All posts by Amy Sangiolo

Reminder: Newton Power Choice Survey – (Looks like it’s still up!)

Despite survey work that had been conducted by Green Newton volunteers earlier this year, the City is attempting to collect data from residents on how much more we are willing to pay for cleaner/greener electricity.  The survey, which requires you to enter your email address but not necessarily your home address to verify residency, can be found here.

An update on the Newton Power Choice Program can be found in the most recent Public Facilities Committee Report here.

Reminder: “Wondering About Weed?” event at Mt. Ida Campus of UMASS Amherst – November 28th – 6:30 p.m.

According to the description of this event, sponsored by the Newton Health and Human Services Department:  “Mayor Ruthanne Fuller will introduce local experts Kevin Hill, MD and Nicole Danforth, MD who will enlighten us with myths and facts about marijuana science, health risks & benefits, adolescents & the developing brain and adult recreational and medical marijuana use. Dr. Kevin Hill is an addiction psychiatrist, cannabis researcher and author at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital. Dr. Nicole Danforth is a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Newton Wellesley Hospital. They’ll be joined by Elizabeth Booma, MD, to answer questions from the audience. Whether you’re an adult considering giving legal marijuana a try, a parent worried about preventing teen use, or just plain curious, this is the event for you! It’s free and open to the public.”

City Council Committee Meetings – Week of November 25th

Zoning and Planning Committee:  The Zoning and Planning Committee will meet on Monday, November 26th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205. The agenda includes the following:

  • Discussion and adoption of the Economic Development Strategy Plan
  • Monthly progress update on the Washington Street Corridor Action Plan
  • Discussion and review of the Draft Zoning Ordinance
  • Discussion of Public Hearing (set for December 10th) to delay the effective date of the garage ordinance
  • Two items proposed for No Action Necessary:
    • Discussion related to Zoning Redesign Event Series
    • Discussion related to Draft Policy Content Outline of the Zoning Ordinance

Finance Committee:  The Finance Committee will not meet on Monday, November 26th.  The cancellation notice can be found here. The next scheduled meeting of the Finance Committee will be on Monday, December 10th.

Land Use Committee:  The Land Use Committee will meet on Tuesday, November 27th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 211. The agenda includes the following:

  • Four appointments to the Newton Wellesley Neighborhood Council:  Jay Flynn, Bonnie Rosenberg, Terry Sherman, and Theresa Fitzpatrick
  • Request for a special permit/site plan approval to allow for the expansion of a multi-family dwelling use by constructing a three-story multi-family development, allowing non-conforming front setback and various waivers to parking requirements at 182-184 and 166 California Street – See Planning Memo
  • Request for a special permit/site plan approval to construct a rear addition to the first floor and basement levels exceeding the maximum FAR of .42 where .50 exists and .54 is proposed at 132 Pleasant Street – See Planning Memo
  • Request for a special permit/site plan approval to allow four parking stalls in the front setbacks of the existing two-family dwelling at 79 Crescent Street/Robinhood Streets – See Planning Memo
  • Request for a special permit/site plan approval to allow an increase in the number of teachers and students in the program by waiving 17 parking stalls at 2330 Washington Street (Artisan Child Care/Curtis House, LLC) – See Planning Memo

The Public Hearing Notice can be found here.

Public Facilities Committee:  The Public Facilities Committee will meet on Wednesday, November 28th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 204. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request to amend the Stormwater Fee ($100 for 1-4 family dwellings;  $0.0425 per square foot of impervious surface area, except that if the square footage charge multiplied by the total impervious area of the parcel equals a sum less than $150.00, then the annual fee shall be $150.00)
  • Request for ordinance amendments to increase the fees for utility grants of location other than wireless communications facilities

Traffic Council:  The Traffic Council will meet on Thursday, November 29th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 211. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request for an accessible parking space in front of 851 Watertown Street (NOTE:  Approved by Newton Commission on Disability)
  • Request for a Stop Sign on Marshall Street at the intersection of Marshall and Sumner Streets
  • Request to extend the No Parking From Here to Corner zone on the west side of Pleasant Street south of Bracebridge Road (this would shorten the size of the Blue Zone)
  • Request the addition of Stop Signs at the intersection of Glen Avenue and Elgin Street to create a 4-way stop
  • Request temporary removal of 6 parking meters in the proximity of 1164 Centre Street with the spaces to be reserved for Fire Department Staff, to accommodate parking for Fire Station 3/Fire Headquarters
  • Request additional parking opportunities on the south side of Willow Street to accommodate parking needs associated with the new Fire Department Headquarters
  • Request for a Stop Sign at a) the intersection of Allerton Road and Hyde Street; and b) the intersection of Allerton and Cushing Street
  • Request a No Right on Red restriction from Waltham Street onto Washington Street
  • Requests to change the distribution of time limits in the following parking lots to install reserved spaces for EV charging stations and EV shared vehicles:
    • Richardson Street Public Parking Lot
    • Lexington Street Public Parking Lot
    • Pleasant Street and Pelham Street Public Parking Lot
  • Nomination, Election and Term Length discussion for Traffic Council Chair

 

School Committee to Hold a Public Hearing on Tuesday, November 27th

The Newton School Committee will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, November 27th at 630 p.m. at the Seashole Auditorium, Newton South High School, 140 Brandeis Road on a Citizens Petition filed requesting the following actions:

  • Adopt a policy of total transparency regarding curriculum concerning history, social studies, geography,
    and any and all topics related to the conflicts in the Middle East and to world religions.
  • Allow the public immediate and continual access to all teaching materials used and discussed in these areas including, but not limited to text books, hand-outs, assignments, films, power-point presentations, speakers, internet resources, and workshops
  • Vet all teaching materials and approaches concerning the above topics using a panel of scholars, historians and educators
  • Immediately cease all teaching on these topics until such time as properly vetted, unbiased materials can be identified
  • Contact students by official mail to explain how some of the materials they were taught qualify as biased and propaganda and were not explained as such to the students, and apologize for these errors
  • Convene an all-school seminar on “the new anti-Semitism” which makes of the Jewish state, “the Jew among the nations” with special workshops for teachers and students. The new anti-Semitism has been widely studied and consists at base of the treatment of Israel in ways no other nation state is treated
  • Terminate Superintendent David Fleishman

The Notice of Public Hearing can be found here.

City Board and Commission Meetings – Week of November 25th

Newton-Wellesley Hospital Neighborhood Council:  The Newton-Wellesley Hospital Neighborhood Council will meet on Tuesday, November 27th at 8:00 a.m. at Newton Wellesley Hospital, Bowles Conference Center, 2nd floor South, Conference Room 2.  The agenda can be found here.

Zoning Board of Appeals:  The Zoning Board of Appeals will meet on Tuesday, November 27th at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber. The agenda includes the following:

  • Discussion and adoption of changes to the Rules of the Zoning Board of Appeals effective January 26, 2016 and briefing from the Law Department about items in litigation
  • Public Hearing on an appeal of a Stop Work Order issued on 12-14 Princeton Street

Council on Aging and Advisory Board:  The Council on Aging and Advisory Board will meet on Tuesday, November 27th at 7:30 p.m. at the Senior Center, 345 Walnut Street. The agenda includes the following:

  • Election of Officer – Treasurer
  • Workgroup Update/Discussion – (issues, concerns, problems)
  • Outdoor Spaces and Buildings Workgroup – COA NewCAL
  • Aging Boomers Project

Urban Design Commission:  The Urban Design Commission will meet on Wednesday, November 28th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 204. The agenda includes the following review of sign permits:

  • Fusion Academy – 320 Needham Street
  • Dr. Alex Smolyar, DMD – 71 Needham Street
  • West Newton Hearing Center – 1298 Washington Street
  • Veterinary Emergency Group – 165 Needham Street
  • Trefler’s – 29 Tower Road
  • Garden City Vape & Smoke – 21 Lincoln Street
  • Learning Prep School – 1507 Washington Street
  • Atlas Contracting, Inc. – 624 Commonwealth Avenue
  • Fleuri – 1-27 Boylston Street

Newton Citizens Commission on Energy:  The Newton Citizens Commission on Energy will meet on Wednesday, November 28th at 7:30 p.m. in Room 211. The agenda includes the following:

  • Selection of Chair and Vice Chair
  • Adoption of Interim Work on Newton Climate Action Plan
  • December and January Schedules

Newton Free Library Board of Trustees:  The Newton Free Library Board of Trustees will meet on Wednesday, November 28th at 8:00 a.m. in the Trustees Room at the Newton Free Library. The agenda (which does not have the attached referenced documents) includes the following:

  • Reports from the President, Treasurer, Library Director, Development, Friends, and Committees (Trustees/Friends coordination and Spring Fling Planning)
  • Continuing Business – Trustees Investment Policy, Capital Project Planning update, Policy on Conduct in the Library, Policy for the Makerspace)
  • Solar Panel Project – presentation and discussion
  • Collection Materials Security
  • ADA Compliance
  • Strategic Action Plan
  • Visitors Discussion

 

Newton Power Choice Survey

Despite survey work that had been conducted by Green Newton volunteers earlier this year, the City is attempting to collect data from residents on how much more we are willing to pay for cleaner/greener electricity.  The survey, which requires you to enter your email address but not necessarily your home address to verify residency, can be found here.

An update on the Newton Power Choice Program can be found in the most recent Public Facilities Committee Report here.

“Wondering About Weed?” event at Mt. Ida Campus of UMASS Amherst – November 28th – 6:30 p.m.

According to the description of this event, sponsored by the Newton Health and Human Services Department:  “Mayor Ruthanne Fuller will introduce local experts Kevin Hill, MD and Nicole Danforth, MD who will enlighten us with myths and facts about marijuana science, health risks & benefits, adolescents & the developing brain and adult recreational and medical marijuana use. Dr. Kevin Hill is an addiction psychiatrist, cannabis researcher and author at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital. Dr. Nicole Danforth is a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Newton Wellesley Hospital. They’ll be joined by Elizabeth Booma, MD, to answer questions from the audience. Whether you’re an adult considering giving legal marijuana a try, a parent worried about preventing teen use, or just plain curious, this is the event for you! It’s free and open to the public.”

Full City Council to meet on Monday, November 19th

The Council will meet ion Monday, November 19th at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber in Committee of the Whole with the Finance Chair presiding in order to hold a public hearing on the proposed FY2019 Municipal Property Tax Levy Distribution. The Tax Classification Booklet can be found here. The Committee of the Whole agenda can be found here. The Full City Council will then meet at 7:45 p.m. in the Council Chamber to conduct it’s regular meeting. The Reports Docket can be found here and the New Docket can be found here.

The Council will vote on proposed zoning regulations for retail marijuana facilities. The Draft Ordinance can be found here. A memo from Councilor Baker alerting the Council of a proposed amendment (reducing the square footage) can be found here.