IN RESPONSE to a petition requesting that Cambridge down-zone Harvard-owned property on Observatory Hill, which would affect future construction on the site, the Cambridge Planning Board made a recommendation Tuesday evening that the maximum height of any building be lowered from 85 to 35 feet. The City Council will vote on the recommendation after a hearing within the next few weeks, and the council, we hope, will support the community's protest against any future major construction, beyond the proposed athletic facilities, by Harvard in the area.
The neighborhood group, known as Neighborhood Nine, after initially focusing on resisting Radcliffe's proposed athletic facility, this summer turned its attention to Harvard's long-range plans that have designated some of the Observatory Hill property as a potential parking garage site. Although a change in the zoning map will not completely eliminate the possibility of another Harvard building, the Cambridge residents have every right to be concerned about the future of this property. The City Council should make the appropriate zoning changes to protect this quiet residential area.