September 10, 2014
6:00 – 8:15 p.m.
City of Somerville planning staff (through “Somerville by Design” process) will kick off development of a Union Square neighborhood plan in November 2014.
- The City wants to have its own process that will lead the developers rather than the other way around.
- Tentative schedule includes a listening session in early November; a visioning session in February; and a neighborhood open house/design charrette (interactive workshop) in April 2015.
- Process is anticipated to conclude in September 2015; however, major themes and elements will likely be identified by spring 2015. Major themes and elements will assist with D2 parcel planning (see below).
- Neighborhood plan for Union Square will include Boynton Yards.
- CAC understands that its current scope does not include areas outside of master development; development of neighborhood plan is broader than the CAC’s role.
US2 is not yet under contract as master developer for Union Square.
- The City and US2 are still working on a master development agreement.
- The agreement will more formally signify that US2 is the master developer for the seven parcels within the master developer Request for Qualifications document. It will not be a comprehensive agreement that outlines a community benefits agreement (CBA). Determination and negotiation of one or more CBAs will come later in the process.
It’s understood that the CAC will be the forum for community participation in developing one or more Community Benefit Agreement(s) between the City and US2.
- October CAC meeting will focus on principles and definitions relating to community benefits; community members will be invited to share ideas and information.
Development of the D2 parcel (the radiator/scrap metal block) will likely move forward on a faster track than the overall master development.
- The City is under obligation to deliver a clear site to the MBTA for construction of the Green Line station.
- City has awarded a contract to a company to demolish all eleven existing structures on D2 lot. Demolition will commence in the near future. Contaminated soil will be removed and replaced.
- US2 is focused on delivering a building on the D2 parcel to correspond with the opening of the Green Line Station—consistent with commitment described in RFQ.
The City is working on developing a timeline that will illustrate ongoing overlapping and interdependent processes including:
- Development of master development agreement with US2
- Development of D2 parcel o Union Square/Boynton Yards Neighborhood Plan
- Community Benefits Agreement(s) with US2
- Zoning ordinance overhaul
- Working to plan a Business Roundtable
- Having discussions with Somerville transportation staff and Parsons Brinckerhoff regarding plan for Union Square roadway and infrastructure improvements
- Actively engaging and meeting with community groups to hear ideas and concerns
- Technical work/analysis beginning on environmental, transportation, and energy-related issues regarding the development of D2.
- On Monday night, the City will present to Board of Aldermen finance committee an update that City is looking at other sites for police and fire department given ongoing flooding issues at Union Square site.