Category: Events

What’s Up In Newton This Week – MLK Jr. Celebration- “Know Your Neighbor” TODAY; Northland Referendum Election Date to be set on Tuesday; 478 Parking Space Waiver in Newton Center to be voted on Tuesday; Chapter 40B Dunstan East proposal by Mark Development before Zoning Board of Appeals on Wednesday and more……

MLK Jr. Celebration: The MLK Jr. 2020 Annual Celebratiion will take place this morning, beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the First Baptist Church, 848 Beacon Street, Newton Centre. This year’s theme is “Know Your Neighbor”. There will be a community chorus performance and a Community Coffee: An Engagement and Activism Fair. More details about this event can be found here.

Northland Referendum Date to be set on Tuesday evening: At the last full Council Meeting, five City Councilors (Norton, Ciccone, Kalis, Markiewicz, and Malakie) chartered the vote to set the date of the special election for the Northland Referendum. The four-person (five – in this case) charter effectively halted the Council from setting the date of the referendum until the next regularly scheduled Full Council meeting (preventing the calling of a special meeting) – which will be on Tuesday. Here are some memos regarding the special election that I posted last week, but may still be of interest, this week:

  • Planning Department memo here;
  • City Clerk memo here;
  • Council President memo here.

478 Parking Space Waiver Request: Yes, 478 otherwise required parking space may be waived if the City Council votes to accept the recommendation from the Land Use Committee for a request made by Union Realty Trust in conjunction with a request to allow a restaurant with more than 50 seats. The properties seeking the request are not contiguous, and comprise of 93-105 Union Street, 1280 Centre Street, 47-61 Langley Road, 43-63 Union Street, and 790-794 Beacon Street. Read the report to understand why the request is being made and the reasoning behind the Planning Department and Land Use Committee’s support of this request.

Dunstan East – Chapter 40B proposal for West Newton before ZBA on Wednesday: The long-awaited public hearing on the Dunstan East – Chapter 40B proposal for West Newton will be held on Wednesday, January 22nd. The meeting will begin at 6:30 but the Public Hearing is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. As you may recall, the proposal is for 244 residential units – with 61 of those units to be “affordable”, and some retail space and maintaining and existing office building. The project will be located in West Newton – 1149, 1151, 1169, 1171-1173, 1179 and 1185 Washington Street, 12, 18, 24 and 25 Kempton Place, and 32 and 34 Dunstan Street.

What to do with the West Newton Armory? A Public Hearing will be held by the Real Property/Reuse Committee regarding potential uses for the West Newton Armory located at 1135 Washington Street. The Armory was one of the options folks got to weigh in on at the recent NewCAL meeting that was held last Thursday evening. Other sites that were looked at include: Existing Senior Center, Former Aquinas Junior College, the Ed Center,West Suburban YMCA, the Police Headquarters, and the Newton Center Triangle Parking Lot.

Newton Historical Commission has historic number of landmark requests (in one meeting), for West Newton National Register properties (properties that have already been acknowledged for their historic importance): This week’s Newton Historical Commission will review 7 requests for local landmarking – 1253 Washington Street, NR – Local Landmark request, 1173 Washington Street, NR – Local Landmark, 978 Watertown Street, NR – Local Landmark request, 989-1003 Watertown Street, NR– Local Landmark request, 1239-1247 Washington Street, NR – Local Landmark request, 1235 Washington Street, NR – Local Landmark request, and 1 Chestnut Street, NR – Local Landmark request. The meeting will be held on Thursday, January 23rd at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205.

A Cappella at Gregorian Rugs: The Newtones, the Newton South High School’s a cappella group will perform a “Winter Warmer”, this Friday night, January 24th at 7:00 p.m. at Gregorian Rugs, 2284 Washington Street, in Newton Lower Falls. The show will also feature the Northern Lights from Newton North, Noteafy from Brookline High and improv from the Children of the CandyCorn from Newton South. Tickets are $10 and additional details can be found here.

Weekly Road Construction Schedule: The weekly road construction schedule can be found here.

Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration 2020

The 52nd Annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration will take place on Monday, January 20th beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the First Baptist Church in Newton, 848 Beacon Street, Newton Center. This year’s theme is Know Your Neighbor. After the event, there will be a Community Coffee: An Engagement an d Activism Fair. More information 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.

Waban Area Council to Meet on Thursday, December 12th

The Waban Area Council will meet on Thursday, December 12th from 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. at the Waban Library. The agenda includes the following:

  • Newton Wellesley Hospital Cogeneration Power Plant Project – Q&A with NWH Officials
  • New Issues from the Community
  • WAC Administrative Matters:
    • Approval of November minutes and Treasurer’s Report
    • Year End Reports to City Council
    • January 8th Swearing In Ceremony for Area Councils
  • Discussion of 24-unit Kinmonth Road Development
  • Announcements:
    • Wellesley Office Park Presentation scheduled for January 9th at 7:00 p.m. – proposal would replace office building at 40 Williams Street with a 350 – unit apartment building with shared garage
    • Chestnut Street Repaving: December 9th – 12th on Chestnut Street from Route 9 to Woodward Street. Temporary no-parking ban on Radcliff Road and small section of Tamworth Road

What’s Up in Newton This Week? Winter Parking Ban (started last night!), Northland, Washington Street Vision Plan, and Webster Woods to be voted TONIGHT, Registration begins for Short-Term Rentals, Newton Food Drive, Newton City Hall Tree Lighting, and more….

Winter Parking Ban: It’s that time of year again, and just in time for the potential snow storm! The City’s Winter Parking Ban went into effect last night, December 1st. Parking is prohibited on any City of Newton Street between the hours of 2:00 a.m. – 6:00 a.m. Municipal parking lot permits are available from the Newton Police Department. Go here for more info and/or you can use this form.

Northland Rezoning and Special Permit/Site Plan Approval: After being postponed at the last Council meeting due to a few Council member absences, the Northland project is scheduled for a vote TONIGHT. The Draft Board Order for the Rezoning can be found here and the Draft Board Order for the Special Permit/Site Plan Approval can be found here. In addition, the November 14th Planning Department Memo can be found here, the November 15th Law Department Memo can be found here, and the November 22nd Planning Department Memo – Responses to Questions can be found here.

All other Northland Rezoning and Special Permit/Site Plan Approval related documents can be found here.

Washington Street Vision Plan: The Washington Street Vision Plan which was also postponed from the last City Council meeting is up for a vote TONIGHT. As you may recall, the request is to incorporate the Washington Street Vision Plan into the City of Newton’s 2007 Comprehensive Plan. The most recent version of the Washington Street Vision Plan can be found here.

Webster Woods: The City Council met last week as a Committee of the Whole to discuss (both in Executive Session and in Open Session), the acquisition of approximately 17.4 acres of land located at the rear of 300 Hammond Pond Parkway by eminent domain and all of the associated funding. The Committee voted to approve recommending all of the associated requests for this eminent domain acquisition (see Report) and the City Council will vote on this TONIGHT.

Got a Short-Term Rental or want to start renting your property on a short-term basis? Well, now you must register your short-term rental with the City’s Inspectional Services Department prior to the occupancy of any rental property that commences after January 1, 2020. The City Council created an ordinance requiring all short-term rental properties in the City of Newton to be in compliance with certain requirements.

Registration begins on December 1, 2019 (yesterday). Registration form and associated documents must be submitted in person to the Inspectional Services Department Office. It may take 10-14 business days for a Registration Certificate to be issued. The Registration Form can be found here and the Annual Certification Form can be found here. Office Hours are Monday thru Friday 8am to 4pm. No documents will be accepted by mail or email.

More information about compliance and the requirements can be found here.

Newton Food Drive: Beginning TODAY and going until December 27th, you can drop off food donations (particularly breakfast foods) to help stock our Newton food pantries:

 Participating locations can be found here.

Holiday Lighting and Sing-a-Long: Newton’s Annual Tree Lighting and Sing-a-Long City Hall Holiday Light Ceremony will take place at Newton City Hall, 1000 Commonwealth Avenue, on Thursday, December 5th at 6:00 p.m. More information can be found here.

Looking for Holiday Gifts? You’re in luck! Three Newton Crafts Fairs so you can shop local and support local businesses!

  • Newton Holiday Crafts Fair, a juried show and sale will take place Saturday, December 7th, Newton City Hall, 1000 Commonwealth Avenue – 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Hosted by Newton Community Pride and sponsored by numerous community partners, the fair will offer a selection of textiles, glass, jewelry, pottery, paintings photographs and wooden pieces created by New England artisans. More information can be found here.
  • FUUSN Holiday Fair: The First Unitarian Universalist Society in Newton will host a fair on Saturday, December 7th, at the Church located at 1326 Washington Street. The fair will feature handmade gifts, toys, jewelry, home-made baked goods, jams, and jellies, wreaths, and trees and more. Additional information can be found here.
  • Celebrate Newton: Newton Community Ed is hosting a juried craft fair at Newton South High Schoo, 140 Brandeis Road on Sunday, December 8th from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Admission is $3 – kids under 12 are free. More information can be found here.

Looking for a way to run off your Thanksgiving meal(s)? Why not support Dreamfar and the John M. Barry Newton Boys and Girls Team by running the Holiday Hustle?

Adults and children of all ages are invited to the join Dreamfar High School Marathon and the John M. Barry Boys & Girls Club of Newton for a 5K road race/fun walk on Sunday December 8th at 9:00 AM.   The Dreamfar Holiday Hustle! is a road race with fun for the entire family. Kick off the holiday season with a fun race for a great cause.

Register now at www.dreamfarholidayhustle.com.  

Same day registration is $35.  This race includes a 5K run on a certified, flat course through the neighborhood of West Newton, professional chip timing by RaceWire, t-shirts to the first 300 registered runners, prizes to top finishers, and post-race festivities for all!

Want to run the Boston Marathon? The John M. Barry Boys and Girls Club of Newton is an official charity of the Boston Athletic Association and they still have bibs available! Learn how to be an official registered runner and raise support the Club. More information can be found here.

This Week’s Road Construction Schedule: The Weekly Road Construction Schedule has not been posted yet (probably out dealing with our snow!). Check here for updates.

             

What’s Up in Newton This Week: Webster Woods goes to Full City Council for discussion TONIGHT; Funding for Newton Early Childhood Program and City Council raises and Bulky Waste Fee before Finance TONIGHT; Thanksgiving Farmers’ Market on Tuesday and more….

Webster Woods proposal goes to City Council: Tonight, the City Council will have an opportunity to meet as a Committee of the Whole to learn more about and discuss the proposal to acquire Webster Woods. Although the meeting is open to the public, it is possible that the Council will go into Executive Session to discuss the proposal as strategy for acquisition and litigation may be discussed. See agenda here.

Funding for NECP,Councilor raises, and Bulky Waste Fees in Finance TONIGHT: Request for $12 million to fund renovations (specifically, $12,344,366) for the Newton Early Childhood Program at 687 Watertown Street and funding for the recently voted raises for our City Councilors (specifically, $69,000 for six months) goes before the Finance Committee TONIGHT. The Bulky Waste Fee item was recommitted to the Finance Committee and is also on the agenda TONIGHT. See agenda here.

Thanksgiving Farmers’ Market: The Thanksgiving Farmers’ Market will be held from 1- 5 p.m. at the War Memorial at Newton City Hall. The Thanksgiving market, sponsored by the Newton Farmers’ Market and The Village Bank, is a fundraiser for the Newton Food Pantry and supports local food-aid organization, Community Servings. All vendors are donating their fees to the Newton Food Pantry, and the market is a pie pick up site for Community Servings’ Pie in the Sky fundraiser. More info can be found here.

This Week’s Road Construction Schedule: The Weekly Road Construction Schedule can be found here.

What’s Up in Newton this Week? – Veteran’s Day Observance – TODAY, Flu Shot Clinic, Land Use meets twice, Info Session on Affordable Rental Housing, Climate Action Plan Public Hearing, Request to allow street parking on Highland Avenue for Senior Parking Sticker holders – freeing up spaces at Austin Street, Riverdale 40B project (204 dwelling units), FY2020 Assessments, and more …..

Veteran’s Day Observance – The annual Veteran’s Day Observance will be held TODAY, Monday November 11th, 2019 at the American Legion Post 440 on 295 California St. The observance will begin with a donation drive in conjunction with Cell Phones for Soldiers and Operation American Soldier at 10:00 a.m. Coffee and light snacks will be provided. Arts and Crafts activities tables will be on hand. The formal ceremony will begin at 11:00 a.m. and will include the Newton Police & Fire Honor Guard, Pledge of Allegiance, National Anthem, remarks from the Mayor and keynote speaker Lt. Col Ingrid Centurion U.S. Army. Raffle tickets (from the donation drive) will be drawn at the conclusion of the ceremony. More information can be found here.

Did you, like me, not get your Flu Shot yet? If so, you are in luck. The City is sponsoring a Flu Shot Clinic this Tuesday, November 12th from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. in Room 107B (HHS office, below War Memorial Auditorium), for residents age 6 months and older . The City will also offer another Flu Shot Clinic on Tuesday, December 10th from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. in Room 107B (HHS office, below War Memorial Auditorium), for residents age 6 months and older.

Additional information and forms for students and adults can be found here. Best to bring completed forms with you.

Busy week for Land Use. The Land Use Committee will meet on Tuesday and on Wednesday this week. Northland is on the agenda for Tuesday and Wednesday’s agenda is exclusively focused on Northland.

Want info on Affordable Rental Housing? The Newton Housing Authority, Metrowest Collaborative Development, 2 Life Communities, Veterans Housing, and the City’s Planning and Health and Human Services Department will be on hand to answer questions at an info session on Nov. 14th at 7pm at the American Legion Nonantum Post 440. Information on eligibility requirements, waiting lists, lotteries, and more will be discussed. More information can be found here.

Climate Action Plan Public Hearing: The Zoning and Planning Committee will hold three public hearings on the Climate Action Plan, proposed amendments to the Zoning Ordinance related to Building Efficiency and proposed amendments to the Zoning Ordinance related to Sustainable Design on Thursday, November 14th with the meeting beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Chamber. The agenda can be found here.

More available spaces at the new Austin Street lot? A request was made to allow Senior Parking Sticker holders to be allowed to park on Highland Avenue between Lowell Avenue and Bram Way – “thereby freeing up parking spaces within the Austin “Street Parking Lot for other vehicles.” The item will be discussed at the Finance Committee meeting this week – see Agenda. It was previously approved by the Public Safety and Transportation Committee (see Report)

Riverdale 40B proposal: The Riverdale project (proposed 204 dwelling units and 21,000 sq. ft. of commercial space) is scheduled to meet with the Design Review Team this week. See Design Review Snapshot. (Last week, I reported that the Development Review Team was scheduled to meet with the Dunstan East Chapter 40B Proposal proposed by Mark Development consisting of 243 dwelling units and retail space. See last week’s Development Review Snapshot here.

Want to know your FY2020 Assessment? The FY2020 Assessments are now available online. You can go here to look up your property’s FY2020 Assessment. A thorough explanation of the assessment process can be found here.

Want to run the Boston Marathon? The John M. Barry Boys and Girls Club of Newton is an official charity of the Boston Athletic Association! Learn how to be an official registered runner and raise support the Club. More information can be found here.

Special Thanksgiving Farmers’ Market: A Special Thanksgiving Farmers’ Market will be held on Tuesday, November 26th from 1 – 5 p.m. at the War Memorial at Newton City Hall. You can pre-order from your favorite farmers’ market vendors and pick them up at City Hall on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving! More information about the market and participating vendors can be found here. Thank you Village Bank for your support!

This Week’s Road Construction Schedule: The Weekly Road Construction Schedule can be found here.

What’s Up in Newton this Week? – Final Paving on Dedham Street at Nahanton Street TODAY, Municipal Election – Tuesday, November 5th, Riverside MBTA compromise on Zoning, Dunstan East Chapter 40B Development and more…..

Dedham Street at Nahanton Street is scheduled for final paving on Monday, November 4th, 7:00 am – 6:00 pm. Detours will be in place, expect significant delays. Please seek alternate route if possible.

Municipal Election: The Municipal Election will be held this Tuesday, November 5th. Polls are open from 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. For a comprehensive list of the candidates, go to the Election Info link. below. Please vote. This is a very important election and there are lot of candidates running.

Riverside Compromise? Last week, I reported: “Riverside Update: On Friday, Legal Counsel for Mark Development filed revised proposed text amendments to their proposal to amend the MU3/Transit Oriented Zoning Ordinance – reducing the density from 1,234,000 sq. ft. to 1,025,000 sq. ft. of which 60% will be residential and 40% commercial and establishing the maximum heights and minimum setbacks along the Grove Street corridor. The letter to the council and amendments can be found here.”

This week, Counsel to Mark Development submitted Revised Zoning Amendments; and provided Renderings based on the revised plans. The City’s Planning Department has commented on the revised zoning amendments here and states:

The Planning Department recommends adoption of the proposed amendments to the MU3 district as endorsed by both Mark Development and the Lower Falls Improvement Association. As discussed below, these amendments are broadly consistent with the Riverside vision document and uphold good design principles. Th Planning Department reviewed the proposed amendments for consistency with the existing ordinance and is suggesting a number o changes. The majority of these changes are not substantive but are instead for clarity and consistency within the overall Zoning Ordinance.

Dunstan East Chapter 40B Proposal Meets the Design Review Team: That’s right. The Design Review Team will meet this week to discuss the potential Chapter 40B development project known as Dunstan East proposed by Mark Development consisting of 243 dwelling units and retail space. See Development Review Snapshot here.

Newton Innovation Center Co-Working Space to close: On November 1st, the Mayor sent a letter to the Council informing them that the Newton Innovation Center Co-Working Space located in Newton Corner will close on March 1, 2020. The letter can be found here.

Registration for the 6th Annual Turkey Trot is open! The Turkey Trot will be held on Saturday, November 23rd – Kids 1 mile fun run will begin at 8:30 a.m. and the 5K race will begin at 9:00 a.m. Online registration closes on November 18th . Go here for more information and to register.

Special Thanksgiving Farmers’ Market: A Special Thanksgiving Farmers’ Market will be held on Tuesday, November 26th from 1 – 5 p.m. at the War Memorial at Newton City Hall. You can pre-order from your favorite farmers’ market vendors and pick them up at City Hall on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving! More information about the market and participating vendors can be found here. Thank you Village Bank for your support!

This Week’s Road Construction Schedule: The Weekly Road Construction Schedule can be found here.

What’s up in Newton this week (combined with Fun Things to Do)

Remember the chickens that were lost due to predators at the Newton Community Farm? Well, TODAY is the final day of the Newton Community Farm fundraiser to upgrade their coop area to protect them from that happening again. The Farm is approximately $3,500 shy of their $10,000 goal – with 60 individuals and families already contributing to the cause. For more information and to donate, please go here.

Newton Farmers’ Markets: The Farmers’ Markets continue as we move into the Fall season on Tuesdays at Cold Springs Park from 1:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. and on Saturdays on Elm Street in West Newton from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Stop by and pick up fresh veggies, meat, fish, and prepared foods. Go here to see all the vendors coming to the markets and to stay up-to-date on what’s happening at the Farmers’ Markets be sure to subscribe to their newsletter here.

Salary increase standoff: The Mayor announced that she has vetoed the proposed salary increases approved by the City Council – $155,000 for the Mayor’s salary, $15,500 for the City Council’s salary and $7,750 for the School Committee, claiming that the amount approved by the City Council is excessive and should have been in line with the Blue Ribbon Commission’s recommendation.



Board President Marc Laredo expects to override this veto at the Council’s next regularly scheduled meeting (see Newton TAB article here). Stay tuned.

NewCAL moving to Newton Center Triangle? Not quite. The latest on NewCAL is that the NewCAL Working Group has been directed (by the Mayor, some members of the Parks and Rec Commission, some members of the City Council to “re-explore some of the non-park sites, paying particular attention to the Newton Centre parking triangle, which had initially been set aside because it was too small”. Stay tuned.

Climate Action Plans: The Zoning and Planning Committee will meet jointly with the Public Facilities Committee on Tuesday, October 1st to discuss potential adoption of “some” of the recommendations in the Climate Action Plan and the Citizen’s Climate Action Plan. See agenda.

Washington Street Vision Plan and Amendments to the Demolition Delay Ordinance and Landmarking Ordinance will also be discussed at the Zoning and Planning Committee at the Tuesday, October 1st meeting. See agenda. It is anticipated that there will be NO vote taken on the Washington Street Vision Plan that evening.

Neighborhood Developments: While much attention has been directed at the larger scale developments – Riverside and Northland as well as the Chapter 40B petitions – Dunstan Place and Riverdale, there are infill development projects proposed for our neighborhoods. The Land Use Committee will hold public hearings for a 24-unit development in Waban – (20 Kinmonth) and a four-unit development in Newton Center (145 Warren Street); and the Conservation Commission will discuss a 25-unit condominium development on Beacon Street (1114 Beacon Street)

Limiting Vape sales to adult only stores (21+ )– A Public Listening Session will be held on Thursday, October 3rd at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber. The Newton Public Health Department is considering regulating the sale of e-cigarettes to only adult only stores. More information can be found here.

Weekly Road Construction Schedule: This week’s (September 30th – October 4th) Road Construction Schedule has been updated and can be found here.