Preview: City Council agenda (November 20)

The Worcester City Council meets Tuesday at 6:30pm. The agenda is here.

This week: The proposed Downtown Business Improvement District.

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  • Downtown Business Improvement District: The T&G has a good writeup on this. The Council will be discussing whether or not to approve a Downtown Business Improvement District. The city would add an additional .3% property tax to properties in the 78-acre BID (including non-profit properties) and that money would be spent by a Board of Directors on things like marketing, clearing ice from sidewalks, and repairs. The representatives of at least 51% of the property value of the BID submitted petitions in favor.
  • Public and Private Streets: These proposals will be forwarded to the Planning Board. Kristin Sundberg wants the private Martha Avenue be made a public street. Polar Beverages wants the private Woolfenden Street to be removed from the official map.
  • Zoning Changes: New Garden Park Inc. wants part of 305 Belmont Street rezoned from 2-story commercial and very light manufacturing to 3-story commercial. Tuan Ngo wants 96-102 May Street rezoned residential to 2-story commercial.
  • Whither the Urban Agriculture Ordinance: There are several items this week in which Councilors ask, “What happened to some old item the Council approved but the city seems to be ignoring?” For example, Councilor Rivera asks for an update on the proposed urban agriculture ordinance.
  • Expanding the Scope of Veterans’ Affairs: Councilor Bergman would like the Council’s Committee on Veterans’ & Military Affairs turned into a Committee on Veterans’, Military and Historical Affairs.
  • Regulation of Charter Communication: Currently, the city licenses a monopoly on cable services to Charter Communications. Charter is arguing to the FCC that their cable TV business faces “effective competition” from AT&T’s DIRECTV NOW service, and so Charter should be exempt from various regulations since they don’t actually get the monopoly they are paying for. The Massachusetts Attorney General opposes this, and Councilor Lukes wants the Council to go on record as supporting the AG. (I find this petition a little confusing, sorry if my explanation is wrong.) In an unrelated item, Councilor Rosen wants the City Manager to investigate the problems with Charter’s screwed-up phone service, “problems that result in, among others, dead phone lines, one-way audio reception, dropped calls mid-conversation, unrecorded voice mail messages, and threats to the operation of telephone-dependent medical alert systems.”
  • I Can Drive 25: Councilor Lukes wants a report on whether or not we should make 25mph the city-wide speed limit.

Proposed Business Improvement District

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