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colored illustration of alewife with buildings and greenspace

Alewife Zoning Working Group

The Community Development Department (CDD) convened the Alewife Zoning Working Group to recommend zoning based on the community's planning and urban design priorities.

The working group will build on the Alewife District Plan, completed in 2019, as well as the companion Alewife Design Guidelines, and the zoning discussions that occurred at the Cambridge Planning Board and City Council in the intervening years. Additional analyses on the amount and type of development, urban design principles and guidelines, public open spaces, transportation infrastructure, and other community needs will be discussed, specifically in terms of how zoning can be used to achieve the community’s comprehensive vision.

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Upcoming Meetings

Draft Zoning Petition and Related Materials

Draft Zoning - Alewife Overlay District - Quad (AOD-Q)

CDD: Alewife Overlay District - Quad (AOD-Q) - Council Memo

CDD: Alewife Overlay District - Quad (AOD-Q) - Zoning Amendments

CDD: Alewife Overlay District - Quad (AOD-Q) - Zoning Height Subdistrict Map

CDD: Alewife Overlay District - Quad (AOD-Q) - New Street Centerlines

CDD: Alewife Overlay District - Quad (AOD-Q) - Description of AOD-Q Boundaries

CDD: Draft Zoning with Working Group Comments - Response to Comments_AOD-Q Zoning Petition-Working Group Redline

Alewife Design Guidelines - Updated May 2023

CDD: Alewife Design Guidelines - May 2023

Meeting Materials

Working Group Meeting #9 - May 10, 2023

This meeting was an opportunity for the Alewife Zoning Working Group to ask questions and provide comments on the draft zoning for Alewife.

CDD: May 10 - DRAFT Alewife Overlay District - Quad (AOD-Q) Zoning

Meeting Minutes: Working Group Meeting #9 Minutes

Meeting Recording: Working Group Meeting #9 Recording

Working Group Meeting #8 - February 9, 2023

The final meeting of the Alewife Zoning Working Group included results from the transportation analysis based on future development scenarios; final zoning recommendations, and updated presentation from Healthpeak.

CDD Presentation: Working Group Meeting #8 Presentation

Healthpeak Presentation: Healthpeak Meeting #8 Presentation

Meeting Minutes: Working Group Meeting #8 Minutes

Working Group Meeting #7 - December 14, 2022

The seventh meeting of the Alewife Zoning Working Group presented additional updates to the draft zoning framework based on recent feedback. Additionally, Healthpeak presented a preliminary framework plan for their property holdings.

CDD Presentation: Working Group Meeting #7 Presentation

Healthpeak Presentation: Healthpeak Meeting #7 Presentation

Meeting Recording: Working Group Meeting #7 Recording

Meeting Zoom Chat: Working Group Meeting #7 Chat

Meeting Minutes: Working Group Meeting #7 Minutes

Working Group Meeting #6 - November 9, 2022

The sixth meeting of the Alewife Zoning Working Group presented the draft zoning framework for review and discussion by the working group.

CDD Presentation: Working Group Meeting #6 Presentation

Meeting Recording: Working Group Meeting #6 Recording

Meeting Minutes: Working Group Meeting #6 Minutes

Alewife Zoning Community Meeting #1- November 3, 2022

The first community meeting of the Alewife Zoning provided an update on the planning process and facilitated feedback on the preliminary recommendations.

CDD Presentation: Community Meeting #1 Presentation

Meeting Recording: Community Meeting #1 Recording

Meeting (Zoom) Chat: Community Meeting #1 Zoom Chat

Meeting Minutes: Community Meeting #1 Minutes

Working Group Meeting #5 - October 12, 2022

The fifth meeting of the Alewife Zoning Working Group was a discussion on draft Zoning Principles and Framework.

CDD Presentation: Working Group Meeting #5 Presentation

Meeting Recording: Working Group Meeting #5 Recording

Meeting Minutes: Working Group Meeting #5 Minutes

CDD Memo: Draft Zoning Principles and Framework

Working Group Meeting #4 - September 29, 2022

The fourth meeting of the Alewife Zoning Working Group was a discussion on infrastructure, open space, and community facilities.

CDD Presentation: Working Group Meeting #4 Presentation

Meeting Recording: Working Group Meeting #4 Recording

Meeting Minutes: Working Group Meeting #4 Minutes

Working Group Meeting #3 - September 14, 2022

The third meeting of the Alewife Zoning Working Group was a discussion with property owners and developers on their future goals for their land holdings and how they relate to planning in the area.

CDD Presentation: Working Group Meeting #3 Presentation

Developer Presentations: Healthpeak presentation, Davis Companies presentation, Boylston Properties presentation

Meeting Recording: Working Group Meeting #3 Recording

Meeting Minutes: Working Group Meeting #3 meeting minutes and Updated Draft Zoning Principles & Framework

Working Group Meeting #2 - August 10, 2022

The purpose of the meeting was to review Alewife District Plan land use and zoning recommendations, review development since completion of Alewife District Plan and confirm the community’s planning priorities on type and amount of development. The Desired Outcomes from the meeting was to confirm community’s planning direction and start to discuss zoning strategies. To review slides from the meeting please follow these links: 

Presentation: Working Group Meeting #2 Presentation

Meeting Recording: Working Group Meeting #2 Recording

Meeting Minutes: Working Group Meeting #2 meeting minutes and Draft Zoning Principles & Framework

Working Group Meeting #1 - June 29, 2022

Working Group Meeting #1 provided an introduction to the Alewife Zoning Working Group members; a review of the Alewife District Plan (2019); and a discussion of current trends of development in the Alewife area. Additionally, a zoning primer was given to set the stage for the August meeting when the Working Group will review the Alewife District Plan zoning recommendations. To review slides from the meeting please follow these links:

Alewife District Plan Overview slides

Zoning Introduction - What we talk about when we talk about zoning slides

Summary notes from Working Group Meeting #1

Working Group Members

The working group is comprised of community stakeholders, including residents from the surrounding neighborhoods - Cambridge Highlands, North Cambridge, and West Cambridge - along with representatives of the business community, local institutions, property owners, and developers. A multidisciplinary staff team led by CDD will provide support to the group. The group members include:

Residents

  • Doug Brown, West Cambridge

  • John Chun, Cambridge Highlands

  • Elizabeth Feigunbaum, Cambridge Highlands

  • Jennifer Gilbert, North Cambridge  

  • Eric Grunebaum, North Cambridge

  • Suhas Kodali, North Cambridge

  • Mike Nakagawa, North Cambridge

  • Ann Stewart, Cambridge Highlands

  • Ann Tennis, Cambridge Highlands

Business Representatives/Property Owners

  • Jane Carbone, Homeowners Rehabilitation Inc.

  • Chris Chandor, The Davis Companies

  • Igor Ivanovic, Iggy's Bakery

  • Kelvin Moses, Healthpeak

  • Joseph Poirier, Longleaf Lumber

  • Joe Sultan, West Cambridge Science Park, LLC

Institutional/Non-Profit Representatives

  • Diana Marsh, Fayerweather School

Project Schedule

Working group meetings begin in summer 2022. Approximately six working group meetings (and a walking tour), occurring monthly, will be needed to review and revise zoning recommendations for the district. Staff will need additional time to incorporate the working group’s recommendations into zoning text for presentation to the City Council.

Graphic schedule with meeting dates 

Key Resources and Documents

  • Alewife District Plan - The Alewife District Plan captures the analysis, process and recommendations that came out of the planning process. This is used as a framework for the future development of the Alewife District, addressing topic areas, such as land use, climate and environment, mobility, housing, economic development, urban form, open space and zoning. The Alewife District Plan serves as the foundation and guide for any future planning in the Alewife area.

  • Alewife Design Guidelines - A complementary document to the Alewife District Plan that sets guidelines for future development and public space. The document also provides guidance on ways that the Alewife District must prepare for, and adapt to, climate change and its impacts on the urban environment.

  • Envision Cambridge - The Envision Cambridge Plan is a roadmap to the year 2030, setting out a plan to promote inclusive and sustainable growth. The plan draws on the community’s strengths—its people, businesses, institutions, history of innovation, and progressive values. The goal of Envision Cambridge is to guide the city's future in line with the community's Core Values: Livability, Diversity & Equity, Economic Opportunity, Sustainability & Resilience, Community Health & Wellbeing, and Learning. These values help guide us in fostering a thriving and inclusive community for future generations to enjoy.

  • Resilient Cambridge PlanThe Resilient Cambridge Plan is the City's roadmap to reduce the risks from climate change and prepare the community for impacts that cannot be avoided. The Plan focuses on the threats from increasing temperature, precipitation, and sea level rise.

  • Climate Resilience Zoning Task Force - The Task Force was created to advise on development standards that can be incorporated into the Zoning Ordinance that would result in new development that is more resilient to climate change risks. Specifically, this group will focus on zoning recommendations that address the climate change impacts identified in the Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment (CCVA), which included anticipated flooding due to sea level rise, storm surge, and precipitation and anticipated rise in temperatures exacerbated by the urban heat island effect. Additional project information and presentations are available at Climate Resilience Zoning - CDD - City of Cambridge, Massachusetts (cambridgema.gov)

Contact

For information on this project please email Drew Kane dkane@cambridgema.gov or Melissa Peters mpeters@cambridgema.gov or call 617-349-4600.
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