A flyer hand-distributed, by the Alewife Study Group, to North Cambridge homes.
City Council Rejects the Neighborhood's Zoning Petition for the W.R. Grace Site . . .
In January, you were asked to pitch in to help pass the Von Grossmann Petition (VGP), a
downzoning petition for the W. R.Grace/Alewife area drafted by several neighborhood folk.
The VGP would have helped to protect the neighborhood from the increased flooding, traffic,
and environmental hazards that would be the inevitable by-product of the large development
planned by W.R.Grace for that area. Neighbors responded in impressive numbers, as you flooded
City Hall with calls and postcards and crowded City Council and Planning Board meetings.
Sadly, only Councillors Triantafillou, Reeves, Toomey, and Born supported the neighborhood
at the Council meeting on January 6th and voted for the VGP. The other Councillors, citing
fears of a lawsuit by Grace, approved the developer-friendly alternative petition submitted
by the City Manager and the Planning Board.
. . . then Adds Insult to Injury!
In a mind-boggling series of events, Councillor Davis then went on to speak at length in
favor of building a large hotel on the site at the corner of Rindge Avenue and the Alewife
Brook Parkway, Councillor Galluccio proceeded to amend the zoning to allow a 55,000 square
foot superstore on the site, and Councillor Sullivan introduced a number of late amendments
apparently designed to facilitate development.
The Results are that the City has:
given its OK to an additional 422,500 square feet of development (imagine 16 new
buildings the size of the Porter Square CVS Building);
refused to set construction guidelines appropriate to the level of contamination
and asbestos concentrations at the site;
failed to find ways to reduce traffic problems;
did nothing to address the inevitable results to the neighbors of overburdening the
floodplain on which most of the Grace property sits.
Grace and its developer, Spaulding & Slye, were given everything they asked for, and more!
Call Councillors Davis, Duehay, Galluccio, Russell and Sullivan at 349-4280; let
them know that you'll "Remember in November."
Help out the Alewife Study Group, the group of neighbors working together to gather
and disseminate information and taking action to protect our neighborhood. We can
use as much or as little time and energy as you can spare! Please call your neighbor,
Lisa Birk, at 354-3295 to volunteer to flyer, phone, plan or draft; or you can send
email to email@example.com
Watch for more flyers from the Alewife Study Group advising you of community meetings,
or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request more information, or check out
Neighbor by neighbor, street by street, we re-affirm our commitment to our community, our homes
and each other during this fight. And THAT'S a part of the neighborhood the developers and the
City can't take away from us!