Zoning Amendments

UPDATE: Due to statewide emergency orders limiting the size of public gatherings in response to COVID-19, and in accordance with Governor Charles D. Baker's Executive Order of March 12, 2020, temporarily amending certain requirements of the Open Meeting Law, as well as the City of Cambridge Temporary Emergency Restrictions on City Public Meetings, City Events and City Permitted Events Due to COVID-19 dated May 27, 2020, meetings of the Planning Board will be held with remote participation until further notice.


This page lists all amendments to the Cambridge Zoning Ordinance currently under consideration. Past zoning amendments can be found on the Adopted Zoning Amendments or Past Zoning Amendments Not Adopted webpages, depending on the final action taken by the City Council. Electronic versions of some documents relevant to the proposed amendments are also provided on these webpages. Not all documents are available electronically at this time.

PLEASE NOTE: These online documents are provided for reference and convenience only. The print versions of the referenced documents, along with any amendments that may have been made subsequent to the most recent update to the print versions, remain the official versions. If any discrepancies exist between the documents on file at the Office of the City Clerk and the electronic documents available on this site, the print versions shall be considered correct. The documents listed on this web page do not necessarily constitute a full public record.

Amendments Under Consideration

The following amendments to the Zoning Ordinance are currently under official consideration by the City Council and Planning Board. The public hearing dates are listed below (TBD = "to be determined"). 

Petition Name Key Documents  Referral Date Dates of Public Hearings Expiration Date
Fossil Fuel Zoning Ordinance (Article 22.00)
Petition Text
June 22, 2020

Planning Board:
August 18, 2020

Ordinance Committee:
August 26, 2020

November 24, 2020
Affordable Housing Overlay (Refiled)

• Petition Text

• CDD Memo - July 28, 2020 (Revised)
• AHO Design Guidelines - July 28, 2020
• AHO Zoning Comparison Table - July 28, 2020
• 2019 AHO Planning Board Recommendation

• CDD Memo - July 1, 2020
• Zoning Maps and Charts - July 1, 2020
Prototypical Site Models - July 1, 2020

• Ordinance Committee Presentation Slides

See additional information and past materials on the Affordable Housing Overlay.

June 10, 2020 Planning Board:
August 4, 2020

Ordinance Committee:
July 8, 2020

October 6, 2020

Alewife Quadrangle Northwest (Hartvigsen, et al.)

• Petition Text March 16, 2020 TBD TBD

Canal District Kendall PUD (BioMed Realty)


• Petition Text
March 16, 2020 TBD TBD
Definition of Family (Schmidt, et al.)

• Petition Text
• CDD Memo - March 4, 2020
• Presentation to Planning Board - March 10, 2020

January 13, 2020

Planning Board:
March 10, 2020

Ordinance Committee:
March 17, 2020 Hearing Cancelled



Zoning Under Discussion

From time to time, the City considers more general changes to the Zoning Ordinance that are associated with a particular topic or initiative. The following zoning topics are under discussion but do not have a formal zoning petition associated with them:


Explanation of Table Headings

Petition Name

Where a zoning amendment is proposed by Cambridge property owners or registered voters, the amendment is typically named for the petitioner or petitioners. Where a zoning amendment is proposed by the City Council or Planning Board, the amendment is typically named for the subject of the petition itself. If the language “(Refiled)” appears after the name of the petition, it indicates that this petition is one version of a petition that may have been refiled and previously considered by the City Council one or more times. 

Key Documents

Lists documents that may be especially relevant to the petition, including the petition text, memoranda from City staff or other agencies, recommendations from the Planning Board, and/or supplemental information provided by the petitioner or City staff.

PLEASE NOTE: This webpage does not list all submitted documents that pertain to the petition. To view the full public record for a zoning petition, contact the Office of the City Clerk.

Referral Date

Lists the date on which the petition was referred by the City Council to the Planning Board and Ordinance Committee. Both the Planning Board and the Ordinance Committee must hold a public hearing on the petition within 65 days of the referral date.

Dates of Public Hearings

Lists the dates on which public hearings have been scheduled for the Planning Board and the Ordinance Committee. "TBD" is given where a hearing date has not yet been advertised. Sometimes a petition is heard at multiple public hearings of the same body.

Expiration Date

A petition must be acted upon by City Council within 90 days of its filing. If no City Council action is taken before the end of that 90 day period, the petition is placed on file and may not be voted upon unless it is refiled, at which point the City Council could refer the petition to the Ordinance Committee and Planning Board for a new set of public hearings. 


For More Information

For more information contact Liza Paden at 617/349-4647 or lpaden@cambridgema.gov.

• Petition Text
• Petition Text
• Petition Text
• Petition Text