Civic Groups Discuss New Zoning Ordinance

Whitlock Hits Height Limits on University

Several features of the proposed new Cambridge zoning ordinance might "seriously hamper the normal growth" of the University, Charles P. Whitlock, Administrative Assistant to the President for Civic Affairs, stated last night.

Speaking at the Planning Board's public hearing on the proposed amendment, Whitlock pointed out that "the University has decided to build high wherever feasible," and asserted that if adopted in its present form the new ordinance might prevent this "intense use" of Harvard's property.

Might Force Land Acquisition

Whitlock noted that the University is preparing to build 12-story dormitory buildings so that it will not be "forced to acquire more Cambridge land." Stringent height and bulk restrictions in the new ordinance might drive the University to purchase more property "than we either desire to or than we feel is healthy for the Cambridge community."

In the new ordinance, the size of buildings is controlled by provisions which limit the allowed amount of floor space according to the size of the lot on which the building is constructed.

Desires Fewer Special Permits

The University had also hoped, Whitlock declared, that any new ordinance would "reduce the number of instances in which the University would find it necessary to apply for variances, exceptions and special permits."

Since Harvard property is located in seven of the eleven proposed zoning districts, the University would have to conform to a diversity of restrictions intended to control industrial, commercial, and residential development. These controls, Whitlock said, would hinder "internal planning" of University facilities.

Whitlock and other Harvard officials this week discussed the proposed ordinance with Cambridge Planning Director Alan McClennen '38, and have also prepared a detailed report of their study.