Attend meetings as enjoyable as a new Ben & Jerry’s and as serious as raising real estate ‘bonding’ fees


Ben & Jerry’s, closed at Harvard Square, is planning a scoop shop for Porter Square. (Photo: Bob B. Brown via Flickr)

Real estate “bond” fee bond

municipal Council, 5:30 p.m. Monday. A group of advisers are proposing an increase in the real estate ‘bond’ fee that could be a serious shock to the system, rising to $ 33.34 per square foot this year from the current $ 20.10 – money that owes be paid to finance affordable housing by developers of large non-residential construction. The idea is to compensate for the displacement of residents caused by high-income workers attracted to the offices or laboratories created by this construction. (The link fee, also known as incentive zoning, was set 29 years ago at $ 3.28 and had to be reviewed every three years, but has instead dragged on until a reset in 2015. Increases since have been mostly a dollar or less per year.) The proposed rate is the maximum discussed in a 2019 study and comes with warnings of rising rents and buzzing builders, but supporters see something less that Cambridge failed to get “the full affordable housing subsidy” in an affordable housing crisis. If it survives a vote, that order will go to the Housing Committee.

The building is coming back in a seething order of wage thefts by contractors “including the falsely illegal classification of employees as independent contractors … an epidemic especially in the construction industry”. The ordinance, which must be sent to the ordinances committee, would only allow contractors free from compensation scandals to work in the city, and only if they “properly classify employees as employees” and pay them appropriately. . There is another work-related order supporting the unionization of workers at Darwin’s, the local coffee chain.

Other notable actions on the agenda include a call to know “the milestones that will be used to determine when the indoor mask mandate will no longer be needed,” after a series of decisions made by city staff at the time. era of the coronavirus which seemed to have little basis in science; and a request by the city manager to seek permission from the state legislature to create a local firefighter cadet program.

The council meets at City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square. Televised and viewable by Zoom videoconference.

“Green new deal” zoning

Prescriptions Commission, 3:30 p.m. Tuesday. This committee led by city councilors Dennis Carlone and Marc McGovern will meet to continue a hearing on laws to make new commercial buildings fully electric for net greenhouse gas emissions. Known as the city’s “new green zoning”, it would collect fees based on expected emissions from commercial buildings and use the money for energy efficiency projects and green job training programs. Viewable by Zoom videoconference.

The reopening of the school district

School committee, 6 p.m. Tuesday. While there will be presentations on reopening schools, Covid and spending post-Covid federal funds, much of this agenda is largely ceremonial: expressing support for those affected by the earthquake August 14 in Haiti and the chaotic end of the war in Afghanistan (and to resettle Afghan children in the school district); and wish good luck with the departure of Ben Clark from Enroot and Kathryn Fenneman from Tutoring Plus. The committee meets in the Dr. Henrietta S. Attles meeting room at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, 459 Broadway, Mid-Cambridge. Televised and viewable by Zoom videoconference.

Right of conversion into co-ownership

Housing committee, 11 a.m. Thursday. This committee led by city councilors E. Denise Simmons and Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler will meet to discuss a condominium conversion order and how it could reduce, slow down or even prevent the movement of tenants when rental units become condominiums. This discussion continued from August 30. Viewable by Zoom videoconference.

Ben & Jerry’s and bubble tea

Zoning appeal board, 6:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Thursday. It’s been a sadder, leaner Porter Square in the year since Emack & Bolio’s left their tiny space at the front of Porter Square Mall, but fear not: Ben & Jerry’s are happy to fill in. same 700 square feet with its own ice cream. Owner Gravestar has started preparing the space, which will replace the closed scoop store at Garage Mall in Harvard Square. The Vermont-based company’s claim will be heard along with that of Vivi Bubble Tea, which is seeking a special permit to sell its drinks and fast food not too far away, in the 900 square foot 1776 Massachusetts Ave. that was the Muckykids Art Studio. Viewable by Zoom videoconference.

Featured image by Mr.TinDC via Flickr.


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