Lowell City Council meeting: October 20, 2015

City Manager gives an update on Hamilton Canal RFQ. The city received three strong proposals. One is by a consortium led by Winn Companies. Winn is teaming with Anchor Line Properties which owns Cross Point, to serve as master developer. Two other proposals for specific lots were also received. One from Watermark, a Lowell-based environmental company, has committed to building its corporation headquarters on Parcel 17. The other from Genesis Health Care has partnered with UMass Lowell to build a new, privately owned facility with construction to begin next October. There will be a more detailed presentation to the council at next week’s meeting.

Council receives a report on program by city’s Inspectional Services Department that addressed the 39 worst rental properties in the city. The city has zero tolerance for code violations on these properties and met individually with the landlords. Now, 37 of the 39 properties are in compliance. There were 16 landlords identified as the worst landlords in the city so they became the focus of this effort.

Downtown Subcommittee reports on its meeting from earlier this evening which consisted of a presentation of a proposal to create a Business Improvement District for downtown. The council refers it to the city manager to have DPD work with the proponents to further develop the idea before any action is taken on it.

Councilor Belanger motion to request school department to include opioid awareness classes in the public school curriculum. Several people from agencies that provide education and treatment speak in favor of the motion.

Councilor Mercier motion to dedicate memorial stone at Fels Park (March 1972 tragic construction accident at UMass Lowell that killed four people).

Councilor Kennedy motion for a report on number of gas leaks and consequences. Mayor Elliott has a similar motion that’s taken up simultaneously. Kennedy sites a website that identifies more than 100 past gas leaks so he wants more information about them.

Councilor Kennedy motion that DPW develop alternate strategies for plowing narrow streets in the city.

Meeting adjourns at 8:30pm

One Response to Lowell City Council meeting: October 20, 2015

  1. Brian says:

    Genesis healthcare plans on building underground parking. This is preferred to garage parking or surface lot parking but will still bring MORE cars to DTL.

    With current congestion issues how can the road system handle more cars? It can’t.

    The quality of life in Lowell will only get worse with more cars unless……. walking and biking becomes the dominant mode of transportation in the downtown and surrounding neighborhoods. Cars should still be accommodated but not given preference to further ruin the city.

    Boston and other thriving cities are tearing down parking garages and overpasses in their walkable urban districts because the land is more valuable and taxable as mixed-use development. Everyone wins when you make walking, biking, and transit the dominant modes of transportations.

    Lefties win because it’s green and The Right wins because more land can be developed to make money.

    The only losers are gas stations, Auto Zones, car dealerships etc. Car-less people could save up to 10k per year by not owning a car and could spend that money at downtown restaurants and shops.

    Why do you think Ernie Boch is selling off his dealerships? He sees that most millennials could care less about what car they drive, if at all, and they don’t want to live in the suburbs.

    The Hamilton Canal District should not be developed for a Baby Boomer way of life where you work in the city and live in the burbs. The HCD should be developed like the Greatest Generation’s built environment where housing, medical, municipal, cultural, shopping, and restaurants were all in close proximity so having a car was a luxury but not a necessity.

    Pushing “all commercial” for the HCD dooms this opportunity.

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