The Council Wants to Hear It From the Top


When residents in the Agassiz neighborhood north of the Law School saw Harvard development plans this summer, they weren't very pleased to see the red lines drawn around their community.

Those red lines mean that the area is a potential site for Harvard development, and this fall those residents petitioned the City Council to downzone the neighborhood to keep out the hobgoblins: Harvard and its multi-story apartment buildings.

The Council voted on Monday night to drop the ceiling on development in the area from unlimited heigh limitations to a 35-foot maximum. That rezoning resolution, however, must pass on one more reading before it is law.

The University is not taking all of this sitting down. The Planning Office envisions a housing site in the neighborhood, and Donald C. Moulton, assistant vice president for community affairs, was at the Monday meeting to protest the rezoning.

Moulton didn't hit it off that well. His one-sentence statement drew jeers from the partisan gallery, and the Council wanted the word from no less than President Bok. Bok said yesterday that he will respond to the Council by mail "sometime early next week."

Harvard's view of the issue is that whatever the University does with the 58-per-cent Harvard-owned land will be in the best interest of the community.

James Stanton, executive director of the Cambridge Civic Association, said yesterday that he has spoken with Moulton about the possible development, but that Moulton won't be specific about Harvard's plans.

"Harvard's very afraid of saying things they'll have a hard time living with," Stanton speculated.