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Full City Council to Meet TONIGHT – December 4th – 8 + 8 – model to reduce the size of the Council on the Agenda

The Full City Council will meet TONIGHT – December 4th at 7:45 p.m in the City Council Chamber.  The Reports Docket can be found here and the new Docket can be found here.

The Council will take up the proposal to reduce the size of the City Council to 8 at-large with a representative from each of the Wards and 8 Ward elected from each of the Wards. The proposed draft Council Order can be found here.

City Council Committee Reports now available

Finance Committee:  The Finance Committee met on Monday, November 27th and voted to approve the following:  request for authorization to transfer $109,200 from the Budget Reserve Snow and Ice Account to fund overtime staffing expenses and tree services incurred and anticipated because of wind storms, request for authorization for $1,507,105 from bonded indebtedness to upgrade the City’s financial system, request to appropriate and expend $215,000 from bonded indebtedness to purchase a bucket truck for the forestry division, request to appropriate $213,000 from bonded indebtedness to renovate 3 tennis courts at McGrath Park, request for authorization for $192,000 from bonded indebtedness for the purchase of two Parks and Rec Trash and Recycling Vehicles, request for an abatement for a curb betterment at 321 Central Street, request to appropriate $5 million from the November 13, 2017 Overlay Surplus to fund the Accelerated Roads Program, request to accept a $44K grant from MassDEP to support the City’s recycling program, request to appropriate $35, 674 to settle a claim, and request to appropriate $26,000 to support changes in the Comptroller’s Office. All other items were held.  The report can be found here.

Real Property Reuse Committee:  The Real Property Reuse Committee met on Monday, November 27th and voted to approve the following:  request for amendments to Chapter 2, Section 7. Sale or lease of city owned real property, of the City of Newton Revised Ordinance, 2012 (The Real Property Reuse Ordinance) to clarify how properties are classified in regards to purpose, use, and ownership; the procedure to handle reused properties; and to address any other changes that might be needed. The report can be found here.

Land Use Committee:  The Land Use Committee met on Tuesday, November 28th and voted to approve the following:  request for a Consistency Ruling relative to a previously issued special permit for 37 Hamlet Street – Houghton Village – to allow for the replacement of an existing maintenance shed and add 159 square feet of space to extend a community room, request for an extension of time to exercise a special permit to rehabilitate Farwell Hall, construct an addition and grant a parking waiver and associated relief from parking lot requirements at 157 Herrick Road, request for Withdrawal without prejudice for a request for a special permit/site plan approval to develop off-site, non-accessory, single-level parking on the parcel at 55 Tower Road (Parcel 2) to serve the existing office building at 156 Oak Street, requiring a waiver of 84 parking stalls, a waiver to allow non-accessory parking on a lot separate from the principal use, waivers to allow parking within setbacks, waivers to dimensional requirements for parking stalls, waivers to the maximum width for entrance and exit drives, waivers for perimeter screening requirements for parking facilities, a waiver to interior landscaping requirements for parking facilities, waivers to lighting requirements for parking facilities, and waivers to
the requirement for curbing, wheel stops, guard rails, and bollards at 156 Oak Street
and 55 Tower Road,special permit/site plan approval to legalize a third unit and non-compliant lot area per unit in the existing non-conforming two-family at 69-71 Cherry Street, and special permit/site plan approval to relocate an existing dwelling, add a unit to the rear rear of the dwelling and construct two additional single-family attached dwellings in an MR-1 district for property located at 336 Newtonville Avenue, request for a zone change to MR-3 for land located at 392-396 Langley Road(MR-2; Parcel 1), 400 Langley Road (MR-2; Parcel 2), and 402-404 Langley Road (BU-1; Parcel 3)and  a request for a special permit/site plan approval to raze an existing two-family at 400 Langley Road and construct a 20 unit apartment building, legitimize a nonconforming deck and setback at 402-404 Langley Road, a reduction of parking to 1.25 stalls per unit or 83 stalls, parking in the side
setback, a waiver of dimensional requirements for parking, a waiver for requirements
for end stalls, a waiver for the minimum aisle width, a waiver of perimeter screening
and interior landscaping requirements, a waiver for lighting and surfacing requirements
and a waiver to allow multi-family dwellings in the MR-3 zone, at 392-396, 400, 402-404
Langley Road.  (See the following links:   Draft Council Order for Zone Change, Draft Council Order – clean and redline version, and Perkins Eastman memo).  The Committee also voted No Action Necessary on a request to rezone five parcels 156 Oak Street (Parcel1), 55 Tower Road (Parcel 2), 275-281 Needham Street (Parcel 3), 260 Needham Street(Parcel 4), 160 Charlemont Street(Parcel 5) to BU4 from MU1.  The report can be found here.

 

Public Facilities Committee:  The Public Facilities Committee met on Wednesday, November 29th and voted to approve the following:  request for approval of the West Newton Square Enhancement Project, request to extend the trial program for removal of snow from sidewalks, request to appropriate $5 million fro Overlay Surplus Declaration to fund the Accelerated Roads Program. The Committee voted No Action Necessary on a petition for a grant of location to install a pole on the southerly side of Bellevue Street in front of 35 Howard Street.  There was also substantive discussion of the Crescent Street project to create 8 units of housing and a renovated playground.  All other items were held.  The report can be found here.

Public Safety and Transportation Committee:  The Public Safety and Transportation Committee met on Wednesday, November 29th and voted to approve the following:  request to extend the trial program for removal of snow from sidewalks.  The Committee voted to No Action Necessary on a request for updates on the Washington Street Design.  The Committee – after several motions – voted to hold the West Newton Enhancement Project.  The Report can be found here.

Zoning and Planning Committee:  The Zoning and Planning Committee met on Monday, November 27th and voted to approve the following:  a zoning amendment to include lodging house ordinance to promulgate rules requiring annual fire, safety and health inspections and a licensing requirement.  All other items were held.  The report can be found here.

 

 

Other City Board and Commission Meetings – Week of December 3rd

The following Boards and Commissions are scheduled to meet this week:

Planning and Development Board:  The Planning and Development Board is scheduled to meet on Monday, December 4th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 204 and is expected to discuss the following:  hold a public hearing on the Food Truck Ordinance, hold a public hearing to on a Definitive Plan of Land for the Carlson Avenue extension,discuss the Northland Rezoning Project and the Needham Street Vision Plan and proposed amendments to the Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance. For more information, please contact Rachel Powers by phone at: 617-796-1125 or by email at:  rpowers@newtonma.gov.

28 Austin Street Liaison Committee:  The Austin Street Liaison Committee is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, December 5th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205.  The Committee will review building plans, construction management plan and business engagement plans, and discussion on consistency requests and pre-construction activities.  More information about the project can be found here.

Fair Housing Committee:  The Fair Housing Committee is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, December 6th at 8:00 a.m. in Room 205 and is expected to the discuss the proposed amendments to the Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance.  For more information, please contact Malcolm Lucas by phone atL  617-796-1149 or by email at:  mlucas@newtonma.gov.

Newton Free Library Trustees:  The Trustees are scheduled to meet on Wednesday, December 6th at 9:00 a.m. at the Newton Free Library Director’s Office and is expected to discuss the Trustee’s Fund Investment Policy.

Please note:  The Auburndale Historic District Commission and the Newtonville Historic District Commission meetings have been cancelled.

City Council Committee Meetings – Week of November 26th

The following City Council Committees are scheduled to meet this week:

Real Property Reuse Committee:  The Real Property Reuse Committee is scheduled to meet TONIGHT at 6:00 p.m. in Room 211 and is scheduled to discuss a proposed amendment to clarify how properties are classified in regards to purpose, use, and ownership; the procedure to handle reused properties; and to address any other changes that might be needed.  The agenda can be found here.  Please note:  This item was discussed and voted 3 – 0 for approval at the previous meeting of the Real Property Reuse Committee.

Finance Committee:  The Finance Committee is scheduled to meet TONIGHT at 7:00 p.m. in Room 211 and will first, meet jointly with the Programs and Services Committee to discuss the following:  transfer of $109,200 from Budget Reserve Snow and Ice to fund overtime staffing and tree service incurred because of severe wind storms.  The Finance Committee will then take up the following:  request to appropriate $1,507,105 from bonded indebtedness to upgrade the City’s financial system to Tyler Technology’s Munis
Software, request to appropriate and expend $215,000 from bonded indebtedness for the purpose of purchasing a bucket truck for the Forestry Division of the Parks and Recreation
Department, request to appropriate and expend $213,000 from bonded indebtedness for the purpose of renovating three tennis courts at McGrath Park, request to appropriate and expend $192,000 from bonded indebtedness for the purpose of replacing the current Parks & Recreation trash truck with two F-550 6-cubic yard packers – one for trash and one for recycling, request for an abatement of a curb betterment assessment in the
amount of $3,400, which improved 321 Central Street Auburndale, request to appropriate
$5,000,000 from the November 13, 2017 Overlay Surplus Declaration to fund the
Accelerated Roads Program, request to accept and expend a $44,000 grant from the
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection as part of the Recycling
Dividends Grant Program, request to appropriate $35,674.65 from the Judgments and
Settlements Account to fund an indemnification award, request to appropriate $2,000,000 from the November 13, 2017 Overlay Surplus Declaration to the Rainy Day
Stabilization Fund, and a request to transfer $26,000 within the Comptroller’s budget from the Staffing Reserve Account to the Full-time Salaries Account to support changes in the Comptroller’s Office.  The agenda can be found here.

Programs and Services Committee: The Programs and Services Committee is scheduled to meet TONIGHT at 7:00 p.m. in Room 211 to meet jointly with the Finance Committee to discuss the following:   to discuss the following:  transfer of $109,200 from Budget Reserve Snow and Ice to fund overtime staffing and tree service incurred because of severe wind storms.  The agenda can be found here.

Zoning and Planning Committee:  The Zoning and Planning Committee is scheduled to meet TONIGHT at 7:15 p.m. in Room 205 to discuss the following:  request to acquire land at 300 Hammond Pond Parkway (see Appraisal), request for an amendment to the Zoning Ordinance and create a lodging house ordinance which would allow for annual fire, safety and health inspections and licensing of buildings, request to amend the Zoning Ordinance to establish licensing requirements and criteria for lodging houses, and a request to increase the Inclusionary Zoning requirement from 15% to 25%.  The agenda can be found here.

Land Use Committee:  The Land Use Committee is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, November 28th in the Council Chambers and is expected to discuss the following:  request for a Consistency Ruling regarding a previously issued special permit/site plan approval for property located at 37 Hamlet (Houghton Village) in order to replace an existing maintenance shed and add 159 sq. feet to extend a community room, request for an extension of time to exercise a special permit/site plan approval granted for property located at 157 Herrick Road to rehabilitate Farwell Hall, construct an addition and grant a parking waiver and associated relief from parking lot requirements, request to rezone five parcels at the Northland site and a request for a special permit/site plan approval to allow for non-accessory parking at the Northland site, special permit/site plan approval to legalize a third unit and non-compliant lot area per unit in the existing non-conforming two-family at 69-71 Cherry Street, request for a special permit/site plan approval to
relocate an existing dwelling, add a unit to the rear of the dwelling and construct two
additional single-family attached dwellings in an MR-1 district, requiring a special permit
at 336 Newtonville Avenue, request to rezone three parcels on Langley Road and a special permit/site plan approval to develop 20,000+ sq. ft. of gross square area by razing the existing two-family at 400 Langley and constructing a three-story, 20-unit multi-family
apartment building, legitimize a nonconforming deck and setback at 402-404 Langley
Road, a reduction of parking to 1.25 stalls per unit or 83 stalls, parking in the side
setback, a waiver of dimensional requirements for parking, a waiver for requirements
for end stalls, a waiver for the minimum aisle width, a waiver of perimeter screening
and interior landscaping requirements, a waiver for lighting and surfacing requirements
and a waiver to allow multi-family dwellings in the MR-3 zone, at 392-396, 400, 402-404
Langley Road, request to extend the notification area for special permit petitions, request for a discussion on fees for special permits, and a request for a report from the Planning Department regarding  how many of the affordable units developed at Commonwealth Avenue, Pearl Street, and Eddy Street qualify for inclusion on the State’s Subsidized Housing Inventory List; if a property is not on the list, what can be done to make it eligible.   The agenda can be found here.

Public Faciities Committee:  The Public Facilities Committee will meet on Wednesday, November 29th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 204 and is scheduled to meet jointly with the Public Safety and Transportation Committee on the following items:  request for approval of the West Newton Enhancement Project on Washington Street from Chestnut Street to Lucas Court, request for updates on the Washington Street design, and a request to extend the trial for the sidewalk snow shoveling ordinance.  The Public Facilities Committee will then continue its meeting and discuss the following:  petition for a grant of location to install a new pole on Bellevue Street, a request for a Section 5-58 schematic design and site plan approval for the creation of mixed-use housing, redevelopment of the Reverend Ford Playground, and expand open space by at least 20,000 square feet at 70 Crescent Street, update on the Accelerated Roads Program, update on the Cabot Elementary School construction project, request for an update on the Library Expansion Project and a request for an update on the Archives Expansion Project.  The Public Hearing Notice for the Crescent Street project can be found here and the agenda can be found here.

Public Safety and Transportation Committee:  The Public Safety and Transportation Committee will meet on Wednesday, November 29th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205 and is scheduled to meet jointly with the Public Facilities Committee on the following items:  request for approval of the West Newton Enhancement Project on Washington Street from Chestnut Street to Lucas Court, request for updates on the Washington Street design, and a request to extend the trial for the sidewalk snow shoveling ordinance.  The agenda can be found here.

Recodification Committee:  The Recodification Committee is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, November 29th at 8:30 a.m. in the Clerk’s Office.  The agenda can be found here.

 

Other City Board and Commission Meetings – Week of November 26th

The following City Boards and Commissions are scheduled to meet this week:

Crescent Street Working Group:  The Crescent Street Working Group is scheduled to meet TODAY, Monday, November 27th at 4:00 p.m. in Room 204.  The agenda can be found here.

Council on Aging:  The Council on Aging is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, November 28th at 7:30 p.m. at the Senior Center, 345 Walnut Street.  The agenda can be found here.

School Committee:  The School Committee is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, November 28th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 210 at the Ed Center, 100 Walnut Street.  Prior to the School Committee meeting, the School Committee will meet at 6:00 p.m.in Room 304 and hold a caucus to elect new officers.  The Caucus Notice can be found here and the agenda can be found here.

Committee on Community Preservation:  The Community Preservation Committee is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, November 28th at 7:30 p.m. in Room 204 and is expected to discuss the following:  request to submit an off-cycle proposal for $2,640,000 in additional CPA funding for design and construction of the 70 Crescent Street mixed-use housing and playground expansion project.  The agenda and pre-meeting packet can be found here.

Conservation Committee:  The Conservation Commission is scheduled to meet on Thursday, November 30th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 204 and is expected to discuss the following:  request to amend an Order of Conditions to allow for installation of a blue stone patio and a fire pit for property located at 19 Patten Circle, request for a Notice of Intent for infrastructure improvements to support development of 8 single family dwellings at Carlson Avenue (near Mt. Ida College), ex post facto request for a Notice of Intent for emergency culvert repair and dredging of a detention pond for property located at 77 Florence Street (Hampton Place condominiums), Notice of Intent for demolition of a single-family home to construct a duplex at 73 Beaconwood Road.  The agenda can be found here, and the packet info can be found here.

Energy Commission:  The Citizens Commission on Energy is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, November 29th at 7:30 p.m. in the Cafeteria and is scheduled to discuss the following;  Community Choice Aggregation, update on the Rumford Solar project (including the proposed and approved fence) and other related solar projects, and an update on Eversource’s proposal to change the net metering rates.  The agenda can be found here.

Development Review Team Meetings – Week of November 26th

The following Development Review Team meetings are scheduled for this week for the following potential projects:

  • 12 Acorn Drive – Special permit to Increase FAR for porch addition to single‐
    family dwelling (SR3)
  • 2095 Commonwealth Avenue – Special Permit to allow exceptions from the sign ordinance
  • 26 Owatonna Street –  Proposed rear addition to single‐family dwelling (existing
    1953 variance) (SR3)

Announcements

West Newton Square Enhancements Projects: The project team will host a drop-in session to meet on Tuesday, November 21st from 8:30 – 11:00 a.m. and again on Tuesday, November 28th from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. at L’Aroma Café at 15 Spencer Street, West Newton. For more information, please go here.

 

Council Committee Reports – Now Available

The following Committee Reports are now available:

Programs and Services Committee:  The Programs and Services Committee met on Wednesday, November 7th and voted to approve the following:  request for authorization to appropriate $215,000 from bonded indebtedness to purchase a bucket truck for the Forestry Division, request for authorization to appropriate $213,000 from bonded indebtedness to renovate three tennis courts at McGrath Park, request for authorization to appropriate $192,000 from bonded indebtedness to replace the current Parks and Recreation trash truck with two F-550 6 cubic yard packers – one for trash and one for recycling,  requesting to amend Chapter 17, Sections 17‐46 through 17‐50 to allow Food Trucks specifically at Wells Avenue, appointment of Peter Doherty to the Newton Commonwealth Foundation, re-appointment of Marietta Marchitelli to the Jackson Homestead, re-appointment of Russel Feldman to the Jackson Homestead, and re-appointment of Thekla Diehl to the Biosafety Committee. All other items were held. The Committee also held a public hearing on a proposal to amend the City Charter and reduce the size of the City Council to 16 – with 8 Councilors elected at-large with a residency requirement and 8 Councilors elected by the Ward only with a residency requirement. Please see the report for more info. The Committee Report can be found here.

Public Facilities Committee:  The Public Facilities Committee met on Wednesday, November 8th and voted to approve the following:  request to the Mayor to take necessary steps to construct a  9 ½’ chain link fence with ivy around the exterior of the Rumford Avenue solar site, request to accept a drainage easement at the end of Lake Terrace extending the shoreline of Crystal Lake, and a request for authorization to appropriate $280,000 from bonded indebtedness to purchase a Gradall vehicle for the Public Works Department. The following items were voted No Action Necessary:  request for a discussion with the Department of Public Works regarding a policy for use of salt for snow clearing operations, request to pilot a curbside food waste program, request for an update on the Second Water Meter program, request for a discussion on the condition of the Kennard Estate building, and a request for updates on the fire station renovations.  All other items were held.  The Comittee report can be found here.

Public Safety and Transportation Committee:  The Public Safety and Transportation Committee met on Wednesday, November 8th and voted to approve the following:  request for authorization to appropriate $106,000 from bonded indebtedness for the purpose of upgrading the Toughbooks equipment in the Police Department’s first line response vehicles, request for authorization to appropriate $1,200,000 from bonded indebtedness to replace the Fire Department’s Ladder Truck #2, appeal of the denial of Traffic Council petition TC12‐17 on June 22, 2017 for a four‐way stop sign at the intersection of Fairway Drive and Bunker Lane in West Newton, proposal to amend procedures to docket Traffic Council petitions, proposal to amend overtime parking ordinance, and a proposal to amend parking ordinance regarding enforcement of the Melrose Avenue parking area.  The Committee Report can be found here.

Zoning and Planning Committee:  The Zoning and Planning Committee met on Monday, November 13th and voted to approve the following:  appointment of Anne Killilea to the Commission on Disability, and an ordinance to allow food trucks in the City of Newton – initially restricted to Wells Avenue – (see Planning Department Memo).All other items were held. The report can be found here.

Land Use Committee:  The Land Use Committee met on Tuesday, November 14th and voted to approve the following:  request for an extension of time to exercise a special permit to construct four
attached single-family dwellings in two buildings and to locate a driveway within 10 feet
of a side lot line at 5-7 Elm Street and 114 River Street, petition for a special permit/site plan approval to legalize third unit and non-compliant lot area per unit in the existing
non-conforming two-family at 69-71 Cherry Street,  petition for a special permit/site plan approval  to redraw lot lines of three existing lots into two irregular shaped lots,
creating a higher than allowable build factor of 28.08 where 20 is allowed at an
unnumbered lot, 22 & 26 Goddard Street, request to extend notification to abutters for special permit petitions, request for a discussion with the Planning & Development Department regarding the fees charged for Special Permits and what the actual costs are for issuing Special Permits, and a request for a report from the Planning Department re how many of the affordable units developed at Commonwealth Avenue, Pearl Street, and Eddy Street qualify for inclusion on the State’s Subsidized Housing Inventory List; if a property is not on the list, what can be done to make it eligible.  The Committee report can be found here.  The Council Order for the Cherry Street petition can be found here.

Programs and Services Committee:  The Programs and Services Committee met on Wednesday, November 15th and voted to approve the proposed amendment to the Charter to reduce the size of the City Council from 24 to 16 – eliminating 8 of the at-large Councilors and consisting of 8 at-large Councilors with a residency requirement and 8 Ward only elected Councilors with a residency requirement.  The report can be found here.

Real Property and Reuse Committee:  The Real Property and Reuse Committee met on Thursday, November 16th and voted to approve a request for amendments to Chapter 2, Section 7, regarding the sale or lease of City-owned property.  The report can be found here.