Arlington Design Competition

WE HAVE WINNERS!

MIT Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning:

Jay Maddox maddoxja@mit.edu; Shannon Hasenfratz shasenfr@mit.edu; Daniel Pratama danielcp@mit.edu

Title: EAST ARLINGTON COMPLETE NEIGHBORHOOD

Title slide of MIT Broadway Corridor Presentation: East Arlington Complete Neighborhood

Arlington High School CADD Program:

Petru Sofio psofio2024@spyponders.com; Talia Askenazi taskenazi2025@spyponders.com

Title: ENVISION BROADWAY

Winslow Architects

John Winslow john@winslowarchitects.com; Phil Reville philip@winslowarchitects.com; Dolapo Beckley dolapo@winslowarchitects.com

Title: REDEFINING THE BROADWAY CORRIDOR: A 2040+ VISION

Contest Personnel

Special thanks to:

  • ACMI production team: Katie Chang, James Milan, Jeff Munro, Jason Audette, Anim Osmani, Jared Sweet, Michael Armanious
  • Civic Engagement Group (CEG): Greg Christiana, Len Diggins
  • Jenny Raitt- Arlington DHCD Director, for laying the groundwork with the 2019 Broadway Corridor Study
  • Jeffrey Levine, MIT DUSP faculty, led the original 2019 Broadway Corridor study team
  • Kambiz Vatan & Cinzia Mangano, AHS CADD faculty and community volunteer
  • Jane Howard, whose volunteer efforts over many years made possible Vision 2020 and Envision Arlington, leading to CEG and thus making this project possible by giving our town of Arlington the infrastructure, the “DNA”, to make this kind of civic engagement happen.

BACKGROUND:

The Civic Engagement Group (CEG), part of the Town of Arlington’s Envision Arlington network of organizations, is sponsoring the Broadway Corridor Design Competition. Architects, planners, designers and artists from around the region are encouraged to register by April 8, 2022.

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It’s a great time to own

A few days ago, the Boston Globe ran an article titled “2021 set records in Boston Housing Market. What now?“. It’s not unusual to see stories about housing in the news — the market is highly competitive and the sale prices can be jaw dropping. Jaw dropping can take several forms: from the new (and used) homes that sell for over two million dollars, to the amount of money that someone will pay to purchase a small post-war cape (around $900,000, give or take).

According to the globe article, the Greater Boston Association of Realtors estimates that the median price of a single family homes in the Boston area rose 10.5% in 2021, to $750,000. Arlington is comfortably in the upper half of this median: according to our draft housing production plan the median sale price of our single family homes was $862,500 in 2020, and rose to $960,000 in the first half of 2021 (see page 39).

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Housing Production Plan Outreach Efforts

Arlington is in the process of update the town’s 2016 Housing Production Plan, and the Housing Plan Implementation Committee and Planning Department have put together a “meeting in a box” as part of their outreach efforts. The idea is to package a set of discussion questions and supplementary materials, so that groups can talk through the questions on their own and provide written feedback. Meeting in a box materials are available from the town website.

I tried this with a group of friends. Here are the questions, and points that came up during the group discussion. Notes that these are discussion notes (transcribed from large sheets of easel paper), and don’t represent agreement or concensus.

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Accessory Dwelling Units in Arlington: FAQs

An ADU is a separate, smaller living unit with its own kitchen and bathroom facilities and separate entrance that is included within a larger resident (type 1), attached to a residence (type 2) or located in an accessory (“detached”) structure on the same lot as a main residence (type 3). For a variety of reasons, primarily cost and feasibility, the type 1 ADUs are by far the most common.

Article 43 on Arlington’s warrant for Spring 2021 Town Meeting would allow accessory dwelling units in connectin with single-family dwellings, two-family dwellings and duplex dwellings, as long as the ADUs can conform to dimentional requirements in existing zones (aka R0, R1, R2, B) and all code requirements. These dimensional requirements including setbacks, side yards, height, etc.

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Arlington 2020: Cost Distributions of Housing

It’s New Year’s eve and I’m determined to get my third and final “Arlington 2020” article written and posted before 2021 rolls in. I’ve written these articles to paint a picture of Arlington’s housing stock, and how our housing costs have changed over time. The first article looked at the number of one-, two-, and three-family homes and condominiums in Arlington. The second article looked at how the costs of these homes has varied over time.

In this article, I’m going to look at the per-unit costs for our different housing types. The per-unit cost is just the assessed value, divided by the number of units. For condos and single-family homes, the unit cost is simply the assessed value. For two-family homes, it’s the assessed value divided by two. For a ten-unit apartment building, it’s the assessed value divided by ten. We’ll look at the price ranges within housing types, as well as the general differences between them.

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Housing & Arlington: Community Discussions

Beginning last July, 2020, the Town of Arlington and community groups in the town are sponsoring a number of webinars and zoom conversations addressing the need for affordable housing programs in Arlington. Several factors contribute to the Arlington housing situation: diversity of housing types, prices, diversity of incomes, availability of housing subsidies, rapid growth in property values that greatly exceed the rate of growth of income.

But racism, both historic and current, continues to stand out as a significant force contributing to the difficult housing situation.

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Race-based Inequality of Economic Opportunity

This is our national challenge for the next 25 years, according to Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, Executive Vice President/Chief Strategy Officer for MassDevelopment, the Commonwealth’s economic development and finance authority.

Fuhrer prepared this slide presentation for a meeting with regional affordable housing experts and developers in November, 2020. Part 1 looks at projections for the financial markets and issues in tax exempt financing and how such financing can help provide more affordable housing for poor people.

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Arlington Housing Prices- Out of Reach

Arlington Housing Prices are Out of Reach
Arlington Housing Prices are Out of Reach
Arlington is an Economically Diverse Place
Arlington is an Economically Diverse Place
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Accessory Dwelling Units

Accessory Dwelling Units (aka “granny flats”)

The following information was presented to the Arlington Redevelopment Board in October, 2020 by Barbara Thornton, TMM, Precinct 16

This Article  proposes to allow Accessory Dwelling Units, “as of right”, in each of the 8 residential zoning districts in Arlington.

Why is this zoning legislation important?

Arlington is increasingly losing the diversity it once had.  It has become increasingly difficult for residents who have grown up and grown old in the town to remain here.  This will only become more difficult as the effects of tax increases to support the new schools, including the high school, roll into the tax bills for lower income residents and senior citizens on a fixed income.  For young adults raised in Arlington, the price of a home to buy or to rent is increasingly out of reach.

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Why Should Arlington Have an Affordable Housing Trust Fund?

Arlington has an opportunity to set up an Affordable Housing Trust Fund to provide more housing stability for its low and moderate income residents. The vote will occur in the Town Meeting starting Nov. 16, 2020.

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Arlington has an opportunity to set up an Affordable Housing Trust Fund to provide more housing stability for its low and moderate income residents. The vote will occur in the Town Meeting starting Nov. 16, 2020.

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