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Communications from the Mayor’s Office

The Mayor transmitted two formal communications to the City Council:

  • Request for authorization to acquire by purchase, the West Newton Armory and land located at 1135 Washington Street for affordable housing and requesting $1.00 be appropriated from the Municipal Building Maintenance/Building Improvements Account to fund all costs associated with the purchase of the property. The Request is accompanied by a memo regarding the potential purchase, draft special legislation for the State Legislature for “An Act Authorizing the Commissioner of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance to Convey a Certain Parcel of Land to the City of Newton”, and a letter from Josh Morse, Commissioner of Public Buildings regarding “West Newton Armory Inspection and Observations”
  • Letter to the City Council stating her decision to NOT forward on a request for home rule petition to the General Court amendments to the City Charter as approved by the City Council “primarily” because of the inclusion permitting the City Council to hire outside legal counsel. The letter can be found here.

Full City Council to Meet on Monday, May 20th – Will begin Full Council Budget Review

The Full City Council will meet on Monday, May 20th at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber. The Reports Docket can be found here; the New Docket can be found here; the New Docket Addendum can be found here. The Council will go into Committee of the Whole to begin review of the Budget. The Committee of the Whole agenda can be found here.

The Budget Report Book can be found here. And a request to amend the Budget can be found here.

City Council Committee Reports – Now Available

Land Use Committee – May 7, 2019: The Land Use Committee met and voted to approve the following:

  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to add five dormers to existing attic space increasing the non-conforming FAR to .37 where .27 exists and .36 is allowed at 85 Gate House Road
  • Request to amend a previously granted Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to modify an approved site plan to allow for a paved driveway at 47 Rokeby Road
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow an accessory apartment in an existing space in a dwelling constructed less than four years ago at 35 Cherry Street
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to demolish a portion of the rear dwelling and construct a new rear addition and two-car attached garage, extending the non-conforming 3.5 story structure at 150 Collins Road
  • Request to amend a previously granted Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to modify the site plan to allow paving of a parking area at the front of the site at 206 Waltham Street (Scandinavian Living Center)
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to construct an addition to the front of the house and raise the roof to create 2.5 stories where 2 stories exist, vertically extending the non-conforming side and rear setbacks at 11 Avon Place

All other items were held. Please see the back of the report for related presentations and draft City Council Orders.

Programs and Services Committee – May 8, 2019: The Programs and Services Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Request to transfer $100,000 from the Law Department’s Full-time Salaries Account to the Law Department’s Claims and Settlements Account for future claim settlements

Public Facilities Committee – May 8, 2019: The Public Facilities Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Appointment of Anne Cedrone to the Design Review Committee for the 687 Watertown Street – Newton Early Childhood Program project
  • Appointment of John Mulligan to the Design Review Committee for the 150 Jackson Road project
  • Request to appropriate $250,000 from Free Cash to fund architectural and engineering design of the “new” Newton Free Library parking lot
  • Request to appropriate $3,000,000 from Free Cash to fund the City’s Accelerated Road Repair Program

All other items were held.

Finance Committee – May 13, 2019: The Finance Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Request to appropriate $766,961 from Free Cash to the Newton Contributory Retirement System’s Pension Contribution as a one-time infusion of cash to maintain the current pension funding schedule for full funding in FY2020
  • Request to transfer $100,000 from the Law Department’s Full-time Salaries Account to the Law Department’s Claims and Settlements Account for future claims settlement
  • Request to appropriate $300,000 from Free Cash to fund FY2019 Overtime expenditures in the Fire DepartmentRequest to appropriate $5,600 in Fire Department fine revenue to fund enforcement, training, and education of Fire Department officers in accordance with MGL Chapter 148A, Section 5
  • Request authorization to enter into five-year contract terms for solid waste and recycling collection and disposal services
  • Request authorization to enter into a five-year lease agreement for electric and hybrid vehicles to replace sedan fleetRequest authorization to transfer $75,000 from Budget Reserve to fund Phase 2 of 3 phases of the city-wide APS (Audible Pedestrian Signal) Installation Project
  • Request authorization to transfer $75,000 from Budget Reserve to purchase pavement marking and crosswalk painting equipment to bring the work in-house
  • Request authorization to transfer $150,000 from Budget Reserve to fund street light repairs
  • Request to appropriate $3 million from Free Cash to fund the City’s Accelerated Road Repair Program
  • Request to rescind a previously granted Council Order to bond $2.2 million and instead authorize and appropriate $2.2 million from Sewer Fund Surplus -Available for Appropriation to fund Sewer System Inflow and Infiltration 2018 Project Area 6
  • Request authorization to accept and expend $3,434,000 MWRA grant and authorization to borrow $1,145,000 as part of the MWRA interest free Phase 12 loan grant to to fund sewer improvements
  • Request to appropriate $3.2 million from bonded indebtedness to fund the continuation of the City’s Water Main Improvement Plan

Zoning and Planning Committee – May 13, 2019: The Zoning and Planning Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Request to appropriate $100,000 from Free Cash to fund consulting services for the Planning Department to hire subject matter experts

The Committee voted NO ACTION NECESSARY on the request to discuss and adopt the Hazard Mitigation Plan. All other items were held.

Land Use Committee – May 14, 2019: The Land Use Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Agreement from Petitioner for an extension of time to open a public hearing on the Riverside Special Permit/Site Plan Approval Petition

All other items were held.

Traffic Council – May 16, 2019: The Traffic Council voted to approve the following:

  • Request to add the section of Bullough Park between Mill Street and Dexter Road into the Newtonville Neighborhood Parking District in response to a request to add a 2- hour parking restriction along that stretch of road
  • Request to modify the Carr School Parking District including the removal of a bus zone, the addition of a blue zone, the removal of access restrictions on Nevada Street, and the renaming of the District to the Horace Mann Neighborhood Parking District
  • Request to add Chester Street between Forest and Lincoln Street; Erie Avenue, Hartford Street, and Standish Street to the Newton Highlands Parking District
  • Request to allow residents who live on corner lots within the Waban, Auburndale, and Newtonville Parking Districts to select which abutting street the resident and visitor parking permits shall be valid

The Traffic Council voted NO ACTION NECESSARY on the following items:

  • Request for No Parking within 20 feet of Bullough Park and Mill Street intersection
  • Request to add Bowdoin Street between Forest to Lincoln to the Newton Highlands Parking District

All other items were held.

City Council Committee Meetings – Week of May 19th

Public Safety and Transportation Committee Special Meeting: The Public Safety and Transportation Committee will hold a special meeting on Monday, May 20th at 6:45 p.m. in Room 205 to vote on the appointment of Gino Lucchetti as Newton’s Fire Chief. The agenda can be found here.

Public Facilities Committee Special Meeting: The Public Facilities Committee will hold a special meeting on Monday, May 20th at 6:30 p.m. in Room 204 to vote on a Request for a grant of location to install a small cell wireless facility on an existing city-owned streetlight pole located in the right-of-way in the vicinity of 140 Commonwealth Avenue. The agenda can be found here.

Blue Ribbon Commission: The Blue Ribbon Commission will meet on Wednesday, May 22nd at 6:45 p.m. The agenda includes the following:

Finance Committee: The Finance Committee will meet on Wednesday, May 22nd at 6:30 p.m. in Room 211 to discuss a request to approve a settlement between the School Department and a claimant. The agenda can be found here.

Blue Ribbon Commission: The Blue Ribbon Commission will meet on Wednesday, May 22nd at 6:45 p.m. in Room 205. The agenda includes the following:

  • Open public comment
  • Final voting
  • Report review

Public Safety and Transportation Committee, Public Facilities Committee and the Programs and Services Committee Regularly scheduled meetings are cancelled this week. The Meeting Cancellation Notice can be found here.

Board and Commission Meetings – Week of May 19th

Parks and Recreation Commission: The Parks and Recreation Commission will meet on Monday, May 20th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 204. The agenda includes the following:

  • Commissioner reports on Programs, Forestry, and Maintenance
  • Public Hearing on Levingston Cove Project
  • CPC Presentation by Alice Ingerson and Byron Dunker
  • Committee Reports: CPC; Farm Commission (appoint a representative); Commonwealth Golf Course; Off-Leash Area Working Group; Crystal Lake Working Group; Athletic Fields Committee; NewCAL; Policy and Procedure Review – Field Naming
  • New Business – Responding to emails and Open Meeting Law and No Smoking Signs in Parks

Urban Design Commission: The Urban Design Commission will meet on Monday, May 20th at 7:00 p.m. in Room B17. The agenda includes the following:

Requests for Sign Permits:

  • Mark Dental Group – 33-41 Austin Street
  • McDonald’s – 197 California Street
  • Chase – 1-27 Boylston Street
  • Virgilio’s Echo Bridge Restaurant and Cafe – 1064-1070 Chestnut Street
  • Adelaide of Newton Centre – 157 Herrick Road
  • Veterinary Emergency Group – 165 Needham Street
  • Pineapple Thai Cuisine – 1-27 Boylston Street

Request for Design Review

  • Riverside MBTA Station – 355 and 399 Grove Street

Washington Place Liaison Committee: The Washington Street Liaison Committee will meet on Monday, May 20th at 7:00 p.m. in the City Hall Cafeteria. The agenda includes a discussion on adding a condition on construction vibrations to future special permits and an open discussion.

Board of License Commissioners: The Board of License Commissioners will meet on Tuesday, May 21st at 7:30 p.m. in Room 204. The agenda includes:

  • Four applications for Seasonal Farmers’ Market Winery Licenses – 3 for the Elm Street Market – Aaronap Cellars, Westport Rivers, and 1634 Meadery and 2 for the Cold Springs Park Market – House Bear Brewing and 1634 Meadery
  • Numerous one-day temporary temporary wine and malt licenses – including 5 for the St. Mary of Carmen Festival and 14 for Boston College events
  • A new common victualler and annual entertainment license for Thai Cater d/b/a/ Coconut Newton, 759 Beacon Street
  • A new all alcohol, common victualler and entertainment license to be exercised at Pressed Cafe d/b/a/ Pressed Cafe, 300 Needham Street

Citizens Commission on Energy: The Citizens Commission on Energy will meet on Wednesday, May 22nd at 7:00 p.m. in the Library Trustees Room, 2nd Floor of the Newton Free Library. The agenda includes the following:

  • Progress on implementation of the CCAP
  • Memorandum of Understanding with Utilities

Newton Free Library Board of Trustees: The Newton Free Library Board of Trustees will meet on Wednesday, May 22nd at 9:00 a.m. in the Trustees Room at the Newton Free Library. The agenda includes the following:

  • Approval of April 24th Meeting Minutes (not attached to the agenda)
  • Reports from the Treasurer, Library Director, Development, Friends, and the following committees: Trustees/Friends coordination; Online Fundraising; and Finance
  • Renovations Update
  • New Business
  • Visitors Update

Note: The Treasurer’s Report, Library Director’s Report and Development (Quarterly Report) are not attached to the agenda.

Zoning Board of Appeals: The Zoning Board of Appeals will meet on Wednesday, May 22nd at 7:00 p.m. in the City Council Chamber. The agenda includes the following:

  • Public Hearing (originally scheduled for April 24th) on an appeal of a Notice of Violation issued by the Commissioner of Inspectional Services for violation of Sections 5.3 and 8.4 of the Newton Zoning Ordinance governing stormwater management and usable open space and for violation of Section R105 of the State Building Code, 780 CMR 51.00, governing building permits.

Newton Historical Commission: The Newton Historical Commission will meet on Thursday, May 23rd at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205. The agenda includes the following:

6 Demolition Requests:

  • Request to demolish the building located at 1253 Washington Street
  • Request to demolish building at 1239-1247 Washington Street
  • Request to demolish building at 1235 Washington Street
  • Request to demolish buildings at 10- 12 Mechanic Street
  • Request to demolish buildings at 92-96 John Street
  • Request to demolish buildings at 40 North Street

3 Waiver Requests:

  • Request to waive demolition delay at 33 Warren Road
  • Request to waive demolition delay at 189 Evelyn Road
  • Request to waive demolition delay at 71 Redwood Road

Request to approve plans for landmark site at 30 Countryside Road

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

Development Review Team Meetings – Week of May 19th

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

  • 24 Moreland Avenue – Special Permit to enclose front porch, increasing floor area ratio
  • 49-71 Needham Street – Special Permit to amend existing special permit
  • 342 Dudley Road – Special Permit for Internal accessory apt over 1000 sq. ft.

The Development Review Team Snapshot can be found here.

General Recycling Information

From the City of Newton’s Recycle at the Curb Webpage:

What can you put in your Green Carts?

Paper & Cardboard 

  • White & colored paper (staples, paper clips, spirals OK)
  • Cardboard (flatten & fold boxes)
  • Paperboard (paper towel rolls, cereal, tissue boxes)
  • Phone books & junk mail
  • Magazines & catalogs
  • Newspapers & inserts
  • Paper bags
  • Pizza boxes (empty, minor oil stains OK)
  • Books (rip off hard covers)

Containers

  • Aluminum cans, trays & foil
  • Stiff plastic containers such as bottles, jugs, and tubs
  • Glass bottles & jars

Don’t put the following in your green cart (Please go here to learn how to properly and environmentally dispose of these items)

  • Plastic Bags, Plastic films, or plastic wraps
  • Plastic Utensils
  • Bulky plastics (chairs, toys, buckets, storage containers)
  • Flower pots & garden plastics
  • Food or beverage cartons
  • Black plastic (i.e. take out trays)
  • Small plastic bottles
  • Dishes, ceramics & pyrex
  • Clothing, bedding & other textiles – Ripped and stained
  • Paper coffee cup
  • Shredded Paper
  • Styrofoam
  • Paper plates, napkins, paper towels, tissues
  • Light bulbs
  • Metal pots, pans, hangers, other scrap metals

 

Announcements

There are so many Cultural and Community Events this month – check out the Newton Calendar of Arts for a more detailed listing. But here are a few highlights:

The Final Weekend of the Piano Summit will take place on Saturday, May 18th from 1 – 3 p.m. at the United Parish Church in Auburndale, 64 Hancock Street.  Featured artists:  Leo Genovese and Wes Wirth Global Ensemble.  The event is free.

The Commonwealth Lyric Theater will present Carmen by Bizet at Newton City Hall, War Memorial on Friday, May 17th and Saturday, May 18th at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased here.

The New Philharmonia Orchestra will perform on Saturday, May 18th at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, May 19th at 3:00 p.m. at the First Baptist Church, 848 Beacon Street.  The program, Classics III: American Fete is dedicated to the memory of Linda Plaut. Tickets can be purchased here.

Celebrate Waban Village Day on Sunday, May 19th beginning at 10 a.m. with a Family Fun Run. More information can be found here.

Historic Newton will host its annual Newton House Tour on Sunday, May 19th from 12:00 – 5:00 p.m. Tickets are $35 in advance; $40 on the day of the tour. Begin at Durant-Kendrick House and Grounds at 286 Waverly Avenue to pick up a map for the self-guided tour. More information can be found here.

City Council Meetings – Week of May 12th

Finance Committee:  The Finance Committee will meet on Monday, May 12th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 211. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request to appropriate $766,961 from Free Cash to the Newton Contributory Retirement System’s Pension Contribution as a one-time infusion of cash to maintain the current pension funding schedule for full funding in FY2020
  • Request to transfer $100,000 from the Law Department’s Full-time Salaries Account to the Law Department’s Claims and Settlements Account for future claims settlement
  • Request to appropriate $300,000 from Free Cash to fund FY2019 Overtime expenditures in the Fire Department
  • Request to appropriate $5,600 in Fire Department fine revenue to fund enforcement, training, and education of Fire Department officers in accordance with MGL Chapter 148A, Section 5
  • Request authorization to enter into five-year contract terms for solid waste and recycling collection and disposal services
  • Request authorization to enter into a five-year lease agreement for electric and hybrid vehicles to replace sedan fleet
  • Request authorization to transfer $75,000 from Budget Reserve to fund Phase 2 of 3 phases of the city-wide APS (Audible Pedestrian Signal) Installation Project
  • Request authorization to transfer $75,000 from Budget Reserve to purchase pavement marking and crosswalk painting equipment to bring the work in-house
  • Request authorization to transfer $150,000 from Budget Reserve to fund street light repairs
  • Request to appropriate $3 million from Free Cash to fund the City’s Accelerated Road Repair Program
  • Request to rescind a previously granted Council Order to bond $2.2 million and instead authorize and appropriate $2.2 million from Sewer Fund Surplus -Available for Appropriation to fund Sewer System Inflow and Infiltration 2018 Project Area 6
  • Request authorization to accept and expend $3,434,000 MWRA grant and authorization to borrow $1,145,000 as part of the MWRA interest free Phase 12 loan grant to to fund sewer improvements
  • Request to appropriate $3.2 million from bonded indebtedness to fund the continuation of the City’s Water Main Improvement Plan

The Finance Committee will also review the following budgets and their related Capital Improvement Projects and Supplemental Capital Improvement Projects:

Zoning and Planning Committee:  The Zoning and Planning Committee will meet on Monday, May 13th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request to appropriate $100,000 from Free Cash to fund consulting services to the Planning Department to hire subject matter experts for projects – See Planning Memo
  • Request for discussion and adoption of the Hazard Mitigation Plan – See Planning Memo
  • Request adoption of amendments to the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance to increase the required percentage of affordable units; to require that some affordable units be designated for middle income households; to create a new formula to calculate payments in lieu of providing affordable units and other improvements – See Planning Memo
  • Request to amend the zoning ordinances to define short-term rental and bed and breakfast uses and identify appropriate zoning districts and create criteria for permitting – See Planning Memo
  • Request to amend city ordinances to create a short-term rental ordinance and establish fees that would require registration with the Inspectional Services and Fire Departments – See Planning Memo

Blue Ribbon Commission:  The Blue Ribbon Commission will meet on Tuesday, May 14th at 7:00 p.m. in the Cafeteria at City Hall. The agenda includes open public comment, and update on open health questions, and finalizing voting. The most recent report from the Blue Ribbon Commission can be found here.

Land Use Committee:  The Land Use Committee will meet on Tuesday, May 14th at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber. The agenda will be largely focused on a presentation by the Development Team for the Northland petition – specifically on Stormwater Management, Sustainability and Design Guidelines (See Planning Memo) and a discussion on an agreement for an Extension of Time to open up the public hearing for the Riverside petition #140-19(2).

Traffic Council:  The Traffic Council will meet on Thursday, May 16th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 211. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request for an accessible parking space in front of the CVS at 1199 Centre Street
  • Request for:  a) a 2-hour parking restriction, on both sides, school days on Bullough Park between Mill Street and Dexter Road to deter student parking and b)no parking within 20 feet of Bulloughs Park and Mill Street intersection
  • Request to make revisions to the Traffic Parking Regulations related to the Carr School Parking District including – changing the name of the parking district, removing access restrictions onto Nevada Street, adding blue zone on Nevada Street, removing the bus zones from Nevada Street and possible modifications to other parking and permit override regulations within the District
  • Request to add the following streets into the new Newton Highlands Parking District:
    • Bowdoin Street (between Forest and Lincoln)
    • Chester Street (between Forest and Lincoln)
    • Erie Avenue
    • Hartford Street
    • Standish Street
  • Request to add language to the Transportation Parking Regulations to allow residents who live in housing units on streets or street segments included in a neighborhood parking district which abut more than one street to choose which of the abutting streets the resident permit parking permits and/or visitor parking permits shall be valid

School Committee to Meet on Monday, May 13th

The School Committee will meet on Monday, May 13th at 6:00 p.m. in Room 210 at the Ed Center, 100 Walnut Street and vote to move into Executive Session and meet in Room 304 to discuss strategy with respect to litigation: Incutto v. Newton Public Schools and City of Newton.

Following Executive Session, the School Committee will reconvene in Open Session in Room 210. The agenda includes the following: