The latest announcements and updates...

Things to do in Newton this week:

Flash Mob: Humpty Dumpty Returns to Cabot School: That’s right – Humpty Dumpty is coming home to Cabot Elementary School. Everyone is invited to join in a Flash Mob to welcome him home on Tuesday, August 20th at 10:00 a.m. at the Cabot Elementary School, 229 Cabot Street. More information can be found here.

Farmers’ Markets: Don’t forget to stop by the Farmers’ Markets on Tuesdays at Cold Springs Park from 1:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. and on Saturdays on Elm Street in West Newton from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Stop by and pick up some fresh veggies, eggs, meat, fish and prepared foods – all locally grown. Go here to see all the vendors coming to our markets and to stay up-to-date on what’s happening at the Farmers’ Markets be sure to subscribe to their newsletter here.

2019 Summer in the Highlands continues this week (see Events Calendar):

  • Friday, August 23rd – 6:00 p.m. Concert: Dueling Piano Show with Justin Klosek and Chris Kennan followed by the movie: Spiderman: Into the Spider-verse

NewCAL – Albemarle Chosen from short list of 6 park sites

This past week, the Mayor announced that Albemarle was chosen out of the short list of 6 park sites under consideration by the NewCAL Working Group as a possible location for the NewCAL – Newton Center for Active Living – or the New Senior Center that can be used as a community center. I’ve reported on the deliberations in earlier posts and you can find a host of information about the process here.

Crystal Lake – reopened – August 15th

Crystal Lake was closed for about a week after concerns were raised about the algae levels. However, the Lake was re-opened for regular activities on August 15th after a second round of testing showed that the bacteria levels were below Mass Department of Public Health Guideline levels.

Questions about this may be directed to the Newton Health and Human Services Department at 617-796-1420.

Transit News – $5 Million awarded by the MBTA for Commuter Rail upgrades and Transit Matters Presentation – now available

The MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board voted to approve $5 Million to fund a full design for accessibility upgrades to our commuter rail stations in Auburndale, West Newton, and Newtonville and to fund a conceptual design study and cost estimate to potentially add a double-sided platform at one of the three commuter rail stations. While this is certainly good news, there is still the matter of funding construction – which has a price tag of about $46 million dollars. Stay tuned.

And, if you missed the Transit Matters Presentation at the Newton Free Library, hosted by Ward 2 Councilor Emily Norton last Thursday – you can view the presentation here.

City Board and Commission Meetings – Week of August 18th

Board Licensing Commissioners: The Board of Licensing Commissioners will meet on Tuesday, August 20th at 7:30 p.m. in Room 204. The agenda includes the following:

  • Three one-day temporary wine and malt license requests:
    • Serena & Lily Design Shop grand opening 9/12/2019 – 6 – 8 p.m. – 220 Boylston Street
    • Regional Real Estate Forum – 9/24/2019 – 4 – 8 p.m. – Saco Pettee Mill Building,156 Oak Street
    • New Art Center, 61 Washington Park – 3 events:
      • Alumni Painting Event – 9/12/2019 – 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
      • Drawing Workshop – 10/18/2019 – 7 – 9 p.m.
      • Arts and Crafts Workshop – 11/15/2019 – 7 – 9 p.m.
  • Three one-day temporary wine and malt and entertainment license requests:
    • Neighborhood Block Party – 1314 Washington Street, parking lot of Santander Bank – 9/28/2019 – with rain date of 10/5/2019 – 12 – 3 p.m.
    • NewPhil Orchestra – Gala Concert and Reception – First Baptist Church, 848 Beacon Street – 9/21/2019 – 7 – 11 p.m.
    • 9/11 Memorial Event – Jewish Community Center – 333 Nahanton Street – 9/7/2019 – 6 – 10 p.m.
  • Request for Change of Hours – OddFellows – 55 Boylston Street, Chestnut Hill – from Sunday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Friday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. TO Sunday – Thursday 12 p.m. – 11 p.m. and Friday – Saturday 12 p.m. – 12 a.m.
  • Notice of Change of Officers/Directors/LLC Managers – Wegmans
  • Request for a new wine and malt license, change of hours, and new entertainment license – Pineapple Thai Cuisine, 17 Boylston Street. The hours of operation will change from Monday through Saturday 11:00AM – 9:00PM and Sunday 11:00AM – 7:00PM to Monday through Thursday 11:30AM – 9:30PM, Friday and Saturday 11:30AM – 10:00PM and Sunday 12:00PM – 9:30PM. Entertainment will consist of background music.

Conservation Commission: The Newton Conservation Commission’s regularly scheduled August meeting has been cancelled. The Notice of Cancellation can be found here.

Newton Historical Commission: The Newton Historical Commission will meet on Thursday, August 22nd at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205. The agenda includes the following:

  • Nine demolition requests:
    • Request to demolish buildings at 23 Shumaker Path
    • Request to demolish buildings at 19 Shute Path
    • Request to demolish buildings at 43 Sharpe Road
    • Request to demolish buildings at 21 Louise Road
    • Request to demolish buildings at 40-42 Athelstane Road
    • Request to demolish buildings at 1376 Walnut Street
    • Request to demolish buildings at 23 Johnson Place
    • Request to demolish buildings at 89 Hawthorn Street/3 Emerald Street
    • Request to demolish buildings at 12-14 Middle Street
  • Four waiver requests:
    • Request to waive the demolition delay at 30 Thornton Street
    • Request to waive the demolition delay at 401 Albemarle Road
    • Request to waive the demolition delay at 55 Upham Street
    • Request to waive the demolition delay at 12 Cross Street
  • One Request for Partial Demolition
    • Request to demolish garage and partial demolition of the house at 20 Crystal Street – National Register property

The Staff memo can be found here and the Packet documents can be found here.

Development Review Team Meetings – Week of August 18th

The following potential projects/proposals are scheduled to meet with the Development Review Team this week:

  • 133 Newtonville Avenue – Proposed garage addition to a non-conforming two-family dwelling
  • 993-997 Chestnut Street – Possible special permit to convert commercial space into dwelling units

Please note: There is no Development Review Snapshot this week but a list with dates and times of the proposed meetings which can be found here.

Fun things to do in Newton this week

Farmers’ Markets: Did you take advantage of the local farmers’ markets here in Newton yet this summer? If not, you are missing a lot. Please stop by the Farmers’ Markets on Tuesdays at Cold Springs Park from 1:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. and on Saturdays on Elm Street in West Newton from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. In addition to fresh produce, you’ll find delectable treats – like fresh bread, artisan cheese, fresh eggs, fish, spirits, crafts and entertainment. The corn is amazing. This week I tried this Orecchiette with corn, jalapeno, feta and basil recipe, using the fresh corn and basil I snapped up at Tuesday’s market! Yum!!! Go here to see all the vendors coming to our markets and to stay up-to-date on what’s happening at the Farmers’ Markets be sure to subscribe to their newsletter here.

After you visit the market, please stop by for Fun and Games hosted by the Mayor and Parks and Recreation Commissioner, Bob DeRubeis at Newton North from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. There will be hot dogs, ice cream and popcorn provided along with Big Daddy’s racing, inflatables and an animal petting zoo. After, you can watch the game – Red Sox v. Cleveland on a big screen in the Newton North auditorium. More information can be found here.

Summer in the Highlands continues this week with two events (see Events Calendar):

  • Wednesday, August 14th at 7:30 p.m. – Enjoy Live Shakespeare Theater with a performance of “Measure for Measure” on Wednesday, August 14th at 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, August 16th at 6:00 p.m. – Jazz Concert with Gringo Kings followed by the movie, “Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase

City Council Committee Meetings – Week of August 11th

Land Use Committee: The Land Use Committee will hold a special meeting on Monday, August 12th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 211. The agenda includes the following:

  • Review of revised plans for a Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to construct an addition to an existing single-car garage, extending the non-conforming front setback,to allow parking within the setback and within 5 feet of the street at 1188 Chestnut Street (See Planning Memo)

Joint Meeting of Finance and Public Safety and Transportation Committee: The Finance Committee and the Public Safety and Transportation Committee will meet jointly on Monday, August 11th at 7:15 p.m. in Room 211. The agenda (See Finance agenda and Public Safety and Transportation agenda) includes the following item:

  • Request to appropriate $800,000 from bonded indebtedness to a new Fire Engine 2 for the Fire Department

The Finance Committee will also take up the following:

  • Request to appropriate $1,350,000 from bonded indebtedness to fund the construction of the Lincoln-Elliot Elementary School window replacement project and accessibility improvements

Land Use Committee: The Land Use Committee will hold a special meeting on Monday, August 12th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 211. The agenda includes the following:

  • Review of revised plans for a Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to construct an addition to an existing single-car garage, extending the non-conforming front setback,to allow parking within the setback and within 5 feet of the street at 1188 Chestnut Street

Full City Council to meet on Monday, August 12th

The Full City Council will meet on Monday, August 12th at 7:45 p.m. in the Council Chamber. The Reports Docket can be found here and the New Docket (revised) can be found here.

Note: The request to amend the Washington Place Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow for bank use is on the docket. An amended Draft Council Order can be found here.

Note: The request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval for 1188 Chestnut Street is also on the docket. As I reported in the Council Report section, the vote in committee was 3 in favor of approval and 5 abstaining. The Planning Department issued a memo regarding an updated/revised site plan. The memo can be found here.