University May Lose Exemption From Zoning Law

The Cambridge Planning Board is studying methods to obtain amendments to State Zoning Enabling statutes which require that educational institutions be exempt from local zoning restrictions on building use.

Amendments sought by the Board would provide that "colleges and universities would not be exempt from those controls which the City Council has from time to time felt desirable for the proper development of the City."

The Council has received copies of a proposed amendment to present City Zoning ordinances which, if approved, would replace the present zoning code.

While exempting University buildings from restrictions on use, the new code would still require institutions to comply with regulations on height, area, and provision of off-street parking facilities.

A Planning Board spokesman said yesterday that the new code would not apply to buildings existing or under construction at the time of its approval. Final Council approval might take as long as a year, especially if serious objections are voiced at the public hearing or by the Councillors.

The Planning Board has not yet released information on many other parts of the proposal which might affect future University construction.