Design Guidelines and Area Plans Referenced in the Zoning Ordinance

The Zoning Ordinance refers to urban design plans and guidelines that apply to certain parts of the city or to certain categories of development. When a project is required to undergo design review (for example, if it requires a special permit from the Planning Board), it is important to review the plans and guidelines that are applicable to that area or development type and to demonstrate how the proposed development conforms to those plans and guidelines. 

Kendall Square

Study/Guidelines Area Referenced In
Kendall Square Design Guidelines (2013)
PUD KS1, PUD KS2, PUD KS3, PUD-4, PUD-5, MXD  Articles 13.000, 14.000
Volpe Site Design Guidelines (2017) PUD-7  Section 13.90


Eastern Cambridge

Study/Guidelines Area Referenced In
Eastern Cambridge Planning Study (ECaPS) (2003)
Eastern Cambridge Design Guidelines (2001)
East of Windsor Street, north of Main Street, west of First Street (includes North Point area north of O'Brien Highway) Subsection 19.25.2
East Cambridge Development Review Process and Guidelines (1985) Riverfront triangle formed by First-Second Streets, Cambridge Street, and Charles River Sections 13.30, 13.40, 13.50


Study/Guidelines Area Referenced In
South Cambridgeport Development Guidelines (1992) South of Pacific Street, west of Albany Street Sections 17.50 through 17.200
University Park at MIT: Urban Design Guidelines (1987) Cambridgeport Revitalization Development District (CRDD) Article 15.000
Cambridgeport Blue Ribbon Committee Report (1986) Cambridgeport Revitalization area (south of Sidney Street) Section 15.12

Central Square

Study/Guidelines Area Referenced In
Draft Central Square Development Guidelines and Central Square Action Plan (1989) Central Square Overlay District Section 20.300

Harvard Square

Study/Guidelines Area Referenced In
Draft Harvard Square Development Guidelines (2002) Harvard Square Overlay District Section 20.50

North Massachusetts Avenue

Study/Guidelines Area Referenced In
North Massachusetts Avenue Urban Design Guidelines (1986) Massachusetts Avenue Overlay District (north of Cambridge Common) Section 20.100

Alewife, North Cambridge, Cambridge Highlands

Study/Guidelines Area Referenced In
Concord-Alewife Planning Study and Design Guidelines (2006) South of Alewife Reservation, north of Concord Avenue Section 20.90

Institutional Development

Study/Guidelines Development Type Referenced In
Institutional Growth Management Plan (1981) Educational uses, health care, religious uses, social service, government Section 4.50


Study/Guidelines Development Type Required For
Design Guidelines for Dormers (1996) Addition of dormers (windows protruding from steeped roofs) Projects seeking BZA relief to increase top-floor living area

Other Referenced Figures

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