Category: City Council

NewCAL – new sites?

Last Thursday, the NewCAL folks held a community meeting to gather community input on potential alternative locations to site NewCAL – which the Commissioner of Public Buildings stressed would be Senior Center focused but could be utilized by others when not used by Seniors. Unfortunately, I could not find the handouts on the NewCAL website here, but did manage to take a few photos of the handouts.

The most recent meeting minutes of the working group can be found here.

City Council Committee Meetings – Week of January 19th

Programs and Services Committee: The Programs and Services Committee will meet on Wednesday, January 22nd at 7:00 p.m. in Room 211. The agenda includes the scheduling and priorities for 2020-2021 term as well as the following:

  • 4 Appointments to the Youth Commission:
    • Anna Kusiak
    • Anabel Marre
    • Andrew Li
    • Shiv Sawhney
  • Appointment of Sue Rasala to the Council on Aging
  • Re-appointment of Elizabeth Dugan to the Council on Aging

Public Facilities Committee: The Public Facilities Committee will meet on Wednesday, January 22nd at 6:00 p.m. in Room 204. The agenda includes the following:

  • Chief of Staff for DPW, Shawna Sullivan, will provide an overview of the Department of Public Works
  • Request to transfer $1,000,000 from Budget Reserve – Snow and Ice Removal Account to DPW Overtime, Snow and Ice Removal and DPW Rental Vehicles/Subcontractors Accounts
  • Public Hearing on Request for Grant of Location (Eversource Energy) to relocate one pole northerly from its existing location in front of 3-5 Claflin Place to the south side of Claflin Place
  • Three Public Hearings on Request for Grants of Location (National Grid):
    • to install and maintain a gas main in Jackson Street
    • to install and maintain a gas main in Sargent Street
    • to install and maintain a gas main in David Road

The Committee will then meet jointly with the Public Safety and Transportation Committee for the following item:

  • Request discussion with the administration and school officials on transportation priorities and and public works/streets/sidewalks, etc.

The Commissioner of Public Buildings will provide an update on ongoing Public Building projects in municipal buildings, schools, the library and NewCAL.

Public Safety and Transportation Committee: The Public Safety and Transportation Committee will meet on Wednesday, January 22nd at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request to appropriate and expend $900,000 from June 30, 2019 Certified Free Cash to Fire Rescue Full Time Salaries Account

The Committee will then meet jointly with the Public Facilities Committee for the following item:

  • Request discussion with the administration and school officials on transportation priorities and and public works/streets/sidewalks, etc.

Real Property/Reuse Committee: The Real Property/Reuse Committee will meet on Thursday, January 23rd at 7:00 p.m. in Room 204. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request that the West Newton Armory located at 1135 Washington Street be evaluated for the purpose of leasing the property for redevelopment as 100% affordable housing or for municipal uses

Traffic Council: The Traffic Council will meet on Thursday, January 23rd at 7:00 p.m. in Room 211. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request for a stop sign at Country Club Road and Greenwood Street to enhance safety
  • Request for a No Turn on Red at the intersection of Winchester Street, southbound and Nahanton Street, Monday – Friday between the hours of 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Request to remove the following stop sign from the Traffic and Parking Regulations (“TPR”): Brandeis Road at Roosevelt Road, northbound and southbound. NOTE: This makes no change in the field as it fixes a mistake in the TPR.
  • Request to discuss and potentially remove some or all of the stop signs in the City’s TPR and in the field, at the intersection of Roosevelt Road and Theodore Road
  • Request to remove the following accessible parking space: Chapel Street, east side; 270 feet north of Green Street; northerly 20 feet – as it is no longer needed
  • Request to change the official parking regulations for the portion of William Street located in Newton Corner. The official parking regulations includes a parking prohibition from 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. the entire length, for William Street in Ward 1. However, this parking regulation does not match the existing signage and appears to the be the parking regulation for Williams Street in Newton Upper Falls.
  • Request to increase the number of business parking permits available on Lincoln Street between Bowdoin and Woodward Street
  • Request to review and possibly change the official parking regulations for Williams Street in Newton Upper Falls. The current parking regulations for Williams Street prohibits parking on both sides from 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. except Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays. The parking restriction is currently posted only on the west side of the street and will need to be posted on both sides unless the regulations are changed
  • Request to add parking meters along Chestnut Street in Newton Upper Falls, in the spaces next to the existing metered parking area where the Park and Pedal signs are located
  • Request to review, correct, and reorganize the official parking regulations in the TPR for Beacon Street in a format that is easier to use. The item will correct errors in the TPR and will not make any changes to the intended and posted parking regulations, signage, or meters along the Beacon Street corridor
  • Request a slight modification of the No Parking zones in the TPR around the following existing bus stops in order to clarify tnhe bus stop zones: Washington Street eastbound at Crafts Street, Fredette Road at Saw Mill Brook Parkway, and Saw Mill Brook Parkway at Keller Path

Full City Council to Meet on Tuesday, January 21st – 7:00 p.m. Northland Referendum Special Election Date on the agenda

The Full City Council will meet on Tuesday, January 21st at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber. The Reports Docket can be found here and the New Docket can be found here.

Note: At the last City Council meeting, four members of the City Council chartered the vote on the Northland Referendum Special Election Date. The item was therefore, moved to this City Council meeting for a vote.

City Council Committee Reports – Now Available

Land Use Committee – January 7, 2020 Report: The Land Use Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to construct a 189 sq. ft. one-story addition behind an existing detached garage, increasing the FAR to .43 where .41 exists and .33 is required (? maybe allowed?) at 95 Suffolk Road – Subject to Second Call – See Draft Council Order
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to raze and existing garage and replace it with a larger garage, extending the non-conforming side and rear setbacks at 18 Arapahoe RoadSee Draft Council Order
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to construct dormers in the attic level to add 769 sq. ft. of habitable space for an accessory apartment creating an FAR of of .65 where .55 is allowed and ..53 exists, and to install a staircase to access the roof of an existing detached garage, extending the side and rear setbacks vertically at 68 Manet RoadSee Draft Council Order

All other items were held.

Public Safety and Transportation Committee – January 8, 2020 Report: The Public Safety and Transportation Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Request to amend the Senior Citizen Sticker Parking to allow the possibility for vehicles displaying a valid senior citizen’s parking sticker to continue to park on Highland Avenue, between Lowell Avenue and Bram Way, thereby freeing up spaces within the Austin Street Parking Lot for other vehicles

The Committee voted NO ACTION NECESSARY on the following item:

  • Annual Report of the Traffic Council for 2019

Public Facilities Committee – January 8, 2020 Report: The Public Facilities Committee did not vote to recommend any items for City Council approval. Instead, they voted to schedule items that were posted on their agenda. So all items were held.

Zoning and Planning Committee – January 13, 2020 Report: The Zoning and Planning Committee held all items. NOTE: There was substantive discussion regarding the history of Zoning Redesign and discussion of the Request for a moratorium on landmark designation.

Land Use Committee – January 14, 2020 Report: The Land Use Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Request for a Consistency Ruling regarding a request to amend a previously approved Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow a paved portion to remain and a portion of rear paved patio to be removed at 642 Centre Street
  • Request for an Extension of Time on a 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 StreetDraft Council Order is currently NOT posted online
  • 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 Draft Council Order
  • 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

All other items were held. Please Note: Atty Steve Buchbinder presented an update to the Land Use Committee regarding the text amendments to the MU3 Zoning and the Special Permit application submitted in December 2019.

“The proposed development will be capped at 1,025,000 sq. ft. and 60% of the program will be dedicated to residential uses. Atty. Buchbinder and Principal Damien Chavieno presented an update to the Committee on how the proposed special permit petition differs from the petition filed in 2019. The public hearing for the proposed development is scheduled to open on January 28, 2020 after a presentation on Site Design and Open Space. Topics of discussions are currently planned as follows:

  • February 11th – Housing and Fiscal Impacts
  • February 25th – Transportation
  • March 5th – Design Guidelines, Sustainability”

Programs and Services Committee – January 15, 2020 Report: The Programs and Services Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Request to the City Council to accept the provisions of MGL, Chapter 53, Section 18B to allow the City of Newton to provide voters with with (1) the full text of each question; (2) 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 (3) arguments for and against the question, for all types of municipal ballot questions.

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

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 – 24-unit development and retail Marijuana shop to be discussed at Land Use on Tuesday, December 10th; Flu Shot Clinic on Tuesday, December 10th; Washington Street Vision Plan sent back to ZAP for further discussion on Wednesday, December 11th, Referendum Petition Drive re: Northland has begun, and more…..

Big Night for Land Use: A proposed 24-unit development on Lexington Street and a request for a Retail Marijuana Dispensary are on the agenda for the Land Use Committee on Tuesday, December 10th.

Flu Shot Clinic: The next Flu Shot Clinic sponsored by the City will take place on Tuesday, December 10th from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. in Room 107B at Newton City Hall. Necessary Forms and additional information can be found here.

Washington Street Vision Plan back in Committee: The Full Council voted to send back the Washington Street Vision Plan to the Zoning and Planning Committee at the last Full Council Meeting. The Zoning and Planning Committee has this item on its agenda for discussion on Wednesday, December 11th at 7:00 p.m.

Signature Collection has begun. Right Size Newton has begun gathering signatures in accordance with Section 10-9 of the Newton City Charter, allowing for the contesting of the granting of the zoning relief for the Northland Development located on Needham Street. Last week, the City Council, voted to rezone three parcels on Needham Street and approve a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval for a multi-use development project on Needham Street. Citizens may put the Zoning portion of the Council Action to the voters but not the Special Permit. All documents related to the Northland Re-zoning and Special Permit Application can be found here.

Road Construction Schedule for this week: The Road Construction Schedule for the week of December 9th – 13th can be found here.