What’s Up in Newton this Week? ZAP to consider suspending local landmarking, Enrollment Planning – TONIGHT, New Buffer Zones and Countryside and Franklin move up in Priority list at School Committee Meeting TONIGHT, Riverside is back – public hearing on Tuesday and more…..

Temporary Suspension of Local Landmarking? Last week, I reported that there were 7 nominations for local landmarking. On Monday, the Zoning and Planning Committee will be discussing and possibly voting on proposed amendment that would temporarily suspend local landmarking by the Historial Commission and nominations made by the City Council. The Zoning and Planning Committee agenda can be found here.

Riverside is back. Public Hearing is scheduled for this Tuesday. Two weeks ago, I reported that the Petitioner’s attorney was to provide an update to the Land Use Committee regarding the updated proposal – one that was consistent with the zoning amendment that was approved. On Tuesday, the public hearing will begin on the Riverside project. The Land Use Committee agenda can be found here along with a Planning Department memo here.

Latest Enrollment Planning, New Buffer Zones, and Countryside and Franklin move up the list as next highest priorities....The School Committee will meet on TONIGHT to discuss the latest enrollment planning and class size report, new buffer zones…(spoiler: existing Angier buffer zones to remain to manage Angier’s Kindergarten enrollment; reinstatement of former Mason Rice/Zervas buffer zone with a few minor changes; addition of a buffer zone with Cabot to maintain 13 classrooms at Pierce, addition of a buffer zone with Day to assign new students to Bigelow) and Countryside and Franklin to move up the priority list. The Statement of Interest (“SOI”) portion for Countryside – See SOI Memo – includes a shout-out to Northland:

” A properly reconstructed Countryside School is the next highest priority on Newton’s long-range plan due to facility condition issues, the facility’s failure to support the educational program and the extensive reliance upon inferior quality short-term annex construction as well as modular classrooms. Further, the district has had recent periods of enrollment crowding (enrollment above 500 students) at the facility which required the drastic action of relocating of an entire kindergarten class to different schools. The district also recognizes that there is considerable future residential development in the planning stages and there are no longer any intermediate actions, such as the installation of modular building, available on the school’s very constrained and wet site. The school is adjacent to the Needham Street Area for which the\ City has developed a “Vision Plan.” That plan includes adding diverse residential options including multi-unit housing including affordable units. A mixed use project in the Countryside district by Northland Investment Corporation has been granted a special permit by the City and could add 800 residential units with a potential to generate approximately 165 additional public school age students. As a result, enrollment at Countryside could come close to its current capacity. It should be noted that the project as granted by special permit, will be decided in a March 2020 local referendum vote.”

History of Parks and Recreation in Newton: Join retired BC Professor, Michael Clarke, for a discussion that will trace the history of parks, playgrounds, and organized sports movements in the 19th and early 20th century. More information can be found here.

Celebrate Lunar New Year with Newton Housing Authority. Newton Housing Authority is hosting a Lunar New Year Celebration on Saturday, February 1st at the American Legion Post 440 beginning at 1:00 p.m – 5:00 p.m. More information can be found here.

Evening of Magical Music at Gregorian Rugs. Enjoy chamber music by New Phil and refreshments at Gregorian Rugs, 2284 Washington Street. Music will includes works by Bach, Stravinsky and Mozart. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased here.

Weekly Road Construction Update: This week’s Road Construction schedule can be found here.