What’s Up In Newton This Week – MLK Jr. Celebration- “Know Your Neighbor” TODAY; Northland Referendum Election Date to be set on Tuesday; 478 Parking Space Waiver in Newton Center to be voted on Tuesday; Chapter 40B Dunstan East proposal by Mark Development before Zoning Board of Appeals on Wednesday and more……

MLK Jr. Celebration: The MLK Jr. 2020 Annual Celebratiion will take place this morning, beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the First Baptist Church, 848 Beacon Street, Newton Centre. This year’s theme is “Know Your Neighbor”. There will be a community chorus performance and a Community Coffee: An Engagement and Activism Fair. More details about this event can be found here.

Northland Referendum Date to be set on Tuesday evening: At the last full Council Meeting, five City Councilors (Norton, Ciccone, Kalis, Markiewicz, and Malakie) chartered the vote to set the date of the special election for the Northland Referendum. The four-person (five – in this case) charter effectively halted the Council from setting the date of the referendum until the next regularly scheduled Full Council meeting (preventing the calling of a special meeting) – which will be on Tuesday. Here are some memos regarding the special election that I posted last week, but may still be of interest, this week:

  • Planning Department memo here;
  • City Clerk memo here;
  • Council President memo here.

478 Parking Space Waiver Request: Yes, 478 otherwise required parking space may be waived if the City Council votes to accept the recommendation from the Land Use Committee for a request made by Union Realty Trust in conjunction with a request to allow a restaurant with more than 50 seats. The properties seeking the request are not contiguous, and comprise of 93-105 Union Street, 1280 Centre Street, 47-61 Langley Road, 43-63 Union Street, and 790-794 Beacon Street. Read the report to understand why the request is being made and the reasoning behind the Planning Department and Land Use Committee’s support of this request.

Dunstan East – Chapter 40B proposal for West Newton before ZBA on Wednesday: The long-awaited public hearing on the Dunstan East – Chapter 40B proposal for West Newton will be held on Wednesday, January 22nd. The meeting will begin at 6:30 but the Public Hearing is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. As you may recall, the proposal is for 244 residential units – with 61 of those units to be “affordable”, and some retail space and maintaining and existing office building. The project will be located in West Newton – 1149, 1151, 1169, 1171-1173, 1179 and 1185 Washington Street, 12, 18, 24 and 25 Kempton Place, and 32 and 34 Dunstan Street.

What to do with the West Newton Armory? A Public Hearing will be held by the Real Property/Reuse Committee regarding potential uses for the West Newton Armory located at 1135 Washington Street. The Armory was one of the options folks got to weigh in on at the recent NewCAL meeting that was held last Thursday evening. Other sites that were looked at include: Existing Senior Center, Former Aquinas Junior College, the Ed Center,West Suburban YMCA, the Police Headquarters, and the Newton Center Triangle Parking Lot.

Newton Historical Commission has historic number of landmark requests (in one meeting), for West Newton National Register properties (properties that have already been acknowledged for their historic importance): This week’s Newton Historical Commission will review 7 requests for local landmarking – 1253 Washington Street, NR – Local Landmark request, 1173 Washington Street, NR – Local Landmark, 978 Watertown Street, NR – Local Landmark request, 989-1003 Watertown Street, NR– Local Landmark request, 1239-1247 Washington Street, NR – Local Landmark request, 1235 Washington Street, NR – Local Landmark request, and 1 Chestnut Street, NR – Local Landmark request. The meeting will be held on Thursday, January 23rd at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205.

A Cappella at Gregorian Rugs: The Newtones, the Newton South High School’s a cappella group will perform a “Winter Warmer”, this Friday night, January 24th at 7:00 p.m. at Gregorian Rugs, 2284 Washington Street, in Newton Lower Falls. The show will also feature the Northern Lights from Newton North, Noteafy from Brookline High and improv from the Children of the CandyCorn from Newton South. Tickets are $10 and additional details can be found here.

Weekly Road Construction Schedule: The weekly road construction schedule can be found here.