January 2019

  1. Approval of December Minutes and Treasurer’s Report.
  2. Election of 2019 Officers. (15 minutes).
  3. Riverside Update – City has announced visioning process. (10 minutes).
    1. Discuss request by Newton Lower Falls Improvement Association to circulate petition opposing the current development proposal to our email list.
  4. Solar Sites Phase III (30 minutes) – Discussion of proposal to install solar panels at a number of municipal and school properties. For background, review concept designs and December 5th Public Facilities Committee Report. (Note that the city has decided not to pursue the proposed installation at Albermarle). Public Hearing January 16th at 7pm at Newton City Hall Council Chambers.
  5. Zoning Reform Update, including update on joint area council committee on Zoning Reform. (10 minutes)  The drafts and other relevant documents can be found on the City website.
  6. 1158 Beacon St. – Recreational Marijuana Dispensary. The Planning Department’s list of Design Review Team meetings for the week includes: 1158 Beacon St., Special permit for a recreational marijuana establishment (BU2, Ward 6). If we have any further information on this project we will present it at the meeting. 
  7. Discussion of 2019 plans for WAC. Collaboration and support of other area councils/neighborhood organizations. Expected budget, fundraising. (20 minutes)
  8. Announcements:
    1. Northland Project (Needham and Oak). January 15th Land Use meeting at City Hall to discuss transportation management plan. Documentation online
    2. 1114 Beacon St. – The developer is hosting a community meeting January 8th, 7pm at the Women’s Club of Newton Highlands, 72 Columbus St. The developer is presenting a revised proposal for a mixed-use building with 22 residential condominiums and commercial space.
  9. Next Meeting February 14th. 


Meeting Date: 
Thursday, January 10, 2019 - 7:30pm


Meeting Minutes

January 10 2019

Waban Library Center


WAC Members Present:  Kathryn Winters, Patrick Maher, Sallee Lipshutz, Chris Pitts, Rena Getz, Bob Jampol, Dinah Bodkim, Isabelle Ahlbeck.

City Councilors Present:  John Rice, Deb Crossley

Members of the Community: Maureen Reilly Meagher, Fran Godine, Bill Humphrey, Betsy Hewitt, Alan Nogee.

December Minutes and Treasurer’s Report Approved

Election of 2019 Officers.  Identical to 2018; entire slate approved unanimously.


Riverside Update. In view of the city’s announcement of a visioning process for Riverside, Newton Lower Falls Improvement Association has decided not to circulate petition expressing concern re Riverside Development.  They will wait for the visioning process to run its course.  WAC members expressed general concern that Riverside Development will affect sewage in Waban.  MR: A budget line item to do exploratory work on aged sewer system was removed.  JR: Location of break in sewer system still uncertain.  Sewer issues were again raised later at the meeting when  Councilor Deb Crossley was present.  Her assessment of our water and sewage repair dates is that it will take ten years to get to maintenance level for sewage and 20 years for water.


Solar Sites Phase III.  Hearing January 13 in City Hall. See http://www.newtonma.gov/gov/building/solar_phase_3.asp All roofs of newly constructed buildings are solar panel ready.  The main issue discussed was the proposed solar canopy at Newton Free Library.  This would be done in conjuction with a major reconfiguration of the parking lot at the library which would add parking spaces and (hopefully) eliminate flooding problem at the parking lot.  Two proposals are under consideration, one with a pedestrian walkway, one without.  The center berms as well as the trees growing on them would be eliminated.  Many of the trees would be replanted, but several would be lost.  Alan Nogee Former Director of Climate and Energy Policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists stated that those looking at the choices Newton faces have not looked at the “big picture.”  The savings in CO2 emissions far outweighs the environmental impact of losing trees.  The position he stated at the WAC meeting is summarized here- https://www.greennewton.org/in-the-world-of-energy-choices-newtons-solar...


Zoning Reform Update Joint Meeting Waban and Newton Highlands Neighborhood Area Councils Saturday Jan 26 2pm at WLC.  Presentation of proposed NZO on the Village Districts as well as the Purpose section.  The Planning Department will be presenting the Buildout Analysis of the city under the current Zoning Ordinance as composed to the proposed Zoning Ordinance at their Monday Feb 11 meeting.


Recreational Marjuana Dispensary Meeting to be held this week with Design Review Team for 1158 Beacon St.   Application for South Pacific site has been withdrawn.


Future Plans for WAC: RG suggested WAC members reporting back to Council re Northland, Riverside and other areas of major concern.  Discussion will be continued at next meeting.


Announcements:  As in Agenda


Meeting adjourned 9:35pm.


Respectfully submitted by Dinah Bodkin