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Councillors discuss amending Transportation Demand Management Zoning ordinance

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  Ward 3 Councillor Darren Costa discussed an ordinance amending the Transportation Demand Management Zoning ordinance to only be applicable to development that falls within the TDM District Overlay during Monday’s Legislative Affairs Subcommittee meeting at City Hall. The ordinance is designed to make it easier and more predictable for private developments to manage transportation impacts and make a growing range of travel options available to a development’s future residents, tenants and customers, according to the City of Everett’s website.

  “My goal is to make sure TDM works well in all of Everett,” Costa said. “In my opinion, it only works well in the modernized districts – Rivergreen Park, the commercial triangle in Everett Square and the Revere Beach Parkway.”

  Costa feels that if it passes as is, the ordinance would take away space, and it doesn’t fit well with the ordinance’s encouragement of 30 percent of cars compared to roughly 70 percent of cars along the roadway in the city. The ordinance seeks to limit drivers on the road and traffic by encouraging other modes of transportation, such as bicycles and public transit.

  However, Councillor-at-Large Stephanie Smith saw it a bit differently. “I see TDM as one thing and zoning as another,” Smith said. “It’s not about parking or traffic, but it’s about what the city wants to see.”

  Smith thinks it should be relevant to the districts that Costa brought up, but she feels that dwelling districts should be excluded from the ordinance, taking out some of the ones that are zoned incorrectly. Her idea would be effective in spring 2024 to accommodate the developers that are already in progress.

  Councillor-at-Large John Hanlon warned of cross debating, adding that everything must be directed toward Legislative Affairs Subcommittee Chair Michael Marchese. The ordinance would require eight councillors’ votes to pass.

  Marchese was on board with Smith’s vision of excluding dwelling units. He added that height restrictions based on surrounding buildings are important so nothing looks out of place.

  The subcommittee will discuss this at the next Legislative Affairs Subcommittee meeting on Thursday, March 2 at 6 p.m., and during next week’s Committee of the Whole meeting at 7 p.m., both at City Hall.

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