Category: City Council

Joint Advisory Planning Group for the West Newton Armory to hold a virtual meeting on April 2nd

The Joint Advisory Planning Group (“JAPG”) for the West Newton Armory will hold a virtual meeting on Thursday, April 2nd at 7:00 p.m. You can join the meeting using this link: https://zoom.us/j/999042642 According to the Planning Department’s Friday Report, the agenda includes:

  • Presentation by Jonathan Yeo, City Chief Operating Officer, and David Olson, City Clerk.

Additional information on the JAPG – West Newton Armory (including past – but not the current agenda) can be found here.

City Council Meetings – Week of March 22nd

Zoning and Planning Committee: The Zoning and Planning Committee will meet Virtually ( To view this meeting, use this link at the above date and time: https://zoom.us/j/484531654) on Monday, March 23rd at 7:00 p.m. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request discussion of the 2020-2027 Open Space and Recreation Plan, a letter stating that the Zoning and Planning Committee reviewed the Plan, and adoption of the plan as an amendment to the 2007 Comprehensive Plan – Chair’s Note: This item will be taken up in order to outline the process for review and adoption of the Open Space and Recreation Plan, and to set a public hearing. The first draft is being completed pursuant to significant public input and is to be available for review by March 23 – See Planning Memo
  • Request for a review, discussion, and direction relative to the draft Zoning Ordinance – – See Planning Memo
  • Request for an amendment to Chapter 30 of Newton’s Zoning Ordinance, section 3.4.4 on garages (delayed implementation until July 1). This ordinance has been delayed five times
  • Request for a review of the zoning requirements for single-family attached dwelling units
  • Request to amend Chapter of the Revised City of Newton Ordinances to eliminate mandated parking minimums to improve the vitality of local businesses, reduce the cost of housing, and support the climate action goals – Chair’s Note: Items in italic will be taken up within the context of zoning redesign and specifically as it relates to Article 3.

Finance Committee: The Finance Committee will meet (Virtually – To view this meeting use this link at the above date and time: https://zoom.us/j/698611335) on Monday, March 23rd at 7:00 p.m. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request to accept and expend an $8,500 grant from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) for marketing and technical advice for a “Heat Smart” program
  • Request to accept and expend a $250,000 MassDot Workforce Transportation grant for a new technology-enabled ride-share shuttle for Newton’s thriving Wells Avenue innovation district and the new UMass Amherst Mount Ida campus
  • Request to accept and expend a $15,000 grant from the Executive Office of Elder Affairs to provide financial assistance for qualified seniors in the City of Newton to receive the services of Newton at Home Inc.
  • Request to appropriate and expend $7,000,000 and authorize a general obligation borrowing of an equal amount for the estimated design and construction costs associated with Water Main Improvements in FY2021 and authorization to apply any premium received upon the sale of the bonds or notes, less the cost of preparing, issuing, and marketing them, and any accrued interest received upon the delivery of the bonds or notes to the costs of the project and to reduce the amount authorized to be borrowed for the project by like amount
  • Request for $1,105,000 in CPA funding be awarded to the Newton Housing Authority for the acquisition of the CAN-DO Housing Portfolio
  • Request to transfer $60,000 from Current Year Budget Reserve to a non-lapsing Public Buildings Department account for the evaluation and recommendations for the upgrade of the Police Headquarters HVAC System
  • Request to appropriate $500,000 from the June 30th, 2019 Certified Free Cash for the purpose of providing interior and exterior improvements at the Horace Mann School at 225 Nevada Street
  • Request to transfer $250,000 from the June 30th, 2019 Certified Free Cash to Acct #0121030-543500 Emergency Operations-Supplies account for the purpose of being prepared to act, should the need arise
  • Request to accept $270,000 of lighting equipment as well as authorization to accept more funds to be expended on the installation of a field light system for the Newton South High School Winkler Stadium Field which is on Newton Parks and Recreation property. The funds are being donated by the Newton South High School Booster Club
  • Request to transfer $650,000 from the June 30th, 2019 Certified Free Cash to the Newton Public Schools for the purpose of reimbursing Newton Public Schools for one-time costs associated with several projects that were necessary to accomplish the move of the Horace Mann Elementary School community to the former Carr School on Nevada Street
  • Request to approve the settlement of Workers’ Compensation Claim #003554 in the amount of $62,500. The funds will be appropriated from Acct# 67A109A-515201- Municipal Workers’ Compensation – A motion to go into Executive Session may be entertained.

Land Use Committee: The Land Use Committee will meet on Tuesday, March 24th (Virtually – To view this meeting using Zoom use this link: https://zoom.us/j/789503846) at 7:00 p.m. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow a retail marijuana establishment, to waive the minimum driveway width for two-way traffic, to waive perimeter screening requirements and to waive lighting requirements at 1158 Beacon Street – Union Twist
  • Request for a Change of Zone and a Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval for 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, with residential uses comprising not less than 60% of the total gross floor area with a residential density of not less than 800 square feet per unit with not less than 560 units nor more than 620 units with special permit relief and/or waivers…at the Riverside MBTA station. – NOTE: The presentation and discussion will be focused on Design Guidelines and project updates. – See Planning Memo and Responses to Councilor Questions

Traffic Council to Meet on Thursday, March 26th

The Traffic Council will meet (Virtually – To view this meeting use this link at the above date and time: https://zoom.us/j/295270496) on Thursday, March 26th at 7:00 p.m. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request a “No Parking” restriction on Phillip Bram Way, both sides, entire length
  • Request for stop signs at the following intersections…. before (north of) Commonwealth Avenue to enhance pedestrian and bike safety on the Commonwealth Avenue Carriage Way
    • Wauwinet Road, southbound, at Commonwealth Avenue, South Drive
    • Prince Street, southbound, at Commonwealth Avenue, South Drive
    • Bristol Road, southbound, at Commonwealth Avenue, South Drive
    • Dartmouth Street, southbound, at Commonwealth Avenue, South Drive
    • Exeter Street, southbound, at Commonwealth Avenue, South Drive
    • Temple Street, southbound, at Commonwealth Avenue, South Drive
    • Wimbledon Circle, southbound, at Commonwealth Avenue, South Drive
    • Chesterfield Road, southbound, at Commonwealth Avenue, South Drive
    • Oldham Road, southbound, at the intersection of Commonwealth Avenue, South Drive, Day Street, and Fuller Street
    • Windermere Road, southbound, at Commonwealth Avenue, South Drive
    • Central Street, southbound, at Commonwealth Avenue, South Drive
    • Rowe Street, southbound, at Commonwealth Avenue, South Drive
    • Islington Road, southbound, at Commonwealth Avenue, South Drive
  • Request to approve a stop sign on the Commonwealth Avenue carriageway at Dartmouth Street
  • Request to approve a stop sign on the Commonwealth Avenue carriageway at Bristol Road
  • Request to approve a stop sign at the Kenrick Terrace southbound approach to Kenrick Street
  • Request to remove the following stop sign from the Traffic and Parking Regulations (TPR): Hillside Road at Terrace Avenue, westbound. Note that there is no stop sign at this location in the field.
  • Request for a 3-way stop sign at Herrick Road and Chase Street to enhance safety.
  • Request that a stop sign be added into the Traffic and Parking Regulations (TPR) at the following location: Warren Street, westbound, at Glen Avenue. Note that a stop sign exists at that location and will not be removed.
  • Request that a stop sign be removed from the Traffic and Parking Regulations (TPR) at the following location: Church Street, 37 feet west of Oakland Street, eastbound. Note that a stop sign does not exist at that location and no change will occur.
  • Request that stop sign entries be modified in the Traffic and Parking Regulations (TPR) at two locations. Note that stop signs exist at both intersections, but on opposite approaches, and no change will occur in the field. This item fixes errors in the TPR. The locations include:
    • Brookside Avenue at Albemarle Road
    • Jewett Street at Boyd Street
  • Request that stop signs be added into the Traffic and Parking Regulations (TPR) at several locations. Note that stop signs at all of the following locations exist in the field and no change will occur. The locations include:
    • Albemarle Road southbound at Crafts Street
    • Beach Street, southbound, at Washington Street
    • Bellevue Street northbound at Newtonville Avenue
    • Cedar Street, southbound at Commonwealth Avenue main 2-way roadway
    • Chase Street westbound at Herrick Road
    • Collins Road westbound at Fenwick Road
    • Crescent Street northbound at Robinhood Street
    • Crosby Road northbound at Commonwealth Avenue
    • Davis Street westbound at Highland Street
    • Eddy Street southbound at Washington Street
    • Ellis Street northbound at the Route 9 eastbound ramp
    • Elm Street northbound and southbound at Webster Street

Development Review Team Meetings – Week of March 22nd

The following potential projects/proposals will meet virtually with the Development Review Team this week:

  • 41 Washington Street – Addition to two-family dwelling with possible accessory apartment
  • Oak Hill Middle School (130 Wheeler Road) – Proposed three classroom addition
  • Newton Golf Course (212 Kenrick Street) – Discussion re: golf course facilities

The Development Review Team Snapshot can be found here.

City Council Committee Meetings – Week of March 15th

Public Safety and Transportation Committee: The Public Safety and Transportation Committee will hold a virtual meeting on Monday, March 16th at 6:00 p.m. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request for a discussion with a representative of the ACLU of Massachusetts regarding the current policy environment on facial surveillance technologies
  • Request for a discussion with the Police Department and Traffic Engineers to discuss multiple crossings around the Memorial Spaulding School

Programs and Services Committee: The Programs and Services Committee will hold a virtual meeting on Wednesday, March 18th at 7:00 p.m. The agenda includes the following:

  • Appointment of Julie Winsett to the Urban Tree Commission
  • Appointment of Murali Vemula to the Health and Human Services Advisory Committee
  • Appointments to the Newton Community Education Commission
    • Silka Rothschild
    • John Oliver
  • Request to accept $270,000 of lighting equipment as well as authorization to accept more funds to be expended on the installation of a field light system for the Newton South High School Winkler Stadium Field which is on Newton Parks and Recreation property. The funds are being donated by the Newton South High School Booster Club.
  • Request to authorize remote participation for City Council meetings
  • Request a discussion with the Department of Senior Services regarding outreach and services to the growing number of Newton residents who are 85 and older yet living alone. (Discussion should focus on the City’s efforts to provide a program; whether through current programs or proposed alternatives).
  • Requesting to transfer $250,000 from June 30, 2019 Certified Free Cash to Acct #0121030‐543500 Emergency Operations‐Supplies account for the purpose of being prepared to act, should the need arise

Public Facilities Committee: The Public Facilities Committee will hold a virtual meeting on Wednesday, March 18th at 7:00 p.m. The agenda includes the following:

  • 5 Public Hearings Requesting Grant of Location
    • to relocate one pole to the southerly side of Farquhar Road in front of #20 Harvard Street
    • to relocate one pole approximately 30’ south of the existing pole location in front of #34 Duffield Road
    • to install approximately conduit in a westerly direction from existing manhole 16/314A to a proposed hand hole between building 721‐719 Washington Street
    • to install conduit in a westerly direction from existing manhole 16/211 to the alley of the Post Office at 897 Washington Street to provide FIOS
    • to install conduit from existing manhole 211 in a southeasterly direction to existing pole 94 located in the sidewalk on the southerly side of Washington Street
  • Request to accept $270,000 of lighting equipment as well as authorization to accept more funds to be expended on the installation of a field light system for the Newton South High School Winkler Stadium Field which is on Newton Parks and Recreation property. The funds are being donated by the Newton South High School Booster Club.
  • Request to transfer $60,000 from Current Year Budget Reserve to a non‐lapsing Public Buildings Department account for the evaluation and recommendations for the upgrade of the Police Headquarters HVAC System.
  • Request to appropriate $500,000 from June 30, 2019 Certified Free Cash for the purpose of providing interior and exterior improvements at the Horace Mann School at 225 Nevada Street.
  • Request to transfer $650,000 from June 30, 2019 Certified Free Cash to the Newton Public Schools for the purpose of reimbursing Newton Public Schools for one‐ time costs associated with several projects that were necessary to accomplish the movement of the Horace Mann Elementary School community to the former Carr School on Nevada Street.
  • Request to appropriate and expend $7,000,000 and authorize a general obligation borrowing of an equal amount for the estimated design and construction costs associated with Water Main Improvements in FY2021 and authorization to apply any premium received upon the sale of the bonds or notes, less the cost of preparing, issuing, and marketing them, and any accrued interest received upon the delivery of the bonds or notes to the costs of the project and to reduce the amount authorized to be borrowed for the project by like amount.
  • Request to accept 40 linear feet of sewer pipe as a public sewer and the acceptance of a 20’ x 40’ easement in property known as the Farwell Street Subdivision. The developer shall pay all costs associated with the construction of the sewer pipe and the direct connection to the MWRA trunk interceptor sewer line.

City Council Committee Reports – Now Available

Programs and Services Committee – 3/04/2020 Report: The Programs and Services Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Request authorization to submit a Statement of Interest (“SOI”) to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (“MSBA”) for consideration of funding for a replacement, renovation, or addition at Countryside Elementary School, designated as the highest priority for a major project before Franklin Elementary School designated as the second-highest priority
  • Appointment of Michael Flaherty to the Health and Human Services Advisory Council
  • Re-appointment of Brenda Anders to the Health and Human Services Advisory Council
  • Request for Special Legislation to amend the provisions of the Acts 2014, c. 96 An Act Relative to the Appointment of Special Police Officers in Newton, as most recently amended by Acts 2016, c. 266, by raising the age limit for service on the special retiree police detail patrol from age 70 to age 75.

Public Safety and Transportation Committee – March 4, 2020 Report: The Public Safety and Transportation Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Three requests for new public auto license:
    • Noel Diaz for Newton Limos Company
    • Jose Gregorio Cendeno for Bace Limousine Services
    • Ismail Unkoc for Izmo Limo
  • Request an amendment to Chapter 19‐332 (e) Procedure for obtaining licenses in the following sentence:  …The committee shall forward its recommendations for approval or denial to the full city council during the month of January December of each year
  • Request an amendment to Chapter 19‐339 (g) Van licenses. Procedure for renewal of van licenses:  in the following sentence:  …The committee shall forward its recommendations for approval or denial to the full city council during the month of January December of each year
  • Request for a Resolution to the State Legislature supporting additional funding for Clean, Equitable Transportation

Public Facilities Committee – March 4, 2020 Report: The Public Facilities Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Request authorization to submit a Statement of Interest (“SOI”) to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (“MSBA”) for consideration of funding for a renovation/addition at Countryside Elementary School, designated as the highest priority for a major project before Franklin Elementary School designated as the second-highest priority
  • Request to amend Chapter 17, Section 23; Chapter 25, Section 3 and Chapter 26, Section 14 of the Revised City of Newton Ordinances to add defining language, provide enforcement and establish fines for violations of the sidewalk obstruction ordinance
  • Four re-appointments to the Design Review Committee:
    • Carol Schein
    • Peter Barrer
    • David Gillespie
    • Robert Hnasko

Land Use Committee – March 5, 2020 Report: The Land Use Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow retail marijuana sales and waivers to the lighting requirements at 58 Cross Street/1089 Washington Street – See Draft Council Order

All other items were held. Please note: The report contains the details from the discussion regarding the Riverside MBTA Development proposal as it relates to Stormwater and Sustainability impacts.

Finance Committee – March 9, 2020 Report: The Finance Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Request to submit a Statement of Interest (“SOI”) to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (“MSBA”) for funding for a replacement, renovation or addition to the Countryside Elementary School, designated as the highest priority for a major project before Franklin Elementary School designated as the second-highest priority
  • Request to amend City Ordinances – Chapter 17, Section 23, Chapter 25, Section 3 and Chapter 26, Section 14 to add language, provide enforcement and establish fines for violations of the sidewalk obstruction ordinance
  • Request to approve an Intermunicipal Agreement for brine making equipment with the Town of Brookline

All other items were held.

Zoning and Planning Committee – March 9, 2020 Report: The Zoning and Planning Committee voted to approve the following:

  • 5 Reappointments to the Newtonville Historic District Commission
    • David Morton
    • Jim Gross
    • John Martin
    • Nancy Grissom
    • Barbara Wales

All other items were held.

Land Use Committee – March 10, 2020 Report: The Land Use Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Request for a continuance on a request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow a rear lot subdivision and construct a new single-family dwelling on the rear lot, requiring relief to exceed the FAR on the front lot from .40 to .42, and to allow a retaining wall greater than 4 feet in the setback at 40 Williston Road
  • Request for $1,105,000 in Community Preservation Funding be awarded to support the Newton Housing Authority’s acquisition of CAN-DO’s Housing portfolio
  • Two requests for Consistency Rulings: Request to allow for the conversion of approximately 10,500 sq. ft. of existing office space be used for childcare at 2 Wells Avenue
  • Request to allow the change of the facade of the building from Hardie Board to vinyl
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to construct a covered front porch and entry decreasing the nonconforming setback from 20.9′ to 18.6′ where 20,8′ is allowed at 112 Grasmere Street – See Draft Council Order
  • Request to amend a previously approved Special Permit/Site Plan Approval (which approved an oversized dormer, an accessory structure with ground floor area in excess of 700 sq. ft., and an accessory apartment in a detached structure) to make changes to a site plan at 41 Dorset Road – See Draft Council Order
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow a restaurant with more than 50 seats, and a parking waiver for 478 parking stalls at 93-105 Union Street, 1280 Centre Street, 47-61 Langley Road, 49-63 Union Street, and 790-794 Beacon Street – See Draft Council Order
  • Request to amend a previously approved Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to revise the design of the parking structure and surface parking to the approved three-story office building, to reduce interior landscaping requirements, to reduce loading bay length requirements and to allow reduced minimum open space requirements which requires an amendment to the deed restriction at 180 Wells Avenue – See Draft Council Order
  • Request to amend a previously approved amendment to a deed restriction to allow a waiver of the minimum open space requirement to less than 40% at 180 Wells Avenue – See Draft Council Order
  • 3 Re-appointments to the Washington Place Liaison Committee
    • Elizabeth Smith
    • Meghan Smith
    • Wayne Koch
  • Request for a temporary license to hold Nonantum Village Day on Sunday, June 7, 2020
  • Request for a two-year extension of time on a previously approved Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow for retail marijuana sales in conjunction with as the approved Registered Medical Dispensary (“RMD”) at 24-26 Elliot Street

Development Review Team Meetings – Week of March 15th

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

  • 321 Cabot Street – Special Permit to construct a detached garage that would exceed allowed floor area ratio (FAR) and possibly increase nonconforming lot coverage
  • 146 Langley Road – Possible addition a third unit and attached garage to existing 2 family structure
  • 39 Hawthorne Avenue – Possible Special Permit amendment to construct a pergola
  • 285 Centre Street – Potential daycare center

The Development Review Snapshot can be found here.

City Council Meetings – Week of March 8th

Finance Committee: The Finance Committee will meet on Monday, March 9th at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request to submit a Statement of Interest (“SOI”) to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (“MSBA”) for funding for a replacement, renovation or addition to the Countryside Elementary School, designated as the highest priority for a major project before Franklin Elementary School designated as the second highest priority
  • Request to amend City Ordinances – Chapter 17, Section 23, Chapter 25, Section 3 and Chapter 26, Section 14 to add language, provide enforcement and establish fines for violations of the sidewalk obstruction ordinance
  • Request to approve an Intermunicipal Agreement for brine making equipment with the Town of Brookline
  • Request discussion with the Administration on whether they will replace the LGBTQ+ liaison and whether the position will be compensated or not

Zoning and Planning Committee: The Zoning and Planning Committee will meet on Monday, March 9th at 7:00 p.m. in the Chamber and in Room 205. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request for a review, discussion, and direction relative to the draft Zoning Ordinance
  • Request to amend Chapter 30, section 3.4.4 of the Newton Zoning Ordinance on garages (delayed implementation until July 1). This ordinance has been delayed 5 times.
  • Request for a review of zoning requirements for single-family attached dwelling units
  • Request to amend Chapter 30 of the Newton Zoning Ordinance to eliminate mandated parking minimums to improve the vitality of local businesses, reduce the cost of housing, and support climate action goals
  • 5 Reappointments to the Newtonville Historic District Commission
    • David Morton
    • Jim Gross
    • John Martin
    • Nancy Grissom
    • Barbara Wales

Land use Committee: The Land Use Committee will meet on Tuesday, March 10th at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow a rear lot subdivision and construct a new single-family dwelling on the rear lot, requiring relief to exceed the FAR on the front lot from .40 to .42, and to allow a retaining wall greater than 4 feet in the setback at 40 Williston Road – NOTE: The petitioner has requested a continuance on this item
  • Request for $1,105,000 in Community Preservation Funding be awarded to support the Newton Housing Authority’s acquisition of CAN-DO’s Housing portfolio
  • Two requests for Consistency Rulings:
    • Request to allow for conversion of approximately 10,500 sq. ft. of existing office space be used for childcare at 2 Wells Avenue
    • Request to allow the change of the facade of the building from Hardie Board to vinyl
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to construct a covered front porch and and entry decreasing the nonconforming setback from 20.9′ to 18.6′ where 20,8′ is allowed at 112 Grasmere Street – See Planning Memo
  • Request to amend a previously approved Special Permit/Site Plan Approval (which approved an oversized dormer, an accessory structure with ground floor area in excess of 700 sq. ft., and an accessory apartment in a detached structure) to make changes to a site plan at 41 Dorset Road – See Planning Memo
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow a restaurant with more than 50 seats, and a parking waiver for 478 parking stalls at 93-105 Union Street, 1280 Centre Street, 47-61 Langley Road, 49-63 Union Street, and 790-794 Beacon Street – 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 to the approved three-story office building, to reduce interior landscaping requirements, to reduce loading bay length requirements and to allow reduced minimum open space requirements which requires an amendment to the deed restriction at 180 Wells Avenue – See Planning Memo
  • Request to amend a previously approved amendment to a deed restriction to allow a waiver of the minimum open space requirement to less than 40% at 180 Wells Avenue
  • Request to amend a Petition for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow a 27-unit multi-family dwelling greater than 20,000 sq. ft. of new gross floor area, a four-story structure up to 48’ in height, alteration of a nonconforming front setback, to allow ground-floor residential use, to allow an FAR of up to 2.0, a waiver of 4 parking stalls, a waiver for parking in the side setback, a waiver of the minimum stall depth requirements and a waiver of the sustainable design standards at 1114 Beacon Street – See Planning Memo
  • Request to waive the Inflow and Infiltration (“I&I”) mitigation fee for the Special Permit/Site Plan Approval request for 1114 Beacon Street
  • Request for a discussion on whether to require developers to provide a project-specific cost estimate for undergrounding utilities, both on the project site and in adjacent streets and sidewalks, so that the City Council can decide whether to include such requirements in the special permit
  • 3 Re-appointments to the Washington Place Liaison Committee
    • Elizabeth Smith
    • Meghan Smith
    • Wayne Koch
  • Request for a temporary license to hold Nonantum Village Day on Sunday, June 7, 2020
  • Request for a two-year extension of time on a previously approved Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow for retail marijuana sales in conjunction with as the approved Registered Medical Dispensary (“RMD”) at 24-26 Elliot Street