What’s up for this week?

NewCAL: NewCAL dominates the agendas this week. Last week, the Finance Committee received an update from the Public Buildings Commissioner on the NewCAL project and the site selection process. See Finance Report here. This week, the Parks and Recreation Commission will receive an update TONIGHT – See Parks and Rec agenda here and the Public Facilities Committee meeting jointly with the Programs and Services Committee will receive an update on Wednesday night – See Meeting Agenda here. (Note: that the discussion is not scheduled to take place until 7:30 p.m.) AND…there will be a Community Meeting held on Thursday, September 19th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 111 at the Ed Center, 100 Walnut Street. The NewCAL link on the City’s website can be found here.

Northland: The Northland Development proposal received two approvals – both just advisory but still recommendations for approvals. The first was from the Planning and Development Board which is legally required to hear and advise the City Council on zoning. The Planning Board’s recommendation was conditioned on their proposals regarding traffic demand management. In addition, the Economic Development Commission sent a letter recommending the approval of the zoning change with four additional recommendations:

  • We recommend that future development within the Needham Street corridor be structured to achieve objective 1A and 1B of the Economic Development Action Plan for the City of Newton, prepared by Camoin Associates, January 2019, namely
    • “Objective 1A – Increase lab space in Newton to capitalize on highly skilled workforce with science background and regiona economic trends”
    • “Objective 1B – Increase office space in Newton including coworking space to attract and retain companies and increase the commercial tax base”
  • We recommend that the City of Newton authorize “as of right” commercial development up to 50,000 square feet for flexible, commercial, industrial, laboratory, co‐working space or hotel use along the Needham Street Corridor.
  • We recommend that any future redevelopment contemplated b Northland or its successors on property it owns on the east side of Needham Street be 100% commercial/industrial/flex and not include a residential component.
  • Finally, we recommend that future redevelopment along Needham Street be heavily weighted toward and favor commercial/industrial/flex development over residential development.

West Newton Armory: The West Newton Armory is up for discussion this week – Tuesday, September 17th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 211 with the City Council’s Real Property/Reuse Committee.

City Council to give themselves and the Mayor and School Committee members a raise? Both the Programs and Services Committee and the Finance Committee voted to recommend approval of pay raises (City Councilors – $15,500; the Mayor – $155,000; and the School Committee – $7,750) and will vote on this at the Full Council Meeting TONIGHT. See Finance Committee Report and Reports Docket.

Washington Place and Banks: The Land Use Committee met on September 11th and voted to approve the request to amend the Council Order prohibiting bank use and allowing bank use. The Land Use Committee voted to replace

“…the petitioner is required to dedicate at least 10,000 rentable square feet within the ground floor only for lease to non formula retail, restaurant, or personal use tenants, this requirement shall be met prior to, and remain in effect after, the issuance of certificate of occupancy to a commercial bank”

and substitute the following language:

“…the petitioner is required to reserve (i.e. whether leased or vacant and available for lease) at least 10,000 rentable square feet within the ground floor only for lease to non-formula retail, restaurant, or personal use tenants, which requirement shall be in place prior to and remain in effect after, the issuance of certificate of occupancy to a commercial bank…”

24-unit Development for Waban? The New Docket has a 24-unit proposed development project that is scheduled to come before the Land Use Committee on October 3rd at 20 Kinmonth Road – the former Waban Health Center.

See Land Use Report.

Marijuana Retail Dispensary Update: Ascend Mass LLC has requested an extension of time to open a public hearing on its request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval at 58 Cross Street/1089 Washington Street. See New Docket.