Mark Niedergang on Ward 5 Zoning meetings March 4th & 5th

Please join me, Dan Bartman, Senior Planner in the City’s Planning Department, and others interested in the proposed new zoning for an informal meeting to learn about, ask questions about, discuss, and comment upon the Administration’s proposed overhaul of the City’s zoning code.

There will be two meetings (so that as many people as possible can attend):    

Sunday, March 4th, 3:30 -5:30 PM and

Monday, March 5th, 6:30-8:30 PM.Both meetings will be at the Visiting Nurse Association, 259 Lowell Street, 3rd Floor Community RoomYou are welcome to attend both and depending on the attendance, I imagine the content of the two meetings could be significantly different.  Please drop in when you can and stay as long as you can.

I am interested in hearing from Ward 5 folks about any concerns or questions you have about the proposed zoning for specific properties or neighborhoods.  So if you can, please look at the zoning map (see below) for your property and neighborhood.  I am planning these meetings as informal, with questions from participants leading to answers and background information from Mr. Bartman.  I hope to hear from you about what you like and dislike in the proposed zoning overhaul.

If you are not a resident of Ward 5, but are interested in zoning, I invite you to attend as well. While these meetings will focus some on Ward 5 neighborhoods and streets, there will be questions and discussion about the broader citywide issues.

If you have concerns or questions for Mr. Bartman, please email them to me so he can prepare answers, if necessary.

While it’s fine to come without any background or preparation, to get the most out of the discussion, and contribute the most to the conversation, I encourage you to do some of the following:

• Go to the City of Somerville Zoning Overhaul website,

• View the presentation slides or the video of Planning Director George Proakis’ February 13 Policy Overview of the proposed new zoning code. In it, he introduced the proposal, explained the rationale for it, and highlighted the differences between this version and the version the administration proposed in 2015.

• Click on the “Zoning Atlas” and when you find the map of Somerville with 19 quadrants, scroll down and find the quadrant where you live or work. Look at the proposed zoning for the properties in your neighborhood.  Bring any questions or concerns you have about the proposed zoning for specific properties to the meeting.

If you want to know the process by which the Board of Aldermen will consider the proposed overhaul for adoption, check out the Adoption Process Infographic.

If you are really into zoning, you can read actual text of the proposal, or parts of it.  You can comment or ask questions either by emailing or by going to the CiviComment page and inserting your comments in the appropriate location in the text.

The Board of Aldermen spent a lot of time in 2015 discussing and deliberating on the first version.  Residents submitted hundreds of comments, many of which were extremely helpful and had a significant impact on my understanding of that earlier version.  Your questions, comments and observations are most appreciated.  Along with you and others, I am studying and learning about this revised version.

Also, mark your calendars:

Public Hearing on the new proposed zoning before the Board of Aldermen and the Planning Board on

Tuesday, March 13, 6 PM

in the Aldermen’s Chambers, City Hall.

Mark Niedergang, Ward 5 Alderman

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