“Moratorium” issue referred to city planner for review

Bowing to a request by the administration, the city council’s finance committee earlier this week night voted to refer a proposal for a temporary moratorium on residential construction to the city planner for further review.

Aldermen Robert Van Campen, Sal Sachetta and Michael Marchese want the moratorium so that the city can have the time to conduct a study to deter-mine the best development plan for Everett’s future.

At Tuesday night’s committee session, Ald. Van Campen said he under-stands that the administration is “somewhat lukewarm” about the proposal.

The Ward Five alderman disclosed that he had received an email from director of planning and development James Errickson expressing his “hesitation” about connecting a study to the moratorium.

Back in June, the mayor’s chief of staff Melissa Murphy had indicated that the proposed year-long moratorium might unintentionally have the effect of hindering the city’s effort to increase its property valuation at a time when its tax levy ceiling needs to be raised.

At the time, Murphy said the mayor was very concerned about the possibility that the moratorium could “limit the city’s growth potential”.

Ald. Van Campen, the chief proponent of the moratorium plan, maintains that Everett over the years has become “over-built”, to the point that “the city is now overcrowded, our schools are over-stretched and our public safety resources are at their limit”.

“We need a time-out,” he asserted.

Ald. Van Campen insisted that “the city must determine the best use for the limited land that is left for development in Everett”.

The finance committee Tuesday night went along with Van Campen’s motion to refer the moratorium proposal to Errickson.

“I’ll meet with him to further discuss the matter,” said the alderman.