from town counsel.

Meeting adjourned.