Thursday, March 20, 2008

Planning Board MAR 18, 2008 Cambridge MA Bent St PUD Project

The Cambridge MA Planning Board held a Public Hearing with public comment on March 18, 2008.The subject was the PUD (planned unit development) for 159 First St., 65 Bent Street, 29 Charles St. The proponents are Jones Lang LaSalle, Bent Street Land Company, and Elkus Manfredi Architects.
Some members of the public who appear herein include:
Rhonda Massie, Roberta Goto, George Perkins, Tom Joyce, Michael Haggerty, Jay Wasserman, City Councilor Craig Kelley, Jean Meyers, Ilan Levy, Tony Figueiredo. Speaking for the proponents:
Rob Dickey and Steve Senna of Jones, Lang, LaSalle; David Manfredi of Elkus Manfredi; and for the City, Adam Schulman of Traffic and Parking; and Les Barber of the Community Development Department.

[Official transcript

Planning Board Meeting March 18, 2008 pp. 200-205]

THOMAS ANNINGER: Can I raise a quick, I know it is terribly late but I have two questions. One, what has happened to River Street?
WILLIAM TIBBS: Yes, I have that question too.
LIZA PADEN: 280 River Street is on the agenda for your next meeting.
WILLIAM TIBBS: Oh how nice.
THOMAS ANNINGER: Oh my God. And my second question is one that is way too late to debate but I have a real problem with people filming us.
THOMAS ANNINGER: And I would like to know whether there is anything we can do about that?
LAURENCE PIERCE: Well, I wonder about that. I raise the same question. I mean can you walk in to the city council chamber with a video camera?
H. THEODORE COHEN: Yes. You can.
LAURENCE PIERCE: You can not walk into a court room with one.
H. THEODORE COHEN: No. But the open meeting law allows people --
LIZA PADEN: No, but you can --
LAURENCE PIERCE: You sound like you know.
H. THEODORE COHEN: Yes. It allows people to video tape unless they are affirmatively interfering with what is going on.
LAURENCE PIERCE: And audio tape, so they are simultaneously --
STEVEN WINTER: It turns into a transcript.
LAURENCE PIERCE: Right, that is exactly right. It is a competing transcript. Well, I mean it is an alternate transcript of the proceeding. We make an official transcript of this proceeding and they are creating another one. I think that does raise an issue in terms of the possible disruption of the hearing process.
BETH RUBENSTEIN: I believe our attorney's interpretation is as Ted's is but I am very happy to pose the question again to the cities law department is the Board would like me to. I think --
THOMAS ANNINGER: I would like you to.
STEVEN WINTER: I would like that.
BETH RUBENSTEIN: I think we have been told that it is --
THOMAS ANNINGER: I think we will have an enforcement problem.
BETH RUBENSTEIN: -- allowed but I'm happy to ask just to confirm.
WILLIAM TIBBS: I know it is very late but I just want to --
BETH RUBENSTEIN: Can I just confirm, would you like me to do that? Would the Board like me to do that?
WILLIAM TIBBS: I know it is very late but I just have one issue and that is the confusion about this notice of public hearing. I am looking at it and it does say that it is deliberation and possible decision on the case heard again August of 2007 but it does say notice of public hearing at the top.
WILLIAM TIBBS: So I think we might want to make sure that in the writing of these things that it --
STEVEN WINTER: It precludes testimony. It is in fact a public hearing but it --
HUGH RUSSELL: Is it ours?
WILLIAM TIBBS: Yeah, it looks like ours.
BETH RUBENSTEIN: I think it is.
THOMAS ANNINGER: It's a good point.
WILLIAM TIBBS: If you could just look at it and just see if we can do something to avoid the confusion.
LIZA PADEN: That is not a public hearing notice that I sent out. That is a photograph of the notification panel that is posted on the building --
WILLIAM TIBBS: Yeah, that's right.
LIZA PADEN: -- and what they did was --
WILLIAM TIBBS: I mean the comments on the bottom is actually correct it's just that we want to make sure that there is some wording in there to let people know that if it is not. It says that there was a hearing heard but to have a thing that says public hearing I can see people feeling that they might --
WILLIAM TIBBS: -- because they don't know, so people could read that and say public hearing that means we get to talk. I don't know how. If you could -- it is something that you can sort out but I prefer not to have that kind of confusion.
STEVEN WINTER: I know it. I just wanted to make one comment about the transcript. The thing that bothers me about the transcript is that it is, I'm sorry the video taping. It is in fact an informal transcript that is not being cared for a monitored by an official body such as the city of Cambridge. So it really could be tampered with and then broadcast and used as a transcript when in fact it is not.
BETH RUBENSTEIN: I think as a matter of record the official transcript is the transcript that the city prepares but I take your point.
THOMAS ANNINGER: I think it is disruptive, I think it is a lot of things.
PATRICIA SINGER: May I make one positive comment to close out the meeting and that is to commend the Community Development Department on a fabulous job done at the affordable housing meeting. That was neglectful of not having sent a note to commend you.
BETH RUBENSTEIN: We will pass that on. Thank you.

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