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Foes of development in Cambridge have long memory of the good fight

Development plans in Cambridge’s Central Square have spurred opposition from some residents in the area.Globe File/2012

In response to the two Aug. 31 letters to the editor (“Growing pains in Cambridge”) about proposed development in Central Square, I would like to point out that, while characterizing our resistance to Forest City development plans, such as a high-rise building next to the fire station, as NIMBYism might make a good sound bite, nothing could be further from the truth.

I was a member of the Simplex Steering Committee, and we fought long and hard for the now-successful housing at Auburn Court. We stood with our neighbors at Newtown Court to oppose a so-called vision presented by the city in coordination with developers to remove part of that development for high-rise buildings along Main Street.


Cambridge just barely qualifies as a city, with a population of slightly more than 100,000. This is not New York or Boston, where high-rise developments are strategically located in downtown areas. We were and still are a collection of neighborhoods, with large-scale industrial developments at the edges.

While many praise the bold people who opposed the Inner bBelt, it seems that boldness is something to be admired in the distant past, and is not applauded when it runs counter to the development plans of large companies such as Google and Millennium. One has only to look at the mostly empty Holmes Trust building in Central Square to see what kind of retail we can expect.

As for housing, the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority and the City Council have squandered many opportunities to develop appropriate-scale affordable housing on lots that the city owns.

Barbara Taggart