Garage Suit To Be Heard Next Week

Opponents of a garage under construction on Binney St. in East Cambridge will try to halt the project with a suit in Middlesex Superior Court next Tuesday.

The plaintiffs, headed by Debra McManus, say the garage violates a city freeze on new commercial parking spaces set up under the provisions of the Clean Air Act of 1973. A ruling in their favor would mean that every parking facility built in the city since 1984 is illegal. McManus said the case was postponed from today.

The garage's developers, The Athenaeum Group, claim that it is not a "commercial" facility, and is thus exempt from the freeze. That group has filed a countersuit, requesting compensation for its expenses.

Last week the garage cleared the city's last bureaucratic hurdle when the License Commission voted 2-1 to issue it a certificate of occupancy. In doing so, the Commission decided not to hear from a citizen committee on public safety.

But the City Council last night passed a nonbinding resolution expressing "the City Council's strong dissapproval of the citizen process that was not supposed to be just for show."


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