After a joint roundtable on Tuesday, February 7, 2023, the Economic Development & University Relations Committee, and the Neighborhood & Long Term Planning, Public Facilities, Arts & Celebration Committee voted to send the Callender citizen petition, which would restrict lab use in certain districts of Cambridge, voted to send the petition to the full city council with a negative recommendation. This aligns with the Planning Board’s vote on December 20, 2022 to recommend against the petition to the City Council.
The committees also voted positively to create a working group composed of universities, property owners, and business associations – including the KSA – to suggest reasonable restrictions on commercial building and lab size, and the need for more housing, among other things.
January 4, 2023
The Ordinance Committee heard from the petitioners and the opposition, including the KSA, and voted to refer the Petition to the Joint Committee for further consideration expected to be held in February 2023.
December 20, 2022
The Planning Board concluded that the Petition wasn’t properly structured to achieve the stated objectives, and voted to recommend against the Petition (6-1). The Planning Board acknowledged the need for affordable housing , and suggested that there be some process whereby continued work can be done between the petitioners, City, and the business community on this topic. Agenda packet here.
On December 7, 2022 the City’s Neighborhood & Long-term Planning, Public Facilities, Arts & Celebration Committee and the City’s Economic Development and University Relations Committee (the “Joint Committee”) held a hearing on the Policy Order. City staff presented finance and zoning data. The KSA, East Cambridge and Central Square Business Associations, and MIT, opposed the ban and presented testimony which can be viewed here. Several individuals from small and mid-sized labs shared compelling testimony about the value of being in Cambridge and the discoveries and impact they are making.