Category: City Council

City Council Meetings – Week of May 12th

Finance Committee:  The Finance Committee will meet on Monday, May 12th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 211. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request to appropriate $766,961 from Free Cash to the Newton Contributory Retirement System’s Pension Contribution as a one-time infusion of cash to maintain the current pension funding schedule for full funding in FY2020
  • Request to transfer $100,000 from the Law Department’s Full-time Salaries Account to the Law Department’s Claims and Settlements Account for future claims settlement
  • Request to appropriate $300,000 from Free Cash to fund FY2019 Overtime expenditures in the Fire Department
  • Request to appropriate $5,600 in Fire Department fine revenue to fund enforcement, training, and education of Fire Department officers in accordance with MGL Chapter 148A, Section 5
  • Request authorization to enter into five-year contract terms for solid waste and recycling collection and disposal services
  • Request authorization to enter into a five-year lease agreement for electric and hybrid vehicles to replace sedan fleet
  • Request authorization to transfer $75,000 from Budget Reserve to fund Phase 2 of 3 phases of the city-wide APS (Audible Pedestrian Signal) Installation Project
  • Request authorization to transfer $75,000 from Budget Reserve to purchase pavement marking and crosswalk painting equipment to bring the work in-house
  • Request authorization to transfer $150,000 from Budget Reserve to fund street light repairs
  • Request to appropriate $3 million from Free Cash to fund the City’s Accelerated Road Repair Program
  • Request to rescind a previously granted Council Order to bond $2.2 million and instead authorize and appropriate $2.2 million from Sewer Fund Surplus -Available for Appropriation to fund Sewer System Inflow and Infiltration 2018 Project Area 6
  • Request authorization to accept and expend $3,434,000 MWRA grant and authorization to borrow $1,145,000 as part of the MWRA interest free Phase 12 loan grant to to fund sewer improvements
  • Request to appropriate $3.2 million from bonded indebtedness to fund the continuation of the City’s Water Main Improvement Plan

The Finance Committee will also review the following budgets and their related Capital Improvement Projects and Supplemental Capital Improvement Projects:

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

  • Request to appropriate $100,000 from Free Cash to fund consulting services to the Planning Department to hire subject matter experts for projects – See Planning Memo
  • Request for discussion and adoption of the Hazard Mitigation Plan – See Planning Memo
  • Request adoption of amendments to the Inclusionary Housing 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 to calculate payments in lieu of providing affordable units and other improvements – See Planning Memo
  • Request to amend the zoning ordinances to define short-term rental and bed and breakfast uses and identify appropriate zoning districts and create criteria for permitting – See Planning Memo
  • Request to amend city ordinances to create a short-term rental ordinance and establish fees that would require registration with the Inspectional Services and Fire Departments – See Planning Memo

Blue Ribbon Commission:  The Blue Ribbon Commission will meet on Tuesday, May 14th at 7:00 p.m. in the Cafeteria at City Hall. The agenda includes open public comment, and update on open health questions, and finalizing voting. The most recent report from the Blue Ribbon Commission can be found here.

Land Use Committee:  The Land Use Committee will meet on Tuesday, May 14th at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber. The agenda will be largely focused on a presentation by the Development Team for the Northland petition – specifically on Stormwater Management, Sustainability and Design Guidelines (See Planning Memo) and a discussion on an agreement for an Extension of Time to open up the public hearing for the Riverside petition #140-19(2).

Traffic Council:  The Traffic Council will meet on Thursday, May 16th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 211. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request for an accessible parking space in front of the CVS at 1199 Centre Street
  • Request for:  a) a 2-hour parking restriction, on both sides, school days on Bullough Park between Mill Street and Dexter Road to deter student parking and b)no parking within 20 feet of Bulloughs Park and Mill Street intersection
  • Request to make revisions to the Traffic Parking Regulations related to the Carr School Parking District including – changing the name of the parking district, removing access restrictions onto Nevada Street, adding blue zone on Nevada Street, removing the bus zones from Nevada Street and possible modifications to other parking and permit override regulations within the District
  • Request to add the following streets into the new Newton Highlands Parking District:
    • Bowdoin Street (between Forest and Lincoln)
    • Chester Street (between Forest and Lincoln)
    • Erie Avenue
    • Hartford Street
    • Standish Street
  • Request to add language to the Transportation Parking Regulations to allow residents who live in housing units on streets or street segments included in a neighborhood parking district which abut more than one street to choose which of the abutting streets the resident permit parking permits and/or visitor parking permits shall be valid

Riverside Vision Plan

On Thursday, May 2nd, the Planning Department hosted a community meeting with Civic Moxie, the consultant hired to work with the community to create a Vision Plan for the Riverside MBTA site that is proposed for development.  The Riverside Vision Plan can be found here.  The Riverside Vision Plan Appendix can be found here. A Planning Department memo describing how the plan is to be used along with the actual plan can be found here.

A Law Department memo regarding whether the Special Permit/Site Plan approval hearing can move forward for a zone that currently does not permit the requested proposal but a zoning amendment has also been filed that would permit the requested proposal can be found here.

Mayor Selects Two Marijuana Retailers for Provisional Host Community Agreements

The Mayor sent a letter to the City Council announcing that she intends to sign two provisional Host Community Agreements (HCA) with two marijuana retailers, Cypress Tree Managements, LLC (24-26 Ellliot Street) and Ascend Mass, LLC (58 Cross Street – also known as 1089 Washington Street, the former Beacon Hill Athletic Club – (CEO is former Suffolk County District Attorney, former Suffolk County Sheriff and former Executive Secretary of Public Safety and Security, Andrea Cabral). Two other applicants were rejected:  Ikanik Farms – 1081 Washington Street and CNA Stores, Inc. – 747 Beacon Street.

The Mayor created a Marijuana Host Community Agreement Advisory Group (Advisory Group) consisting of representatives from Planning and Development, Law, Police, Health and Human Services, Transportation and the Mayor’s office to meet with applicants and provide a recommendation on whether to grant a provisional Host Community Agreement. See Mayor’s HCA Review Process. The HCA is provisional until the completion of the City Council’s special permit process. Cypress Tree Management has already filed a special permit application with the City Council which was approved by the Land Use Committee (see Report) and will be voted by the City Council TONIGHT.

List of Anticipated FY2020 Capital Expenditures

The Mayor transmitted to the City Council a list of anticipated FY2020 Capital Expenditures. The transmittal letter can be found here. 

Here are some highlights:

  • 25% Conceptual Design for the Washington Street Corridor (See Public Facilities Committee Agenda this week) – $2,000,000* and future State TIP funding for FY2021-2024
  • NewCAL – $500,000 with an estimated $15.6 million for FY2021-2024
  • NECP (Newton Early Childhood Program) – $9,250,000
  • Lincoln-Eliot School Project – $$2,000,000 with an estimate $22.25 million for FY2021-2024
  • Modular Classrooms at Oak Hill Middle School – $250,00 with an estimate $500,000 for FY2021-2024

*Note the Supplemental CIP document incorrectly listed the cost at $2.5 million

Charter Amendments

The City Council’s agenda for it’s Full Council Meeting includes a request for Home Rule Legislation to amend the City’s Charter to include 2019 recommendations by the Charter Subcommittee except for those related to composition and term limits for the City Council and Mayor. Last week, the Administration sent out this memo to the City Council stating that the Mayor would veto the request should the City Council keep a provision granting authority for the City Council to hire it’s own legal counsel under certain circumstances. In response, the Chair of the Charter subcommittee has forwarded this memo to the City Council informing them of his decision to offer to remove that provision from the Charter amendment recommendations and once that vote has been taken, to offer the Charter Subcommittee recommendations for a full vote of the Council. A memo from the Chair of the Programs and Services Committee detailing the changes can be found here.

City Council Committee Meetings – Week of May 5th

Blue Ribbon Commission:  The Blue Ribbon Commission will meet on Monday, May 6th at 7:15 p.m. in Room B15. The agenda includes the following:

  • Open Comment Session
  • Update on insight from counsel
  • Continued Voting/Deliberations

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

  • Request for a Consistency Ruling regarding a previously approved Special Permit/Site Plan to allow modifications to the approved landscaping plan at 360 Ward Street-(No Planning Memo)
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan approval to allow for a rear-lot subdivision to create two lots, abandon the two-family use in the existing structure and create a second single-family on the rear lot, extending the existing non-conforming side setback at 41 Washington Street – (No Planning Memo?)
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan approval to add five dormers to existing attic space, increasing the non-conforming FAR to .37 where .27 exists and .36 is allowed at 85 Gate House Road – See Planning Memo
  • Request to amend a previously granted Special Permit/Site Plan to allow for a paved driveway at 47 Rokeby Road – See Planning Memo
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow for an accessory apartment in existing space in a dwelling constructed less than four years ago at 35 Cherry Street – See Planning Memo
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to demolish a portion of the rear dwelling and construct a new rear addition and two-car attached garage, extending the non-conforming 3.5 story structure at 150 Collins Road – See Planning Memo
  • Request to amend a previously granted Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow paving of a parking area at the front of the site at 206 Waltham Street – See Planning Memo
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to construct an addition to the front of the house and raise the roof to create 2.5 stories where 2 stories exists, vertically extending the non-conforming side and rear setbacks at 11 Avon Place – See Planning Memo

Programs and Services Committee:  The Programs and Services Committee will meet on Wednesday, May 8th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 211. The agenda will focus on budget review and related Capital Improvement Projects and Supplemental Capital Improvement Projects for the following departments:

The Supplemental CIP can be found here. Additional materials from the Health and Human Services Department can be found at the end of the agenda.

Public Safety and Transportation Committee:  The Public Safety and Transportation Committee’s regularly scheduled meeting has been cancelled. The Notice of Cancellation can be found here.

Public Facilities Committee:  The Public Facilities Committee will meet on Wednesday, May 8th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 204. The agenda includes the following:

  • Two appointments to the Design Review Committee:  Anne Cedrone and John Mulligan
  • Petition for a grant of location to install a small cell wireless facility on an existing city-owned streetlight pole located in the right-of-way near 140 Commonwealth Avenue
  • Request to appropriate and expend $250,000 from Free Cash to fund the architectural and engineering of a “new” Newton Free Library parking lot
  • Request to appropriate and expend $3,000,000 from Free Cash to fund the City’s Accelerated Road Repair Program
  • Request to appropriate and expend $2,000,000 from Free Cash to develop 25% conceptual design of the Washington Street corridor in order to make improvements to the corridor eligible for the State’s TIP program

Zoning and Planning Committee:  The Zoning and Planning Committee will meet on Thursday, May 9th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205 and the Council Chamber. The agenda will focus on the Washington Street Corridor Action Plan. See Planning Department Memo.

 

 

Full Council Meeting – Monday, May 6th – following Committee of the Whole

The Full Council is scheduled to meet on Monday, May 6th at 7:45 in the Council Chamber following the Committee of the Whole public hearing on the Mayor’s proposed FY20 Water and Sewer Rates and the Capital Improvement Plan and the Supplemental Capital Improvement Plan.  The Reports Docket can be found here, the Reports Docket Addendum can be found here, the New Docket can be found here, and the New Docket Addendum can be found here.

Full Council to Meet in Committee of the Whole on Monday, May 6th – 7:00 p.m.

The Full City Council is scheduled to meet in Committee of the Whole with Finance presiding on Monday, May 6th at 7:00 p.m. The purpose of the meeting is to conduct a public hearing on the Mayor’s proposed FY20 Water and Sewer Rates, the Capital Improvement Plan and the Supplemental Improvement Plan. The agenda with the proposed rates can be found here. Additional information on the Capital Improvement Plan can be found here.

City Council Committee Reports – Now Available

Public Facilities Committee – 4/17/2019 Report:  The Public Facilities Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Appointment of Anne Cedrone and Tom Enselek to the Design Review Committee for the 687 Watertown Street Project (Newton Early Childhood Program – NECP)
  • Request to appropriate $400,000 from Free Cash to fund the completion of the feasibility, schematic design, and and site plan approval for the NewCAL project (as amended)

Finance Committee Report – 4/22/2019 Report:  The Finance Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Request for an amendment to Chapter 17 Section 13(j) of the City of Newton Ordinances to add a non-resident permit parking fee for the new Newton Highlands Parking District
  • Request to appropriate $240,000 from Free Cash to fund the Rainy Day Stabilization Fund
  • Request for an ordinance requiring the Mayor to seek City Council approval prior to disposing of renewable energy sourced electricity revenue or credits generated on municipal property for non-municipal purposes

Zoning and Planning Committee – 4/22/2019 Report:  The Zoning and Planning Committee held an extensive meeting on the Washington Street Vision Plan. See end of the report for Third Draft Presentation. The item was held.

Land Use Committee – 04/30/2019 Report:  The Land Use Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Request for a Consistency Ruling regarding an amendment to a previously granted Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to substitute a crawl space with basement space at 642 Centre Street
  • Request to Withdraw without Prejudice a Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to construct an attached dwelling to an existing single-family structure and reductions/waivers to other requirements such as lot area, frontage, lot coverage, front and side setback requirements and to allow a driveway along the side lot line requiring an amendment to a variance at 10 Pillion Court
  • Request to amend a previously granted Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow retail marijuana sales in conjunction with an approved RMD (Registered Medical Dispensary) and waivers to requirements such as facade transparency, parking stall, aisle width, screening, landscaping, and lighting requirements at 24-26 Elliot Street (Cypress Tree Management, LLC) – Draft Board Order is attached to the end of the report.

Note:  Transportation issues related to the Northland petition were discussed. See report for details.

Public Facilities Committee Report – 05/1/2019:  The Public Facilities Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Petition for a grant of location conduit in Foster Street and Walnut Street
  • Request to accept and expend a $3,435,000 MWRA grant and authorization to borrow $1,145,000 as part of the MWRA interest free Phase 12 loan/grant program to fund sewer improvements
  • Request to appropriate $3.2 million from bonded indebtedness to fund continuation of the City’s Water Main Improvement Plan
  • Request to transfer $75,000 from Budget Reserve to fund Phase 2 of 3 phases of the city-wide APS (Audible Pedestrian Signals) Project
  • Request to transfer $75,000 from Budget Reserve to purchase capital equipment to enable the Transportation Division of DPW to paint crosswalks and pavement markings in-house
  • Request to transfer $150,000 from Budget Reserve for street light repairs
  • Request authorization to enter into a contract for solid waste and recycling collection and disposal services for a term of 5 years (NOTE: The City as not yet entered into any contract negotiations yet)
  • Request authorization to enter into a 5 year lease agreement for electric and hybrid vehicles to replace its aging sedan fleet

Public Safety and Transportation Committee – 5/02/2019:  The Public Safety and Transportation Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Request to appropriate and expend $300,000 from Free Cash to fund FY2019 overtime expenditures in the Fire Department

City Council Meetings – Week of April 28th

Zoning and Planning Committee:  The Zoning and Planning Committee will meet on Monday, April 29th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205/Council Chamber. The agenda will focus review of the following departmental budgets and corresponding CIP and Supplemental CIP:

The Supplemental CIP can be found here.

Blue Ribbon Commission:  The Blue Ribbon Commission will meet on Tuesday, April 30th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 204. The agenda includes the following:

  • Status Update of data and information gathered or remaining
  • Deliberate on recommendations

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

Land Use Committee:  The Land Use Committee will meet on Tuesday, April 30th at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request to rezone three parcels for the Northland site and Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow mixed use development at the Northland site. NOTE: The Committee will not take public comment but will focus on a continuation of the April 9th meeting which focused on Transportation.  See Petitioner’s Responses to Councilor Questions here.
  • Request for a Consistency Ruling related to a Special Permit issued for 642 Centre Street to the amend the site plan to substitute the approved crawl space with basement space
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow a three-story nine-unit multi-family dwelling with accessory parking for nine cars, to allow multi-family residential use on the ground level in a BU1 District, and reduction and waivers of parking, setback, lighting and screening requirements at 19-31  and 39 Herrick Road (NOTE:  This item will be postponed without discussion)
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to construct an attached dwelling unit to the existing single-family structure and waive certain requirements such as lot area, frontage, and lot coverage, front and side setback and allow a driveway along a side lot line requiring an amendment to a previously granted variance at 10 Pillion Court
  • Request to amend a previously granted Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow retail marijuana sales in conjunction with the approved RMD (Registered Medical Dispensary), and waive numerous requirements such as facade transparency, parking dimensional requirements, and screening, lighting and landscaping requirements at 24-26 Elliot Street (Cypress Tree Management) – See Planning Memo

Public Facilities Committee:  The Public Facilities Committee will meet on Wednesday, May 1st at 7:00 p.m. in Room 204. The agenda includes the following:

  • Petition for a grant of location conduit in Foster Street and Walnut Street
  • Review of the Public Works Department Budget and corresponding CIP and Supplemental CIP
  • Request to accept and expend a $3,435,000 MWRA grant and authorization to borrow $1,145,000 as part of the MWRA interest free Phase 12 loan/grant program to fund sewer improvements
  • Request to appropriate $3.2 million from bonded indebtedness to fund continuation of the City’s Water Main Improvement Plan
  • Request to transfer $75,000 from Budget Reserve to purchase capital equipment to enable the Transportation Division of DPW to paint crosswalks and pavement markings in-house
  • Request to transfer $150,000 from Budget Reserve for street light repairs
  • Request authorization to enter into a contract for solid waste and recycling collection and disposal services for a term of 5 years (NOTE: The City as not yet entered into any contract negotiations yet)
  • Request authorization to enter into a 5 year lease agreement for electric and hybrid vehicles to replace its aging sedan fleet

Public Safety and Transportation Committee:  The Public Safety and Transportation Committee will meet on Thursday, May 2nd at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205. The agenda will focus on review of the following budgets and associated CIP and Supplemental CIP: