City Council Meetings – Week of March 22nd

Zoning and Planning Committee: The Zoning and Planning Committee will meet Virtually ( To view this meeting, use this link at the above date and time: https://zoom.us/j/484531654) on Monday, March 23rd at 7:00 p.m. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request discussion of the 2020-2027 Open Space and Recreation Plan, a letter stating that the Zoning and Planning Committee reviewed the Plan, and adoption of the plan as an amendment to the 2007 Comprehensive Plan – Chair’s Note: This item will be taken up in order to outline the process for review and adoption of the Open Space and Recreation Plan, and to set a public hearing. The first draft is being completed pursuant to significant public input and is to be available for review by March 23 – See Planning Memo
  • Request for a review, discussion, and direction relative to the draft Zoning Ordinance – – See Planning Memo
  • Request for an amendment to Chapter 30 of Newton’s Zoning Ordinance, section 3.4.4 on garages (delayed implementation until July 1). This ordinance has been delayed five times
  • Request for a review of the zoning requirements for single-family attached dwelling units
  • Request to amend Chapter of the Revised City of Newton Ordinances to eliminate mandated parking minimums to improve the vitality of local businesses, reduce the cost of housing, and support the climate action goals – Chair’s Note: Items in italic will be taken up within the context of zoning redesign and specifically as it relates to Article 3.

Finance Committee: The Finance Committee will meet (Virtually – To view this meeting use this link at the above date and time: https://zoom.us/j/698611335) on Monday, March 23rd at 7:00 p.m. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request to accept and expend an $8,500 grant from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) for marketing and technical advice for a “Heat Smart” program
  • Request to accept and expend a $250,000 MassDot Workforce Transportation grant for a new technology-enabled ride-share shuttle for Newton’s thriving Wells Avenue innovation district and the new UMass Amherst Mount Ida campus
  • Request to accept and expend a $15,000 grant from the Executive Office of Elder Affairs to provide financial assistance for qualified seniors in the City of Newton to receive the services of Newton at Home Inc.
  • Request to appropriate and expend $7,000,000 and authorize a general obligation borrowing of an equal amount for the estimated design and construction costs associated with Water Main Improvements in FY2021 and authorization to apply any premium received upon the sale of the bonds or notes, less the cost of preparing, issuing, and marketing them, and any accrued interest received upon the delivery of the bonds or notes to the costs of the project and to reduce the amount authorized to be borrowed for the project by like amount
  • Request for $1,105,000 in CPA funding be awarded to the Newton Housing Authority for the acquisition of the CAN-DO Housing Portfolio
  • Request to transfer $60,000 from Current Year Budget Reserve to a non-lapsing Public Buildings Department account for the evaluation and recommendations for the upgrade of the Police Headquarters HVAC System
  • Request to appropriate $500,000 from the June 30th, 2019 Certified Free Cash for the purpose of providing interior and exterior improvements at the Horace Mann School at 225 Nevada Street
  • Request to transfer $250,000 from the June 30th, 2019 Certified Free Cash to Acct #0121030-543500 Emergency Operations-Supplies account for the purpose of being prepared to act, should the need arise
  • Request to accept $270,000 of lighting equipment as well as authorization to accept more funds to be expended on the installation of a field light system for the Newton South High School Winkler Stadium Field which is on Newton Parks and Recreation property. The funds are being donated by the Newton South High School Booster Club
  • Request to transfer $650,000 from the June 30th, 2019 Certified Free Cash to the Newton Public Schools for the purpose of reimbursing Newton Public Schools for one-time costs associated with several projects that were necessary to accomplish the move of the Horace Mann Elementary School community to the former Carr School on Nevada Street
  • Request to approve the settlement of Workers’ Compensation Claim #003554 in the amount of $62,500. The funds will be appropriated from Acct# 67A109A-515201- Municipal Workers’ Compensation – A motion to go into Executive Session may be entertained.

Land Use Committee: The Land Use Committee will meet on Tuesday, March 24th (Virtually – To view this meeting using Zoom use this link: https://zoom.us/j/789503846) at 7:00 p.m. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow a retail marijuana establishment, to waive the minimum driveway width for two-way traffic, to waive perimeter screening requirements and to waive lighting requirements at 1158 Beacon Street – Union Twist
  • Request for a Change of Zone and a Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval for a mixed-use, transit-oriented development of residential units, office, retail, personal services, restaurant, hotel, and related commercial uses not to exceed 1,025,000 square feet of gross floor area, with residential uses comprising not less than 60% of the total gross floor area with a residential density of not less than 800 square feet per unit with not less than 560 units nor more than 620 units with special permit relief and/or waivers…at the Riverside MBTA station. – NOTE: The presentation and discussion will be focused on Design Guidelines and project updates. – See Planning Memo and Responses to Councilor Questions