The latest announcements and updates...

Lots going on TONIGHT at the Hall! Presentation on Riverside by LFIA – Riverside Committee – Wednesday, January 30th.

Lights at Newton South High School Field? Parks and Rec Commission will host a Public Hearing TONIGHT.

Auburndale Cove Solar Carport Project? Parks and Rec Commission will host a Public Hearing TONIGHT.

School Department releases Enrollment Planning and Class Size Report and will discuss it at their meeting TONIGHT!

Marijuana Community Host Fund Priorities? Health and Human Services Advisory Committee will discuss TONIGHT.

Want to know more about the proposed Riverside Development? The Riverside Committee of the Lower Falls Improvement Association will hold a presentation at the Waban Library on Wednesday, January 30th at 7:00 p.m.

City Council Committee Meetings – Week of January 27th

Zoning and Planning Committee:  The Zoning and Planning Committee will meet on Monday, January 28th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205. The agenda includes the following:

  • Appointment of Warren Ambramson to the Commission on Disability
  • Discussion and adoption of the Economic Development Strategy Plan as an amendment to the 2007 Comprehensive Plan – See Planning Memo
  • Discussion and adoption of the Climate Action Plan as an amendment to the 2007 Comprehensive Plan – See Planning Memo
  • Progress Report on the Riverside Vision Plan – See Planning Memo
  • Proposal to amend Chapter 30, Section 4.4.1 Business, Mixed-Use and Manufacturing Districts to allow Registered Marijuana Dispensaries and marijuana retailers by special permit in Limited Manufacturing and Manufacturing Districts – See Planning Memo
  • Progress Report on the Washington Street Corridor Action Plan – (The Committee will review the Zoning Toolkit and other tools)
  • Discussion and Review of the Draft Zoning Ordinance (The Committee will review the Single Purpose Districts – See Planning Memo)

Planning Memo for Village Districts can be found here.

Finance Committee:  The Finance Committee will meet on Monday, January 28th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 211. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request to rescind Council Order #607-18 re-purposing $95,844.51 to address Fire Department needs and requesting authorization to appropriate $95,000 from Free Cash to several Fire Department Accounts (Automobiles/Light Trucks, Training Expenses, Housekeeping Equipment, Public Buildings Repair and Maintenance)
  • Request to accept and expend a $20,460 grant from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency to purchase equipment for emergency operations management throughout the City
  • Request an ordinance amendment to increase non-resident parking permit fees from $25 to a range which will include a maximum cap, to better cover costs and encourage alternatives to driving in parts of the City where demand is high
  • Request to accept and expend a $50,464 grant from the Mass Office on Disability to acquire Accessible Pedestrian Signals
  • Request to amend the Sewer Use Charge Ordinance (Chapter 29, Section 80) by deleting the following: “Notwithstanding the foregoing, seasonal water takers not eligible for an outdoor meter under said section 29-24, shall pay a charge for the use of sewage works in proportion to water consumption”
  • Request to transfer $500,000 from Budget Reserve – Snow and Ice Removal Account to the following accounts:  Rental Vehicles and Regular Overtime
  • Request for an ordinance amendment to divest the City of direct or indirect holdings in fossil fuel companies
  • Request to appropriate and expend $1,750,000 from the January 15, 2019 Declaration of Overlay Surplus and authorize the transfer of $1,250,000 from Capital Stabilization for a total of $3,000,000 to be transferred to the City’s Pavement Management Program
  • Request to transfer $100,000 from Current Year Budget Reserve to the DPW Processing Recyclables to fund increased costs of processing recyclables due to changes in the recycling market
  • Request to accept and expend a  $10,000 gift from the Ruderman Family Foundation to fund an accessible pathway at the Hyde Playground
  • Request a discussion with the Director of Planning and Development regarding the vision process for the potential development of the Riverside parcel

Land Use Committee:  The Land Use Committee will meet on Tuesday, January 29th at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request to amend a previously approved Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to further increase a non-conforming FAR by constructing a 191 sq. ft. addition in the existing footprint of the house, further extending the non-conforming three-story structure at 105 Temple Street
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to construct a two-car garage in the footprint of a razed garage with an additional 225 sq. ft. exceeding the allowable FAR of .43 where .51 exists and .53 is proposed at 48 Billings Park

The agenda states the the Northland Petition for a Zone Change and for a Special Permit/Site Plan approval will be continued to February 12th.

Blue Ribbon Commission:  The Blue Ribbon Commission will meet on Thursday, January 31st from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. in Room 204. The agenda can be found here.

Charter Subcommittee:  The Charter Subcommittee will meet on Thursday, January 31st at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205. The agenda includes continued review of Charter Articles and outstanding issues and a discussion regarding preparation of report to the Programs and Services Committee. A memo from Chairman Baker can be found here.

School Committee to meet on Monday, January 28th

The School Committee will meet on Monday, January 28th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 210. The agenda includes the following:

City Board and Commission Meetings – Week of January 27th

Health and Human Services Advisory Committee:  The Health and Human Services Advisory Committee will meet on Monday, January 28th at 6:30 p.m. in Room 106C. The agenda includes the following:

  • Emergency Preparedness and Code Red – New PSA video and Door Hangers
  • Marijuana Community Host Fund priorities
  • Tobacco Health Regulation
  • Upcoming Program and Events
    • Improbable Players Program- (substance use awareness and prevention)
    • Parenting Teens Program
    • Program for Parents and Young Adults who are struggling
    • Brainstorm on suicide prevention and awareness building
  • Backpack food program – uptick in November/December

Newton Parks and Recreation Commission:  The Parks and Recreation Commission will meet on Monday, January 28th at 7:00 p.m. in the War Memorial. The agenda include the following:

  • Approval of Minutes
  • Public Hearing on Newton South High School Field Lights
  • Public Hearing on Auburndale Cove Solar Panel Project
  • Commissioner Reports on Programs, Forestry and Maintenance
  • Committee Reports:
    • Community Preservation Committee
    • 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 – Commission Elections

 

Development Review Team Meetings – Week of January 27th

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

  • 35-41 Lincoln Street –  Special Permit to waive the parking requirement for a restaurant or fitness use
  • 55 Border Street –  Special Permit for waivers from parking facility
    requirements
  • 613 California Street – Special Permit to raze existing garage and build detached accessory apartment

See this week’s Development Review Team Snapshot here.

Events – Week of January 20th

Newton celebrates and honors Martin Luther King, Jr.TODAY, January 21st, 9:30 a.m. at the First Baptist Church of Newton, 848 Beacon Street. More event info can be found here.

Cypress Tree Management Community Outreach Meeting will be held on Thursday, January 24th at the Workshop of the Women’s Club of Newton Highlands at 72 Columbus Street. The meeting announcement and agenda can be found here.

MassHire Metro South/West Workforce Board to meet on Thursday, January 24th from 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. at 1671 Worcester Road, Lower Level, Framingham. The agenda can be found here.

 

Full City Council to meet on Tuesday, January 22nd – NOTE: early start time for Committee of the Whole

City Council:  The City Council will meet as a Committee of the Whole on Tuesday, January 22nd at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber with the Finance Committee presiding. The agenda includes only one item up for discussion is a request to amend the current rate structure of the Stormwater Use Charge Ordinance and replace it with the following to be effective on July 1, 2019:

Every owner of property in the City shall pay a charge for use of public main drains and stormwater facilities, which shall be based on the following annual rates. Such charge shall be billed quarterly:

  • 1-4 family dwellings:  $100
  • All other properties $.0425 per square foot of impervious surface area, except if the square footage charge multiplied by the impervious area of the parcel equals a sum less than $150 then the annual fee shall be $150.

The Council will then move out of Committee of the Whole and convene it’s regularly scheduled meeting in the Chamber. The Reports Docket can be found here and the New Docket can be found here.

City Council Committee Meetings – Week of January 20th

Programs and Services Committee:  The Programs and Services Committee will meet on Tuesday, January 22nd at 6:45 p.m. (before the Full Council meeting) in Room 211. The agenda includes the following:

  • Appointment of Norm Meltz to the Council on Aging

Public Safety and Transportation Committee:  The Public Safety and Transportation Committee will meet on Wednesday, January 23rd at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request to amend Chapter 17 Section 3 and Chapter 26 Section 8D of the City of Newton Revised Ordinances to provide for enforcement and fines for violations of the sidewalk clearing ordinance
  • Request to rescind a previously approved Council Order appropriately $95,844.51 to address Fire Department needs and requesting $95,000 from Free Cash to various Fire Department Accounts
  • Appeal of a Traffic Council decision converting Ward Street from a one-way to a two-way, install a “Do Not Enter” restriction on Ward Street eastbound from Morseland Avenue and install new parking restrictions on the south side of Ward Street
  • Appeal of a Traffic Council decision denying request for a stop sign at the intersection of Glen Avenue and Elgin Street to create a 4-way stop
  • Discussion of an item recommitted by the City Council regarding a request to amend the Chapter 19 Section 190 Overtime Parking to clarify language and improve enforcement
  • Annual Report of the work of the Traffic Council fro 2018

Programs and Services Committee:  The regularly scheduled Programs and Services Committee has been cancelled. The Notice of Cancellation can be found here.

Public Facilities Committee:  The Public Facilities Committee will meet on Wednesday, January 23rd at 7:00 p.m. in Room 204. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request to amend Chapter 17 Section 3 and Chapter 26 Section 8D of the City of Newton Revised Ordinances to provide for enforcement and fines for violations of the sidewalk clearing ordinance
  • Request to transfer $500,000 from Budget Reserve – Snow and Ice Removal Account to the following accounts:
    • $350,000 to Rental Vehicles
    • $150,000 to Regular Overtime
  • Request to appropriate and expend $1,750,000 from January 15, 2019 declaration of Overlay Surplus and authorization to transfer $1,250,000 from Capital Stabilization for a total of $3,000,000 to be transferred to the City’s Pavement Management Plan
  • Request to amend the Chapter 29, Section 80, Sewer Use Charge – deleting:”: “Notwithstanding the foregoing, seasonal water takers not eligible for an outdoor meter under said section 29-24, shall pay a charge for the use of sewage works in proportion to water consumption.”
  • Request authorization to enter into negotiations for the potential lease of 18 municipal and school properties for purposes of third-party construction, ownership, and operation of on-site renewable solar energy generation from which the City will purchase electric output or net metering credits

Traffic Council:  The Traffic Council will meet on Thursday, January 24th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 211. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request for long-term and flexible trial to be followed by potential changes to the official Traffic and Parking Regulations for:
    • East Side Parkway
    • Parkview Avenue
    • Bridges Avenue
    • Norwood Avenue
  • Request to add a No Right Turn on Red sign on Walnut Street northbound onto Watertown Street, Eastbound
  • Request to replace the Taxi Zone on Langley Road in Newton Centre with a two-hour parking meter zone
  • Request to change the parking regulations on the section of Otis Street in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church, and on Lowell Avenue between Otis Street and Calvin Road to better accommodate staff parking
  • Request to remove the following from the TPR:
    • Adams Street, one-way street from Watertown Street to Silver Lake Avenue, between the hours of 4:00 – 6:00 PM
    • Austin Street, one-way street from Lowell Avenue to Walnut Street
    • Bowers Street, one-way street from Newtonville Avenue to Harvard Street
    • Braeland Avenue, one-way from Langley Road to Cypress Street
    • Deforest Road, one-way street from Crehore Drive to Grove Street
    • Middlesex Road, one-way street from Brookline Line to Devon Road
    • Putnam Street, one-way from Hunter Street northerly to Washington Street
    • Right turn only from Lowell Avenue, westbound, onto Walnut Street
    • No Left Turn from Perkins Street onto Washington Street
    • No left turn from Putnam Street onto Winthrop Street
  • Chair intends to move No Action Necessary on the following items:
    • request discussion and potential action to relocate parking along East Side Parkway from the east (residential) side to the west (park) side
    • requesting the installation of a raised crosswalk in the Cabot Street corridor,
      between the intersections of Cabot Street and Parkview Avenue and Cabot Street and East Side Parkway in conjunction with item TC28-12 previously discussed on May 30, 2013

 

City Council Committee Reports

Land Use Committee – 1//8/2019:  The Land Use Committee approved the following items:

  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow for an increase in the number of teachers and children in the childcare program and waive 17 parking spaces at 2330 Washington Street
  • Request for an amendment to a previously granted Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow bank use at 71 Needham Street

The Land Use Committee voted to deny the following:

  • Request for an amendment to a previously granted Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to construct a detached carport for the existing single-family dwelling at 50-52 Rowe Street

All other items were held.

Programs and Services – 1//9/2019:  The Programs and Services Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Appointment of Julie Irish to the Council on Aging
  • Appointment of Melissa Sommer to the Parks and Recreation Commission
  • Appointment and Re-appointment of Patricia Kerwin Derrick to the Parks and Recreation Commission
  • Request to accept and expend $100,000 from the State Fiscal Year 2019 Legislative Earmark Funds to conduct a feasibility study on the renovation, expansion and new construction of the Newton Senior Center
  • Request to amend Section 27-10 of the City of Newton Revised Ordinances to increase the maximum qualifying gross receipts amount for the Tax Deferral Program from $60,000 to $72,000 for the Fiscal Year beginning July 1, 2018 and for all subsequent years
  • Re-appointment of Sam Figler to the Parks and Recreation Commission
  • Re-appointment of Matthew Stafford, Asa Fanelli, and Lisa Terrizzi  to the Health and Human Services Advisory Council
  • Re-appointment of Dina Conlin to the Licensing Board

Public Facilities – 1/9/2019:  The Public Facilities Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Request to transfer $100,000 from Current Year Budget Reserve to the DPW Processing Recyclables to fund increased costs of processing recyclables due to changes in the recycling market
  • Request for a vote from the City Council to authorize submission of a Statement of Interest to the MSBA for funding for the replacement of the boiler and roof at Memorial Spaulding Elementary School and replacement of the roof at Underwood Elementary School
  • Request to accept and expend $100,000 from the State Fiscal Year 2019 Legislative Earmark Funds to be used to conduct a feasibility study on the renovation, expansion and new construction of the Newton Senior Center
  • Request to transfer $1,300,000 from Free Cash to fund the continuation of a Feasibility Study/Schematic design and Site Plan Approval for the Lincoln-Eliot/Newton Early Childhood Program

All other items were held.

Zoning and Planning – 1/14/2019:  The Zoning and Planning Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Request for authorization to accept and expend funds provided by the Riverside MBTA property developer to cover the cost of independent consultant support for a vision plan for the Riverside MBTA property (Zoning and Planning  will meet jointly with the Finance Committee for this item) – See Planning memo here.
  • CPC (Community Preservation Committee) recommendation to appropriate $600,000 from the CPA Fund to the Planning Department for a grant to the Newton Cultural Alliance to supplement the previously granted CPA funds for rehabilitation of the Allen House(Zoning and Planning will meet jointly with the Finance Committee for this item)
  • Re-appointment of Ann Killilea to the Commission on Disability
  • Discussion and adoption of the Economic Development Strategy Plan as an amendment to the 2007 Newton Comprehensive Plan – See Planning memo here.

The Committee voted No Action Necessary on the following:

  • Discussion of the Visioning process for the potential development of the Riverside MBTA Station

All other items were held.

Finance Committee – 1/14/2019:  The Finance Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Request for authorization to accept and expend funds provided by the Riverside MBTA property developer to cover the cost of independent consultant support for a vision plan for the Riverside MBTA property (Finance will meet jointly with the Zoning and Planning Committee for this item)
  • CPC (Community Preservation Committee) recommendation to appropriate $600,000 from the CPA Fund to the Planning Department for a grant to the Newton Cultural Alliance to supplement the previously granted CPA funds for rehabilitation of the Allen House (Finance will meet jointly with Zoning and Planning for this item)
  • CPC (Community Preservation Committee) recommendation to appropriate $30,000 from the CPA Fund to the Planning Department for a grant to the Newton Conservators for costs associated with holding conservation restrictions for 30 Wabasso Street and 20 Rogers Street (both acquired with CPA Funds)
  • Request to amend Section 27-10 of the Revised City of Newton Ordinances to increase the maximum qualifying gross receipts amount for the Tax Deferral Program from $60,000 – $72,000 for the Fiscal Year beginning July 1, 2018 and all subsequent years
  • Request to transfer $100,000 from Current Year Budget Reserve to the DPW Processing Recyclables for increased costs or processing recyclables due to changes in recycling market
  • Request to increase the number of Full-Time employees in the Public Buildings Department by one custodian funded through the Council on Aging Formula Grant
  • Request to transfer $1,300,000 from Free Cash to fund the continuation of the Feasibility Study/Schematic Design and Site Plan Approval for the Lincoln Eliot/Newton Early Childhood Program
  • Request to accept and expend $100,000 from the State Fiscal Year 2019 Legislative Earmark Funds to be used to conduct a feasibility study on the renovation, expansion and new construction of the Newton Senior Center
  • Re-appointment of David Spector to the Financial Audit Advisory Committee
  • Re-appointment of Maria Rosen as Constable for the City of Newton

All other items were held.

Land Use – 1/15/2019:  The Land Use Committee held a public hearing focusing on Traffic and Transportation Issues surrounding the Northland Development. The item was held.