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