CAMBRIDGE - At a public hearing tonight, the Cambridge City Council unanimously rejected Ordinance 1115, which would have allowed Foxwell's Auction to operate in the Metro building as a special exception. Owners Shane and Buddy Foxwell had opposed the ordinance in a series of meetings.
The Foxwells questioned why, after 40 years of operation, they would be made to operate as a special exception, which they believed could have put their business in an uncertain situation. City staffer Pat Escher told the council and audience members that the city had to consider all possible locations zoned commercial where, if the ordinance were not passed, an auction house could be opened.
The meeting was held not in the council's chambers on Gay Street, but in the larger training room of the Public Safety Building. All seats were occupied and dozens of citizens stood against the walls.
Council members voting against the ordinance were Sydnor, Foster, Hansen and Rideout. Councilman Cannon recused himself from the discussion, saying he lived within 100 feet of the site in question.
The ordinance now returns to the Planning and Zoning Commission for further revision. The council also voted unanimously to allow the Foxwells to continue operating for 60 days. This period can be extended.
The meeting occurred after The Banner's deadline for this week's edition. There will be a more extensive article with photos in the March 14 edition.
Editor's note: Mr. Cannon is also employed by Independent News Media, Inc., which publishes The Dorchester Banner.