Category: Default

Communications from the Mayor’s Office

The Mayor transmitted two formal communications to the City Council:

  • Request for authorization to acquire by purchase, the West Newton Armory and land located at 1135 Washington Street for affordable housing and requesting $1.00 be appropriated from the Municipal Building Maintenance/Building Improvements Account to fund all costs associated with the purchase of the property. The Request is accompanied by a memo regarding the potential purchase, draft special legislation for the State Legislature for “An Act Authorizing the Commissioner of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance to Convey a Certain Parcel of Land to the City of Newton”, and a letter from Josh Morse, Commissioner of Public Buildings regarding “West Newton Armory Inspection and Observations”
  • Letter to the City Council stating her decision to NOT forward on a request for home rule petition to the General Court amendments to the City Charter as approved by the City Council “primarily” because of the inclusion permitting the City Council to hire outside legal counsel. The letter can be found here.

Full City Council to Meet on Monday, May 20th – Will begin Full Council Budget Review

The Full City Council will meet on Monday, May 20th at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber. The Reports Docket can be found here; the New Docket can be found here; the New Docket Addendum can be found here. The Council will go into Committee of the Whole to begin review of the Budget. The Committee of the Whole agenda can be found here.

The Budget Report Book can be found here. And a request to amend the Budget can be found here.

City Council Committee Reports – Now Available

Land Use Committee – May 7, 2019: The Land Use Committee met and voted to approve the following:

  • 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
  • Request to amend a previously granted Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to modify an approved site plan to allow for a paved driveway at 47 Rokeby Road
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow an accessory apartment in an existing space in a dwelling constructed less than four years ago at 35 Cherry Street
  • 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
  • Request to amend a previously granted Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to modify the site plan to allow paving of a parking area at the front of the site at 206 Waltham Street (Scandinavian Living Center)
  • 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 exist, vertically extending the non-conforming side and rear setbacks at 11 Avon Place

All other items were held. Please see the back of the report for related presentations and draft City Council Orders.

Programs and Services Committee – May 8, 2019: The Programs and Services Committee voted to approve the following:

  • 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 claim settlements

Public Facilities Committee – May 8, 2019: The Public Facilities Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Appointment of Anne Cedrone to the Design Review Committee for the 687 Watertown Street – Newton Early Childhood Program project
  • Appointment of John Mulligan to the Design Review Committee for the 150 Jackson Road project
  • Request to appropriate $250,000 from Free Cash to fund architectural and engineering design of the “new” Newton Free Library parking lot
  • Request to appropriate $3,000,000 from Free Cash to fund the City’s Accelerated Road Repair Program

All other items were held.

Finance Committee – May 13, 2019: The Finance Committee voted to approve 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 DepartmentRequest 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 fleetRequest 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

Zoning and Planning Committee – May 13, 2019: The Zoning and Planning Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Request to appropriate $100,000 from Free Cash to fund consulting services for the Planning Department to hire subject matter experts

The Committee voted NO ACTION NECESSARY on the request to discuss and adopt the Hazard Mitigation Plan. All other items were held.

Land Use Committee – May 14, 2019: The Land Use Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Agreement from Petitioner for an extension of time to open a public hearing on the Riverside Special Permit/Site Plan Approval Petition

All other items were held.

Traffic Council – May 16, 2019: The Traffic Council voted to approve the following:

  • Request to add the section of Bullough Park between Mill Street and Dexter Road into the Newtonville Neighborhood Parking District in response to a request to add a 2- hour parking restriction along that stretch of road
  • Request to modify the Carr School Parking District including the removal of a bus zone, the addition of a blue zone, the removal of access restrictions on Nevada Street, and the renaming of the District to the Horace Mann Neighborhood Parking District
  • Request to add Chester Street between Forest and Lincoln Street; Erie Avenue, Hartford Street, and Standish Street to the Newton Highlands Parking District
  • Request to allow residents who live on corner lots within the Waban, Auburndale, and Newtonville Parking Districts to select which abutting street the resident and visitor parking permits shall be valid

The Traffic Council voted NO ACTION NECESSARY on the following items:

  • Request for No Parking within 20 feet of Bullough Park and Mill Street intersection
  • Request to add Bowdoin Street between Forest to Lincoln to the Newton Highlands Parking District

All other items were held.

City Council Committee Meetings – Week of May 19th

Public Safety and Transportation Committee Special Meeting: The Public Safety and Transportation Committee will hold a special meeting on Monday, May 20th at 6:45 p.m. in Room 205 to vote on the appointment of Gino Lucchetti as Newton’s Fire Chief. The agenda can be found here.

Public Facilities Committee Special Meeting: The Public Facilities Committee will hold a special meeting on Monday, May 20th at 6:30 p.m. in Room 204 to vote on a Request 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 in the vicinity of 140 Commonwealth Avenue. The agenda can be found here.

Blue Ribbon Commission: The Blue Ribbon Commission will meet on Wednesday, May 22nd at 6:45 p.m. The agenda includes the following:

Finance Committee: The Finance Committee will meet on Wednesday, May 22nd at 6:30 p.m. in Room 211 to discuss a request to approve a settlement between the School Department and a claimant. The agenda can be found here.

Blue Ribbon Commission: The Blue Ribbon Commission will meet on Wednesday, May 22nd at 6:45 p.m. in Room 205. The agenda includes the following:

  • Open public comment
  • Final voting
  • Report review

Public Safety and Transportation Committee, Public Facilities Committee and the Programs and Services Committee Regularly scheduled meetings are cancelled this week. The Meeting Cancellation Notice can be found here.

Board and Commission Meetings – Week of May 19th

Parks and Recreation Commission: The Parks and Recreation Commission will meet on Monday, May 20th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 204. The agenda includes the following:

  • Commissioner reports on Programs, Forestry, and Maintenance
  • Public Hearing on Levingston Cove Project
  • CPC Presentation by Alice Ingerson and Byron Dunker
  • Committee Reports: CPC; Farm Commission (appoint a representative); Commonwealth Golf Course; Off-Leash Area Working Group; Crystal Lake Working Group; Athletic Fields Committee; NewCAL; Policy and Procedure Review – Field Naming
  • New Business – Responding to emails and Open Meeting Law and No Smoking Signs in Parks

Urban Design Commission: The Urban Design Commission will meet on Monday, May 20th at 7:00 p.m. in Room B17. The agenda includes the following:

Requests for Sign Permits:

  • Mark Dental Group – 33-41 Austin Street
  • McDonald’s – 197 California Street
  • Chase – 1-27 Boylston Street
  • Virgilio’s Echo Bridge Restaurant and Cafe – 1064-1070 Chestnut Street
  • Adelaide of Newton Centre – 157 Herrick Road
  • Veterinary Emergency Group – 165 Needham Street
  • Pineapple Thai Cuisine – 1-27 Boylston Street

Request for Design Review

  • Riverside MBTA Station – 355 and 399 Grove Street

Washington Place Liaison Committee: The Washington Street Liaison Committee will meet on Monday, May 20th at 7:00 p.m. in the City Hall Cafeteria. The agenda includes a discussion on adding a condition on construction vibrations to future special permits and an open discussion.

Board of License Commissioners: The Board of License Commissioners will meet on Tuesday, May 21st at 7:30 p.m. in Room 204. The agenda includes:

  • Four applications for Seasonal Farmers’ Market Winery Licenses – 3 for the Elm Street Market – Aaronap Cellars, Westport Rivers, and 1634 Meadery and 2 for the Cold Springs Park Market – House Bear Brewing and 1634 Meadery
  • Numerous one-day temporary temporary wine and malt licenses – including 5 for the St. Mary of Carmen Festival and 14 for Boston College events
  • A new common victualler and annual entertainment license for Thai Cater d/b/a/ Coconut Newton, 759 Beacon Street
  • A new all alcohol, common victualler and entertainment license to be exercised at Pressed Cafe d/b/a/ Pressed Cafe, 300 Needham Street

Citizens Commission on Energy: The Citizens Commission on Energy will meet on Wednesday, May 22nd at 7:00 p.m. in the Library Trustees Room, 2nd Floor of the Newton Free Library. The agenda includes the following:

  • Progress on implementation of the CCAP
  • Memorandum of Understanding with Utilities

Newton Free Library Board of Trustees: The Newton Free Library Board of Trustees will meet on Wednesday, May 22nd at 9:00 a.m. in the Trustees Room at the Newton Free Library. The agenda includes the following:

  • Approval of April 24th Meeting Minutes (not attached to the agenda)
  • Reports from the Treasurer, Library Director, Development, Friends, and the following committees: Trustees/Friends coordination; Online Fundraising; and Finance
  • Renovations Update
  • New Business
  • Visitors Update

Note: The Treasurer’s Report, Library Director’s Report and Development (Quarterly Report) are not attached to the agenda.

Zoning Board of Appeals: The Zoning Board of Appeals will meet on Wednesday, May 22nd at 7:00 p.m. in the City Council Chamber. The agenda includes the following:

  • Public Hearing (originally scheduled for April 24th) on an appeal of a Notice of Violation issued by the Commissioner of Inspectional Services for violation of Sections 5.3 and 8.4 of the Newton Zoning Ordinance governing stormwater management and usable open space and for violation of Section R105 of the State Building Code, 780 CMR 51.00, governing building permits.

Newton Historical Commission: The Newton Historical Commission will meet on Thursday, May 23rd at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205. The agenda includes the following:

6 Demolition Requests:

  • Request to demolish the building located at 1253 Washington Street
  • Request to demolish building at 1239-1247 Washington Street
  • Request to demolish building at 1235 Washington Street
  • Request to demolish buildings at 10- 12 Mechanic Street
  • Request to demolish buildings at 92-96 John Street
  • Request to demolish buildings at 40 North Street

3 Waiver Requests:

  • Request to waive demolition delay at 33 Warren Road
  • Request to waive demolition delay at 189 Evelyn Road
  • Request to waive demolition delay at 71 Redwood Road

Request to approve plans for landmark site at 30 Countryside Road

The Staff Memo can be found here and Packet Documents can be found here.

Development Review Team Meetings – Week of May 19th

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

  • 24 Moreland Avenue – Special Permit to enclose front porch, increasing floor area ratio
  • 49-71 Needham Street – Special Permit to amend existing special permit
  • 342 Dudley Road – Special Permit for Internal accessory apt over 1000 sq. ft.

The Development Review Team Snapshot can be found here.

City Council Committee Meetings – Week of April 14th

Finance Committee:  The Finance Committee will meet on Tuesday, April 16th at 7:30 p.m. in Room 211 (prior the Full Council Meeting). The agenda includes the following:

  • Appointment of Suzanne Offit to the Taxation Aid Committee

Programs and Services Committee:  The Programs and Services Committee will meet on Wednesday, April 17th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 211. The agenda will focus on the following departmental budgets and related Capital Improvement Plan projects and Supplemental Capital Improvement Plan projects:

  • Veteran’s
  • Newton History Museum
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Newton Free Library

In addition, the Committee will discuss a request to appropriate $400,000 from Free Cash to fund the completion of the feasibility schematic design, and site plan approval of the NewCal project. See NewCal memo attached to the Public Facilities Committee agenda.

Public Facilities Committee:  The Public Facilities Committee will meet on Wednesday, April 17th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 204. The agenda includes the following:

  • Two appointments to the Design Review Committee:  Anne Cedrone and Tom Enselek
  • Request to appropriate $400,000 from Free Cash to fund the completion of the feasibility schematic design, and site plan approval of the NewCal project. See NewCal memo attached to the agenda.

Public Safety and Transportation Committee:  The Public Safety and Transportation Committee will NOT meet this Wednesday. Notice of Meeting Cancellation can be found here. The next scheduled meeting will be on Thursday, May 2nd, where the Committee will discuss the Police and Fire Department Budgets.

Full City Council to Meet on Monday, March 4th

The Full City Council will meet on Monday, March 4th. The Reports Docket can be found here and the New Docket can be found here.

Note:  There were two Motions for Reconsideration on the Request for authorization to enter into potential lease agreements on 18 municipal and school properties for the Phase 3 Solar Projects (with the exception of the Auburndale Cove location which was NOT approved by the Parks and Recreation Commission).

Public Facilities Chair Deb Crossley has provided this memo regarding the Solar Phase 3 projects.

In addition, there is a request from the Mayor to amend Docket item #84-19 to replace the transfer amount of $500,000 to $1,250,000 with $650,000 going to Rental Vehicles and $600,000 going to Regular Overtime.

City Council Committee Meetings – Week of March 3rd

Blue Ribbon Commission:  The Blue Ribbon Commission will meet on Tuesday, March 5th, at 7:00 p.m. in Room 204. The agenda will focus on outputs from the subcommittees.

Land Use Committee:  The Land Use Committee will meet on Tuesday, March 5th, at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to amend a previously granted special permit granted for a Registered Medical Dispensary to allow retail marijuana sales and waivers from various requirements including – facade requirements, parking requirements, lighting, and landscaping requirements at 24-26 Elliot Street
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow the construction of a detached single-car garage where an attached two car garage exists, to allow greater than 700 sq. ft. of garage space and to allow a retaining wall greater than four feet in height in the setback at 32 Baldpate Hill Road
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow a for-profit school in the existing building at 739 Beacon Street
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to tear down an existing
    garage and replace it with a single-car attached garage, library space and a second story accessory apartment, increasing the non-conforming FAR to .65 where .44 is required and .50 exists at 46 Berwick Road
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow construction of a rear addition to the basement, first-floor and second-floor, increasing the non-conforming height to 41.56 feet where 41.12’ exists and 36’ is allowed and increasing
    he non-conforming FAR to .42 where .36 exists and .33 is allowed at 45 Hyde Avenue
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to demolish an existing stair and landing at the rear of the structure and construct a new, larger deck and stairs, further extending the existing non-conforming side setback at 110 Greenlawn Avenue
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to construct a two-car garage, creating more than 700 sq. ft. of garage space and more than one garage at 106 Sumner Street

Program and Services Committee:  The Programs and Services Committee will meet jointly with the Public Facilities Committee on Wednesday, March 6th at 6:30 p.m. in Room 204 and then will adjourn to Room 211 at 7:00 p.m. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request to submit a Statement of Interest (SOI) – Core Program to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) to fund a renovation/addition of Countryside Elementary School, designated as the highest priority for a major project after Cabot Elementary School and Lincoln–Eliot Elementary School and Newton Early Childhood Program – (Joint Meeting with Public Facilities Committee)
  • Re-appointment of Brooke Foucault Welles to the Human Rights Commission
  • Request for Home Rule Legislation to amend the City Charter based on a review of the 2019 recommendations of the Charter Subcommittee of the Programs & Services Committee except for those relating to City Council composition and term limits for the Council and the Mayor

Public Facilities Committee:  The Public Facilities Committee will meet jointly with the Programs and Services Committee on Wednesday, March 6th at 6:30 p.m. in Room 204 for the first item and then will remain in Room 204 for the rest of their Committee business. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request to submit a Statement of Interest (SOI) – Core Program to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) to fund a renovation/addition of Countryside Elementary School, designated as the highest priority for a major project after Cabot Elementary School and Lincoln–Eliot Elementary School and Newton Early Childhood Program – (Joint Meeting with Public Facilities Committee)
  • Request for authorization to bond $1,364,006 from bonded indebtedness for the purpose of paying costs, including incidental and/or related costs, of replacing the boilers at Bigelow Middle School for which the City may be eligible for a grant from the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA)
  • Request to appropriate $5,600,000 from bonded indebtedness for the purpose of funding the construction of the West Newton Square, which includes street and pedestrian improvements, traffic flow upgrades, signal upgrades, parking upgrades, and the addition of bike lanes
  • Request for updates on the Accelerated Roads Program
  • Submittal of the Fiscal Years 2020 to 2024 Capital Improvement Plan pursuant to section 5-3 of the Newton City Charter

Public Safety and Transportation Committee:  The Public Safety and Transportation Committee will meet on Wednesday, March 6th at 6:30 p.m. in Room 205. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request for a discussion with Fire Chief Proia on fire building codes for new buildings and stick construction as well as on how the department ensures hydrants are in good working order
  • Request to appropriate $5,600,000 from bonded indebtedness for the purpose of
    funding the construction of the West Newton Square, which includes street and pedestrian improvements, traffic flow upgrades, signal upgrades, parking upgrades, and the addition of bike lanes
  • Request for updates on the Accelerated Roads Program

School Committee to Meetings – Week of March 3rd

The School Committee will hold a special meeting on Monday, March 4th at 5:30 p.m. in Room 304 at the Ed Center, 100 Walnut Street. The Meeting Notice/Agenda includes the following:

  • Discussion and Vote on Countryside Statement of Interest
  • Discussion and Vote on Brown Middle School Solar Project
  • Discussion regarding 225 Nevada Street Bus Loop
  • Data Analysis

The School Committee will meet in Executive Session on Tuesday, March 5th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 304 at the Ed Center, 100 Walnut Street, for the purpose of Collective Bargaining with the Newton Teachers Association. The Meeting Notice can be found here.

The School Committee will meet in Executive Session on Wednesday, March 6th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 304 at the Ed Center, 100 Walnut Street, for the purpose of Collective Bargaining with the Newton Teachers Association. The Meeting Notice can be found here.