Massachusetts Biotechnology Council says Central Square zoning proposal would hurt life sciences

The state’s largest biotechnology trade group sent a letter to Cambridge city officials Monday opposing a proposal by neighborhood activists that would change zoning in an area around Central Square, which would potentially block large-scale development or expansion plans for life sciences companies.

In the letter to the chairmen of the Cambridge City Council’s ordinance committee and the Cambridge Planning Board, Robert K. Coughlin, president of the Cambridge-based Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, noted that the city is home to more than 110 life sciences companies that are drawn to nearby research universities and hospitals.

“The life sciences industry has always sought to be a good neighbor and active corporate citizen in the life of Cambridge,” Coughlin wrote. “With this commitment in mind, we encourage you to defeat the downzoning proposal. We feel that it would restrict the kind of sustainable development that brings tremendous benefits to the people of Cambridge.”

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