All posts by Amy Sangiolo

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.

Fun Things to Do in Newton this week

Newton Farmers’ Markets: The Farmers’ Markets continue as we move into the Fall season on Tuesdays at Cold Springs Park from 1:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. and on Saturdays on Elm Street in West Newton from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Stop by and pick up fresh veggies, meat, fish, and prepared foods. Go here to see all the vendors coming to the markets and to stay up-to-date on what’s happening at the Farmers’ Markets be sure to subscribe to their newsletter here.

25th Silver Anniversary Gala for the New Philharmonia Orchestra: The New Phil will open it’s season with a gala celebrating it’s 25th anniversary. Led by Francisco Noya, Music Director, the celebration will begin with a special concert followed by a reception on Saturday, September 21st at 7:00 PM at the First Baptist Church in Newton Centre. The Silver Anniversary Gala will honor the contributions of Massachusetts’ State Representative Kay Khan, a long time New Phil board member who has been a tremendous advocate for arts and culture across the Commonwealth. Tickets are $25 – $250 and may be purchased online at: http://newphil.org/concerts/season-at-a-glance/special-events/

Newtonville Village Day: The annual Newtonville Village Day will be held this Sunday, September 22nd from 12 – 5 p.m. on Walnut Street. There will be live music and performances, a train ride and bounce house for the kids, food, caricature artists, and a variety of vendor booths! This is a FREE day of music, art and fun, sponsored by the Newtonville Area Council. Vendor information can be found here.

Full City Council to Meet on Monday, September 16th

The Full City Council will meet on Monday, September 14th at 7:45 p.m. in the Council Chamber. The Reports Docket can be found here and the New Docket can be found here.

Note: Reports Docket includes a Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to construct a 484 sq. ft. two-car garage and construct a dormer on the new structure greater than 50% of the wall plan below and closer than 3 ft. to the end wall where one garage exists, creating more than 700 sq. ft. of garage space at 213-215 Langley Road. A Planning Department Memo on Plan Revisions can be found here.

The Reports Docket also includes the request to amend the Council order condition prohibiting banks at the Washington Place development and the request is before the Council for a vote

Note: New Docket includes: Request for an Extension of Time to open the Public Hearing for the third recreational retail marijuana facility – Ascend Mass, LLC – to locate at 58 Cross Street/1089 Washington Street and a 24-unit multi-family dwelling at 20 Kinmonth Road in Waban.

City Council Committee Reports – Now Available

Public Facilities Committee – 9/4/2019 Report: The Public Facilities Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Appointment of David Gillespie to the Design Review Committee
  • Request to appropriate and expend $70,000 from FY2020 Budget Reserve to install surveillance cameras at the Rumford Avenue Recycling Center, Elliot Street and Craft Street yards
  • Request to appropriate and expend $175,000 from bonded indebtedness for the purchase of modular trailer at the Rumford Avenue Recycling Center
  • Request to appropriate and expend $496,000 from the Sewer Fund Surplus to purchase a Vactor combination cleaner truck to be used by Public Works Department during sewer cleaning operations
  • Request to appropriate and expend $315,000 from the Stormwater Management Fund Surplus to purchase a Vacuum Street Sweeper to be used by Public Works for street cleaning operations
  • Request to appropriate and expend $150,280 from bonded indebtedness for the purchase of two Ford F550 4×4 trucks for Public Works for street and snow operations
  • Request to appropriate and expend $739,059 from bonded indebtedness for the purchase of three 6-wheel trucks to be used by the Highway Department for street and snow operations

The Committee voted NO ACTION NECESSARY on a request for a grant of location to install a small cell wireless facility on an existing utility pole located in the right-of-way in the vicinity of 262 Beacon Street

Public Safety and Transportation Committee – 9/4/2019 Report: The Public Safety and Transportation Committee voted NO ACTION NECESSARY on a request for an update on the Lime Bike program in the City of Newton. All other items were held. Please note: There was considerable discussion on the following:

  • Ability to test and implement self-driving vehicles in Newton
  • Implementation of differential priced parking in Newton
  • Update on the Shared Parking Program

Land Use Committee – 9/5/2019 Report: The Land Use Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to construct dormers on each side of the second floor, vertically extending the non-conforming front setback at 2 Thaxter Road
  • Request to amend a previously approved Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to construct a 702 sq. ft. attached one-car garage and one-story addition above the garage at 29 Kewadin Road
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to extend the existing non-conforming FAR by replacing an existing one-story addition with a two-story addition, creating an FAR of .64 where .51 exists and .46 is allowed at 11 Canterbury Road
  • Request to amend a previously approved Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow modifications to the site plan for driveway and patio spaces not shown on the approved site plan at 22 Beecher Place
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to further extend the non-conforming front setback on Wade Street, creating a new front setback of 14.7′ where 14.9′ exists as well as further extend the existing non-conforming front setback on Hersey Street, creating a new front setback of 14.8′ where 14.7′ exists and to allow parking in the front setback at 28 Wade Street (NOTE: that the request for parking within 5′ of the street was withdrawn)
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to construct a 484 sq. ft. detached two-car garage and construct a dormer on the new structure greater than 50% of the wall plan below and closer than 3′ to the end wall where one garage exists creating more than 700 sq. ft. of garage space at 213-215 Langley Road (Subject to second call)

All other items were held.

Finance Committee – 9/10/2019 Report: The Finance Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Appointment of Rosemarie Woods as the City’s Treasurer/Tax Collector
  • Request for consideration of recommendations of Special Blue Ribbon Commission regarding compensation of the Mayor, City Council and School Committee – Mayor compensation – $155,000; City Council compensation – $15,500; School Committee compensation – $7,750
  • Request to appropriate and expend $70,000 from FY2020 Budget Reserve to install surveillance cameras at the Rumford Avenue Recycling Center, Elliot Street and Craft Street yards
    Request to appropriate and expend $175,000 from bonded indebtedness for the purchase of modular trailer at the Rumford Avenue Recycling Center
    Request to appropriate and expend $496,000 from the Sewer Fund Surplus to purchase a Vactor combination cleaner truck to be used by Public Works Department during sewer cleaning operations
    Request to appropriate and expend $315,000 from the Stormwater Management Fund Surplus to purchase a Vacuum Street Sweeper to be used by Public Works for street cleaning operations
    Request to appropriate and expend $150,280 from bonded indebtedness for the purchase of two Ford F550 4×4 trucks for Public Works for street and snow operations
    Request to appropriate and expend $739,059 from bonded indebtedness for the purchase of three 6-wheel trucks to be used by the Highway Department for street and snow operations
  • Re-appointment of Shawn Murphy as Constable

NOTE: There was significant discussion and update on the NewCAL project.

Land Use Committee – September 11, 2019 Report: The Land Use Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Request for a two-year Extension of Time to exercise a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval which granted the construction of a 14,313 sq. ft. mixed-use development containing 9 residential units, 2,714 sq. ft. of commercial space and no more than 16 on-site parking stalls at 386-394 Watertown Street
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to further extend the non-conforming three-story dwelling by razing the existing deck and constructing a three-story side addition at 28 East Boulevard Road
  • Request to amend a previously granted Special Permit/Site Plan Approval for the Washington Place project to allow bank use which was previously prohibited as a condition of the special permit (NOTE: The item was voted out of committee on 6/18/2019 and then recommitted by the Full Council on August 12th)

All other items were held.

City Council Committee Meetings – Week of September 15th

Real Property/Reuse Committee: The Real Property/Reuse Committee will meet on Tuesday, September 17th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 211. The agenda will focus on recommendation from the Planning Director recommending the West Newton Armory located at 1135 Washington Street be evaluated for the purpose of leasing the property for redevelopment of 100% affordable housing or for municipal uses pursuant to Ordinance Section 2-7.

Public Facilities Committee: The Public Facilities Committee will meet on Wednesday, September 18th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 204. The agenda includes the following:

  • Two National Grid petitions for grants of location:
    • Request for a grant of location to install and maintain a gas main in Voss Terrace from the existing gas main in front of house #40 southwesterly to the end of the main in front of the house #50 to provide new service to 50 Voss Terrace
    • Request for a grant of location to install and maintain a gas main in Dearborn Street from the existing gas main in front of house #56 southwesterly to the end of the main at #64 in order to provide new service to 64 Dearborn Street
  • Request for a grant of location (Eversource) to install and maintain conduit in Woodward Street from the existing manhole in front of #991 Boylston Street in a northwesterly direction to a new proposed manhole in front of 38 Woodward Street, continuing to a second proposed manhole at the intersection of Lincoln Street and Woodward Street thence turning and installing conduit on Lincoln Street in a northeasterly direction in front of #163 Lincoln Street.
  • Request for a main drain extension at 12 Ferncroft Road
  • Chair’s Note suggests that the Public Facilities Committee will meet jointly with the Programs and Services Committee in the Council Chamber to receive and update from the Public Buildings Commissioner, Josh Morse, on the NewCAL project and then return to Room 204 for the rest of the Public Facilities Committee agenda.
  • Request by the City Engineer for amendments to Chapter 29 of the City of Newton Ordinances to create an inflow and infiltration Mitigation Ordinance that would codify mitigation requirements for development projects over a certain size, potential for fees in lieu of mitigation and waiver fees by the City Council
  • Request by the City Engineer for amendments to Chapter 20 of the City of Newton Ordinances to create a building sewer and water service pipe update ordinance that would require the removal and replacement of sewer and water connections and replacement of sidewalk when a dwelling is demolished or substantially remodeled or rehabilitated.

Public Safety and Programs and Services Committee – regularly scheduled meetings are cancelled this week – although the Programs and Services Committee will meet jointly with the Public Facilities Committee on Wednesday, September 18th at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers to receive an update on the NewCAL Project. The Meeting Cancellation Notice can be found here.

Board and Commission Meetings – Week of September 15th – BUSY WEEK!

Election Commission: The Election Commission will meet on Monday, September 16th at 5 p.m. in Room 205. The agenda includes certification of the Preliminary Election held on Tuesday September 10th and drawing for ballot position for the November 5th Municipal Election.

Library Board of Trustees Preliminary Screening Committee: The Newton Free Library Board of Trustees Preliminary Screening Committee will meet on Monday, September 16th at 12 p.m. in Room 204 to begin the search for a new Library Director. The agenda can be found here.

Parks and Recreation Commission: The Parks and Recreation Commission will meet Monday, September 16th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 211. The agenda includes the following:

  • NewCAL Building List – Update from Commissioner of Public Buildings, Josh Morse
  • Update from the Law Department on the Rogers St. Conservation Restriction
  • Information on the Hunnewell Playground Fence Proposal
  • Approval of Meeting Minutes
  • Commissioner’s Reports on Programs, Forestry and Maintenance
  • Committee Reports
    • Community Preservation Committee
    • Farm Commission
    • Commonwealth Golf Course
    • Off-Leash Area Working Group (OLAWG)
    • Crystal Lake Working Group (CLWG)
    • Athletic Fields Committee
    • NewCAL
    • Policy & Procedure Review
      • Field Naming

Solid Waste Commission: The Solid Waste Commission will meet on Monday, September 16th at 7:00 p.m. at the Newton Free Library, Room 2A. The agenda can be found here.

Washington Place Liaison Committee: The Washington Place Liaison Committee will meet on Monday, September 16th, at 6:00 p.m. The agenda includes a construction update and report on finishes.

Board of License Commissioners: The Board of License Commissioners will meet on Tuesday, September 17th in Room 204 at 7:30 p.m. The agenda can be found here and includes the following:

  • Law Department discussion on policy of alcohol on city property
  • One one-day temporary entertainment license requests –
    • Bat Mitzvah on Saturday, October 12th from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. to be held at the Windsor Club, 1601 Beacon Street
  • 6 Wine and Malt and Entertainment License Requests –
    • Neighborhood Block Party on Saturday, September 28th (rain date – Sunday, September 29th) from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. at the Santander Bank Parking Lot, 1314 Washington Street
    • Bar Mitzvah on Saturday, January 11, 2020, from 7 p.m. – 11 p.m. at the Windsor Club, 1601 Beacon Street
    • Birthday Celebration on Friday, October 25th from 7 p.m. – 11 p.m. at the Windsor Club, 1601 Beacon Street
    • Wedding Reception on Saturday, October 12th from 12 – 5 p.m. at the Auburndale Cove, 105 West Pine Street
    • Fundraiser for Athletes Unlimited on Sunday, October 20th from 11:15 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Paddy’s Public House, Municipal Lot, 95 Elm Street
    • Membership appreciation BBQ on Sunday, September 22nd from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Newton Lodge #1327 driveway, 429 Centre Street
  • Two One Day Temporary Wine and Malt License Requests:
    • Center for International Securities and Derivatives Market Conference on Friday, October 4, 2019 from 3:30PM – 5:30PM at UMass Amherst Mount Ida Campus, Shaw Living Room, 777 Dedham Street, Newton, MA 02459
    • 10 One-Day requests for Church of the Redeemer (see agenda for complete listings)
  • New Common Victualler License Request
    • Flora’s Hospitality, 1284 Washington Street, hours of operation – Sunday, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
  • Transfer of Wine and Malt License Request
    • From Eamon’s Walnut Market to BDIC Passion Project, 20 Lincoln Street, hours of operation Monday, 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Tuesdsay – Friday, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Newton Housing Partnership: The Newton Housing Partnership will meet on Tuesday, September 17th in Room 205 at 5:00 p.m. The agenda includes the following:

  • Review and Approval of Minutes – 7/23/2019
  • Northland Special Permit
    • Presentation by the Petitioner
    • Partnership Discussion and Vote
  • Washington Street Vision Plan and Zoning Update
    • 9/9 ZAP Meeting Update
    • Next Steps
  • West Newton Armory
    • Progress to Date
    • 9/19 – 8 a.m. site visit
    • Next steps:
      • Real Property/Reuse Meeting – Tuesday, September 17th at 7:00 p.m. – regarding Armory
  • Newton Housing Authority – Acquisition of CAN-DO portfolio
  • 40B Project Eligibility Applications
    • Dunstan East
    • 15 Riverdale Avenue
  • Staff overview of the 40B process
  • Discussion of Newton Housing Partnership Role
  • FY21-FY25 Consolidate Plan
    • Community Needs Assessment Sessions
    • Consolidate Plan Schedule
  • Boston Foundation’s Greater Boston Housing Report Card 2019
    • Presentation of the Report’s findings
    • Discussion and ideas for action
  • Upcoming Meetings

Newton Human Rights Commission: The Newton Human Rights Commission will meet Tuesday, September 17th at 7:00 p.m. in Room B15. The agenda includes the following:

  • Minutes
  • Hate Incidents
  • Complaints Received
  • Student Reports -related to Human Rights
  • MCAD Know Your Rights Training
  • Woman’s Suffrage Celebration
  • Livable Newton
  • Budget – proposals 2019-2020
  • Human Rights Award – scheduled for December

Board of Assessors Meeting: The Board of Assessors will meet on Wednesday, September 18th in Room 108 at 9:00 a.m. The agenda can be found here.

Youth Commission Meeting: The Youth Commission will meet on Wednesday, September 18th in Room 211 at 5:00 p.m. The agenda can be found here.

Chestnut Hill Historic District Commission: The Chestnut Hill Historic District Commission will meet on Thursday, September 19th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request for a Certificate of Appropriateness to expand driveway area at 119 Old Orchard Road
  • Request for a Certificate of Appropriateness to install a shed at 46 Acacia Avenue
  • Request for a Certificate of Appropriateness to replace second floor windows at 246 Beacon Street (Boston College)
  • Request for a Certificate of Appropriateness to build a rear addition at 40 Acacia Avenue (continuation)
  • Request for a Certificate of Appropriateness to rebuild the right-side sunroom, stairs and retaining wall at 17 Chestnut Hill Terrace (continuation)

The Staff Memo can be found here and the Packet documents can be found here.

School Committee to Meet on Monday, September 16th

The School Committee will meet on Monday, September 16th at 6:00 p.m. in Room 210 and vote to move into Executive Session in Room 304 to discuss strategy related to collective bargaining with the Newton Teachers Association and the Newton Educational Secretaries Association. The School Committee will then move out of Executive Session and return to Room 210 at 7:00 p.m. for its regularly scheduled meeting. The agenda includes the following:

Traffic Council to Meet on Thursday, September 19th

The Traffic Council will meet on Thursday, September 19th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 211. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request to make Cliff Road a one-way – NOTE: held for a trial: one-way in the eastbound direction; no parking on the northside
  • Request to add the blocks of Woodward Street between Lincoln and Route 9 into the Newton Highlands Parking District, including 991 – 1005 Boylston
  • Request to add a stop sign into the Traffic and Parking Regulations (TPR) on Forest Street, eastbound and westbound, at Chester Street, to match the existing signage
  • Request the reinstatement of parking prohibitions on California Street 1) north side, from Los Angeles Street westerly 115 feet; b) south side from Alison Street to a point 125 feet westerly to accommodate parking for business customers
  • Request for a two-hour parking restriction between 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. to deter commuter parking on Ricker Road
  • Request for a right-turn only lane on Washington Street westbound at Jackson Road to be added to the TPR
  • Request for an addition of a stop sign at the end of Warren Street at the intersection of Langley Road and at the end of Chase Street at the intersection of Langley Road
  • Request to approve a stop sign at the Long Meadow Road northbound approach to Old Farm Road
  • Request to modify language in the TPR for Central Street in Auburndale
  • Request for two dedicated ADA parking stalls east of Oak and Christina Street intersection along the northerly side of Chestnut Street

Shorter Winter Parking Ban, Enforcement and Fines for Sidewalk Clearance – Snow Removal and Short-term Rental ordinance (with amendments) were approved at last City Council Meeting

Winter Parking Ban: The City Council voted to approve a shorter winter parking ban which will now begin on December 1st and end on March 31st.

Sidewalk Clearing/Snow Removal: Enforcement and fines for violations of the sidewalk clearing/snow removal ordinance were approved. The draft ordinance can be found here.

Short-term Rental Ordinance: The proposals for ordinances related to short-term rental registration and permitting were approved. Details of the motions that were approved and that failed as well as other items that were acted on at the last City Council Meeting can be found here.