The petition to rezone East Cambridge was filed over a year anda half ago as part of a comprehensive plan to rezone the entirecity. At the time, the Cambridge City Council imposed an 18-monthmoratorium on development in the East Cambridge area, which endedin July. The East Cambridge Planning Study was established toevaluate options in this area. ECaPS became a yearlong planningprocess for the area and was conducted by planners Goody, Clancy& Associates and a committee of 19 Cambridge citizens,planners, city officials and development interests.

According to Lisa Stuardi, director of government and communityaffairs at the Chamber of Commerce in Cambridge, the final form ofEcaPS, which incorporates amendments by the city's planning boardand the city council's ordinance committee, is now in effect. Oneprovision of the ordinance requires developers to provide publicamenities such as parks and affordable housing in exchange for anincrease in the size of a commercial development,. Also, as part ofthe new zoning, buildings must be lower near residentialneighborhoods and a new public park is to be built in the area.

Stuardi tells GlobeSt.com that the rezoning is designed toencourage residential development. Nowhere is that more evidentthan in the North Point section of this part of the city,essentially a 55-acre industrial wasteland that the city wanted tosee turned into a housing district. Guilford TransportationIndustries and Spaulding & Slye/Colliers own 45 acres here andwanted to develop a mixed-use office and residential development.Guilford had reportedly requested that commercial development be ashigh as 50%--which it received--because it would have to fund therelocation of an MBTA station. But the new zoning ordinancestipulates that the project must include middle-income housing andthe development of a new high school sports facility.

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