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Council To Clarify Document

Report Criticized

By Terry H. Lanson

In response to a petition that demands revision and implementation of a blueprint for the city's future development, the city council yesterday sent the document to a subcommittee for clarification.

The Growth Policy Document, a 146-page report completed in 1993, has been criticized by community leaders and Harvard officials as vague and unhelpful in its present form.

The petition's stated purpose was to incorporate the document into the zoning ordinances, but its authors said they actually just wanted to force the city to stop dragging its feet.

The council last night referred the document, which took two years and a half million dollars to complete, to the Community Development and Housing Subcommittee. The committee will hold a series of hearings beginning May 19 to rework the document.

Petition signer Joseph J. Joseph, chair of the North Cambridge Stabilization Committee, said its purpose was to "light a fire under the city to use [the Growth Policy Document] in a better way."

"The document ought to be used rigorously by neighborhoods on the street level," said Joseph, who as first signer leant his name to the "Joseph petition."

"To be worthwhile, it has to be utilized by more than just the planning board," he said.

In its current form, the document cannot serve that purpose, petition signerssaid. Cambridge Civic Association Chair R. PhilipDowds said the document is "conflicted--it's infavor of everything."

Councillor Francis H. Duehay '55, chair of theCommunity Development and Housing Subcommittee,who initially requested that the city develop agrowth policy, agreed that the document is notsuitable in its current form.

"Some areas are not very specific," Duehaysaid. "The document is probably an early form ofwhat is needed. We need a guide to the measuredgrowth of the city."

Some Harvard officials apparently did notrealize the intent of the petition and feared theGrowth Policy Document was actually to beincorporated into the city's zoning policy.

Harvard Director of Community Affairs HathawayH. "Happy" Green wrote a letter to the OrdinanceCommittee, which held a hearing on the petition,to express the University's concerns.

"It is our sense that the Joseph Petition wouldcreate an unworkable zoning code because it wouldbe impossible... to evaluate and apply all of thegrowth policies," she wrote.

Because of the document's self-contradictorynature, "it could be all things to all people,"she said

Councillor Francis H. Duehay '55, chair of theCommunity Development and Housing Subcommittee,who initially requested that the city develop agrowth policy, agreed that the document is notsuitable in its current form.

"Some areas are not very specific," Duehaysaid. "The document is probably an early form ofwhat is needed. We need a guide to the measuredgrowth of the city."

Some Harvard officials apparently did notrealize the intent of the petition and feared theGrowth Policy Document was actually to beincorporated into the city's zoning policy.

Harvard Director of Community Affairs HathawayH. "Happy" Green wrote a letter to the OrdinanceCommittee, which held a hearing on the petition,to express the University's concerns.

"It is our sense that the Joseph Petition wouldcreate an unworkable zoning code because it wouldbe impossible... to evaluate and apply all of thegrowth policies," she wrote.

Because of the document's self-contradictorynature, "it could be all things to all people,"she said

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