Category: City Council

City Council Meetings – Week of September 23rd

Zoning and Planning Committee:  The Zoning and Planning Committee will meet on Monday, September 24th at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers and in Room 205. The agenda includes public hearings on the following:

  • Proposed zoning amendments to regulate the use of land, structures and buildings for operation of recreational marijuana establishments to determine in which zoning districts and under what conditions marijuana establishments will be allowed; and to establish minimum standards and criteria
  • Discussion and adoption of the Economic Strategy Plan (See September 7th and September 21st Planning Memo) as an amendment to the 2007 Comprehensive Plan

A 171 page document (Yes, 171 pages) containing Planning Memos on the items listed above can be found here.

Finance Committee:  The Finance Committee will meet on Monday, September 24th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 211. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request to authorize to enter into a 5-year contract for parking meter currency processing services
  • Proposal to divest of direct or indirect holdings in fossil fuel companies
  • Request for an ordinance to require formal review of the compensation of elected, management, and non-union salaries every five years
  • Request for a report from the Planning Department on developer profits from Chapter 40B development projects in the City of Newton

Land Use Committee:  The Land Use Committee will meet on Tuesday, September 25th at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber.  The agenda includes the following:

  • Request for an extension of time to exercise a previously approved Special Permit/Site Plan approval to construct a 1,087 sq. ft. two-story addition resulting in an FAR of .49 where .38 exists and .39 is allowed at 642 Centre Street
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow a for profit learning center in the existing day care at 227 Washington Street
  • Request to amend a previously approved Special Permit/Site Plan Approval by amending the Comprehensive Sign Package to allow waivers to number, size, location and height of signs to the extent required for 300 Boylston Street
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow a registered medical marijuana dispensary in a non-conforming structure, to waive other dimensional requirements at 24-26 Elliot Street – (See Planning Memo)
  • Request to rezone three parcels on Needham Street to Business Use 4 at 275-281 Needham Street and 55 Tower Road – Northland Development
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow a mixed-use development –  Northland Development – greater than 20,000 sq. ft. with building heights of up to 96′ and consisting of 822 residential units, restaurants with more than 50 seats, for-profit schools and educational uses, open air businesses, hotels, accessory multi-level parking facilities, non-accessory single-level parking facilities, non-accessory multi-level parking facilities, places of amusement, radio or TV broadcasting studios, and lab and research facilities, to allow a waiver of 1,600 parking stalls, to allow a reduction in the overall parking requirement to not less than 1900 stalls, towaive dimensional requirements for parking stalls, to waive end stall maneuvering requirements, to allow driveway entrances and exits in excess of 25’, to waive perimeter landscaping requirements, to waive interior landscaping requirements, to waive lighting requirements for parking lots, to waive general lighting, surfacing and maintenance requirements, to waive off-street loading facilities requirements, to waive sign requirements relative to number, size, location or design, to waive the number of signs allowed at 156 Oak Street,  275-281 Needham Street, and 55 Tower Road – (See Planning Memo)

 

Land Use Committee to meet on Thursday, September 20th

The Land Use Committee will meet on Thursday, September 20th beginning at 6:45 p.m. in Room 205. The agenda includes 3 appointments to the Kessler Liaison Committee:  Hynrich Wieschhoff, Barbara Sird, and Marilyn Wolman and one appointment to the Boston College Neighborhood Council:  Karine Alexander.

The Land Use Committee will hold public hearings on Thursday, September 20th at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber for the following items:

  • Request for a Special Permit to amend a previously granted special permit/site plan approval for Kessler Woods LLC – to allow for off-site relocation of required inclusionary zoning units as well as 24 additional units at 219 Commonwealth Avenue which is currently required at the original site at 200 Estate Drive (See Planning Memo)
  • Request for a Special Permit to amend a previously granted special permit/site plan approval to change the previously existing nonconforming restaurant use to allow a non-conforming salon use at 148 California Street/171 Watertown Street (See Planning Memo)
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow for development of the 1314 Washington Street/31-33 Davis Street (Santander Bank) properties and adding a 3 story addition and other related extensions and parking waivers (See Planning Memo)

Also on the agenda:

  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval  to convert an existing single-family dwelling to a three-story, six residential unit building at 424-432 Cherry Street – NOTE:  The Public Hearing for this item has been postponed until October 23rd.

 

Traffic Council to meet on Thursday, September 20th – 7:00 p.m.

The Traffic Council will meet on Thursday, September 20th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 211. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request for a Stop Sign at Manet Road and Commonwealth Avenue
  • Request for Stop Sign at Lancaster Road and Cotton Street
  • Request for two-hour parking limit from Hammond Street to Suffolk Road to deter student and commuter parking
  • Request for a review and possible changes to parking regulations on Davis Avenue between Waltham Street and Furbush Avenue (#TC23-18)
  • Request for a review and possible changes to parking regulations on Davis Avenue between Waltham Street and Furbush Avenue (#TC20-18) – NOTE the Chair will ask for a motion of No Action Necessary
  • Request for a four way stop at the intersection of Washington Avenue, Elsworth Road,and Parmenter Road
  • Request for review and possible changes to the parking regulations on Tower Road
  • Request to remove Bolton Road from Section 202 of the TPR but leave it in Section 205 of the TPR to correct an error
  • Request to add a flashing yellow warning light at the intersection of Woodland Road and Auburn Street
  • Request to add a No Right Turn on Red at the intersection of Commonwealth Avenue westbound and Washington Street

Special Meeting of the City Council – Thursday, September 13th – 7:00 p.m. Cannibis dominates the Agenda

There will be a special meeting of the City Council on Thursday, September 13th at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers. The agenda includes the following cannibis related docket items:

  • #468-18 Request to remove the Question regulating the number of recreational marijuana establishments from the November ballot filed by Councilors Cote, Norton and Kelley (Programs and Services Motion to Approved Failed to Carry 4-4 Rice, Kalis, Baker and Schwartz opposed)
  • #469-18 Requesting the City Council reconsider placing a question on the ballot prohibiting retail recreational marijuana sales in Newton filed by Councilors Baker, Norton, Gentile, Kalis, Cote, Ciccone, Laredo, Kelley and Schwartz (Programs and Services Approved as amended 8-0)
  • #470-18 Initiative Petition requesting a ballot question prohibiting recreational marijuana establishments with exceptions filed by Suzanne Bender et al. – (Opt-out petition meeting the 6,000 signature requirement) (Programs and Services voted No Action Necessary – 8-0)
  • #471-18 Provide a means for voters to determine which marijuana question prevails if both are approved filed by President Laredo – see Memo from President Laredo
  • #441-18 Set the date of November 6, 2018 for a Special Municipal Election (Programs and Services vote to approve  4-2-2 that if more than one question passes, the
    question with the highest number of votes will prevail. (Kalis, Baker opposed;
    Schwartz, Rice abstaining) 
  • CITY CLERK requesting the City Council set the date of November 6, 2018 as the date for a Special Municipal Election to submit to the voters question(s) related to limiting retail marijuana in Newton (Programs and Services vote to approve 8-0)
  • #476-18 Proposed ballot questions re recreational marijuana retail establishments
    HER HONOR THE MAYOR requesting the three following questions be placed on the
    ballot for a special election in November:
  • Question 1:  Shall the City adopt the following general ordinance?
    All recreational marijuana retail establishments shall be prohibited from operating in the City of Newton
  • Question 2:  Shall the City adopt the following zoning ordinance?
    The number of recreational marijuana retail establishments shall be not fewer than two (2) nor more than four (4) establishments set by a general ordinance adopted by the City Council notwithstanding M.G.L. Chapter 94 G, Sec 3(a)(2)(ii).
  • Question 3:  Shall the City adopt the following zoning ordinance?
    The number of recreational marijuana retail establishments shall be not fewer than two  (2) nor more than eight (8) establishments set by a general ordinance adopted by the City Council notwithstanding M.G.L. Chapter 94 G, Sec 3(a)(2)(ii). (Programs and Services voted No Action Necessary 8-0); and
  • #477-18 Extension of Time for #424-432 Cherry Street Agreement to an Extension of Time until October 31, 2018 to hold a Pubic Hearing on a request for a Special Permit/Site Plan approval for 424-432 Cherry Street to allow multi-family dwellings

City Council Meetings – Week of September 9th

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

  • Request to transfer $33,750 from the Youth Services Grant Account to the Youth Services Stipend Account to reflect stipends in the City’s payroll system
  • Request to accept and expend a state Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs grant in the amount of $48,000 for the purpose of funding climate resilency and planning services to be provided by the MAPC (see first draft plan)
  • Request to accept and expend a $248,734 Green Communities Grant for energy related projects
  • Request to appropriate $61,423 from the Energy Stabilization Fund and authorize the acceptance and expenditure of $138,521 in matching Eversource rebate funds to upgrade LED lighting and controls at Newton South High School and Bowen Elementary School
  • Request to approve a proposed amendment governing filing fees for grant of location and petitions for placement of wireless communication facilities and poles primarily for wireless communication purposes
  • Request to accept and expend a $40,000 Recycllng IQ Grant from Mass DEP to address recycling contamination
  • Request to accept and expend a $3,435,000 from the MWRA and authorization to borrow $1,145,000 as part of the MWRA interest free loan/grant program to fund sewer improvements
  • Request to appropriate $232,000 from Bonded Indebtedness to purchase a new Street Sweeper
  • Request to appropriate $232,000 from Bonded Indebtedness to purchase a new Street Sweeper
  • Request to appropriate $149,000 from Bonded Indebtedness to purchase a backhoe for DPW
  • Request to appropriate $2,200,000 from Bonded Indebtedness to fund construction of the Sewer System Inflow and Infiltration CIP Program Project No. 6 – (Newton Centre, Newtonville, Nonantum, and Chestnut Hill)
  • Request to appropriate $250,640 from (funding source?) and authorize a general obligation borrowing of an equal amount to purchase a new front-end loader for DPW
  • Request to appropriate and expend $203,975 from the Municipal Federal Grant Fund 18, authorize the appropriation of $300,000 (from funding source?) and authorize a general obligation borrowing of an equal amount for the purpose of funding the Hammond Brook Culvert Replacement Project.

Zoning and Planning Committee:  The Zoning and Planning Committee will meet on Wednesday, September 12th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205. The agenda includes the following:

  • 4 Re-appointments to the Commission on Disability – Lakshmi Kadambi, Lucille Chansky, Rosemary Larking and Barbara Lichinsky
  • Discussion regarding Landmark Preservation
  • Discussion regarding Washington Street Corridor Action Plan
  • Discussion and adoption of the Economic Development Strategy Plan
  • Request for amendments to the Inclusionary Zoning provisions of the Zoning Ordinance

Recreational Marijuana Sales in Newton dominate City Council discussions this week

Please note that the only item on the Reports Docket this week, is the request to amend the special permit/site plan approval for Garden Remedies which would allow for the retail sale of marijuana at their establishment on Washington Street. The Land Use Committee voted 3-1-3 (Auchincloss opposed, Kelley, Laredo, Markiewicz abstaining – Lipof excused).  The item was chartered by Councilor Schwarz (Chair of the Land Use Committee) at the last Full Council Meeting on August 13th. The draft Council Order can be found here. An amendment to the Order of Conditions contained within the draft Council Order will be proposed by Councilor Baker and can be found here.

In addition, the New Docket contains 4 marijuana related items which will be taken up by the Programs and Services Committee on Thursday, September 6th:

  • #468-18 Request to remove the Question regulating the number of recreational marijuana establishments from the November ballot filed by Councilors Cote, Norton and Kelley.
  • #469-18 Requesting the City Council reconsider placing a question on the ballot prohibiting retail recreational marijuana sales in Newton filed by Councilors Baker, Norton, Gentile, Kalis, Cote, Ciccone, Laredo, Kelley and Schwartz
  • #470-18 Initiative Petition requesting a ballot question prohibiting recreational marijuana establishments with exceptions filed by Suzanne Bender et al. – (Opt-out petition meeting the 6,000 signature requirement)
  • #471-18 Provide a means for voters to determine which marijuana question prevails if both are approved filed by President Laredo – see Memo from President Laredo

The Law Department has also weighed in on each of the marijuana related docket items here.