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City Council Committee Reports Now Available

Programs and Services Committee – 3/20/2019 Report:  The Programs and Services Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Appointment of Al Cecchinelli to the Newton Parks and Recreation Commission
  • Approval of date for the Preliminary 2019 Election (if needed) to be September 10th
  • Approval of Charter subcommittee’s recommendation to seek Home Rule legislation to accept Charter subcommittee’s recommended amendments

 

Public Safety and Transportation Committee – 3/20/2019 Report:  The Public Safety and Transportation Committee voted No Action Necessary on a request for a discussion with the Principle Group and the Planning Department, Transportation Planning, and Transportation Operations regarding the “Hello Washington Street” vision for
transportation on the corridor, specifically in regards to multi-modal mobility and the
prospect of reducing lanes from four to three.

Public Facilities Committee – 3/20/2019 Report:  The Public Facilities Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Request for a grant of location to install and maintain a main in College Road from a existing gas main in front of #66 College Road in a northerly direction to #72 College Road. This is part of an MWRA water main replacement project.
  • Request to appropriate and expend $129,000 from the Sewer Reserve Fund to install a sewer connection to the Rumford Avenue transfer station for an office trailer at the site
  • Request for an appropriate and expend $500,000 from Free Cash to Rental Vehicles and Regular Overtime for snow and ice removal (NOTE:  Commissioner of DPW  noted there were 24 events, with 47″ of snow and the City has spent $4.79 million for snow and ice removal this year – compared to $7.3 million last year)
  • Request to appropriate and expend $250,000 from the Stormwater Management Fund Surplus Account for the cleaning, inspecting and assessment of a concrete box culvert adjacent to 170 Needham Street that conveys stormwater from the South Meadowbrook drainage basin
  • Request for approval of design/traffic flow changes to certain intersections to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety:
    •  Crafts Street at Walnut Street – bump out and elimination of slip lane
    • Walnut Street at Minot Place – bump out
    • Walnut Street at Lowell Avenue – bump out and elimination of slip lane
    • Waltham Street at Derby and Fairway Drive – bump outs and median island
    • Elliot Street at Linden Street – two median islands

Zoning and Planning Committee – 3/25/2019 Report:  The Zoning and Planning Committee voted to approve the following:

  • Appointment and Re-appointment of David Kayserman to the Auburndale Historic District Commission
  • Appointment of Kathryn Cade to the Newton Conservation Commission
  • Technical Amendments to certain provisions of the current Zoning Ordinance
    • Section 1.3.1 The Accessory Apartment overlay districts were retained when the ordinance was updated in 2017 and they should have been removed.
    • Section 4.4.1. Under the 2012 ordinance retail uses were allowed by right in all the BU districts. Multi-family uses were also allowed by special permit. When the new ordinance was transcribed forward in 2017, the new language did not capture this same intent for the residential use so the symbol for Special Permit (SP) has been added to all the BU districts for “residential use, above ground floor”
    • Section 5.1.4.A In the parking requirements for low-income and elderly housing there was a misinterpretation when transcribing to the 2017 ordinance. The word “and” was interpreted and transcribed as “plus” when it actually meant “or”. Therefore, the language is being amended to “1 per 2 low income units or 1 per 4 elderly units”.
    • Section 5.11.4.B. A set of paragraphs define how the eligibility and pricing is determined for rental projects versus condo projects. Staff found that a paragraph had been inadvertently dropped from the section that relates to more than 3 condo projects. The paragraph is being added back.

All other items were held. The Report contains discussion of the proposed new zoning ordinance and an update on the Washington Street Corridor Action Plan.

Land Use Committee – 3/26/2019 Report:  The Land Use Committee approved the following:

  • Request to withdraw a request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to construct an attached two-car garage and second floor master suite, creating an FAR of .63 where .53 is allowed and .43 exists at 370 Linwood Avenue
  • Request for a temporary license to hold Nonantum Village Day on June 2, 2019

All other items were held.

School Committee to Meet on Monday, April 1st – Public Hearing on FY2020 Budget

The School Committee will meet on Monday, April 1st beginning at 5:45 p.m. Room 210. The Committee will first meet in Executive Session to discuss the Decter et. al. litigation and then hold a public hearing on the proposed FY2020 Budget. (NOTE: The School Committee took a straw vote at its last meeting and voted 9 – 0 to approve). After the public hearing, the Committee will convene a regular meeting. The agenda includes the following:

City Council Committee Meetings – Week of March 31st

Land Use Committee:  The Land Use Committee will meet on Tuesday, April 2nd at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to amend a previously granted special permit to allow restructuring of the parking layout, eliminate 14 parking stalls, and require a waiver of 11 stalls at 2345 Commonwealth Avenue (Marriott Hotel)
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow 4 single-family attached  dwellings in two buildings, allowing single-family attached dwellings with three stories and to allow retaining walls greater than 4′ within a setback at 499 Winchester Street – See Memo from Councilor Leary regarding this proposal

Programs and Services Committee:  The Programs and Services Committee will meet on Wednesday, April 3rd at 7:00 p.m. in Room 211. The agenda includes the following:

  • Appointment of Yasodhara Paruchuru to the Urban Tree Commission
  • Appointment of Michele Fortez-Cruz to the Urban Tree Commission
  • Request for a resolution to the federal government to adopt a new nuclear policy
  • Request for a prohibition on polystyrene-based disposable food or beverage containers in the City if that packaging takes place on the premises of food establishments within the City

Public Safety and Transportation Committee:  The Public Safety and Transportation Committee will meet on Wednesday, April 3rd at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request for a one-year license for one new van license for Garden Remedies
  • Request for an update and discussion on implementation of the Passport Parking system
  • Request for discussion of painting bike lanes on major arterials – Beacon, Brookline and Dedham Streets – See Memo from Planning Director
  • Request to amend Section 19-191 to allow the Director of Planning to set the parking meter fees in consultation with the Commissioner of Public Works

Public Facilities Committee:  The Public Facilities Committee will meet on Wednesday, April 3rd at 7:00 p.m. in Room 204. The agenda includes the following:

  • Petition for a grant of location to install small cell wireless facility on an existing utility pole located in the right of way in the vicinity of 132 Adams Street
  • Petition for a grant of location to install small cell wireless facility on an existing utility pole located in the right of way in the vicinity of 262 Beacon Street
  • Petition for a grant of location to install small cell wireless facility on an existing city-owned street light pole located in the right of way in the vicinity of 140 Commonwealth Avenue
  • Petition for main drain extensions in Staniford Street from the property at 65 Staniford Street to the existing sewer manhole at the intersection of Staniford Street and Freeman Street and from the property at 68 Staniford Street to the existing sewer manhole at the intersection of Staniford Street and West Pine Street
  • Request to appropriate and expend $256,000 from the Sewer Fund Reserve for the purpose of funding the Staniford Sewer Extension
  • Request relocation of a portion of an easement from the Trustees of Boston College to the City of Newton for drain lines to reroute a portion of the existing City storm drain beyond the footprint of the planned integrated Science Building

Zoning and Planning Committee:  The Zoning and Planning Committee will meet on Thursday, April 4th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205. The agenda will focus on the Washington Street Corridor Action Plan.  See Planning Memo here.

City Board and Commission Meetings – Week of March 31st

Washington Place Liaison Committee:  The Washington Place Liaison Committee will meet on Monday, April 1st at 6:00 p.m. in the Planning Department Conference Room. The agenda is focused on updates on construction of Washington Place.

Newton Human Rights Commission:  The Human Rights Commission will meet on Tuesday, April 2nd at 7:00 p.m. in Room 211. The agenda includes the following:

  • Update on Hate Incidents
  • Student Reports related to Human Rights
  • Protocols adopted by NPS
  • Update from an NPS representative
  • HRC Book Club
  • Continued discussion of the Genocide Exhibit
  • Pride – Honoree update and discussion on incorporating more of the community

Planning and Development Board:  The Planning and Development Board will meet on Tuesday, April 2nd at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205. The agenda includes the following:

  • Presentation and Vote on the FY2020 Annual Action Plan
  • Continued discussion and deliberation of the Northland Development – Request for Zone Change
  • List of Upcoming Meetings

Newtonville Local Historic District Commission:  The Newtonville Historic District Commission will meet on Thursday, April 4th at 7:30 p.m. in Room 205. The agenda includes the following:

 

Development Review Team Meetings – Week of March 31st – Lots of Potential Projects on Lexington Street – Auburndale

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

  • 15-21 Lexington Street –  Special Permit to allow a 24-unit multi-family dwelling
  • 1160 Chestnut Street –  Special Permit to construct a retaining wall greater than
    four feet within a setback
  • 28 Wade Street –  Special Permit to extend a nonconforming side setback
  • 344-340 Lexington Street & 76-88 River Street – Special Permit to allow mixed use building containing hotel and multi-family dwelling uses

See DRT Snapshot here.

Riverside Visioning Process continues….March 28th, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at Lasell College, Winslow Academic Center

The City of Newton Planning Department and consultant, Civic Moxie, will continue the visioning process for the Riverside MBTA site on Thursday, March 28th from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.at Lasell College, Winslow Academic Center -80 Maple Street Auburndale.

A summary of comments from the first meeting, site analysis, and draft guiding principles can be found here.

 

Yard Waste Collections begins!!

Yes – Yard Waste Collection will begin on Monday, March 25th.

What’s acceptable?

  • Grass Clippings
  • Leaves
  • Tree and Shrub Prunings
  • Wood chips
  • Small vegetables and flower plants
  • Other vegetative matter
  • Twigs and branches less than 4 ft. long and 6 inches in diameter (please use twine to tie bundles of twigs and branches that are less than 4 feet in length and 3 inches in diameter)

What’s NOT Acceptable?

  • Plastic Bags
  • Dirt
  • Sand
  • Rocks
  • Asphalt
  • Brick
  • Concrete

Yard Waste in Plastic Bags will NOT be collected.

 

Development Review Team Meetings – Week of March 24th – 7 acre mixed-use project just east of the Watertown/Washington Street intersection?

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

  • West Newton Square – several properties east of the intersection of Watertown and Washington Streets – proposed 7 acre mixed use project
  • 73 Lexington Street – proposed educational use
  • 687 Watertown Street (Horace Mann Elementary School) – Site Plan Approval – 5-58 review for relocation of the Newton Early Childhood Program

See Development Review Team Snapshot here.

City Council Committee Meetings – Week of March 24th

Finance Committee:  The regularly scheduled meeting of the Finance Committee has been cancelled. See Memo from Finance Committee Chair, Lenny Gentile.

Zoning and Planning Committee:  The Zoning and Planning Committee will meet on Monday, March 25th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205. The agenda includes the following:

  • Appointment and Re-appointment of David Kayserman to the Auburndale Historic District Commission
  • Appointment of Kathryn Cade to the Newton Conservation Commission
  • Public Hearing on Technical Amendments to the Newton Zoning Ordinance (See Planning Department’s  Memo)
    • 4.4.1
    • 1.3.1
    • 5.1.4.A
    • 5.11.4.B
  • Discussion regarding the draft Zoning Ordinance (See Planning Department’s Memo on update re: Special Permit Data and Planning Department’s Memo)
  • Discussion regarding the Washington Street Corridor Action Plan (See Planning Department’s Memo on Project Schedule Update)

Land Use Committee:  The Land Use Committee will meet on Tuesday, March 26th at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber. The agenda includes the following:

  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow for a 3-story, 9-unit multi-family dwelling with accessory parking for 9 cars, to allow multi-family residential use on the ground floor of a BU1 District, and to allow waivers to parking requirements – (number of stalls, aisle width, etc) and lighting and landscape/screening requirements for 19-31 and 39 Herrick Road (Note:  the most recent Planning Department memo I could find is the 2/22/2019 Memo)
  • Request to Withdraw a request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to construct an attached 2-car garage and a second floor master suite creating an FAR of .63 where .53 is allowed and .43 exists at 370 Linwood Avenue (See Withdrawal request attached to the Agenda)
  • Request for a temporary license to hold Nonantum Village Day (See info attached to the Agenda)
  • Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to construct an attached dwelling unit to the existing single-family structure, reduce lot area, frontage and lot coverage requirements, to reduce front and side setback requirements, and to allow a driveway along the side lot line, requiring an amendment to  Variance #99442 at 10 Pillion Court (See Planning Department Memo)
  • Request to amend a previously approved Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to allow adult-use sales of recreational marijuana and to waive a number of parking, interior landscaping, and screening requirements at 24-26 Elliot Street (Cypress Tree Management) – NOTE:  There will be no presentation or discussion of this item. The Chair intends to continue the public hearing to April 30th)

Blue Ribbon Commission:  The Blue Ribbon Commission will meet on Wednesday, March 27th at 7:00 p.m. in Room 204. The agenda includes the following:

  • Session to invite Community Comments
  • Update from the Data Subcommittee

The Blue Ribbon Commission’s Report from March 5th can be found here. The Commission will continue to collect info from it’s online survey which can be found here.

School Committee Meeting – Monday , March 25th – Equity Policy and Proposed FY2020 Budget on the Agenda

The School Committee will meet on Monday, March 25th at 7:07 p.m. in Room 210 at the Ed Center, 100 Walnut Street. The agenda includes the following: