NEW! Read the latest updates on MBTA Communities!
Plenty of changes have been discussed and decided at recent WG meetings. While official meeting minutes take time to post, several helpful Arlingtonians have been collecting materials at meetings or making public records requests to get the latest scoop!
ARB Meeting 11-September Discussed Changes
The ARB had a long meeting to discuss their regular agenda as well as the WG report, including dozens public comments in person and over 50 comments via email.
- Download the 208pp ARB Agenda or read the ARB agenda online.
- View just the dozens of public comment emails sent before the meeting.
- Your Arlington has early coverage of the contentious meeting which included disruptions.
- Watch the ACMi 3 hour video of the ARB meeting.
Public comment was lengthy and loud, as well as a long list of written comments. While the ARB has said they will read all comments, a couple of sources in town have roughly categorized the comments as pro or con to the current proposals:
- Your Arlington coverage tracked public comments during the meeting as 20 in favor; 27 opposed or questioning.
- Another resident got similar results for verbal comments, and also read written comments in the agenda: 12 in favor; 42 opposed; and 3 other comments with questions.
WG Final Comprehensive Report
The WG issued a 51 page report detailing their process, the surveys, all the various map versions, and the decisions made during the process. This is a must-read for anyone wishing to understand how the town has approached and worked on this process.
Updated Zoning Regulations Details
The final Working Group’s proposed Zoning Bylaw Amendment (PDF, 4pp, official town document updated 6-Sep) is now available. This document will be discussed at the 11-Sep ARB meeting to get the final language ready, and for the ARB to provide a recommendation to Special Town Meeting. While reading Zoning regulations requires a lot of patience, these specific proposed regulations give a good sense of what to expect at TMM.
New Guidance On MBTA Communities Compliance
On 17-August, the state EOHLC issued an updated Compliance Guidelines Memo that lays out more specific criteria that final plans must meet. This memo lays out several ways that communities with “village-style or downtown” districts can amend their plans to find ways to include more ground-level non-residential components in various ways. The EOHLC aslo includes a list of several state grant programs that may be used or may be valuable when complying with the law.
On 29-August, Arlington’s Director of planning, Claire Ricker, issued a memo about Updated MBTA Communities Guidelines with specific explanations of how updates affect Arlington. In general, the recent state updates and additional grant programs are reported to work well with the existing plans the WG is proposing.
New Alternative 1 Maps And Compliance Worksheet
The WG has come up with two alternative maps to send to the ARB, and is also reportedly in the process of sending both maps and compliance worksheets to the state, to test if they would be acceptable to the state to comply with the law. Here are the two alternatives being proposed (with a decision not yet made).
Alternative 1 has five districts with an extended Heights district stretching towards Lexington, and a total of 7,391 total unit capacity. The FINAL PDF of the Alternative 1 Map Plan is posted, including GIS shape data files.
Alternative 1 - East Arlington Map
Alternative 1 - Arlington Heights Map
New Alternative 2 Maps And Compliance Worksheet
This is the second alternative set of maps the WG is considering.
Alternative 2 has four districts, dropping the extension in the Heights, and a total of 6,766 total unit capacity. The FINAL PDF of the Alternative 2 Map Plan is posted, including GIS shape data files.
Alternative 2 - East Arlington Map
Alternative 2 - Arlington Heights Map
Full MBTA Issues List
See my comprehensive listing by date of all meeting materials and reports, or find links to all MBTA Communities Working Group materials, notes, maps, and news reports.