All posts by Amy Sangiolo

City Council Committee Meetings – Week of January 12th

Finance Committee: The regularly scheduled Finance Committee meeting has been cancelled. The Meeting Cancellation Notice can be found here.

Zoning and Planning Committee: The Zoning and Planning Committee will meet on Monday, January 13th at 7:00 p.m. in the Chamber and in Room 205. The agenda includes the following:

  • Chairman’s Note: Presentation by the Planning Department on the History of Zoning Redesign – See Planning Memo
  • Request to amend Chapter 22 of the Revised Ordinances of the City of Newton, 2017 to temporarily suspend nominations made by the Historical Commission and the City Council for landmark designations of any land, buildings and structures in the City of Newton in order to allow the City adequate time to review the landmark ordinance and consider what revisions are appropriate – See Planning Memo

Land Use Committee: The Land Use Committee will meet on Tuesday, January 14th, at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request for a Consistency Ruling and an amendment to a previously approved Special Permit/Site Plan to make changes to paved areas at the site – 642 Centre Street – See Planning Memo
  • Request for a Change of Zone to Mixed-Use 3/Transit-Oriented District for portions of land located at 355 Grove Street (currently zoned BU-2) and 399 Grove Street (currently zoned BU-5) abutting the existing MU-3 Zone (Riverside Development)
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to construct 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 …. at 355 and 399 Grove Street – Riverside MBTA Development)
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow the expansion of a non-conforming multi-family dwelling use by constructing a three-story multi-family development (20 units) at 32.6′ in height in a manufacturing district with greater than 20,000 sq. ft. of new gross floor area at 182-184 & 166 California Street
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow a restaurant with more than 50 seats and a parking waiver of 478 parking stalls at 93-105 Union Street, 1280 Centre Street, 47-61 Langley Road, 49-63 Union Street., and 790-794 Beacon Street – Piccadelli Square – See Planning Memo
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow parking design criteria including waivers to interior landscaping requirements, lighting requirements, to allow parking accessory to a manufacturing use in a residential district, and to allow parking in the front and side setback at 287-289 Newtonville Avenue – See Planning Memo
  • Request to amend a previously approved Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to revise the design of the parking structure and surface parking and to add a fourth story to the approved three-story office building; requiring a variance from the height and story limitations and an amendment to the deed restrictions at 180 Wells Avenue – See Planning Memo
  • Two requests for Class 1 Auto Dealer Licenses
    • MAG Retail Holdings – CJ LLC /d/b/a McGovern Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram – 777 Washington Street
    • Flaherty Equipment Sales Corporation – 846 Walnut Street
  • Eight requests for Class 2 Auto Dealer Licenses
    • Jacob and Associates – 1232 Washington Street
    • New England Motor Mart, Inc. – 1211 Washington Street
    • Motorcars of Boston, Inc. – 1191 Washington Street
    • JR Car Care, Inc. – 454 Watertown Street
    • KC Auto – 55 Farwell Street
    • Enzo’s Auto Sales – 10 Hawthorn Street
    • Auction Direct Preowned – 1545 Washington Street
    • Newton Collision Inc. – d/b/a GM Autobody

Joint Meeting of the City Council and School Committee: See Separate entry

Programs and Services CommitteeSpecial Meeting – NOTE: Special Location; – The Programs and Services Committee will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, January 15th at 6:30 p.m. in Room 304 of the Ed Center, 100 Walnut Street. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request by the City Clerk to accept the provisions of MGL, Chap 53, Section 18B to allow the City of Newton to provide voters with:
    • the full text of each question;
    • a fair and concise summary of each question, including a 1 sentence statement describing the effect of a yes or no vote, which shall be prepared by the city solicitor; and
    • arguments for and against the question, for all types of municipal ballot question

City Board and Commission Meetings – Week of January 12th

Commission on Disability: The Commission on Disability will meet on Monday, January 13th at 6:30 p.m. in Room 204. The agenda includes the following:

  • Introductions
  • Approval of December 9, 2019 Minutes
  • New Community Engagement Specialist in Planning Department
  • Reports:
    • CDBG Report
    • Accessible Fines Report
    • Operation Access Update
    • Treasurer’s Report
    • ADA Coordinator’s Report
  • AccessSport America
  • Riverdale 40B Project
  • Annual COD Officer’s Election
  • Old/New Business

Solid Waste Commission – Long-Term Planning Subcommittee: The Long-Term Planning Subcommittee of the Solid Waste Commission will meet on Monday, January 13th at 6:30 p.m. in Room 2G, at the Newton Free Library. The agenda includes the following:

  • Introductions
  • Prepare communication to the Mayor regarding setting long-term trash reduction goals
  • Discuss waste reduction and diversion strategies outlined in Newton’s Climate Action Plan for 2020-2025

Auburndale Historic District Commission: The Auburndale Historic District Commission will meet on Tuesday, January 14th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request for Certificate of Appropriateness to expand a previously approved rear porch and install a new wood stair to the driveway at 30 Hawthorne Avenue
  • Administrative Discussion:
    • Minutes
    • Executive Session (?)

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

Community Preservation Committee: The Community Preservation Committee will meet on Tuesday, January 14th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 204. The agenda includes the following:

  • Proposals and Projects
    • 300 Hammond Pond Parkway (“Webster Woods”) – CPC to vote on Mayor’s Request to revise the funding source recommended on November 18th from direct funding to debt financing for the combination of:
      • $725,000 Legal Fees and Other Costs
      • $15,000 Grant to the Newton Conservators for holding the conservation restriction
  • Program Planning and Committee Business
    • Staff Updates on current/anticipated proposals & projects and program finances
    • (tentative) initial staff summary of results from 2019 online community survey
    • CPC Officer’s update on staff program manager search
    • Approval of December 10, 2019 Minutes

The Agenda and Pre-Meeting Packet can be found here. (Note: You might have better luck than me on clicking the blue, underlined phrases to get to additional info)

Economic Development Commission: The Economic Development Commission will meet on Tuesdsay, January 14th at 6:30 p.m. in Room 211. The agenda includes the following:

  • Attendance
  • Approval of December 10th Minutes
  • Nominations for EDC Officers
  • Discussion of Restaurant Liquor Licenses with Law Department
  • City Updates
  • Discussion Items
    • Northland Project
    • Riverside Project, Discussion and Task Force Created
    • EDC 2020 Priorities
    • Role of EDC, Creation of Focus Groups
    • Annual Report, Suggestions for inclusion and for review at next meeting
  • Other Business, including reports from members
  • Date of Next Meeting, February 11th

Newton Human Rights Commission: The Newton Human Rights Commission will meet on Tuesday, January 14th at 7:00 p.m. in Room B15. The agenda includes the following:

  • Introductions
  • Approval of November 2019 Minutes
  • Hate Incidents
  • Complaints Received
  • Student Reports – related to Human Rights
  • Women’s Suffrage Celebration
  • MLK Day Community Celebration
    • Monday, January 20th at 9:30 a.m. – Myrtle Baptist Church
    • Ushers needed inside/outside
    • Community Fair – following the event
  • Night of Dialogue & Theater – Thursday, January 23rd at 7:00 p.m. – Newton North High School Little Theater
  • Genocide Exhibit
  • Pride – June 2, 2020
  • February Meeting
    • Date – February 4th – 5:30 p.m.
    • Topics
  • Upcoming Events
    • MLK Day Community Celebration – see above
    • Night of Dialogue & Theater – see above
    • Intelligent Lives – Film Screening, February 4th, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m., Druker Auditorium, Newton Free Library. Go here for more info.

Board of Assessors: The Newton Board of Assessors will meet on Wednesday, January 15th at 9:00 a.m. in Room 108. The agenda will focus on the Approval of December 2019 Exemption and Abatement Reports.

Newton Library Board of Trustees: The Library Board of Trustees will meet on Wednesday, January 15th at 9:00 a.m. in the Trustees Room at the Newton Free Library. The agenda includes the following:

  • Call to Order
  • Consent Agenda
    • Approval of December 18th Minutes
    • Treasurer’s Report
    • Director’s Report
    • Development Report
    • Friends’ Report
  • Reports
    • President
    • Committees
      • Spring Fling
  • New Business
    • Library FY2021 Budget
    • Children’s Room Renovation Budget (vote)
    • Capital Campaign (vote)
  • Visitors Discussion

Chestnut Hill Historic District Commission: The Chestnut Hill Historic District Commission will meet on Thursday, January 16th at 7:00 p.m in Room 205. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request for a Certificate of Appropriateness to amend previously approved plans to include exterior light fixtures at 46 Chestnut Hill Road
  • Request for a Certificate of Appropriateness for approval of as-built entry railing system at 292 Hammond Street
  • Administrative Discussion:
    • Minutes
    • Hammond Street fences

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

Joint Meeting of the City Council and School Committee – Wednesday, January 15th

The City Council and the School Committee will hold a joint meeting on Wednesday, January 15th, at 7:00 p.m. in Room 111 at the Ed Center, 100 Walnut Street. The agenda includes the following:

  • Presentation: Overview of School Building Conditions and Enrollment Trends
  • Update on current major projects: NECP and Lincoln-Eliot and other smaller school additions (Oak Hill and possibly Horace Mann)
  • Discussion: the next 5+ years of NPS projects to provide 21st Century Learning Environments for all of Newton’s students
  • Next Steps

School Committee to Meet on Monday, January 13th and again, with the City Council, on Wednesday, January 15th

The School Committee will hold its regularly scheduled meet on Monday, January 13th beginning at 5:00 p.m. in Room 210 at the Ed Center, 100 Walnut Street. The agenda includes the following:

  • Call to order and vote to move into Executive Session and convene in Room 304 for the purpose of conducting strategy sessions in preparation of contract negotiations for non-union personnel – Superintendent – 5:00 p.m.
  • Remain in Room 304 for Training Session with Khita Pottinger-Johnson and Beth Fitzmaurice – 6:00 p.m.
  • Re-convene in Open Session with public comment in Room 210 – 7:00 p.m.
  • Superintendent’s Report
  • Public Comment
  • Newton Schools Foundation Update and Vote to Accept Donation – See NSF Grant Memo
  • Discussions/Updates
  • Consent Agenda
  • Preview: Enrollment Planning & Class Size Report
  • Communications

Joint Meeting: The City Council and the School Committee will hold a joint meeting on Wednesday, January 15th, at 7:00 p.m. in Room 111 at the Ed Center, 100 Walnut Street. The agenda includes the following:

  • Presentation: Overview of School Building Conditions and Enrollment Trends
  • Update on current major projects: NECP and Lincoln-Eliot and other smaller school additions (Oak Hill and possibly Horace Mann)
  • Discussion: the next 5+ years of NPS projects to provide 21st Century Learning Environments for all of Newton’s students
  • Next Steps

Special Education Parent Advisory Council to Meet on January 15th – Special Presentation

The Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) will meet on January 15th at 7:30 p.m. in Room 210, at the Ed Center, 100 Walnut Street. There will be a special presentation and discussion about Basic Rights in Special Education with Tim Sindelar, Newton Attorney specializing in representing children and adults with disabilities. See the agenda for more information.

Communications

The Planning Department sent this Notice to the City Council and the Planning Board to inform them that they have sent out Request for Proposals for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Funds for Fiscal Year 2021 (Federal Fiscal Year 2020), to to identify human service and homelessness prevention and assistance projects to be included in the FY2021 Annual Action Plan.

Development Review Team Meetings – Week of January 12th

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

  • 727 Centre Street – Special permit to exceed FAR with additions within footprint of the house
  • 1081 Washington Street – Special Permit for parking waiver and amend existing special permit
  • 27 Nightingale Path – Possible Variance to encroach into the side yard setback
  • 158 Parmenter Road – Possible Special Permit and Variance to modify existing dwelling

The Development Review Snapshot can be found here.

What’s Up in Newton this week? Northland Referendum Dominates City Deliberations/Discussions; Designer Selection Committee to review Designers for Horace Mann at Nevada Street – Improvements/Renovations; Mark Development hosts open house for it’s Chapter 40B Project – Dunstan East; Fees for Reusable Bags to go into effect on January 8th and more…..

Northland Referendum dominates a lot of City discourse this week. According to the City Clerk in the Clerk’s Note in the City Council Docket this week:

” The City Clerk’s Office, on behalf of the Newton Election Commission, has determined that the citizens referendum petition requesting that the City Council repeal or rescind Council Order #425‐18, the change of zone for the Northland parcels at Oak and Needham Streets, has a sufficient number of signatures, pending a two‐day period of public review which will end at the close of business on January 7, 2020.  Discussion of this item may take place at this meeting, but final action may not be taken. Per City Charter, 3,032 certified signatures are required to place this again before the Council.  The Clerk’s Office stopped certifying signatures at 4,258; 40% more than needed as allowed by City Charter…

This item will be before the City Council for action at a special meeting of the Council on January 8, 2020, the Council must decide whether it will vote to repeal or rescind its decision on Board Order #425‐18 or refer the measure to a public vote. If the Council chooses to repeal or rescind its approval, the Council vote must take place within 30 days of January 8, 2020. If the Council’s vote on a motion to repeal does not pass, or alternatively if the Council affirmatively votes to refer the measure to the voters, the Council will have 30 days from its vote to set a date for an election.  If the Council does not take any action on this item before February 7, 2020, it will automatically be referred to the voters and the Council will have 30‐days to set an election date. “

So it appears that the Council will take the citizens referendum petition at it’s City Council meeting TONIGHT but will not vote on it. However, the City Council will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, January 8th, where the Council must decide whether it will vote to repeal or rescind its vote to approve the Northland rezoning. The Council has 30 days to vote to either repeal or rescind or to refer to the voters. If they refer to the voters, they have 30 days from that voter referral vote to set a date for the election. The Council MUST ACT before February 7th – otherwise, it will be automatically referred to the voters and the Council will have 30 days to set an election date. Got it?

If you want additional information, the Planning Department, the City Clerk and the Council President have provided memos to help guide us all through the process.

See Planning Department memo here; City Clerk memo here; and the Council President memo here.

In addition to Council deliberations, discussions and votes, the Election Commission has Northland on their agenda as well as the Newton Housing Partnership – (see agenda) along with the Chapter 40B Dunstan East proposal and the Riverside proposal.

Two Area Councils will also be discussing Northland this week. See Waban Area Council agenda (Note: the Waban Area Council will also hear a presentation from a Developer and the Developer’s representative about a 350 unit apartment complex replacing an office building at 40 Williams Street in Wellesley) and Newtonville Area Council agenda below.

Horace Mann Elementary School at Nevada Street Designer responses: The Designer Selection Committee will meet this week to discuss the responses they received for potential designers to address the deficiencies and improvements needed for the Horace Mann Elementary School now at Nevada Street.

Speaking of Dunstan East…. According to newly elected Ward 3 Councilor, Julia Malakie’s most excellent newsletter (go here to subscribe), Mark Development will host an open house at FUUSN – First Unitarian Universalist Society in Newton, 1326 Washington Street, on Thursday, January 9th at 7:00 p.m. The Dunstan East proposal is a Chapter 40B proposal (does not require City Council approval but does require Zonign Board of Appeals approval) 244 unit proposal (with 25% of the units designated for affordable housing – 80% of Area Median Income) and 12,100 sq. feet of retail space to be located at Dunstan Street, Kempton Place and Washington Street in West Newton. For more information on the Open House and on the proposal, please go here.

Fees for Reusable bags goes into effect for businesses/retailers over 3500 sq. ft. this Wednesay, January 8th in accordance with the amended Plastic Bag Ordinance passed by the City Council in July. According to the City’s website:

January 8th 2020- All establishments over 3500 sq.ft. will be required to comply with the updated ordinance at this time. Businesses over 3500 sq.ft. will be required to charge no less than 10 cents ($0.10) for reusable bags provided by the store. Customers are encouraged to bring their own reusable bags.

July 8th, 2020 ALL retail businesses will be required to meet this ordinance. This will include all retail establishments including restaurants, food or ice cream trucks, convenience stores, retail pharmacy, supermarket or seasonal/temporary businesses.

Requirements:
If bags are provided to customers, the bag shall be either recyclable paper bag or a reusable checkout bag (see ordinance for a definition of each)

A retail establishment that provides any type of checkout bag shall sell it for no less than ten cents ($0.10). All moneys collected pursuant to this ordinance shall be retained by the retail establishment.
Any charge for a checkout bag shall be separately stated on a receipt provided to the customer at the time of sale and shall be identified as “Checkout Bag Charge”.

For more info: please go here.

Weekly Road Construction Schedule: This week’s Road Construction schedule can be found here.