MISC 09-406520

April 5, 2011

Sands, J.


Plaintiffs filed their unverified complaint on July 23, 2009, challenging the validity of a provision in the City of Cambridge Zoning Ordinance (the "Ordinance") pursuant to the provisions of G. L. c. 240, § 14A and G. L. c. 185, § 1 (j 1/2). On August 17, 2009, Defendants City of Cambridge (the "City") and Lesley University ("Lesley") (together, "Defendants") filed their Answers. A case management conference was held on September 29, 2009. Defendants filed their Motion for Summary Judgment on February 1, 2010, together with supporting memorandum, Joint Statement of Facts, and Appendix. On the same day, Plaintiffs filed their Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment, together with supporting memorandum and Appendix, including Affidavits of Sarah Farrington, John Farrington, Peter Lang, Katherine Lapierre, Gordon Moore and Andrea Wilder. On March 1, 2010, Plaintiffs filed their Opposition to Defendants' Motion, together with Motion to Strike Portions of Defendants' Joint Statement of Facts. Defendants filed their Opposition to Plaintiffs' Cross-Motion on March 3, 2010, together with the Affidavit of Stanley Trecker. On March 12, 2010, Plaintiffs filed their Reply, together with a second Affidavit of Sarah Farrington, and Defendants filed their Reply, together with Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion to Strike. A hearing was held on all motions on May 24, 2010, and the matter was taken under advisement. A Decision of today's date has been rendered.

In accordance with that Decision it is hereby

ORDERED and ADJUDGED that Paragraphs 37 and 38 of Defendants' Joint Statement of Facts shall be stricken.

ORDERED and ADJUDGED that the City did not engage in spot zoning by enacting an amendment (the "Zoning Amendment") to the Ordinance, which extended the Business C District to include property located at 1797-1803 Massachusetts Avenue (the "Church Lots") and created the Lesley Porter Overlay District (the "LP Overlay District").

ORDERED and ADJUDGED that the Zoning Amendment does not constitute illegal contract zoning.

ORDERED and ADJUDGED that the Zoning Amendment does not violate the Institutional Overlay District Regulations.

ORDERED and ADJUDGED that the Zoning Amendment does not violate the Massachusetts Avenue Overlay District Regulations and that the City did not improperly use the overlay district procedure in enacting the Zoning Amendment. [Note 1]

ORDERED and ADJUDGED that the legislative act permitting the transfer of area and gross floor area (GFA) amongst lots permissibly amends, and does not violate, the Ordinance.

ORDERED and ADJUDGED that there were no procedural defects in adopting the Zoning Amendment.

ORDERED and ADJUDGED that Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment is ALLOWED and Plaintiffs' Cross Motion for Summary Judgment is DENIED.

By the Court. (Sands, J.)


[Note 1] Even if the LP Overlay District imposes waivers, or more lenient regulations than both the underlying Business C District and the Massachusetts Avenue Overlay District, other overlay districts in Cambridge relax underlying zoning requirements. In the Harvard Square Overlay District, for example, parking and setback requirements are waived under certain circumstances. See Cambridge, Mass., Zoning Ordinance art. 25.54.4 - 25.54.5 (2010).