Category: Events

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.

What’s Up this Week?

Salary Raises for Local Electeds: If you haven’t heard, the City Council voted to give themselves, the Mayor and the School Committee a raise. The City Council voted to increase the salary for City Councilors to $15,500, salary for the Mayor to $155,000, and the School Committee to $7,750.

Taking Webster Woods: The Mayor recently announced that she has decided to begin eminent domain procedures for the Webster Woods property currently owned by Boston College. The property under consideration can be seen in the photo below.

See Mayor’s Letter to the Council and our State Representatives and Senator here.

Riverside dominates the agenda TONIGHT regarding zoning and the special permit applications: The Riverside Zoning and Special Permit/Site Plan Approval continued public hearing is scheduled for Monday, September 23rd at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber. The Land Use Committee will be meeting jointly with the Zoning and Planning Committee to discuss the proposed zoning amendments filed by the Petitioner (developer) and by the Lower Falls Improvement Association for the Riverside MBTA site – specifically provisions of the Mixed Use 3/Transit Oriented Development Zoning District. Note: The Petitioner submitted revised plans on September 3rd which can be found here.

Another NewCAL Meeting this week: The Council on Aging’s Advisory Board will hear a presentation on the proposed NewCAL project on Tuesday, September 24th at 7:30 p.m. at the Senior Center, 345 Walnut Street. See agenda here.

Expansion of Cabot Park Village? Looks like they are coming in to discuss potential plans to expand and increase its capacity by 19 units. See Development Review Snapshot here.

Fourth Marijuana Retailer may be filing soon. A proposal to locate a marijuana retail establishment to be located at 1158 Beacon Street may be in the works as they are scheduled to meet with the Development Review Team this week. See Development Review Snapshot here.

Fun Things to Do this Week in Newton

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.

Veteran Services Open House: The Department of Veteran’s Services will host an Open House on Tuesday, September 24th, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the American Legion, Post 440, 295 California Street. This week’s Open House will feature the Great American Music Experience: Music of World Ward II . Additional information about this event and other events hosted/sponsored by the Department of Veteran’s Services, can be found here.

Fun Things to Do in Newton this week

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.

25th Silver Anniversary Gala for the New Philharmonia Orchestra: The New Phil will open it’s season with a gala celebrating it’s 25th anniversary. Led by Francisco Noya, Music Director, the celebration will begin with a special concert followed by a reception on Saturday, September 21st at 7:00 PM at the First Baptist Church in Newton Centre. The Silver Anniversary Gala will honor the contributions of Massachusetts’ State Representative Kay Khan, a long time New Phil board member who has been a tremendous advocate for arts and culture across the Commonwealth. Tickets are $25 – $250 and may be purchased online at: http://newphil.org/concerts/season-at-a-glance/special-events/

Newtonville Village Day: The annual Newtonville Village Day will be held this Sunday, September 22nd from 12 – 5 p.m. on Walnut Street. There will be live music and performances, a train ride and bounce house for the kids, food, caricature artists, and a variety of vendor booths! This is a FREE day of music, art and fun, sponsored by the Newtonville Area Council. Vendor information can be found here.

Ward 5 City Council Election – GO VOTE on Tuesday, September 10th

The preliminary election for the Ward 5 City Councilor seat to narrow the field from 3 to 2 (I know, don’t get me started!) will take place this Tuesday, September 10th. Polls are open from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. ONLY Ward 5 residents are eligible to vote. Ward 5 polling locations:

  • 5 1 Emerson Community Center 51 Pettee Street
  • 5 2 Hyde Community Center 90 Lincoln Street
  • 5 3 Waban Library Center 1608 Beacon Street
  • 5 4 Waban Library Center 1608 Beacon Street

The Candidates are (in ballot order):

The sample ballot can be found here.

Things to Do in Newton this Week

9/11 Commemoration: The Newton 9/11 Committee and the City of Newton will commemorate on Wednesday, September 11th at 6:00 p.m. at 1164 Centre Street in front of the memorial. More information can be found 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.

Things to Do in Newton this Week

Farmers’ Market – Don’t forget to stop by the Farmers’ Markets 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 some good eats for dinner and also breakfast! 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.

Ready for School? School starts Tuesday, September 3rd. Go here to make sure you have what you need to be prepared for a smooth start!

Road Construction: Check out this week’s road construction schedule.

Two Chapter 40B Development proposals coming to Newton

Two affordable housing development proposals have been filed with the City.

The first was filed by Mark Development – Dunstan East located on 2.98 acres of land on Washington Street, Dunstan Street, and Kempton Place in West Newton. The proposed the project will consist of three separate buildings with a total of 243 units of rental housing (61 affordable to households earning up to 80% of area median income; 182 market rate) and 12,521 square feet of ground floor retail space facing Washington Street.

The second was filed by Criterion Development Partners – Riverdale located just off California Street in Nonantum between Los Angeles Street and Riverdale Avenue. The proposed project will consist of 17,782 square feet of of office/innovation space and 4,600 square-feet of retail space and 204 units of rental housing (51 affordable to households earning up to 80% of area median income; 153 market rate). Some of you may remember that a demographic study was commissioned and that study looked at four anticipated development proposals that were in the pipeline – Chestnut Hill Square – (100 units of housing), Northland Development (822 units of housing), Riverside Development – (663 units of housing), and this project – Riverdale (200 units of housing).

Chapter 40B is a state statute, which enables local Zoning Boards of Appeals to approve affordable housing developments under flexible rules if at least 20-25% of the units have long-term affordability restrictions. There are several ways a community can deny or condition a comprehensive permit application (See Commonwealth of Massachusetts Chapter 40B: “Safe Harbor Through Production”):

  • if the municipality’s subsidized housing inventory eligible units is greater than 10% of its housing stock – housing unit minimum
  • if the municipality’s subsidized housing inventory eligible units land area comprises more than 1.5% of the total land area zoned for residential, commercial, or industrial use – general land area minimum
  • if the municipality’s construction of low to moderate income housing on sites is greater than 0.3% of land area or 10 acres
  • if the municipality is in compliance with the goals of an approved Housing Production Plan
  • where a municipality has a total number of 7500 or more housing units and the project is equal to or more than 300 units – Large Scale Projects
  • if there has been less than 12 months since the filing, pendency, final disposition, or withdrawal of an application for any approval related to construction on the same land of a prior project (non-residential or less than 10% subsidized housing inventory eligible units)

According to a memo from the City’s Law Department, although the City previously calculated its land area percentage of affordable housing at 1.47%, due to new method of calculation (in accordance to the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD)’s guidelines), the City (as of February 2019) is at 1.27% and a housing percentage of 8.3% – subsidized housing inventory eligible units.

With a number of development projects currently in the pipeline, stay tuned…..