The latest announcements and updates...

Events: Newton Celebrates Pride and Newton Highlands Village Day

Newton Celebrates Pride: David Gaita will be the special guest of honor as Newton celebrates Pride on Tuesday, June 4th from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. on the South Lawn of Newton City Hall.

Newton Highlands Village Day: Newton Highlands Village Day will be held Sunday June 9!  That’s just a week from this Sunday. The day starts at 8:30 am with check-in/registration for the Highlands Village Day 5K which starts at 10 am.  Register for the race online  or same day in front of the Hyde Center on Lincoln St.  There will be live music, activities, craft vendors, and outdoor food options.  Details including music schedule can be found here.

City Council Meetings – Week of June 2nd

Zoning and Planning Committee: The Zoning and Planning Committee will meet on Tuesday, June 4th at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers. The agenda is focused on Riverside Zoning – with several requests:

  • Lower Falls Improvement Association Riverside Committee and the Ward 4 City Councilors requesting to amend Chapter 30, City of Newton Ordinance, Section 4.2 and 7.3.5 pertaining to the Mixed Use 3/Transit Oriented Zoning District – See LFIA Report of Proposed Zoning Amendments of MU-3
  • Riverside Station /355 Grove Street and 399 Grove Street requesting amendments to Chapter 30, City of Newton Ordinance, Section 4.2.3 and 4.2.4 relative to the Mixed Use 3 District – See Planning Department Memo analyzing both proposals
  • Mark Development 399 Grove Owner, LLC/Ramirez Concord,LLC/BH Normandy Riverside, LLC/Mass Bay Transportation Authority petition for a change of zone to Mixed Use 3/Transit Oriented District for portions of land located at 355 Grove Street (currently zoned BU-2) and 399 Grove Street (currently zoned BU-5)
  • Mark Development 399 Grove Owner, LLC/Ramirez Concord, LLC/BH Normandy Riverside, LLC/Mass Bay Transportation Authority petition for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to construct a 10 building, mixed-use, transit-oriented development ….

Programs and Services Committee: The Programs and Services Committee will meet on Wednesday, June 5th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 211. The agenda includes the following:

  • Re-appointment of Seth Bai as the Veteran’s Services Officer for a term to expire May 18, 2020
  • Request for an amendments to the City of Newton Ordinances, Chapters 3,7,10,13, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, and 30 to rename the Department of Parks and Recreation to the Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture
  • Request for a resolution to the Mayor and the School Committee to require the City and School Departments to change all references on City and School documents and calendars from “Columbus Day” to “Indigenous People’s Day”
  • Request for Home Rule Legislation to allow Fire Chief Bruce Proia to continue employment as the Fire Chief of the City beyond the mandatory retirement age

Public Facilities Committee: The Public Facilities Committee will meet on Wednesday, June 5th at 7:30 p.m. in Room 204. The agenda includes the following:

  • Design Review Commission petition pursuant to 5-58, for schematic design and site approval at 687 Watertown Street for the interior renovation of the former Horace Mann school to accommodate the Newton Early Childhood Program and proposed site design that includes a new entry plaza, removal of the existing modular structures to provide an access drive, a school transportation van loading area and emergency access, and landscaping improvements. Additional site improvements include parking improvements and an accessible ramp to new play structures located in the adjacent area north of the building.
  • Petition 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
  • Request to acquire by purchase the West Newton Armory building and land located at 1135 Washington Street for affordable housing and further requesting that the sum of one dollar ($1) by appropriated from the Municipal Building Maintenance/Building Improvements Account to fund all costs associated with the acquisition of such property
  • Request to appropriate and expend $2 million from Free Cash to develop 25% conceptual design of the Washington Street corridor for improvements to the corridor eligible for the State’s Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) funding

Public Safety and Transportation Committee: The Public Safety and Transportation Committee will meet on Wednesday, June 5th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request for triennial renewal of the two Needham Shuttle Bus Licenses for the 128 Business Council
  • Request annual renewal of the two Boston College Bus Licenses
    • Boston College Law School Routes
    • Boston College Main Campus to Boston Route
  • Request for annual renewal of one bus license for seven vehicles for Medical Academic and Scientific Community Organization, Inc.
  • Submission of reports of semi-annual taxi license/public auto inspections for review
  • Request to amend the City Ordinances to create a short-term rental ordinance with fees that would require registration of short-term rentals with the City’s Inspectional Services Department and fire inspections to protect public health and safety (NOTE: the Chair will entertain a Motion of No Action Necessary) – See Planning Memo
  • Request for Home Rule Legislation to allow Fire Chief Bruce Proia to continue employment as the Fire Chief of the City of Newton beyond the mandatory retirement age

City Council Reports Now Available

Zoning and Planning Committee: May 28, 2019 Partial Report: The Zoning and Planning Committee voted to approve the appointment of Eileen Sandberg as a member of the Commission on Disability.

Finance Committee: May 29, 2019: The Finance Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Appointment of Danielle Auriemma to the John C. Chaffin Educational Trust Fund
  • Request to appropriate and expend $400,000 from Free Cash to fund the completion of feasibility, schematic design, and site plan approval for the NewCAL project
  • Request to appropriate and expend $250,000 from Free Cash to fund the architectural and engineering design of a “new” Newton Free Library parking lot – approved as amended
  • Request to appropriate and expend $100,000 from Free Cash to fund consulting services for the Planning Department to hire subject matter experts
  • Request for an amendment to divest the City of direct or indirect holdings in fossil fuel companies – subject to 2nd call
  • Request to reappoint Ed Gourdreau as Constable for the City of Newton

City Board and Commission Meetings – Week of June 2nd

Planning and Development Board: The Planning and Development Board will meet on Monday, June 3rd at 7:00 p.m. in Room 204. The agenda includes the following:

  • Approve Minutes – May 6, 2019
  • Presentation and Vote on the Gateway Center Light Waiver
  • Northland Discussion – Deliberation of Zoning Change Request

The agenda also includes a list of upcoming meetings.

UMass Amherst at Mt. Ida Neighborhood Council: The UMass Amherst at Mt. Ida Neighborhood Council will meet on Tuesday, June 4th at 8:00 a.m. at UMass Amherst at Mt. Ida, Shaw Hall. The agenda includes the following:

  • UMass Amherst updates
  • Neighborhood updates
  • City updates
  • Future Agenda items

Community Preservation Committee: The Community Preservation Committee will meet on Wednesday, June 5th at 6:00 p.m. in Room B15. The agenda will focus on Webster Woods. According to the agenda, the Chair will request to go into Executive Session. More info on the Webster Woods proposal can be found here.

Newtonville Local Historic District Commission: The Newtonville Local Historic District Commission will meet on Thursday, June 6th at 7:30 p.m. in Room 205. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request for a Certificate of Appropriateness to replace a front walkway, rear patio and driveway with pavers, and replace window well retainers at 70 Page Road

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

Development Review Team – Week of June 2nd

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

  • 19 Parker Road – Special Permit to extend a nonconforming setback (
  • 138 Adams Street – Proposed increase in number of seats in existing restaurant from 59 to 75
  • 17 Shamrock Street – Special Permit to extend existing two-family dwelling nonconforming use and structure
  • 148 California Street/171 Watertown Street – Special Permit/Amendment to allow nonconforming use

Newton PorchFest 2019

Come to Newton PorchFest 2019, Saturday, June 1st, 12:00 – 6:00 (Raindate Sunday, June 2nd)Come enjoy PorchFest!  Newton PorchFest is an afternoon of free music performances on porches, front lawns and driveways around the city on Saturday, June 1st. PorchFest 2019 will include the villages of Auburndale, Lower Falls and Waban where over 100 musical acts will be performing from Noon to 6PM. 


Gather family and friends, grab a blanket or chair and stroll the neighborhoods enjoying a wide variety of musical styles. There will be Jazz, Pop, Rock, Funk, R&B, Classical, Barbershop and more! Check out the schedule (https://newton.porchfest.info/ ) to plan your route – maybe ride a bike to cover more ground! To make planning easier the schedule is arranged by village. 


Don’t miss this free event – fun for all the family!

Memorial Day Events

Yesterday may have been the Memorial Day parade and wreath laying at Forte Park, but there are also two events scheduled today to honor those who served our country. There will be a wreath laying ceremony at the Newton Cemetery at 10:00 a.m. and a Memorial Day celebration to honor living veterans at City Hall at 11:30 a.m.

Blue Ribbon Commission Report – Now Available

The Blue Ribbon Commission has formally submitted its report to the City Council regarding compensation of elected officials. The 105 page report can be found here.

Here are the recommendations:

  • Raise the Mayor’s salary to $140,000/year and continue all eligible benefits
  • Raise the City Councilor’s salaries to $14,000/year and continue all eligible benefits but if a Councilor does not participate in the City’s Health Plan, then add an additional $5,000/year in compensation (“equity pay”)
  • Raise the School Committee Member’s salaries to $7,500/year and continue all eligible benefits but if an SC Member does not participate in the City’s HEalth Plan, then add an additional $2,500/year.