Category: City Council

City Council Meetings – Week of April 15th

Public Safety and Transportation Committee:  The Public Safety and Transportation Committee will meet on Wednesday, April 18th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205.  The agenda includes the following:

  • Request to amend the 128 Business Council Bus License
  • Discussion with Police Department regarding Tactical Readiness
  • Discussion with the Chief of Police on Crash Trends in the City
  • Discussion with the Chief of Police and Department staff on Community Policing

Public Facilities Committee:  The Public Facilities Committee will meet on Wednesday, April 18th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 204.  The agenda includes the following:

  • Request for Grants of Location for 227 Walnut Street (Verizon); Karen Road (National Grid) and Brookside Avenue (National Grid)
  • Appointments to the Solid Waste Commission:  Robin Maltz and Claudine Ellyin
  • Appointments to the Design Review Committee:  Amy MacKrell and Stephanie Gilman
  • Discussion with DPW regarding sewer extension billing
  • Discussion/Review of the Street Design Guide
  • Re-appointments to the Designer Selection Committee:  Kenneth White, James Powers and Benjamin Tucker
  • Re-appointments to the Design Review Committee:  Marc Resnick and Jonathan Kantar

Programs and Services Committee:  The Programs and Services Committee will meet on Wednesday, April 18th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 211.  The agenda includes the following:

  • Appointment to the Jackson Homestead:  Leland Fisher
  • Re-appointment to the Biosafety Committee:  Aric Parnes
  • Discussion of a proposed Polystyrene Ban on Disposable Food and Beverage Containers

Full City Council Meeting and Mayor’s Budget Address – Tuesday, April 17th

The Full City Council will meet on Tuesday, April 17th at 7:45 p.m. in the City Council Chambers.  The Reports Docket can be found here and the New Docket can be found here.

Of note on the New Docket is a request to amend the Special Permit/Site Plan approval for the Washington Place Development.  You might recall that there was a hybrid development proposal that was approved by the Council.  That hybrid had options for a 140 unit proposal or a 160 unit proposal. This request includes:

  • substitution of the originally approved plan for a 140 unit plan that would add a fifth floor to the middle building fronting Washington Street and reduce the massing at the rear of the building on Walnut Street.
  • an overall decrease of 14,575 sq. ft from the originally approved 160 unit option
  • an increase of 1,970 sq. ft from the originally approved 140 unit option.
  • the addition of 170 sq. ft of commercial square footage
  • relocation of two at-grade parking stalls to the underground garage.

In addition, the petition is seeking to change the condition requiring the filing of a Final Inclusionary Housing Plan and an Affirmative Fair Marketing and Resident Selection Plan – originally required as a condition precedent to receiving a building permit, to a condition precedent to receiving a temporary occupancy permit.

Mayor Fuller will be giving her first budget address.  She will be submitting the the FY2019 Municipal and School Operating Budget totaling $412,513,389 as well as the FY2019-2023 Capital Improvement Plan and FY2019-2023 Supplemental Capital Improvement Plan.

City Council Committee Reports – Week of April 15th

Land Use Committee Report – April 3, 2018:  The following items were recommended for approval:

  • 2 Terrace Avenue – Petition for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval for additional space over a two-car garage exceeding the FAR from .41 to .43  Draft Council Order can be found here.
  • 2095 Commonwealth Avenue (Auburndale Starbucks) – Petition for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow a restaurant with more than 50 seats, allow a free standing sign (withdrawn), allow for more than 2 secondary signs, waivers to the interior landscaping requirement, parking waivers for parking in the front setback and for aisle width.  Draft Council Order can be found here.
  • 333 Nahanton Street (Jewish Community Center) – Petition for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to amend the site plan to construct a 2-story 4,352 sq. ft. addition at the rear of the existing gymnasium. Draft Council Order can be found here.
  • 93 – 105 Union Street (Piccadilly Square) – Petition for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval for a Comprehensive Sign Package and waivers for individual signs. Draft Council Order can be found here.

Land Use Committee Report – April 10, 2018:  The following items were recommended for approval:

  • 80 Union Street – Request to Withdraw an application for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to amend a prior Board Order issued for 70-80 Union Street and 93 Union Street and eliminate a requirement for 4 off-site parking stalls at 93 Union Street.
  • 133 Park Street – Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to enclose first and second floor porches and construct a two-story side addition exceeding the FAR of an allowed .37 (existing is .34) to a proposed FAR of .48. Draft Council Order can be found here.
  • 36 Cummings Road – Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to construct a two-story addition to the rear of a house and the side of a house extending the existing non-conforming structure. Draft Council Order can be found here.
  • 110 Parker Avenue – Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to construct a second story addition and attic space further increasing the non-conforming setback and increasing the FAR from an allowed .48 (existing is .38) to .50. Draft Council Order can be found here.
  • 64 Green Park – Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to replace a two-story enclosed porch with a two story addition further increasing the non-conforming FAR from an allowed .36 (eixsting ,51) to .53. Draft Council Order can be found here.
  • JFK Circle – Newton Housing Authority – Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to amend a prior Board Order and remove 26,366 sq. ft. of land from 83-127 and 106-128 JFK Circle to develop 55 affordable elderly housing units (requiring Chapter 40B Comprehensive Permit), extend non-conforming setbacks and parking waivers. Law Department memo and draft Council Order can be found here.

Zoning and Planning Committee Report – April 9, 2018:  All items were held. There was an in-depth discussion about two items and a brief update on the Washington Street Corridor Action Plan.

  • Shared Parking Pilot Program – See Planning Memo here.
  • Zoning Redesign Series – See Planning Memo here.

Finance Committee Report – April 9, 2018:  The Finance Committee approved submittal of the FY2017 Comprehensive Financial Audit Report and other external audit reports:  FY2017 Single Audit Reports – GAO and OMB Reports and  Management Letter. All other items were held.

Public Safety and Transportation Committee Report – April 4, 2018: The Public Safety and Transportation Committee voted to approve the following:

  • proposed amendments to the Pilotless Aircraft Ordinance (Drones) – suggested amendments in response to Federal Court’s decision striking down registration requirements and other prohibitions
  • appeal of Traffic Council’s decision for flashing warning lights at LaGrange Street and instead – install pedestrian activated signal with a flashing yellow light
  • No Action Necessary – Discussion item on preparedness for automated, electric and shared vehicles

The Committee also had substantive discussion on the City’s ability to test and implement self-driving vehicles.

Public Facilities Committee Report – April 4, 2018:  All items were held but the Committee had substantive discussions on the following:

  • Update on the Organic Waste Composting Pilot Program from the Director of Environmental Affairs, Waneta Trabert as well as a general discussion of the status of contaminated recycling and sustainable materials management – See the end of the Committee Report for the Director’s excellent presentation!
  • Review of proposed City Council ordinances/regulations regarding petitions to install wireless communications facilities and poles

Traffic Council – April 12 ,2018:  The Traffic Council voted to approve the following:

  • Parking restriction on Lexington Street (Ward 4) near the pedestrian crosswalk that leads to Burr Elementary School field
  • Parking restrictions on Hawthorne Avenue (Ward 4) – entire length on the east side, from Woodland Road to to Unity Street on the west side, and a two-hour limit all days and all hours from Unity Street to Aspen Avenue on the west side
  • Parking restrictions on Amy Circle (Ward 5) – No parking east side from Beacon Street to a point 175 feet northerly, two-hour limit from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. west side from Beacon Street to a point 175 feet north of Beacon on the east side
  • Stop sign at the intersection of Wolcott Street extension and Wolcott Street (Ward 4).

The Council voted No Action Necessary on the following items:

  • Request to review traffic flow on Ellis Street (Ward 5)
  • Request to study speed and traffic flow on Radcliff and Tamworth Roads (Ward 5)
  • Request for traffic calming measures on Washington Street from Beacon Street to Aspen Avenue (Ward 4)
  • Request for speed study, traffic calming measures, and a raised crosswalk at Auburn Street and Woodland Road (Ward 4)

Traffic Council Meeting April 12th

The Traffic Council is scheduled to meet on Thursday, April 12th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 211.  The agenda includes:  parking restrictions on Lexington Street (Ward 4), Hawthorne Avenue (Ward 4), redirection of traffic flow on Ellis Street (Ward 5), parking restrictions on Amy Circle (Ward 5), and a stop sign for the Wolcott Street Extension (Ward 4).  The Committee Chair will also entertain a motion for NO ACTION NECESSARY for the following:  traffic study and traffic calming measures for Radcliff and Tamworth Roads (Ward 5), traffic calming or speed reduction on Washington Street between Beacon Street and Aspen Avenue (Ward 4), and a traffic study and possible raised crosswalk for the intersection of Auburn Street and Woodland Road (Ward 4).  The agenda can be found here.

City Council Committee Meetings Week of December 17th

The following City Council Committees are scheduled to meet this week:

Land Use Committee:  The Land Use Committee will meet TONIGHT at 6:45 p.m. in Room 205 to discuss the following:  request for an extension of time to exercise a special permit to demolish a 2 story building and construct a 3-story multi-family structure with 13 units at 429 Cherry Street; request to withdraw a special permit request to relocate an existing dwelling, add a unit to the rear of the building and construct two additional single family dwellings in an MR-1 District at 336 Newtonville Avenue, request for a Consistency Ruling for the Austin Street project (see Planning Memo) and 15 Class 2 Auto Dealer License Renewals.  The agenda and supporting information (including the Austin Street Council Order) can be found here.

Finance Committee:  The Finance Committee will meet TONIGHT at 7:00 p.m. in Room 211 to discuss the following:  reappointment of the Comptroller, Sue Dzikowski; a request authorization to accept a $50,000 grant from the Massachusetts Preservation Project Fund for the East Parish Burying Ground project; a request for an ordinance amendment requiring seasonal water users not eligible for an outdoor water meter to pay a surcharge for the use of sewerage works in proportion to water consumption; and request for authorization to settle a claim against the Newton Public Schools for $10,000 to be taken from the School Department Budget.  The agenda can be found here.

City Council Committee Meetings – Week of December 10th

The following City Council Committees are scheduled to meet this week:

Zoning and Planning Committee: The Zoning and Planning Committee is scheduled to meet on Monday, December 11th at 7:45 p.m. in Room 205 to discuss the following:  appointment of Sandra Lingley to the Commission on Disability, appointment of Robert Maloney as a Ward 2 member of the Community Preservation Committee, public hearing on a proposed zoning amendment to increase the inclusionary zoning requirement from 15% to 25% requiring some affordable housing units to be designated towards middle income households and create a new formula to calculate payments in lieu of affordable units (see Planning Memo) , and an update on zoning redesign (see Zoning Redesign Update).  The agenda can be found here.

Traffic Council:  The Traffic Council is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, December 13th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 211 and is scheduled to discuss the following;  request for review and possible changes to parking regulations on Oak Hill Street between Brookline Street and Puddingstone Lane, request for a four-way stop sign at the intersection of Gibbs Street and Sumner Street, request for a three way stop sign at the intersection of Norwood Avenue and Trowbridge Street, request for an addition of thirty feet of no parking opposite the church parking lot entrance, request for parking prohibitions – 3 spaces in the area of the six existing unrestricted parking space area across from #44 and the addition of 3 unrestricted parking spaces across from #56 Norwood Avenue – removing 3 two-hour parking spaces, request for a flashing school zone/speed limit sign be installed on Crescent Avenue between the rectory and school to address safety concerns, request for
no parking signs on Crescent Avenue be changed to LIVE pick up and drop off
during school hours, request to allow flexibility in terms of the location, duration, and pricing of public parking spaces as well as potential changes to traffic circulation within
and proximate to the Austin Street parking lot, in order to provide for the
reconstruction of the Austin Street parking lot, request for a change
to the direction of traffic flow on Bram Way, in order to accommodate the
reconstruction of the Austin Street parking lot, and nomination, election and term length of Traffic Council Chair.  The agenda can be found here.

City Council Caucus:  The new City Council will hold a caucus on Thursday, December 14th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 211, to vote on a new President and Vice President of the City Council.  The agenda can be found here.  In the running are Susan Albright, Cheryl Lappin and Marc Laredo for Council President and Vicki Danbert and Rick Lipof for Vice President.  The agenda can be found here.

City Council Committee Meetings – Week of December 3rd

The following City Council Committees are scheduled to meet this week:

Land Use Committee:  The regularly scheduled meeting of the Land Use Committee for Tuesday, December 5th, has been cancelled.  Notice of Cancellation can be found here.

Programs and Services Committee:  The Programs and Services Committee is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, December 6th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 211 and then at 7:45 in the Council Chambers and is expected to discuss the following:  re-appointment of David Olson as City Clerk, appointment of Donna Murphy to the Council on Aging, appointment of Julia Geller to the Youth Commission, appointment of Aneel Chiittalappilly to the Youth Commission, appointment of Maya Gomberg to the Youth Commission, appointment of Myles Hoffman to the Youth Commission, appointment of Michelle Drolsbaugh to the Advisory Council on Health, re-appointment of Richard Kronish to the Newton Housing Authority, re-appointment of Thomas Turner to the Newton Housing Authority, public hearing on a Citizens Petition to limit City Council actions to City issues, and a public hearing on a Citizens Petition requesting an ordinance to mandate transparency in NPS curriculum.  The agenda can be found here.

Public Facilities Committee:  The Public Facilities Committee is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, December 6th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 204 and is expected to discuss the following:  petition for a forced main at Rumford Avenue, request for an amendment to the snow removal ordinance, discussion on repair of underground streetlight connections, request for an amendment on the sewer use charge.  The Chair also notes that there will be a brief discussion to allow the Committee to review a revised budget and pro forma for the Crescent Street project is to be provided the day before our meeting. The agenda can be found here.

Public Safety and Transportation Committee:  The Public Safety and Transportation Committee is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, December 6th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205 and is expected to discuss the following:  request for a renewal for a bus license for Lasell College, two requests for auto licenses, 4 requests for renewal of public auto and taxi licenses, request for an amendment to the snow removal ordinance, and a request for approval of the West Newton Enhancement Project.  The Chair will also take up the following items with the intent to move No Action Necessary:  request to revise the Overtime Parking Ordinance, request to appropriate $150,000 from Cable Fees for video cameras for 30 traffic signals, request for a discussion regarding the MBTA’s plans to redesign the Auburndale Commuter Rail Station and its impact on service, discussion about community policing, and a request to amend the ordinances to establish licensing requirements for lodging houses.  The agenda can be found here.

Full City Council to Meet TONIGHT – December 4th – 8 + 8 – model to reduce the size of the Council on the Agenda

The Full City Council will meet TONIGHT – December 4th at 7:45 p.m in the City Council Chamber.  The Reports Docket can be found here and the new Docket can be found here.

The Council will take up the proposal to reduce the size of the City Council to 8 at-large with a representative from each of the Wards and 8 Ward elected from each of the Wards. The proposed draft Council Order can be found here.

City Council Committee Reports now available

Finance Committee:  The Finance Committee met on Monday, November 27th and voted to approve the following:  request for authorization to transfer $109,200 from the Budget Reserve Snow and Ice Account to fund overtime staffing expenses and tree services incurred and anticipated because of wind storms, request for authorization for $1,507,105 from bonded indebtedness to upgrade the City’s financial system, request to appropriate and expend $215,000 from bonded indebtedness to purchase a bucket truck for the forestry division, request to appropriate $213,000 from bonded indebtedness to renovate 3 tennis courts at McGrath Park, request for authorization for $192,000 from bonded indebtedness for the purchase of two Parks and Rec Trash and Recycling Vehicles, request for an abatement for a curb betterment at 321 Central Street, request to appropriate $5 million from the November 13, 2017 Overlay Surplus to fund the Accelerated Roads Program, request to accept a $44K grant from MassDEP to support the City’s recycling program, request to appropriate $35, 674 to settle a claim, and request to appropriate $26,000 to support changes in the Comptroller’s Office. All other items were held.  The report can be found here.

Real Property Reuse Committee:  The Real Property Reuse Committee met on Monday, November 27th and voted to approve the following:  request for amendments to Chapter 2, Section 7. Sale or lease of city owned real property, of the City of Newton Revised Ordinance, 2012 (The Real Property Reuse Ordinance) to clarify how properties are classified in regards to purpose, use, and ownership; the procedure to handle reused properties; and to address any other changes that might be needed. The report can be found here.

Land Use Committee:  The Land Use Committee met on Tuesday, November 28th and voted to approve the following:  request for a Consistency Ruling relative to a previously issued special permit for 37 Hamlet Street – Houghton Village – to allow for the replacement of an existing maintenance shed and add 159 square feet of space to extend a community room, request for an extension of time to exercise a special permit to rehabilitate Farwell Hall, construct an addition and grant a parking waiver and associated relief from parking lot requirements at 157 Herrick Road, request for Withdrawal without prejudice for a request for a special permit/site plan approval to develop off-site, non-accessory, single-level parking on the parcel at 55 Tower Road (Parcel 2) to serve the existing office building at 156 Oak Street, requiring a waiver of 84 parking stalls, a waiver to allow non-accessory parking on a lot separate from the principal use, waivers to allow parking within setbacks, waivers to dimensional requirements for parking stalls, waivers to the maximum width for entrance and exit drives, waivers for perimeter screening requirements for parking facilities, a waiver to interior landscaping requirements for parking facilities, waivers to lighting requirements for parking facilities, and waivers to
the requirement for curbing, wheel stops, guard rails, and bollards at 156 Oak Street
and 55 Tower Road,special permit/site plan approval to legalize a third unit and non-compliant lot area per unit in the existing non-conforming two-family at 69-71 Cherry Street, and special permit/site plan approval to relocate an existing dwelling, add a unit to the rear rear of the dwelling and construct two additional single-family attached dwellings in an MR-1 district for property located at 336 Newtonville Avenue, request for a zone change to MR-3 for land located at 392-396 Langley Road(MR-2; Parcel 1), 400 Langley Road (MR-2; Parcel 2), and 402-404 Langley Road (BU-1; Parcel 3)and  a request for a special permit/site plan approval to raze an existing two-family at 400 Langley Road and construct a 20 unit apartment building, legitimize a nonconforming deck and setback at 402-404 Langley Road, a reduction of parking to 1.25 stalls per unit or 83 stalls, parking in the side
setback, a waiver of dimensional requirements for parking, a waiver for requirements
for end stalls, a waiver for the minimum aisle width, a waiver of perimeter screening
and interior landscaping requirements, a waiver for lighting and surfacing requirements
and a waiver to allow multi-family dwellings in the MR-3 zone, at 392-396, 400, 402-404
Langley Road.  (See the following links:   Draft Council Order for Zone Change, Draft Council Order – clean and redline version, and Perkins Eastman memo).  The Committee also voted No Action Necessary on a request to rezone five parcels 156 Oak Street (Parcel1), 55 Tower Road (Parcel 2), 275-281 Needham Street (Parcel 3), 260 Needham Street(Parcel 4), 160 Charlemont Street(Parcel 5) to BU4 from MU1.  The report can be found here.

 

Public Facilities Committee:  The Public Facilities Committee met on Wednesday, November 29th and voted to approve the following:  request for approval of the West Newton Square Enhancement Project, request to extend the trial program for removal of snow from sidewalks, request to appropriate $5 million fro Overlay Surplus Declaration to fund the Accelerated Roads Program. The Committee voted No Action Necessary on a petition for a grant of location to install a pole on the southerly side of Bellevue Street in front of 35 Howard Street.  There was also substantive discussion of the Crescent Street project to create 8 units of housing and a renovated playground.  All other items were held.  The report can be found here.

Public Safety and Transportation Committee:  The Public Safety and Transportation Committee met on Wednesday, November 29th and voted to approve the following:  request to extend the trial program for removal of snow from sidewalks.  The Committee voted to No Action Necessary on a request for updates on the Washington Street Design.  The Committee – after several motions – voted to hold the West Newton Enhancement Project.  The Report can be found here.

Zoning and Planning Committee:  The Zoning and Planning Committee met on Monday, November 27th and voted to approve the following:  a zoning amendment to include lodging house ordinance to promulgate rules requiring annual fire, safety and health inspections and a licensing requirement.  All other items were held.  The report can be found here.