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 Policy Order Resolution
  March 17, 2014

WHEREAS: The Edward J. Sullivan Courthouse is a 22-story tower located on 40 Thorndike Street that directly abuts the modest residential neighborhood of East Cambridge; and
WHEREAS: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is in the process of abandoning the Courthouse building and disposing of it through the state's Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM); and 
WHEREAS: Residents of East Cambridge, who have lived with this inappropriate and overwhelming structure for some forty years, have expressed a preference for a redevelopment project that would reduce the height and bulk of the existing structure; and 
WHEREAS: On December 14, 2012, irrespective of neighborhood concerns, DCAMM awarded redevelopment rights to Leggat-McCall Properties based on the developer's proposal to maintain all of the existing height and bulk and "reskin" the structure as a commercial office tower; and 
WHEREAS: The East Cambridge Planning Team has a proud reputation of working with developers to ensure that new development works positively for the community; and 
WHEREAS: The Neighborhood Association of East Cambridge is a newly-formed organization that is seeking recognition from the Community Development Department and has rallied community opposition to the developer's current plans; and 
WHEREAS: On Wednesday evening, February 26, 2014, the East Cambridge Planning Team heard from the developer with regard to neighborhood concerns over wind, glare, and light pollution; and 
WHEREAS: After three hours of discussion and debate before a crowded audience, the East Cambridge Planning Team voted to ask the Planning Board to reject the developer's Special Permit application #288; and 
WHEREAS: The vote was recorded as unanimous among all members present; and 

On October 7, 2013, the City Council approved a Request for Proposal (RFP) process to facilitate the transfer of city-owned parking spaces at the First Street Garage to the developer in order to help satisfy the extensive parking requirements of the proposed office building; and 

WHEREAS: The disposition of city-owned parking cannot proceed unless the City Council, by a vote of two-thirds majority, finds that the arrangements specified through the RFP process will lead to the greatest public benefit that can be obtained from the City property in question, pursuant to Chapter 2.110 of the City of Cambridge Municipal Code; now therefore be it 
RESOLVED: That the City Manger be and hereby is requested to report back to the City Council on the status of the First Street Garage RFP process; and be it further  


That the City Council go on record to indicate that it will not simply consider whether the RFP's agreed-upon price represents the fair market value of the city-owned parking spaces in the First Street Garage, but rather, the City Council will listen closely to the concerns of East Cambridge residents and consider the overall impact of the Sullivan Courthouse redevelopment project in order to determine whether the developer's proposal will lead to the greatest public benefit that can be obtained from the City property in question, pursuant to Chapter 2.110 of the Cambridge Municipal Code; and be it further 



That the City Council go on record strongly encouraging DCAMM and the developer to work together in an expeditious and creative fashion to substantially reduce the height, traffic, and environmental impacts of the developer's proposal so as to gain community support and resolve the great uncertainty that now surrounds the project. 

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