by David Dahlbacka in Assembly Square, Beat Reporter, Bicycles, Development and Zoning, Environment and Open Space, Orange Line, Pedestrians, Transportation, Transportation Projects
Posted on September 19, 2010 at 1:22 pm
Last Modified on November 6, 2010 at 7:30 pm
A change-of-use ordinance is being submitted to the Board of Aldermen to allow self-storage/wholesale storage in locations in Assembly Square near I-93 and not suitable for better development.
I understand that the goal is to allow a developer to place a self-storage facility at the foot of Foley Street, replacing a truck storage facility near the current (poorly-maintained) pedestrian underpass from Assembly Square to the Stop & Shop on Mystic Avenue.
The underlying urban design problem is how to use a development in this location to establish a pedestrian-friendly gateway to Assembly Square, given (a) the planned Assembly Square T-Stop at the head of Foley Street and (b) a proposed Foley Street connection under I-93 to East Somerville.
Land use planning is the primary function of municipal government. This ordinance provides an ideal opportunity to observe and participate in the public land use process, from Ordinance to Planning Board special permit.
As I understand it, the process proceeds as follows (annotated with completion dates):
- Change of use ordinance submitted to Board of Aldermen (done)
- Board of Aldermen refer the ordinance to the Land Use Committee (done at BOA meeting 9/23/10)
- Land Use Committee takes up the ordinance and schedules a public hearing (scheduled for 11/4/10 as of 10/20/10)
- Land Use Committee and Planning Board hold Joint Public Hearing (done 11/4/10)
- Planning Board returns recommendation to Land Use Committee. (done 11/4/10)
- Land Use Committee returns recommendation to the BOA. (meeting scheduled for 12/3/10)
- Board of Aldermen votes on change of use.
- Developer applies for special permit for self-storage facility.
- Special permit goes to Planning Board.
- Planning Board holds Public Hearing on special permit.
- Planning Board votes on special permit.
I will track this process and supply dates as I know them, updating this post as I go. Please plan on participating at any public hearings, as the development is at one of the gateways to Assembly Square and how it happens is important to the future of the site.