All posts by Amy Sangiolo

Riverside Visioning Needs Your Comments NOW – Deadline – 11:59 p.m. April 12th!

The City’s Planning and Development Department, with the assistance of the planning consulting firm, Civic Moxie, is in the process of developing a vision plan for the Riverside Station site.

The most recent meeting was held on March 28th at Lasell College. The following were presented and made available to those in attendance:

Now with the filing of the Special Permit by Mark Development, it is even more important to ensure that your voice is heard to help shape the vision for this parcel. I’d say you only get one shot at this, but this is the actually the second actual special permit process for this parcel within the past 7 years.

Click Here to go to coUrbanize to comment on the Riverside Vision.  AGAIN:  Comments on the principles are due before April 12th at 11:59 p.m.

Tell Me the Truth: Exploring the Heart of Cross Racial Conversations – April 9th – Angier Elementary School

FORJ, Families Organizing for Racial Justice is sponsoring a cross-racial conversation between celebrated author of Waking Up White, Debby Irving and Shay Stewart-Bouley, blogger and Executive Director of Community Change Inc. as they share racism’s impact on their lives and how cross-racial conversation has been instrumental in their own understanding of 21st century racial dynamics.  The event will take place on Tuesday, April 9th at 7:30 p.m. at the Angier Elementary School.

City Council Meetings – Week of April 7th

Finance Committee:  The Finance Committee will meet on Monday, April 8th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 211. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request authorization to appropriate $5.6 million from bonded indebtedness to fund construction of the West Newton Square Project which includes street and pedestrian improvements, traffic flow upgrades, signal upgrades, and the addition of bike lanes
  • Request authorization to appropriate $129,000 from the Sewer Reserve Fund to install a sewer connection from Rumford Avenue transfer station for an office trailer at the site
  • Request authorization to appropriate $256,000 from the Sewer Reserve Fund to fund the Staniford Street Sewer Extension
  • Request authorization to appropriate $500,000 from Free Cash to fund Rental Vehicles and Regular Overtime for snow and ice removal
  • Request authorization to appropriate $250,000 from Stormwater Management Fund Surplus Account for cleaning, inspection, and assessment of a concrete box culvert located adjacent to 170 Needham Street that conveys stormwater from the South Meadow Brook drainage basin
  • Request for an ordinance prohibiting polystyrene-based disposable food or beverage containers in the City of Newton if that packaging takes place on the premises of food establishments in the City of Newton
  • Re-appointment of Emma Watkins of the Newton Taxation Aid Committee

Zoning and Planning Committee:  The Zoning and Planning Committee will meet on Monday, April 8th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request City Council authorization to submit the FY20 Annual Action Plan to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development for the City of Newton Community Development Block Grant and Emergency Solution Grant funds and the WestMetro HOME Consortium – See Planning Department Memo
  • Request for amendments to the Inclusionary Housing provisions of the Newton Zoning Ordinance to increase the required percentage of affordable units; to require that some affordable units be designated for middle income households; to create a new formula for calculating payments in lieu of affordable units; and to clarify and improve the ordinance with other changes as necessary – See Planning Department Memo
  • Discussion and update on the Washington Corridor action plan – See Planning Department Memo
  • Request to amend the Newton Zoning Ordinance to create a short-term rental ordinance that defines the short-term rental and bed and breakfast uses, identifies allowable zoning districts and criteria, conditions, limitations and permitting process – See Planning Department Memo
  • Request to amend Chapter 20 and Chapter 17 of the Revised Ordinances of the City of Newton to create a short-term rental ordinance with fees that would require registration of short-term rentals with the City of Newton’s Inspectional Services Department and fire inspections to protect public health and safety – See Planning Department Memo (same as above)
  • Discussion and update of the Riverside Visioning Plan – See Planning Department Memo

Land Use Committee:  The Land Use Committee will meet on Tuesday, April 9th at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber. The agenda will focus on traffic and transportation impacts of the Northland Development.  See Planning Department Memo.

Blue Ribbon Commission:  The Blue Ribbon Commission will meet on Tuesday, April 9th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205. The agenda includes the following:

  • Open Comments from the Community
  • Review Feedback from the Outreach Committee

The most recent report of the Blue Ribbon Commission can be found here.

Joint Meeting of the Programs and Services Committee and Finance Committee:  The Programs and Services Committee and the Finance Committee will meet jointly on Wednesday, April 10th at 7:00 p.m. The agenda includes the following:

Traffic Council:  The Traffic Council will meet on Thursday, April 11th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 211. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request for a Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon to be installed at Waltham Street crosswalks near Derby Street and Fairway Drive
  • Request discussion and potential approval of the first phase of a new Village Parking District for Newton Highlands to include Lincoln Street, Columbus Street between Lincoln and Forest Streets, and Bowdoin Street between Lincoln Street and Erie Avenue. This new Newton Highlands Parking District  would provide parking permits to residents and a limited number of non-residents which would override posted parking restrictions
  • Request for staff parking permits at 82 Lincoln Street to allow Newton Housing Authority residents to park on the property at 82 Lincoln Street
  • Request for an afternoon parking restriction between 1:00 p.m.  6:00 p.m. at two parking spaces in front of 72 Columbus Street to accommodate drop-off and pick-up during the after-school program
  • Request for the addition of two stop signs at the intersection of Otis Street, Hillside Avenue (southbound approach), and Fountain Street (northbound approach)
  • Request to add the list of fire lanes into the City’s Traffic and Parking Regulations (TPR)
  • Request to add the existing stop signs located at Park Street and Franklin Street into the City’s Traffic and Parking Regulations (TPR)

School Committee to Meet on Monday, April 8th

The School Committee will meet on Monday, April 8th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 210 at the Ed Center, 100 Walnut Street. The agenda includes the following:

  • Superintendent’s Report
  • Public Comment Session
  • Consent Agenda
  • New Business
    • EDCO Update
  • Old Business
    • High School Schedule, Start Time and Transportation Update – See Presentation and see Memo
  • Communications

City Board and Commission Meetings – Week of April 7th

Commission on Disability:  The Commission on Disability will meet on Monday, April 8th at 6:30 p.m. in Room 204. The agenda includes the following:

  • Approval of 3/11/19 minutes
  • Reports
    • CDBG
    • Accessible Fines
    • Treasurer
    • ADA Coordinator
  • Accessible Parking Space Request
  • Planning for Gann Academy Presentation
  • Old/New Business

Auburndale Historic District Commission:  The Auburndale Historic District Commission will meet on Tuesday, April 9th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request for a Certificate of Appropriateness to enclose two right-side porches at 51 Hancock Street
  • Request for a Certificate of Appropriateness to move a window at 330 Central Street
  • Request for a Certificate of Appropriateness to install a fence at 24 Hancock Street (violation)

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

Economic Development Commission:  The Economic Development Commission will meet on Tuesday, April 9th at 6:30 p.m. in Room 211. The agenda includes the following:

  • N2 Update
  • Approval of March Minutes
  • Discussion Item – Evaluating Developer Proposals
  • Future Meeting Agenda:
    • May – Northland onsite – May 7th
    • June – Cheesecake Brook project and Washington Street Vision Plan

Health and Human Services Advisory Council:  The Health and Human Services Advisory Council will meet on Tuesday, April 9th at 6:30 p.m. in the Health and Human Services Conference Room located in the Basement of City Hall. The agenda includes the following:

  • Teresa Kett, public health program specialist to discuss Medical Reserve Corps and Emergency Preparedness
  • Youth Commission Project – Mental Health Survey and recommendations to the School Committee
  • E-cigarette Youth Prevention Efforts:  School Forum, Schools and Health and Human Services Working Groups, Generation Citizen Presentations
  • Upcoming Health and Human Services Programs:
  • Newton Creates:  Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Program
  • New April vacation program for 8th and 9th grade students
  • Parenting Program: Joani Geltman
  • Improbably Players Program

Design Review Committee:  The Design Review Committee will meet on Wednesday, April 10th at 6:00 p.m. in the Trustees Room at the Newton Free Library. The agenda includes the following:

  • Lincoln-Eliot Elementary School Window Replacement Project – 191 Pearl Street
  • Newton Early Childhood Program Project – 687 Watertown Street

Urban Design Commission:  The Urban Design Commission will meet on Wednesday, April 10th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 204. The agenda includes the following:

  • Four requests for sign permits:
    • People’s United Bank – 33 Austin Street
    • Palm Beach Tan – 275 Centre Street
    • Peloton – 43 Boylston Street
    • Newton Nail Bar & Spa – 148 California Street
  • Design Review of 156 Oak Street – Northland Design Review

Newton Upper Falls Historic District Commission:  The Newton Upper Falls Historic District Commission will meet on Thursday, April 11th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request for a Certificate of Appropriateness to demolish the house at 959 Chestnut Street
  • Request for a Certificate of Appropriateness – review of as-built front entry porch project at 33 Sullivan Avenue

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

Development Review Team Meetings – Week of April 7th

The following potential projects/proposals are scheduled to meet with the Development Review Team this week:

  • 10 Carl Street – Replace existing single-family dwelling, possible side
    setback issue
  • 68 Manet Road – Extension of a nonconforming (setbacks) detached garage
    to allow for a roof deck and connection to existing two-family dwelling
  • 86 Athlestane Road – Possible variance to allow use of attic level as living space
  • 900-916 Walnut St / 1082 Beacon Street –  Possible Special Permit amendment to modify previously approved site plan

See Development Review Team Snapshot here.

Announcements and Upcoming Events

Dog Licenses:  Time to renew your dog licenses:  All dogs six months old and older must be licensed annually beginning April 1st of each year. More information can be found here.

Porchfest 2019Today, April 1st, is the last day to register for Porchfest 2019. PorchFest is an afternoon of free music performed outside of people’s homes. Newton now joins the 100+ other cities across the country who hold this every year. This year, Porchfest has been expanded to include not only Auburndale, but also, Lower Falls, and Waban.  More information can be found here.

Forum on Vaping:  The Superintendent is hosting a forum on the vaping epidemic among youth on Tuesday, April 2nd, from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. in the Newton South High School auditorium.  Attorney General Maura Healey will provide the keynote for the event and medical experts and NPS educators will provide information, insight, and education for families and community members. Mark your calendar and join this very important free event. Go here to RSVP.

Newton Open Studios:  Newton Open Studios will host a dessert reception on Wednesday, April 3rd, from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at the Newton Free Library. Dozens of artists will be on hand along with an array of some of the wonderful art and crafts that will be exhibited at the Newton Open Studios locations throughout the City next weekend – April 6-7.  More information about Newton Open Studios can be found here.

League of Women VotersDon’t Just Stand There …Run  – The League of Women Voters will host a workshop for potential candidates, campaign managers, campaign treasurers, and all interested citizens to provide information and advice about political campaigns. The workshop will be held on Thursday, April 4th from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. at Newton City Hall in Room 211.

Newton Nomadic Theater:  Newton Nomadic Theater’s newest show, Colder Than Here, starts on April 5th.  More information about the performance, venues, and tickets can be found here.

John M. Barry Newton Boys and Girls Club Gala:  The John M. Barry Newton Boys and Girls Club will host it’s annual Gala, Reach for the Stars, this Saturday evening, April 6th at the Club, 675 Watertown Street, from 6:00 – 10:00 p.m. More information about the Gala and ticket information can be found here.

 

School Department moves forward with relocation of Newton Early Childhood Program

The School Department is moving forward with plans to move the Newton Early Childhood Program to the Horace Mann Elementary School. The School Building Committee formed a LE/NECP (Lincoln-Eliot/Newton Early Childhood Program) working group that has held meetings since October 2018 to review options the Feasibility Study. Meeting minutes can be found here.

The presentation made to the Design Review Team held on March 27th can be found here. The timeline in the presentation is slightly off.  The April 3rd Public Facilities Committee agenda does not include a public hearing on the proposed Newton Early Childhood Program move toe the Horace Mann Elementary School this week. However, the City’s Design Review Committee does have both the Lincoln-Eliot Elementary School Window Replacement Project and the Newton Early Childhood Program move to Horace Mann (687 Watertown Street) on its April 10th meeting agenda.