Category: Default

City Board and Commission Meetings – Week of January 5th

Newton Cultural Council: The Newton Cultural Council will meet on Monday, January 6th at 8:30 a.m. in Room 204. The agenda includes the following:

  • CREATE Newton
  • House of Ax extension vote
  • Protocols regarding diversity and ADA compliance
  • Rigor of Adjudication
  • Arts Excellence – what does it mean and how to fund it?
  • Setting of next meeting date

Planning and Development Board: The Planning and Development Board will meet on Monday, January 6th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 204. The agenda includes the following:

  • Approval of November 25th and December 11th Meeting Minutes
  • Revised Certificate of Action for Farwell Street Subdivision
  • Consolidated Plan Update/Human Services and Emergency Solutions Grant Review
  • Zoning Update

Election Commission: The Election Commission will meet on Tuesday, January 7th at 6:30 p.m. in the City Clerk’s Office. The agenda includes the following:

  • Referendum Petition Review and Discussion
  • Referendum Ballot Wording Discussion
  • Approval of November 15th Minutes and November 23rd Recount
  • Other Business

Newton Housing Partnership: The Newton Housing Partnership will meet on Tuesday, January 7th at 6:00 p.m. in Room 205. The agenda includes the following:

  • Dunstan East Chapter 40B Project
    • Presentation by Project Petitioner
    • Discussion
  • Riverside Project
    • Discussion
    • Vote
  • Northland Project
    • Discussion
  • Review and Approval of December 17th Meeting Summary
  • Newton Housing Authority/CAN-DO Portfolio Acquisition
    • Presentation by Project Petitioner
    • Discussion
  • Upcoming Meetings

UMASS Amherst Council – Mt.Ida: The UMASS Amherst – Mt. Ida Neighborhood Council will meet on Tuesday, January 7th at 8:00 a.m. in Private Dining Room at Campus Center at UMASS Amherst at Mt. Ida. The agenda includes the following:

  • UMASS updates
  • Neighborhood updates
  • City updates
  • Future Agenda Items
  • Setting of Next Meeting Date

Urban Design Commission: The Urban Design Commission will meet on Wednesday, January 8th at 7:00 p.m. in Room B17. The agenda includes the following:

  • Four Sign Permit Requests:
    • The Farmacy Cafe at 880 Walnut Street
    • Awaken 180 at 313 Washington Street
    • The Shade Store at 200 Boylston Street, B104
    • Serena & Lily at 200-220 Boylston Street
  • Design Review for 15 Riverdale Avenue -Residences on the Charles (Chapter 40B project)

The Staff Memo can be found here.

Conservation Commission: The Newton Conservation Commission will meet on Thursday, January 9th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 204. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request for an Order of Conditions on a Notice of Intent (continued) for construction of a 25-unit condominium project at 1114 Beacon Street
  • Request for an Order of Conditions on a Notice of Intent for replacement of failing fieldstone bridges with timber bridges at Holes 6 and 7 at 326 Fuller Street (Brae Burn Country Club)
  • Request for an Order of Conditions on a Notice of Intent for demolition of existing duplex and construction of 3 single-family homes at 148 Pine Street
  • Request for an Order of Conditions on a Notice of Intent for restoration of a trail – Pony Truss Trail between Riverside MBTA Station and Depot Tunnel
  • Request to determine next steps in bringing the site into compliance with the Order of Conditions and approved plans at 315 Albermarle Road
  • Request for an Order of Conditions for a Notice of Intent for an addition to a single-family home at 28 Olde Field Road
  • Request to re-sign the Certificate of Completion for a project at 31 Harwich Road
  • Discussion of Old Deer Park Opening
  • Discussion of Encroachment Procedure
  • Discussion of Flood Zone Policy to Ensure Adequate Compensatory Flood Storage

The Packet Documents can be found here.

Designer Selection Committee: The Designer Selection Committee will meet on Thursday, January 9th at 6:00 p.m. in Trustees Room at the Newton Free Library. The agenda includes the following:

  • Horace Mann Elementary School Project Designer Response Reviews
  • Review Responses, deliberate, score and short-list designer responses for interviews

Newtonville Area Council Meeting –

The Newtonville Area Council will meet on Thursday January 9, 2020  at 7:00 p.m. in Room 211 at Newton City Hall. The agenda items will include the following:

  • Welcome new members;
  • Rules of the game
  • Election of officers
  • Washington Street update
  • Co-host informational panel on the Northland Project and Referendum
  • Ongoing and new projects, assignment of tasks.

Waban Area Council to Meet on January 9th

The Waban Area Council will meet on Thursday, January 9th at 7:00 p.m. in the Waban Library. The agenda includes the following:

  • Wellesley Office Park Mixed Use Development: Developer Representatives will be on hand to discuss the mixed-use development at the Wellesley Office Park. The Town of Wellesley has designated the site as a Chapter 40R Overlay District and the Developer is seeking a permit to replace the office building located at 40 Williams Street with at 350 unit apartment building and a shared parking garage.
  • Administrative Matters:
    • Appointment of members to fill vacancies
    • Election of 2020 Officers
    • Approval of December Minutes and Treasurer’s Report
    • Update on 2019 Report
  • Issues from the Community
  • Discussion of Possible Tri-Council Informational Forum on Northland Development
  • Announcements
    • Pubic Safety and Transportation Committee seeking public input on priorities for transportation and top priorities-January 22nd at 7:00 p.m. Room 205.

Climate Action Initiatives

How about starting the New Year off by participating in some environmental initiatives? Consider these actions:

Newton Power Choice: Newton Power Choice offers three electricity choices that give residents greater control over the environmental characteristics and price of their electricity supply.

All program options, including the Standard Offering, will purchase renewable electricity from New England-based renewable energy projects. Current pricing is as follows:

Standard (default): 11.34 ยข/kWh
100% Green: 11.75 cents/kWh
Basic: 10.87 cents/kWh

Consider Opting-Up? If you are like me and want to do as much as you can to help combat the climate crisis, consider opting up. For as little as 41 cents/kWH more than the standard default price, residents who decide to opt up (by contacting Direct Energy at 1-866-968-8065, asking them to change your program option, and providing your Eversource electricity account information), you can purchase 100% of your electricity from 100% renewable energy sources. To find out more, please go here.

Curbside Composting Program: The City recently partnered with Black Earth Composting to offer weekly curbside pickup of food waste. It’s a great option if you don’t already have a backyard compost set up (which you could do yourself and purchase bins from the City. Go here for more info). For more information to sign up for Black Earth go here. To sign up for Bootstrap, another composting organization that picks up from Newton, go here.

Recycle and Dispose Trash Correctly. You may think you know what you can recycle and/or properly dispose of as trash, but maybe you don’t? The City’s DPW has a very informative website. Check out the following:

  • Blue Cart Do’s and Don’t’s
  • Green Cart Do’s and Don’ts
  • White Goods – Appliances, Electronics, and Metal Waste – Unlimited white goods, appliances, metal, and e-waste items may be dropped-off at the Newton Resource Recovery Center (Rumford Avenue) at no charge with the exception of TVs and monitors. However, please note: There will be a fee for Curbside Collection. Beginning on February 1, 2020, the fee for the white goods curbside collection service will be $25 per item. Requests will be made using Newton’s Bill Pay webpage.

Meatless Mondays? While this may not be an “official” City sponsored initiative, it certainly is a world-wide one and one that is not too difficult to sustain. With one vegan, one pescatarian, and three omnivores in my family, (not including my dogs), meal menus can be challenging. But my vegan daughter taught me how easy it is to try to eat less meat and make a huge difference for the environment. And try I did. Even when the kids are away at school or in their new homes, we have at least two or three plant-based meals each week and it’s not as hard as one might think. Just keep a lot of spices and beans in your cupboard! In case you are interested, here are a few of my “go-to-recipes” to get you started.

What’s Up in Newton this Week? New Year’s Open House and Food Drive, Inauguration of New City Council and School Committee, and Newtonville Historic District Commission Meeting

New Year’s Open House: Thanks to Newton Community Pride and many other very generous sponsors, there will be an Open House and Food drive at Newton City Hall on Tuesday, December 31st from 10 a.m. – Noon. Bring a breakfast food donation and participate in sorting activities for the food drive and then stay for refreshments and craft making and more! Additional information can be found here.

Newton Inauguration Ceremony: On January 1st, the Newton City Council and the Newton School Committee will be sworn in at Newton Council at 12:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers. New Chairs have been selected for this term’s City Council:

  • Land Use:
    • Chair and Vice President of the Council: Rick Lipof
    • Vice Chair: Andrea Kelley
  • Programs and Services:
    • Chair: Josh Krintzman
    • Vice Chair: Brenda Noel
  • Zoning and Planning Committee:
    • Chair: Deb Crossley
    • Vice Chair: Vicki Danberg
  • Finance Committee:
    • Chair: Becky Grossman
    • Vice Chair: David Kalis
  • Public Safety and Transportation:
    • Chair: Jake Auchincloss
    • Vice Chair: Andreae Downs
  • Public Facilities:
    • Chair: Alison Leary
    • Vice Chair: Emily Norton
  • Real Property Reuse Committee:
    • Chair: Vicki Danberg
    • Vice Chair: Chris Markiewicz

School Committee:

  • Chair: Ruth Goldman
  • Vice Chair: Bridget Ray-Canada

Newtonville Historic District Commission: Only Commission to meet this week will be the Newtonville Historic District Commission. The agenda can be found here.

City Board and Commission Meetings – Week of December 29th

Newtonville Historic District Commission: The Newtonville Historic District Commission will meet on Thursday, January 2nd at 7:30 p.m. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request for a Certificate of Appropriateness to expand the rear bump out, replace the rear windows, add an entry door, steps and windows at the right side of the house, and remove a window on the left side of the house at 114 Lowell Avenue
  • Request for a Certificate of Appropriateness (violation) where the original windows were replaced with vinyl between-the-glass-grille windows without Commission review and approval. Request to replace some sashes with aluminum clad windows and to keep some of the installed between-the-glass-grille windows at 161 Walnut Street

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

What’s up in Newton this Week? New City Council Leadership,Understanding Land Use Committee votes to Withdraw Without Prejudice, and this week’s Road Construction Schedule

New City Council Leadership: If you haven’t already heard, there’s a new President and Vice President of the City Council. Susan Albright, City Councilor at-large from Ward 2 and Rick Lipof, City Councilor at-large from Ward 8 were elected President and Vice President of the new City Council.

Washington Street Vision Plan up for a vote TONIGHT. The Washington Street Vision Plan will be before the City Council for a vote TONIGHT. The most recent version of the plan can be found here. As you may recall, the City Council referred this item back to the Zoning and Planning Committee for further review. The Committee discussion can be found here.

What does Withdrawal Without Prejudice Mean? If you’re following the Land Use Committee votes and the Reports Docket for this week, you’ll see that there a several petitions that were voted “Withdrawal Without Prejudice” – including the retail marijuana petition for a special permit (ASCEND MASS, LLC) and the Riverside Change of Zone and Special Permit petitions. That’s because the City Council rules require that Special Permit petitions which have not been acted upon before the end of the term, require public hearings, be heard by the Council that will vote (dispose) of the item. Because there is a change in the City Council membership, this means that these petitions and a few others, will have to re-petition and have a new public hearing before the new Council.

Road Construction Schedule for this week: The Road Construction Schedule for the week of December 16th – 20th can be found here.