Preview: City Council agenda (September 12)

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

This week: Immigration, Wu-Sox, preservation, driveways.

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  • Immigration: The Mayor has an item asking the Council to endorse a statement that the US shouldn’t deport anyone with Temporary Protected Status and to preserve the DACA program.
  • Zoning: There’s a request to rezone 4 Winslow St. from business to residential. There’s a request to rezone 8 (aka 8 1/2) Washburn St. residential to business.
  • $50m to Preserve the Aud: It will cost $50 million just to do the basic renovations the Worcester Memorial Auditorium would need to bring it up to code.
  • Mt Carmel Deed Restriction: There’s a letter from the state about the deed restriction on the Mt Carmel property. The property is indeed restricted to be used for “religious, educational, or recreational purposes.” However this doesn’t prevent the diocese from demolishing the church and selling the property. It would restrict what the new owner could do with the property, and would require legislation on the state level to remove the restriction.
  • The Wu-Sox: The Council will have many items related to the Red Sox minor league team moving to Worcester. The City Auditor has a report saying the project is finally an ok deal. The most important item asks the Council to vote yes-or-no on the whole $100 million deal.
  • ROTC for Police: Councilor Rivera would like the city to create a “three tiered program” giving Worcester children a path to becoming a police officer. This “would include a Youth Academy for middle to early high school students, a second Academy modeled after ROTC for the purposes of law enforcement for older high school students, and a third Cadet Program for high school graduates … seeking a career in law enforcement … as a pipeline … into the Police Academy.”
  • Taxing Apartment Buildings as Commercial: The Municipal Operations Committee wants the whole Council to vote in favor of a proposal that would tax properties with 5+ housing units at commercial rather than residential property tax rates. As things currently stand, this would increase property taxes on those units, although of course these tax rates bounce around year to year.
  • DIY Driveways: Councilor Rosen tabled his own item on this issue last time—it should be popping back up this week.
  • Bonus for All Fans of Driveway Ordinances: Here are what the city ordinances say about sharing a driveway: “1. Common driveways that serve three (3) or more lots are prohibited except through the issuance of Special Permit by the Planning Board. 2. Common driveways cannot be used to satisfy or calculate frontage requirements. 3. The construction of common driveways must be in accordance with the standards outlined in the City of Worcester Subdivision Control Regulations. 4. Common driveways must access the lots over approved frontage. 5. Common driveways may not exceed three hundred (300) feet in length.”

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