CITY OF WORCESTER

Economic Development Committee Meeting

Monday, November 18, 2019

Esther Howland (South) Chamber

Convened: 6:10 P.M.

Adjourned: 7:19 PM


Mayor
Joseph M. Petty

 

www.worcesterma.gov

 

Clerk of the City Council
Susan M. Ledoux

Committee Members

Chairperson Candy Mero-Carlson
Councilor Sarai Rivera
Councilor Matthew E Wally
 

City Hall - 455 Main Street Worcester, Massachusetts


Present Were:Chairperson Councilor Candy Mero-Carlson Councilor Sarai Rivera Councilor Matthew E Wally
 
Also:Councilor Morris A. Bergman Councilor George J. Russell Assistant Chief Development Officer for Planning and Regulatory Services Stephen Rolle Assistant Chief Development Officer for Business and Community Development Peter Dunn Chief Development Officer Michael Traynor Assistant City Clerk Stephen A.J. Pottle, clerk
 
1.

Approval of the Minutes

1a.

Order - That the City Council Standing Committee of Economic Development hereby approves the minutes of the Economic Development Committee meeting of October 15, 2019.

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson read the Item and moved to approve the minutes of the October 15, 2019 Economic Development Committee meeting. Motion approved on a voice vote. - Order adopted

2.

Communication of the City Manager

2a.

Transmitting informational communication relative to the development of a Permit History application. # 10.29A CM March 26, 2019

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson read the Item and recognized the Assistant City Clerk, who recommended the Item be held in order to allow for the Item to be heard on a date the Communicationís author would be able to attend. Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson moved to hold the Item. Motion approved on a voice vote.

Recommend Hold

3.

Miscellaneous Items

3a.

Petition of William S. Coleman III request City Council have Administration consider asking the Arts Commission to meet with local artists to discuss making a Giant City of Worcester Heart (City Seal) Mosaic for the Common. # 8b CC February 27, 2018

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson read the Item and moved to hold the Item, as the Petitioner was not in attendance to speak on the Item. Motion approved on a voice vote.

Recommend Hold

3b.

Order Councilor George J. Russell - Request City Council Standing Committee on Economic Development work in conjunction with the Cityís Economic Development staff to conduct a series of five listening sessions, one in each district, where small business owners throughout the City can provide advice and feedback to the Standing Committee and staff concerning how the City could help with supporting their businesses. # 13i CC December 6, 2016

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson read the Item and recognized Councilor Russell, who spoke concerning the Item. Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson discussed the feasibility of conducting listening sessions and requested the Chief Development Officer to speak on what is currently being done. The Chief Development Officer outlined that if it pleased the Chair, Economic Development staff would participate in the meetings, and recognized the Assistant Chief Development Officer of Business and Community Development, who outlined existing efforts to engage with small business owners. Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson recognized Councilor Rivera, who spoke concerning the Item. Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson recognized Councilor Russell, who advocated for more outreach in all City Council districts.

Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson offered the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager provide outreach to the various business associations throughout the city to ensure meetings in all City Council districts are being covered by City staff. Motion approved on a voice vote.

Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson moved to request City Manager provide City Council with information concerning the various business association meetings that are being covered by City staff. Motion approved on a voice vote.

Recommend Approval to request City Manager provide City Council with information concerning the various business association meetings that are being covered by City staff.

Chairman's Orders

Request City Manager provide outreach to the various business associations throughout the city to ensure meetings in all City Council districts are being covered by City staff.

4.

Reconvened Hearings

4a.

Report of the Planning Board Upon the Petition of Brendan Gove, President Zero Point Development request zone change for a portion of 222 Brooks St. from MG-0.5 to RL-7. # 10a CC June 11, 2019

In Committee September 3, 2019 - Hearing Recessed In Committee October 15, 2019 Hearing Recessed

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson read item and recognized the following speakers:

1. Harold Reader, no residence given, spoke in favor of the Item
2. John Page, Worcester resident, spoke in opposition to the Item
3. Tom Campbell, Worcester resident, spoke in opposition to the Item
4. Carlos Cordeiro, Worcester resident, spoke in opposition to the Item
5. Sheila Minardi, Worcester resident, spoke in opposition to the Item
6. Lois Bourget, Worcester resident, spoke in opposition to the Item

Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson recognized Councilor Rivera, who spoke concerning the property and the likelihood of development on the property regardless of the zoning.

Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson spoke concerning the Item, and then recognized the Assistant Chief Development Officer of Planning and Regulatory Services, who explained that regardless of whether the property were zoned MG-0.5 or RL-7, the process for opening the street up would be the same.

Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson recognized the Assistant City Clerk, who spoke concerning the petition process for placing or removing a truck ban on the street, as well as briefly touching on the differences between a public and private road.

Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson recognized the Assistant Chief Development Officer of Planning and Regulatory Services, who provided an overview of the various zoning changes being considered.

Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson recognized Councilor Bergman, who questioned whether the Petitioner had the authority to petition for a zone change at the property discussed.

Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson recognized the Assistant Chief Development Officer of Planning and Regulatory Services, who explained the grounds for which a person can petition for a zone change.

Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson moved to hold the Item in order to determine whether the petitioner had the grounds to petition for a zone change. Motion approved on a voice vote.

Recommend Hold

4b.

Report of the Planning Board Upon the Petition of Councilor George J. Russell request to amend the Zoning Table of Uses for multi-family dwelling, low rise from SP to N in a RL-7 zone and for single-family attached dwelling from SP to N in a RL-7. # 14a Tuesday, July 17, 2018

In Committee March 19, 2019 - Hearing Recessed In Committee September 3, 2019 - Hearing Recessed In Committee October 15, 2019 Hearing Recessed

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson read the Item and provided an overview of the Itemís history. Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson then recognized Councilor Russell, who provided additional information concerning the itemís history and suggested the Standing Committee should set a cap on the number of units if uses were allowed in the RL-7 zones.

Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson recognized the Assistant Chief Development Officer of Planning and Regulatory Services, who explained to the Standing Committee that the administration planned on bringing forth a future report relative to zoning for single-family attached multi-family low rise dwellings in the RL-7 Zoning District. The Assistant Chief Development Officer of Planning and Regulatory Services then explained the rate the Planning Board is currently approving items that would be affected by the proposed Item.

Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson recognized Councilor Russell for a second time, who spoke concerning the Item.

Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson recognized the Chief Development Officer, who clarified remarks concerning the Standing Committeeís considerations for a cap on the number of dwelling units per project.

Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson recognized Councilor Rivera, who raised concerns regarding whether the Item would increase gentrification, which were then addressed by the Assistant Chief Development Officer of Planning and Regulatory Services, who also spoke to the appropriateness of going through zoning areas with the various district City Councilors to address some of the issues this Item hopes to address.

Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson recognized Councilor Wally, who raised concerns with the possibility of enforcing a cap on the number of dwelling units per project.

Chairperson Councilor Mero-Carlson made a motion to hold the Item. Motion approved on a voice vote.

Recommend Hold