OP-ED: The Watertown Square Area Zoning Proposal is Out — What’s Next?

Print More
A diagram of the proposed by-right housing zoning in Watertown Square to meet the MBTA Communities Law requirement. The by-right areas are outlined in a dark dashed line. (Courtesy of City of Watertown)

I’m filling out my “Very important Paper.” This is what I’m Considering.

[EDITOR’s NOTE: The plans and ideas for Watertown Square presented at the April 6 meeting and discussed in this piece are conceptual, have not yet been approved, and if they are do not necessarily mean that they will become a reality].

By Linda Scott
Watertown Resident

First, I’d like to thank City Manager George Proakis and his team for all of their efforts for the April 4th meeting. I’d also like to thank 66 Galen Street for offering us this site and Stop and Shop and especially Campolonga Cookies for their delicious cookies!

With the Nor’easter, it was a tough day to come out for this very elaborate and important presentation, and the almost 300 people who turned up to participate are to be congratulated for their efforts.

Again, these kinds of online QR code polls are notoriously inaccurate, but if the answer to the question on the poll that asked “How many people are attending these meetings for the first time?” is correct, about 40 percent is very encouraging. By the way, there were people in the room who found this code inaccessible to them for a variety of reasons … again!

These concepts are complex, and if you were a newcomer, unless you’re in this field of work, it was very confusing! I know that it was for me, and I’ve attended all of the meetings!

So, before I filled out what our City Manager, George Proakis, called the “very important paper” that will be used as a basis for continuing planning for rezoning Watertown Square, I thought that I’d replay the meeting for a more in-depth look. Here is the link to watch this very long and detailed meeting: http://vodwcatv.org/CablecastPublicSite/show/3100?site=3

George’s Presentation:

Let’s start with George’s excellent introduction to the night. He identified the issues fairly quickly. George said repeatedly that they ran into an even split on what residents wanted in the areas of height and density. He posed the question several times during the night, “What can you do in that situation?”

Keep in mind, this data that was collected in the Polis Poll and at the polls conducted at meetings which are “snapshots” that leave out a lot of citizens. The difference in reliability between a polis poll at an informational meeting and a citywide referendum is huge!

No, I’m becoming more and more convinced, as has been mentioned by some residents, that a referendum might be the way to go.

Number of Units: How did this go down from 6,320 to 3,133 on this newest plan?

The “unit capacity” number went from 6,320 down to 3,133 housing units. From the Q&A at the end of the meeting, we were told that the 6,320 number was achieved by including the entire Watertown Square Area as by-right zoning.

Definition of by-right zoning or as of right: “As of right” means development that may proceed under a zoning ordinance or by-law without the need for a special permit, variance, zoning amendment, waiver, or other discretionary zoning approval.” mass.gov definition. It’s the way developers like to develop!

They said that as a result of community concerns, (your emails, phone calls, texts and letters), they reduced the by-right area to two smaller areas within the “Watertown Square Area” map. I have the maps below. They also said that they took “by-right” zoning away from areas close to small neighborhoods. More specifics on this below.

At the meeting, George dismissed “unit capacity” as “an interesting math problem.” By the way, in the March 17th “Banker and Tradesman” article, which, coincidently, was attached to George’s Linkedin page the day it came out, made a big deal of the unit capacity number. This is a real estate publication. They seem to think that unit capacity numbers mean something. Sometimes its hard to look past a pleasant demeanor to see the steely-eyed ambition.

So, I began the long and arduous job of picking through the data of Thursday evening. It was a slog! I hear that it’s been a challenge for a lot of us. This wasn’t totally a result of how the information was presented, assuming certain pre-knowledge by the public. The subject-matter and amount of attention to detail is challenging! The repeated pleas to “slow down” were heard. There was a lot to get through!

Height Concept:

The concept of a three story building being really four story and so on, because of an additional partial step back story on the roof is not only confusing but deceptive. In effect, there are no three story buildings proposed. At their highest points, the three building heights that they recommend go from four stories to six stories. This is mentioned by George a number of times in the presentation that night.

How I Began Looking at the Current Plan

Step One:

I printed and went through the current map presented at Thursday night’s meeting and simplistically used a magic marker to draw what I think we’re looking at. George or Steve, please correct me if I’ve gotten this wrong.

I am not focusing on the “Streetscape design,” which is how streets will be rerouted in Watertown Square.

I am looking at the area that the City is designating as “the Watertown Square Area” (see the black line around it. The boundary is not finished along Galen Street, since the boundary line was in red and not visible). I’m looking at building heights that the city is suggesting that we zone for in this area. The green is 3 (really 4 stories at its tallest); the blue is 4 (really 5 stories at its tallest); and the red is 5 (really 6 stories at its tallest).

Just an aside … why just stop at 5.5 (or 6 at its tallest)? Because after that, we were told, building with steel instead of wood is involved, and many developers aren’t interested in bumping up their construction costs that much.

So, when George says, “Watertown Square Area,” this is what he’s talking about.

After attending this April 4th information-gathering meeting and going through the maps and the answers again, I have some observations and concerns which will guide my answers on “the important paper.”

Observation: Olney Street is in Watertown Square? Really? This would come as a great surprise to most of us. I believe that Irving Street would also be surprised that they’re the eastern boundary. At the end of the meeting, when a question was asked about this decision, George stated that this was determined by his planning staff.

Concern: My thought is, realistically, if a developer can buy multiple small properties within the zoning area, they can use these new “friendly“ zoning rules to build big, inappropriate units in a small neighborhood without the ability for neighbors to effectively challenge this.

Let’s take the Olney Street area, for instance. It’s coded “green,” so under this plan it’s zoned for a 3 (really 4) story building. If the developer commits to more housing, they could potentially get an extra (bonus) floor, which would put the level at 5 stories!

The consultants mention that special permits would still be required in certain areas in the zone for one or two family neighborhoods, where “contextual restraint is required.” Hmmm … how has that been working out for neighbors going before the Watertown Planning Board lately?

Are you seeing a lot of “sensitivity” to neighbors’ needs? Not to pick on the Planning Board, because the City in general does not get good grades from citizens in their “sensitivity” to residents’ needs.

At the April 4th meeting, the consultants mentioned a “50 foot buffer zone.” Where have we heard about that before? Oh, Broder, which is about to build a six story garage and a bio lab building, right across a small street from a one and two family neighborhood. After an intense and prolonged fight, the neighbors got 20 feet.

A citizen told the Planning Board (who seemed unaware of this) that when that area was rezoned, a 50 foot “buffer zone” was added to the zoning code so that the neighbors would go along with the zoning changes. That 50 foot “buffer zone” meant not one thing to the City. It was mostly about the developer’s needs.

Concern: What percentage of this prescribed “Watertown Square Area” has been “bumped up” in size? It would be good to have a diagram of that to see where you’ve increased the potential height of buildings so we know where we can expect to see developers very soon. (If you zone it, they will come).

Question: How do we actually get to the number 1,701? George mentioned several times at that meeting that lopping off one floor on the overall plan would get us to just above 1,701. Why not do that? My understanding is that we’re obligated by the state to revisit our housing plans every five years, so this 1,701 isn’t the end.

Observation: We were told that the Watertown Savings Bank and the Otis building would be protected. What other historic buildings would be protected in this area? How would they be protected? I just reviewed the questions and answers at the meeting again. George said that the Watertown Savings Bank and the block on Main Street across from the Fire Station was being protected, but it’s not clear how to me.

On the Mt. Auburn Street block with the older buildings closest to the delta, they are zoned for 5.5 stories, but they’ve changed the zoning from by-right to special permit, “as a protection,” which means that they can still become 6 story buildings, but they have to jump through more hoops for this to happen. Not a particularly hard thing for a developer to do and something that our Planning Board is very amenable to doing.

Observation: By the way, I was delighted to hear that there would be an “overlay” to protect the historic church on Mt. Auburn Street and there could be housing there as well. I am hoping that the housing built will not be mostly market-rate, which, George mentioned on Thursday night, means rents would require an income of 1.5 to 2 times the income that people in this area make.

Concern: They mentioned (almost in passing) about giving a “bonus story” to developers for extra “Affordable Housing.” When you say “bonus story,” how would that work, and would that work in the entire “Watertown Square Area,” or just the MBTA zoning area? Or all over the City for that matter? How does a “bonus story” fit in with the “contextual sensitivity” that you claim that you’ll have for small neighborhoods? This concept is an intriguing one, but I see all sorts of ways that this could be abused.

Question: They also said that bio labs were not going to be allowed in the Watertown Square Area … are you rescinding the zoning change made for the Square in 2021 to accommodate 64 Pleasant Street? https://www.watertownmanews.com/2021/04/14/zoning-for-central-business-district-changed-to-allow-labs-light-industry-in-historic-buildings/. This is not completely clear from the discussion on April 4th.

Step Two:

I’ve taken the same map and used a magic marker to delineate the “MBTA Law By-Right” Zoning Area which results in the 3,133 housing unit capacity number. Once this is passed by our City Council, you’ll have no recourse, at least as far as height is concerned. Again, the definition of by-right or as of right: “As of right” means development that may proceed under a zoning ordinance or by-law without the need for a special permit, variance, zoning amendment, waiver, or other discretionary zoning approval.” mass.gov definition.

The two areas that are outlined in black (one North and one South of the river) our City is proposing to make by-right zones for the MBTA Law, where we’re mandated to zone
for the capacity of 1,701 housing units, not 3,133.


The Color Code:

Five, (really six) story buildings (in red):

[EDITOR’S NOTE: See note at the beginning of the story]

It looks like the areas zoned for the tallest buildings (five, really six stories) on the north of the river will be from the Fire Station down past Mt. Auburn Street, in the triangle where Mt. Auburn and Arsenal Streets meet and on the South side of North Beacon, where the tire shops are. We will lose the businesses in the Grey Block, the building that is home to Trescas, the laundry, and two others, as well as some trees, etc., because the entire area behind the CVS parking lot is tentatively being planned for a 5 or 6 story parking garage and apartments.

One of Jeff Speck’s drawings showing how housing (in brown) and a parking garage (with the arrows) could be built on what is now mostly parking lots behind buildings on Main Street from the Design Charette in November 2023.

On the south side of the river it will be five, really six story buildings right along the river and up Galen Street to …?

The four (really 5) story buildings (in Blue):

North of the River: Pretty much Arsenal, North Beacon and Riverside Streets
More along Summer and Spring Streets and on Mt. Auburn, extending to around Palfrey Street.

South of the river: At the “V” of California and Watertown Streets and along Watertown Street to Aldrich Road??

The Gray Block photo by Linda Scott The smallest (3 but really 4) stories (in green):

Patches here and there both North and South of the river (see green … don’t include parks, etc.)

Question 1: Isn’t this zone overkill for 1,701 units? For example, two new buildings that will not count towards our 1,701 for the MBTA Law (104 Main Street and 166 Main Street) contain about 172 units between them, if they were counted, they’d be 10 percent of the total needed in a relatively small area.

Question 2: How would a bonus floor work when the maximum stories are 5.5?

Question 3: Why is the parking lot in back of the CVS and all of that property on the south side of the river (in front of the 66 Galen Street lab) in the MBTA (by-right) zone, since at the meeting we were told that they’re ineligible to count for the MBTA Law as well? (See http://vodwcatv.org/CablecastPublicSite/show/3100?site=3). (49:15 – 50:02)

And then after all of this, George said something curious. “We don’t expect families to live in this housing.“

OK … but it’s called “the MBTA Communities Law,” right?? And isn’t its mandate to create “at least 1 district of reasonable size in which multi-family housing is permitted as of right.”

mass.gov also mentions in its “Overview of Section 3A of the Zoning Act” https://www.mass.gov/info-details/section-3a-guidelines:
“such multifamily housing shall be without age restrictions and shall be suitable for families with children.”

Are we building student housing? Housing for upper echelon biotech employees? Now I’m confused! Who are we accommodating here?

In the MBTA document for this law, they show examples of approved housing. It would seem that we are leaving areas close to small neighborhoods in jeopardy by leaving zoning bordering them at 3 stories, which is really four stories add a bonus floor and you’re at 5 stories. It might be wise to zone those areas for this sort of MBTA Law recommended housing options:

My opinion is that we should get this potentially disruptive zoning out of small neighborhoods, reducing the potential for this by either zoning for 4 units or pulling out of those areas completely.

In the City Manager’s words: “Our job is to figure out our space.” The emphasis is on the word “our.”

My Plan for the “Important Paper:

To fill out this “important paper” by April 12th (it’s due the 13th). I can go to :


I’ll add a more printable copy tomorrow, in “A Broader Perspective”.

I plan to sign mine, but we were assured that signed or not, the comments would be taken seriously.

I’m going to make copies of my answers and send them to George Proakis, Mark Sideris, and all of the councilors as well as the Planning Department.

I’m also going to make copies of “the important paper” and give it to my neighbors and ask them to fill it out, and also make copies for the City Manager, Council President and councilors as well as the Planning Department.

How about you?

I’m still waiting for a zoning plan that will get us to 1,701. I will put that in my comments about the plan. I live in hope!

Tomorrow: A Broader Perspective

Send letters and op-eds to watertownmanews@gmail.com

18 thoughts on “OP-ED: The Watertown Square Area Zoning Proposal is Out — What’s Next?

  1. Linda- Thanks for this most informative article! I intend to go into in depth as I was not able to attend the meeting………

  2. Regarding the boundary ending at Olney Street: it makes sense to me as West End
    resident. I would argue that either Olney or Lexington are the end of what feels like a business district and where the residential feeling begins on Main Street heading west from the square. The buildings on that stretch of Main St are primarily business oriented and very few houses are on Main St on that stretch, especially once you move past Whitney Towers. What I picture there is the equivalent of adding a few stories to say the building where Fit Z’s/India Kitchen is, or perhaps the tile store across from Dunkin’. The area is walkable, served directly by the 70 bus, and close to Cuniff.

    The big question in my mind is not the proposed by-right heights, but rather how realistic the plans are in terms of financing. The planning board and indeed us residents can talk all we want about what we want to see built in our city, but if it doesn’t pencil out and make the developer some money AND make the bank happy (the hard part, most times) then we’re wasting our time and energy talking about this. Changing what’s allowed by-right can reduce costs that would otherwise be required to seek variances, but doesn’t make anything magically affordable for developers to build.

    Truly solving the housing supply and demand problem in the Boston metro area requires everyone to build more supply, else we will only be able to meet demand from the most wealthy and lose the diversity that helps make Watertown special.

    PS – I would be surprised if a developer will ever suggest building something large-scale at the corner of Olney and Main, so including it is probably low risk on the planners part. The existing tight setbacks mean the number of lots they would need to combine is high, and the costs to do environmental remediation on a former cleaners are exorbitant.

    • You’ve clearly given this some thought. When I think of the tile store, I think of the very large apartment building close behind it, whose address is Bacon Street, I believe. I see where you’re going with this. I feel that wherever possible our plan should avoid making neighbors feel encroached upon. If we do encroach, we make a more stressful environment for our fellow citizens. You’ve looked at that carefully. In a small city like Watertown, it’s not a matter of yards. It’s a matter of inches.
      I also agree on the supply question. I don’t believe that most people in Watertown would call gentrification a good thing.

  3. Thanks for this thoughtful analysis! I too am concerned about the building heights and am puzzled about why the seeming urgency to achieve nearly double the # of mandated apartments. Quite puzzling is what you mention about 104 Main Street and 166 Main Street not counting toward the 1,700 requirement…why the heck not?? The City Manager should address this specific question with a clear explanation (since it defies logic to not count them), and he should address why the push to double the # of housing units.

    One thing not addressed at all is the fact that with more housing units come more cars, hence more snarled traffic. Coupled with fewer and narrower traffic lanes, parallel parked cars, and Pleasant Street and Charles River Road changes, the traffic in the square area could become much worse…so fewer cars is better.

    • Thanks, Mike.

      There are many unanswered questions! And even when they are answered, sometimes they defy credulity. We all want what’s best for Watertown’s future. The best path is yet to be determined! Be sure to fill out the survey (due April 13th).

    • Re: why you would shoot for more than the requirement: some of it is a (healthy) desire to have a built in opportunity for future tax base growth to keep millage low for property owners. But a lot of it is the reality of zoning: just because it is _possible_ by right, does not mean it is _feasible_! By right, many owners on my street could make a two or three family home on their property – but the cost to do it just doesn’t make sense. The same logic applies at the bigger scales. By presenting a larger swath of _possible_ project areas to developers, you’re increasing the likelihood that one of them will find something _feasible_ and actually build. The key in this part of the process is making sure that, if lots of developers bite, we’re happy with taking 100% of what is allowed by-right. Language that allows the planning department to shape size, massing, and design is critical to make sure we don’t end up with disjointed neighborhoods.

  4. Linda, once again thank you for your work and contribution on this issue that will have a permanent effect on the future of Watertown and I suspect not in a positive way.

    I too was at the last meeting and was disappointed by the way the 1,701 number was glossed over and not presented as a voting option.

    I understand that “we have a housing crisis” in this state, but lets not go overboard with by right zoning that goes beyond what the law requires.
    Also, has anyone raised the question of what would be a rough cost estimate of this proposal? One without the garage and one with the garage? Would the state or feds kick in any funding for this?

    Let me just add to what others have said both here and on social media… a project as bold and ambitious as this should be placed as a local ballot question for residents to vote on and decide if this is what we want for our future. Elected or not, it should NOT be left up to nine individuals to determine. Make it happen if we truly believe in a democratic process where *ALL* voices are heard.

  5. Thanks, Patty.
    I just had heard that some people were presented with this piece of paper at the meeting and weren’t sure how to dig into the issues. There are so many! They really wanted to contribute their ideas, but didn’t know where to start. This is my attempt to start a framework that people could use to do their own analysis. The more ideas presented, the more chance we have of coming up with a plan that makes sense.

    I have confidence that you’ll be up to this gigantic task! Just remember that the deadline is April 13th.

  6. Thanks again, Donna.

    I hope to write about the kind of “wraparound architecture” that they propose using for this space in the future, but first I think I’ll rest a while 🙂

    I think that it’s safe to say that this would not be a project started in the near future…I’m just guessing here. But, yes, before something like this that will virtually take over a major part of the Square, I think that all residents should have a way to participate in this decision (not just the on-line ones and smart phone ones).

  7. Thank you Linda for sharing detailed information about potential future changes to Watertown Square. Like Donna Leone I would welcome seeing this on a local ballot before making any final decisions. After all we are a city of 35K and need more residents to voice their choices. These are huge changes that will impact us all for decades!
    Has Watertown created simple Info boards of the before and after? They could be
    posted at: City Hall, the library the senior center, banks, schools, etc.
    Let us hear what WE the people of Watertown want. Note, I wish speakers at these meetings would speak clearly and articulate their words as City Manager George Proakis does to be well understood.

    • Hi Sibylle,

      That’s a good idea! Not everyone can visualize things like that. It would help people see what an end result might look like. I think that I’ve mentioned that I’ve seen software that could do that. Input the numbers, and watch things change. Then maybe print out scenarios for people to see. Yes, I also think that it would be a good idea to spread this out widely for more people to see.

    • @Sibylle – Please note that you don’t speak for all Watertown residents. Feel free to voice your opinion, but make it your own. I am part of the “WE” and you do not speak for me!
      But I second your suggestion that speakers at public hearings should be concise and articulate, in order to get their own message across more effectively.

      Also – I oppose a city referendum because allowing a “vote” on whether to exclude new people from moving into our city — by restricting the quantity of housing to a certain number — is IMMORAL in the same way that allowing white people to vote to exclude black people is immoral.

      • So you oppose democracy? That is what you are stating. And once again you are misrepresenting the views of people who you disagree with.


    If you want to influence what will happen to our city when this process is done, now is the time for you to do it. There are pros and cons to everything and all considerations should be available.

    We were originally given a projected 1701 count for the required units to be on the build plan and as Linda has noted, those counts have jumped all around the board. For people who can’t visually imagine the effects of the plans, it is a challenge to get a good feeling of how we will actually be affected.

    Why can’t the boundaries be changed to include the new 166 Main St. (Ugly Building) which was built by right in the 1701 count? The H&K Insurance building next to it should also be included in the zone in case it is ever changed from business to residential. All of the boundaries should be carefully examined before they are finalized along with the proposed heights.

    In recent years we have built a lot of large unaffordable (for most of us) rental buildings on Pleasant St. and Arsenal St. and more units will be built in the Watertown Mall site, which is on a bus line. If we allow more large buildings without even knowing what the effects of the ones in the works will present, this may not be a good thing, especially if we allow a lot of building by right.

    As the state requires us to review our housing every five years, we all know that more housing will be coming and we may again be forced to do this. With our shaky economy, this could happen even before some of the current proposed areas are built, depending on if the rich developers ‘make an offer that can’t be refused’ for existing businesses to vacate their spots.

    If you drive around and see what small businesses could potentially be lost if we over plan for housing, this will change the environment in many ways. There will be less choices for us to use the services of these businesses, and the houses on the side streets off of Main St., North Beacon St. and Galen St. will be encroached upon by too big buildings.

    People who have invested their life savings in their houses will not have the same enjoyment of their homes. Aren’t we trying to create affordable and pleasing homes for people? And for the two-family homes that may be forced out, we will be losing rental housing that is usually much more affordable than rents in the new luxury buildings.

    The small family businesses support local families and provide special services for us, unlike the big investors that build chains that may be the only ones who will be able to rent spaces in any new buildings. We will find ourselves going to Waltham, Newton or elsewhere for the various services from sandwich shops. dentists, hair salons, floral shops, lawyers, laundromats, cleaners, mini marts, liquor stores, etc. That means more car trips to get what we need!

    We’ve already lost the Wood store in the Dunkin Plaza on Mt. Auburn St. We hear that Subway will be moving on as they can’t afford the rent increase just given them. When will we lose the other businesses there? The developer plans to build a huge residential building on this site.

    If we allow for more building than we can absorb, it can’t be undone. We need to approach this process thoughtfully and with caution. Let’s not throw caution to the wind. We all know the story of the Rabbit and the Tortoise, that slow and steady generally wins the race.

    In any case, TODAY is the deadline to fill in the form on line. There are no limitations on the amount of words you can put in the comment sections five and six, so be sure to present all your thoughts.

  9. Watertown is a public city, not a private gated community (although I do see some residents behaving as if it were the latter). Also, our current population is lower than it was several decades ago. We want new people. To get them, we need “someone” (probably developers, with help from public agencies) to invest the millions of dollars up-front to build new housing units:
    — To do our share to resolve the state’s extreme housing crisis, which exists at all price points
    — To provide new customers for our small businesses
    — To provide a nice place to live for new people (hint: they don’t want to live in a white-dominated “small town” with a 1950s vibe)

    For the good of the entire state, we must move past the status quo whereby a faction of residents is able to PROLONG THE HOUSING CRISIS by finding reasons to oppose every specific proposal for new housing. (they say they’re not anti-development in general, they just oppose “that development,” but they find reasons to oppose every single one, every single time)

    As I write this, I’m listening to a GBH radio piece about the median home price rising to $610k. Because the housing emergency can be relieved only by building new housing, as fast as possible, it’s IMMORAL to oppose new housing by-right near where you live… regardless of whether the (potential, eventual) buildings have 4, 5 or 6 stories.

    Last, answers are available to every question raised in this OpEd and the comments, but this author is intentionally implying that something fishy is going on. The answers have always been there for anyone who attended the meetings and/or absorbed the information presented on the project website. All questions have received a respectful answer from the project team… even when the questioner was disrespectful.

    • I don’t know where to start with this, but it is a pretty disturbing post.

      “a private gated community. . .white dominated “small town” with a 1950’s vibe. . .” This doesn’t gibe at all with the Watertown I chose as my home sixteen years ago. I chose a city with a reputation for comfortably housing the working class and diverse immigrants and arts folk like myself.

      I had visited Watertown frequently and liked the ethnic mix (and the ethnic food, full disclosure). I liked the fact that I could get on the 71 bus and hear different languages being spoken. If the commenter thinks that Watertown is white dominated, she should spend some time around my neighborhood. We have many different complexions.

      I am not sure why the writer chose to live here as it appears that she really doesn’t like the place or her neighbors as it is. The anger and mischaracterization of valid viewpoints is rather disturbing.

      There is a long history of poorly planned development in Watertown. There is also a long history of sham public process. These things have brought us to the place we are today. Just when the situation seems like it could be getting better, I have someone calling me and many of my neighbors IMMORAL. It doesn’t go down well and it stokes the atmosphere of suspicion and division.

      The 104-106 Main Street development is a great case study. So is the Cannistraro project. The modifications made because of the input of citizens made both projects better. That is what the process is for. It’s a back and forth, and many folks contributed. People who live the daily reality of a locale often have a deeper and more nuanced view than planners and developers. The developers are mainly self interested. There must be checks and balances. That is what democracy is about.

      Mischaracterizing one’s neighbors will not bring about any positive outcomes for Watertown. Let’s dial it down a bit.

  10. This author offensively denigrates the housing needs of certain groups (“students” and “upper echelon biotech employees”) while promoting “multi-family housing.” Of course, the MBTA Communities law is NOT about building housing just for families, and families are NOT the only desirable residents in Watertown. Students, the elderly, single working people, couples, and a single mother/child/dog are also desirable residents. Encouraging one group over another seems discriminatory and illegal.

    When Mr. Proakis said we’re probably not going to see large families in the new apartment buildings under construction in Watertown Square, he explained that this is because larger families tend to CHOOSE to live in other types of housing. Failing to include his whole answer seems manipulative. Note that the new apartments will provide housing for many others who also need it.

    • Failing to include housing for families is a fault of development in Watertown up to this point and seems like it will continue. I am in favor of housing for families.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *