The latest announcements and updates...

What’s Up in Newton this Week – 24-unit development and retail Marijuana shop to be discussed at Land Use on Tuesday, December 10th; Flu Shot Clinic on Tuesday, December 10th; Washington Street Vision Plan sent back to ZAP for further discussion on Wednesday, December 11th, Referendum Petition Drive re: Northland has begun, and more…..

Big Night for Land Use: A proposed 24-unit development on Lexington Street and a request for a Retail Marijuana Dispensary are on the agenda for the Land Use Committee on Tuesday, December 10th.

Flu Shot Clinic: The next Flu Shot Clinic sponsored by the City will take place on Tuesday, December 10th from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. in Room 107B at Newton City Hall. Necessary Forms and additional information can be found here.

Washington Street Vision Plan back in Committee: The Full Council voted to send back the Washington Street Vision Plan to the Zoning and Planning Committee at the last Full Council Meeting. The Zoning and Planning Committee has this item on its agenda for discussion on Wednesday, December 11th at 7:00 p.m.

Signature Collection has begun. Right Size Newton has begun gathering signatures in accordance with Section 10-9 of the Newton City Charter, allowing for the contesting of the granting of the zoning relief for the Northland Development located on Needham Street. Last week, the City Council, voted to rezone three parcels on Needham Street and approve a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval for a multi-use development project on Needham Street. Citizens may put the Zoning portion of the Council Action to the voters but not the Special Permit. All documents related to the Northland Re-zoning and Special Permit Application can be found here.

Road Construction Schedule for this week: The Road Construction Schedule for the week of December 9th – 13th can be found here.

Waban Area Council to Meet on Thursday, December 12th

The Waban Area Council will meet on Thursday, December 12th from 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. at the Waban Library. The agenda includes the following:

  • Newton Wellesley Hospital Cogeneration Power Plant Project – Q&A with NWH Officials
  • New Issues from the Community
  • WAC Administrative Matters:
    • Approval of November minutes and Treasurer’s Report
    • Year End Reports to City Council
    • January 8th Swearing In Ceremony for Area Councils
  • Discussion of 24-unit Kinmonth Road Development
  • Announcements:
    • Wellesley Office Park Presentation scheduled for January 9th at 7:00 p.m. – proposal would replace office building at 40 Williams Street with a 350 – unit apartment building with shared garage
    • Chestnut Street Repaving: December 9th – 12th on Chestnut Street from Route 9 to Woodward Street. Temporary no-parking ban on Radcliff Road and small section of Tamworth Road

City Board and Commission Meetings – Week of December 9th

Commission on Disability: The Commission on Disability will meet on Monday, December 9th at 6:30 p.m. on Room 204. The agenda includes the following:

  • Introductions
  • Approval of 11/18/2019 Minutes
  • CDBG Report
  • Accessible Fines Report
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • ADA Coordinator’s Report
  • Discussion of Fine’s for Blocking a Curb Cut and Appeals Process
  • Candidate for COD Membership – Tyrone Hooks
  • Advisor Candidate – Shelby Booth
  • Nominating Committee Report

Community Preservation Committee: The Community Preservation Committee will meet on Tuesday, December 10th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 204. The agenda includes the following:

  • Informal debriefing with outgoing staff –
    • updates on current status of anticipated or pending proposals and active funded projects
    • program and project management: continuing issues, lessons learned
  • Approval of minutes from the 11/6 /2019 and 11/12/2019 minutes

Economic Development Commission: The Economic Development Commission will meet on Tuesday, December 10th at 6:30 p.m. in Room 211. The agenda includes the following:

  • Attendance
  • Approval of 11/12/2019 Minutes
  • City Updates
  • Discussion Items
    • Riverside Project and Discussion
    • 2019 Small Business Roundtables
    • Restaurant Liquor Licenses
  • Next Meeting Date

Design Review Committee: The Design Review Committee will meet on Wednesday, December 11th at 6:00 p.m. at the Cabot Elementary School. The Notice of Meeting and Agenda includes the following:

  • Review of the Newton Early Childhood Program Project Design
  • Review of Solar Canopies at the Newton Free Library
  • Public Buildings Update on Upcoming Initiatives

Newton Cultural Council: The Newton Cultural Council will meet on Wednesday, December 11th from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. in Room 204. The agenda includes the following:

  • Adjudication – remaining grants
  • Allocation of funds
  • Set Date of Next meeting

Planning and Development Board: The Planning and Development Board will meet on Wednesday, December 11th at 6:30 p.m. in Room B17. The agenda includes the following:

  • Approval of 11/25/2019 Meeting Minutes
  • Convene as a Board of Survey
    • Request for Adjustment to Certificate of Action for 56 Farwell
    • Adjourn as a Board of Survey
  • Planning Board 2020 Dates
  • Joint meeting with the Zoning and Planning Committee at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205

Newton Upper Falls Historic District Commission: The Newton Upper Falls Historic District Commission will meet on Thursday, December 12th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205. The agenda includes the following:

  • Four Requests for Certificates of Appropriateness:
    • Request to wrap existing windows with aluminum at 1302 Boylston Street
    • Request to build a rear deck and stairs at 12 Shawmut Park
    • Request approval of as-built front walkway, vent and furnace outlets, and utility meters and request to amend previously approved condensers at 1272 Boylston Street
    • Request to build retaining wall, patio, and stairs at the back of the house at 3-5 Summer Street

The Staff Memo can be found here and the Packet Documents can be found here.

City Council Committee Meetings – Week of December 8th

Public Safety and Transportation Committee: The Public Safety and Transportation Committee will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, December 9th at 6:30 p.m. in Room 205. (Note: The meeting from December 4th had been cancelled due to the snow). The agenda includes the following:

  • Request renewal of a bus license for Lasell University
  • Request new public auto license:
    • Michael Gimmelfarb for American Truck and Equipment LLC
    • Dhanraj Mahase for Mahase Livery Services LLC
  • Request renewal of public auto license
    • Dhanraj Mahase for Mahase LIvery Services LLC
    • Donald LaPlante for Don’s Car Service
  • Request renewals of taxi licenses – 37 in total
    • Michael Antonellis for Veterans Taxi Service of Newton LLC
    • George Marry for Holden’s Taxi Inc – 1
    • George Marry for Newtonville Cab Company, Inc – 2
    • George Marry for Newton Taxi Company – 1

Finance Committee: The Finance Committee will meet on Monday, December 9th, at 7:00 p.m. in Room 211. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request to accept and expend a $25,000 Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency grant to buy a serve to place at Fire Station 3 to support the back-up dispatch center
  • Request to appropriate $50,000 to the Planning and Development Department for a grant to the Newton Conservators as the fiscal agent of the Riverside Greenway Working Group for the design of the Pigeon Hill Trail in Auburndale
  • Request to appropriate and expend $300,000 from Free Cash to continue site the site remediation project at the Newton Early Childhood Program at 687 Watertown Street
  • Request to revise ordinances related to White Goods and Bulky Items – including amendment of fees, and management of residential move-ins and move-outs – this item was referred back to Committee by the Full Council last week and Finance held at it’s last Committee meeting
  • Request to appropriate $129,250 from the City’s FY2019 allocation from the Commonwealth Transportation Infrastructure Fund to be used for concept design engineering services for the Complete Streets design of the Wells-Nahanton Traffic Signalization and Intersection Improvement Project
  • Request to appropriate and expend $500,000 from the Stormwater Management Fund Surplus Available for Appropriation Account for to remove and dispose of an estimated 3,720 cubic yards of sediment from three City Hall Ponds and the influent culverts of Cold Spring and Hammond Brook
  • Request to appropriate and expend $1,500,000 and authorize a general obligation borrowing of an equal amount for the purchase, delivery and installation of individual self-metered parking heads for on-street metered parking, and where appropriate, kiosks in city-owned parking lots and on-street locations
  • Request to appropriate and expend $5,750,000 for the Walnut Street/Austin Street Newtonville Project:$4,050,000 authorization for a general obligation borrowing $1,700,000 from the Austin Street mitigation funds provided as a condition to the Special Permit
  • Request to transfer from Current Year Reserve to the appropriate departments to fund a two-year agreement (FY2019 – FY2020) that has been reached with the Teamsters Union – a total of $595,000 (see Agenda for details)

Zoning and Planning Committee: The Zoning and Planning Committee will meet on Wednesday, December 11th at 7:00 p.m. in the Chamber and in Room 211. The agenda includes the following:

  • Review and discussion of possible amendments/update to Chapter 22, Sections 22-50 – 22-76 that relate to demolition delays, historic designations, and landmarking (Chair will report on progress on this item)
  • Appointment of Amanda Stauffer Park to the Newton Historical Commission
  • Request for discussion and adoption of amendments to Chapter 30, the Newton Zoning Ordinance, to create exemptions to building envelope standards such as height and setback to facilitate the implementation of energy efficiency and alternative energy measures in buildings including external insulation, doorway vestibules, heat pumps, and solar panels among other features
  • Request approval and adoption of the Washington Street Vision Plan as an amendment to the 2007 Newton Comprehensive Plan – (Note: This item was sent back to the Committee by the Full Council last week)

Land Use Committee: The Land Use Committee will meet on Tuesday, December 10th at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to raze an existing deck and construct an addition on the first floor, creating an FAR of . 50 where .20 is allowed and .45 exists at 38 Fenno Road – See Planning Memo
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow four single-family attached dwellings in two buildings, to allow reduced side setbacks, to increase the allowed lot coverage, to allow a driveway within 10′ of the side lot line, and to allow retaining walls greater than 4′ within a setback at 145 Warren Street – See Planning Memo
  • Amended Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow four single-family attached dwellings in one building, to allow reduced side setbacks, to increase the allowed lot coverage, to allow a driveway within 10′ of the side lot line, and to allow retaining walls greater than 4′ within a setback at 145 Warren Street – See Planning Memo
  • Request for a Change of Zone to Multi-Residence 3 for portions of land located at 15-21 Lexington Street currently zoned Single Residence 3 – See Planning Memo
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow a 24-unit multi-family dwelling with a below grade parking garage and surface stalls, to reduce the parking stall depth, to allow restricted end stalls in the garage parking facility, to waive the perimeter screening requirements for the outdoor parking facility, to waive interior landscaping requirements for the outdoor parking facility, and to waive the minimum intensity of outdoor lighting of the parking facility on 51,870 sq. ft. of land at 15-21 Lexington Street – See Planning Memo
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to to allow four single-family attached dwelling units in two, three-story structures, to further extend the nonconforming height, to reduce the required side setback, to exceed maximum lot coverage and to allow a driveway within ten feet of the side lot line at 70 Walker Street – see Planning Memo
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow retail marijuana sales and waivers to the extent necessary for minimum stall dimensions, perimeter screening requirements, interior landscaping requirements and lighting requirements at 58 Cross Street/1089 Washington Street – ASCEND MASS, LLC – See Planning Memo

City Council Caucus: The Newton City Council will hold its Caucus on Thursday, December 12th in Room 211 to elect Council Leadership for the next term. The agenda can be found here.

What’s Up in Newton This Week? Winter Parking Ban (started last night!), Northland, Washington Street Vision Plan, and Webster Woods to be voted TONIGHT, Registration begins for Short-Term Rentals, Newton Food Drive, Newton City Hall Tree Lighting, and more….

Winter Parking Ban: It’s that time of year again, and just in time for the potential snow storm! The City’s Winter Parking Ban went into effect last night, December 1st. Parking is prohibited on any City of Newton Street between the hours of 2:00 a.m. – 6:00 a.m. Municipal parking lot permits are available from the Newton Police Department. Go here for more info and/or you can use this form.

Northland Rezoning and Special Permit/Site Plan Approval: After being postponed at the last Council meeting due to a few Council member absences, the Northland project is scheduled for a vote TONIGHT. The Draft Board Order for the Rezoning can be found here and the Draft Board Order for the Special Permit/Site Plan Approval can be found here. In addition, the November 14th Planning Department Memo can be found here, the November 15th Law Department Memo can be found here, and the November 22nd Planning Department Memo – Responses to Questions can be found here.

All other Northland Rezoning and Special Permit/Site Plan Approval related documents can be found here.

Washington Street Vision Plan: The Washington Street Vision Plan which was also postponed from the last City Council meeting is up for a vote TONIGHT. As you may recall, the request is to incorporate the Washington Street Vision Plan into the City of Newton’s 2007 Comprehensive Plan. The most recent version of the Washington Street Vision Plan can be found here.

Webster Woods: The City Council met last week as a Committee of the Whole to discuss (both in Executive Session and in Open Session), the acquisition of approximately 17.4 acres of land located at the rear of 300 Hammond Pond Parkway by eminent domain and all of the associated funding. The Committee voted to approve recommending all of the associated requests for this eminent domain acquisition (see Report) and the City Council will vote on this TONIGHT.

Got a Short-Term Rental or want to start renting your property on a short-term basis? Well, now you must register your short-term rental with the City’s Inspectional Services Department prior to the occupancy of any rental property that commences after January 1, 2020. The City Council created an ordinance requiring all short-term rental properties in the City of Newton to be in compliance with certain requirements.

Registration begins on December 1, 2019 (yesterday). Registration form and associated documents must be submitted in person to the Inspectional Services Department Office. It may take 10-14 business days for a Registration Certificate to be issued. The Registration Form can be found here and the Annual Certification Form can be found here. Office Hours are Monday thru Friday 8am to 4pm. No documents will be accepted by mail or email.

More information about compliance and the requirements can be found here.

Newton Food Drive: Beginning TODAY and going until December 27th, you can drop off food donations (particularly breakfast foods) to help stock our Newton food pantries:

 Participating locations can be found here.

Holiday Lighting and Sing-a-Long: Newton’s Annual Tree Lighting and Sing-a-Long City Hall Holiday Light Ceremony will take place at Newton City Hall, 1000 Commonwealth Avenue, on Thursday, December 5th at 6:00 p.m. More information can be found here.

Looking for Holiday Gifts? You’re in luck! Three Newton Crafts Fairs so you can shop local and support local businesses!

  • Newton Holiday Crafts Fair, a juried show and sale will take place Saturday, December 7th, Newton City Hall, 1000 Commonwealth Avenue – 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Hosted by Newton Community Pride and sponsored by numerous community partners, the fair will offer a selection of textiles, glass, jewelry, pottery, paintings photographs and wooden pieces created by New England artisans. More information can be found here.
  • FUUSN Holiday Fair: The First Unitarian Universalist Society in Newton will host a fair on Saturday, December 7th, at the Church located at 1326 Washington Street. The fair will feature handmade gifts, toys, jewelry, home-made baked goods, jams, and jellies, wreaths, and trees and more. Additional information can be found here.
  • Celebrate Newton: Newton Community Ed is hosting a juried craft fair at Newton South High Schoo, 140 Brandeis Road on Sunday, December 8th from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Admission is $3 – kids under 12 are free. More information can be found here.

Looking for a way to run off your Thanksgiving meal(s)? Why not support Dreamfar and the John M. Barry Newton Boys and Girls Team by running the Holiday Hustle?

Adults and children of all ages are invited to the join Dreamfar High School Marathon and the John M. Barry Boys & Girls Club of Newton for a 5K road race/fun walk on Sunday December 8th at 9:00 AM.   The Dreamfar Holiday Hustle! is a road race with fun for the entire family. Kick off the holiday season with a fun race for a great cause.

Register now at www.dreamfarholidayhustle.com.  

Same day registration is $35.  This race includes a 5K run on a certified, flat course through the neighborhood of West Newton, professional chip timing by RaceWire, t-shirts to the first 300 registered runners, prizes to top finishers, and post-race festivities for all!

Want to run the Boston Marathon? The John M. Barry Boys and Girls Club of Newton is an official charity of the Boston Athletic Association and they still have bibs available! Learn how to be an official registered runner and raise support the Club. More information can be found here.

This Week’s Road Construction Schedule: The Weekly Road Construction Schedule has not been posted yet (probably out dealing with our snow!). Check here for updates.

             

City Council Meetings Week of December 1st

Land Use Committee: The Land Use Committee will meet on Tuesday, December 3rd at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to raze an existing deck and construct an addition on the first floor, creating an FAR of . 50 where .20 is allowed and .45 exists at 38 Fenno Road – See Planning Memo
  • Request to amend a previously approved Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to convert an existing non-conforming barbershop into a non-conforming retail florist shop at 562 Commonwealth Avenue – See Planning Memo
  • Request to amend a previously approved Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow changes to the approved site plan at 2171 Commonwealth Avenue – See Planning Memo
  • Request to amend a previously approved Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to raze the existing single-family dwelling and construct seven single-family attached dwellings in three buildings, to reduce the frontage requirement, to reduce the side setback requirement, to allow three-stories, to exceed maximum lot coverage, to allow a retaining wall greater than 4′ in the setback and to allow a driveway in the side setback at 956 Walnut Street – See Planning Memo
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow a 3-story, 24-unit multi-family dwelling greater than 20,000 sq. ft. of new gross floor area, to allow ground floor residential units, to reconstruct and further extend, non-conforming side setbacks, to allow an FAR of 1.4 in a 3-story structure, to waive 24 parking stalls, to waive minimum stall depth requirements, to waive the maximum driveway width requirement and to allow a retaining wall greater than 4′ in height within a setback at 20 Kinmonth Road – See Planning Memo
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow four single-family attached dwellings in two buildings, to allow reduced side setbacks, to increase the allowed lot coverage, to allow a driveway within 10′ of the side lot line, and to allow retaining walls greater than 4′ within a setback at 145 Warren Street
  • Amended Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow four single-family attached dwellings in one building, to allow reduced side setbacks, to increase the allowed lot coverage, to allow a driveway within 10′ of the side lot line, and to allow retaining walls greater than 4′ within a setback at 145 Warren Street – See Planning Memo

Programs and Services Committee: The Programs and Services Committee’s regularly scheduled meeting has been cancelled. The Notice of Cancellation can be found here.

Public Facilities Committee: The Public Facilities Committee will meet on Wednesday, December 4th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 204. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request for a Grant of Location to relocate a pole on Clark Street
  • Request for a Grant of Location to install conduit at the intersection of Langley Road and Centre Street to 10 Langley Road
  • Request to appropriate and expend $300,000 from Free Cash for continuation of site remediation project at 687 Watertown Street – Newton Early Childhood Program
  • Request discussion with the Sustainability Team to create an ordinance to limit or prohibit the installation of fossil fuel infrastructure in new construction and substantially renovated buildings, as well as clarify the Council’s authority to prohibit the extension of gas mains subject to the condition of the existing infrastructure
  • Request to appropriate and expend $129,250 from the City’s FY2019 allocation from the Commonwealth Transportation Infrastructure Fund to be used for concept design engineering services for the Complete Streets design of the Wells-Nahanton Traffic Signalization and Intersection Improvement Project
  • Request to appropriate and expend $500,000 from the Stormwater Management Fund Surplus – available for appropriation account to remove and dispose of an estimated 3,720 cubic yards of sediment from the three City Hall ponds and influent culverts of Cold Springs and Hammond Brook
  • Request to appropriate and expend $1,500,000 and authorize a general obligation borrowing of an equal amount for the purchase, delivery and installation of individual self-metered parking heads for on-street metered parking, and where appropriate, kiosks in city-owned parking lots and on-street locations
  • Request to appropriate and expend $5,750,000 for the Walnut Street/Austin Street Newtonville Project:
    • $4,050,000 authorization for a general obligation borrowing
    • $1,700,000 from the Austin Street mitigation funds provided as a condition to the Special Permit

Public Safety and Transportation Committee: The Public Safety and Transportation Committee will meet on Wednesday, December 4th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request renewal of bus license for Lasell University
  • Request new public auto license:
    • Michael Gimmelfarb for American Truck and Equipment LLC
    • Dhanraj Mahase for Mahase Livery Services LLC
  • Request renewal of public auto license
    • Dhanraj Mahase for Mahase LIvery Services LLC
    • Donald LaPlante for Don’s Car Service
  • Request renewals of taxi licenses – 37 in total
    • Michael Antonellis for Veterans Taxi Service of Newton LLC
    • George Marry for Holden’s Taxi Inc – 1
    • George Marry for Newtonville Cab Company, Inc – 2
    • George Marry for Newton Taxi Company – 1

City Council Committee Reports – Now Available

Real Property Reuse Committee – 11/19/2019 Report: The Real Property Reuse Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Appointments to the Joint Advisory Planning Group for the West Newton Armory
    • Mitchell Fischman
    • Lawrence Bauer
  • Recommendation to sell a 1,200 sq. ft. parcel of land on Brackett Road to a person who resides in the neighborhood for no minimum price at a market rate of no less than $5000 – See Draft Council Order

Public Facilities Committee – 11/20/2019 Report: The Public Facilities Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Request to appropriate $3,000,000 from Certified Free Cash to fund the City’s Pavement Management Program
  • Request to relocate an easement for sewer and drain purposes on private properties located at 151-153 and 181 Needham Street originally granted on March 19, 1951
  • Request to transfer $500,000 from Budget Reserve – Snow and Ice Removal Account to Rental Vehicles Account
  • Request to appropriate $12,334,366 from bonded indebtedness to fund renovations of the Newton Early Childhood Program at 687 Watertown Street (former Horace Mann School)
  • Request to appropriate and expend $200,000 from Certified Free Cash to be managed by the Planning Department for the design/engineering of the Commonwealth Avenue Carriageway Greening Improvements Lyons Field West to the Charles River Bridge

The Committee voted No Action Necessary on the following item:

  • Request for discussion and adoption of items within the Climate Action Plan and the Citizens’ Climate Action Plan (Note: Chair’s intention to move No Action Necessary

All other items were held.

Public Safety and Transportation – 11/20/2019 Report: The Public Safety and Transportation Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Request to transfer $1,900,000 from Prior Year Carry forward for Wage Reserve and $600,000 from Current Year Wage Reserve to pay for the retroactive salaries and stipends due to the members of the Newton Police Superior Officers’ for the period of July 1 2014 through FY2020

The Committee voted No Action Necessary on the following items:

  • Request for a discussion regarding the Commuter Rail Communities Coalition and the City of Newton’s participation goals
  • Request for a traffic study and discussion of parking and traffic at the arrival and dismissal times at Angier Elementary School

Land Use Committee – 11/21/2019 Report: The Land Use Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Request to amend a previously granted Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow alteration of an existing structure, extending the existing non-conforming use by constructing an addition for an elevator, to reduce the non-conforming lot coverage, and to further extend the non-conforming parking in the front setback at 7400 Centre/77 Paul Street – Subject to second call – See Draft Council Order
  • Request for a Change of Zone to Multi-Residence 3 for portions of land located at 15-21 Lexington Street currently zoned Single Residence 3 – See Draft Council Order
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow a 24-unit multi-family dwelling with a below grade parking garage and surface stalls, to reduce the parking stall depth, to allow restricted end stalls in the garage parking facility, to waive the perimeter screening requirements for the outdoor parking facility, to waive interior landscaping requirements for the outdoor parking facility, and to waive the minimum intensity of outdoor lighting of the parking facility on 51,870 sq. ft. of land at 15-21 Lexington Street – Subject to second call – See Draft Council Order
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to raze an existing single-family dwelling and construct three single-family dwelling units in one building, to reduce side setback requirements, to reduce the required lot area, to allow a driveway within 10 feet of the side lot line, and to allow retaining walls of four feet or more in height within the setback at 67 Walnut Street – Note: Land Use Approved by a vote of 2 – 0 – 3 (Crossley, Kelley and Markiewicz abstaining) – See Draft Council Order
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow construction of three single-family attached dwelling units, to allow a reduction in the side setbacks, to allow a reduction in the required frontage, to allow a reduction in the required lot area, to allow a driveway within 10′ of a side lot line and to allow retaining walls greater than 4 feet within a setback at 264 Pearl Street – See Draft Council Order

Committee of the Whole – 11/25/2019 Report: The City Council met as a Committee of the Whole and voted to approve the following:

  • Request for City Council approval of the acquisition of approximately 17.4 acres of woods at 300 Hammond Pond Parkway by eminent domain to be used for conservation and open space purposes
  • Conservation Commission requesting that the City take the fee in approximately 17.4 acres of wooded land, including trees, water, and structures located on the property, at the rear of 300 Hammond Pond Parkway (referred to as Webster Woods) by eminent domain for open space and conservation purposes
  • Community Preservation Committee (“CPC”) recommendation to appropriate $725,000 from CPC Preservation Fund’s Fiscal 2020 Open Space Reserve and restricted fund balance for open space to the control of the Law Department for legal services and other costs associated required for the acquisition by the City of Newton of approximately 17.4 acres of wooded land, including trees, water, and structures located on the property, at the rear of 300 Hammond Pond Parkway (referred to as Webster Woods)
  • Community Preservation Committee (“CPC”) recommendation to appropriate $15,000 from CPC Preservation Fund’s Fiscal 2020 Open Space Reserve to the control of the Planning Department for a grant to the Newton Conservators for costs associated with holding the conservation restriction for approximately 17.4 acres of wooded land, including trees, water, and structures located on the property, at the rear of 300 Hammond Pond Parkway (referred to as Webster Woods)
  • Community Preservation Committee (“CPC”) joining with the Conservation Commission recommendation to take the fee in approximately 17.4 acres of wooded land, including trees, water, and structures located on the property, at the rear of 300 Hammond Pond Parkway (referred to as Webster Woods) by eminent domain for open space and conservation purposes and further recommending authorization for the Treasurer to borrow $15,000,000 for the acquisition (30 year bond)
  • Request for City Council approval of the acceptance and expenditure of a $200,000 donation from members of Friends of Webster Woods to be used towards the acquisition of approximately 17.4 acres of wooded land, including trees, water, and structures located on the property, at the rear of 300 Hammond Pond Parkway (referred to as Webster Woods)

Finance Committee – 11/25/2019 Report: The Finance Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Request to appropriate $15,000 to the Planning and Development Department for a grant to the Newton Conservators, for the costs associated with holding the conservation restriction for Kessler Woods
  • Request to appropriate and expend $3,000,000 from Certified Free Cash to fund the City’s Pavement Management Program
  • Request authorization to rescind the assessment of curb betterments at 77 Pembroke Street and 86 Waban Hill Road
  • Request authorization to transfer $500,000 from Budget Reserve – Snow and Ice Removal to the Rental Vehicles Account
  • Request to appropriate $12,334,366 from bonded indebtedness for the purpose of funding renovations of the Newton Early Childhood Program at 687 Watertown Street
  • Request to appropriate $1,900,000 from Prior Year Carry forward for Wage Reserve and $600,000 from Current Year Wage Reserve to pay for retroactive salaries and stipends due to members of the Newton Police Superior Officers’ for the period covering from July 1, 2014 through FY2020
  • Request to transfer $69,000 from Current Year Budget Reserve to the City Council Officials with Benefits Account to cover the costs of 6 months of the City Council’s new salary
  • Re-appointment of Susan Dzikowski as Comptroller
  • Request to appropriate $85,000 from Certified Free Cash to settle a discrepancy in the amount of 2017 Massachusetts State Income Taxes paid vs. the amount owed

All other items were held.

Zoning and Planning Committee – 11/25/2019 Report: The Zoning and Planning Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Appointment of Martin Smargiassi to the Community Preservation Committee
  • Appointment of Visda Saeyan to the Urban Design Commission
  • Re-appointment of Michael Kauffman to the Urban Design Commission
  • Request to discuss and adopt amendments to the Zoning Ordinances to create a new set of standards related to sustainable development design with requirements for new buildings and development projects to include environmental and energy efficiency features

The Zoning and Planning Committee voted to delay implementation on the following item:

  • Request to repeal Section 3.4.4 Garages of the Newton Zoning Ordinance effective December 31, 2019. Garages are expected to be addressed during Zoning Redesign next term

City Board and Commission Meetings – Week of Dec. 1st

UMASS/Mt. Ida Neighborhood Council: The UMASS/Mt. Ida Neighborhood Council will meet on Tuesday, December 3rd at 8:00 a.m. at the UMASS Amherst at Mt. Ida Campus in the Private Dining Room at the Campus Center. The agenda includes the following:

  • Welcome
  • UMASS updates
  • Neighborhood Updates
  • City Updates
  • Future Agenda Items
  • Next Meeting Date

Newton Free Library Board of Trustees: The Newton Free Library Board of Trustees will meet on Wednesday, December 4th at 5:45 p.m. in the Trustees Room at the Newton Free Library. The agenda includes the following:

  • Call to Order
  • Executive Session: New Development Officer Search
  • Continuing Business
    • Next Steps
  • Adjournment

Conservation Commission: The Newton Conservation Commission will meet on Thursday, December 5th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 204. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request for an Order of Conditions on a Notice of Intent for construction of a new single-family on existing undeveloped land at Greenwood Street – Lot 1
  • Request for an Order of Conditions on a Notice of Intent for renovation of an existing barn structure into a single-family at Greenwood Street – Lot 2A
  • Request for an Order of Conditions on a Notice of Intent for renovation and expansion of an existing single-family at 29 Greenwood Street
  • Request for an Order of Conditions on a Notice of Intent for a 36-stall expansion of parking and restoration of an RFA at 188-192 and 210 Needham Street (continuation)
  • Request for an Order of Conditions on a Notice of Intent for construction of 25-unit residential condominiums at 1114 Beacon Street
  • Request for an Order of Conditions on a Notice of Intent for an addition to an existing single-family at 28 Olde Field Road
  • Request for an Order of Conditions on a Notice of Intent for removal on unpermitted fill in FZ at 36 Parsons Street
  • Determination of next steps in bringing a site into compliance with the Order of Conditions and approved plans at 315 Albemarle Road
  • Request for a Certificate of Compliance at 19 Patten Circle
  • Conservation Area Decisions
    • Encroachment Procedure – Preliminary Discussion
    • Conservation Commission as a Respected Resource
  • Administrative Decisions
    • Wetlands Ordinance Purpose Statement – Discussion
    • Flood Zone Policy to Ensure Adequate Compensatory Flood Storage
    • Approval of 11/14/2019 Minutes

The Packet Documents can be found here.

Newtonville Historic District Commission: The Newtonville Historic District Commission will meet on Thursday, December 5th at 7:30 p.m. in Room 205. The agenda includes the following:

  • Three Requests for Certificate of Appropriateness
    • Request to replace siding, fascia, trim, gutters and downspouts; install leaf guards as needed at 12 Turner Street
    • Request to install a second chimney on the right side of the house at 87 Prescott Street
    • Request to replace some sashes with aluminum clad windows and to keep some of the installed between-the-glass grille windows (NOTE: The original wood windows were replaced with vinyl between-the-glass grille windows without Commission review and approval = Violation) Continued at 161 Walnut Street
  • Working Session
    • Request feedback on project to expand rear bump out and replace window and right-side entry doors and steps at 114 Lowell Avenue

The Staff Memo an be found here and the Packet Documents can be found here.

Chestnut Hill Historic District Commission: The Chestnut Hill Historic District Commission will hold two site visits on Saturday, December 7th. The Notices can be found here and here:

  • Site Visit to review the proposed parking areas along the driveway on the left side of the house at 400 Beacon Street
  • Site Visit to review the as-built conditions and the proposed driveway configuration, walkways and sidewalks, and to review possible locations for a new shed at 46 Acacia Avenue