Neighbors don't want to be left in the shadows - The Boston Globe
Residents of Union Square in Somerville are organizing to have a say in the zoning changes that will allow taller buildings and denser development in their neighborhood. They decided to write their own zoning petition as an alternative to the city's proposal, which the group submitted in March.
Stuart Dash, director of community planning in Cambridge and a member of Union Square Neighbors, wants to ensure that building setbacks are appropriate and buildings gradually increase in height. The city's original zoning proposal, which called for 140-foot buildings, would create a "darker, less personal" square, he said. The 100-foot limit would be better, but "it's not as far reduced as we would like to see it," he said.
Vickie Choitz bought a home in Union Square in 2005 in part because she knew it was an area that would be redeveloped. She said she is concerned that multi story development in the area could put her home, partway up Prospect Hill, in a valley.
"We don't necessarily want to preserve Union Square as is," she said. "We're not afraid of development. We want it to be done in a way that isn't giving away the farm of Union Square and telling developers you can do whatever you want."