June 2019



  1. Presentation by Union Twist, developer of proposed Retail Marijuana Dispensary at 1158 Beacon St. in Newton. (45 minutes)
  2. Approval of April and May WAC minutes. Treasurer’s Report. (5 minutes)
  3. Issues from the community. (10 minutes)
  4. Update on Waban Common. (5 minutes)
  5. Updates on Zoning reform and proposed Northland and Riverside developments. Discussion of the role of WAC with non-Waban community groups focused on development proposals. (RG to lead discussion – 30 minutes)
  6. Future meeting schedule. (5 minutes) 
  7. Announcements:


Meeting Date: 
Thursday, June 13, 2019 - 7:30pm


Waban Area Council

Meeting Minutes

June 13 2019 7:30pm-9:30pm

Waban Library Center


Members of the Community Present:Carol Todreas, Karen Sherman, Suzanne Bender, Zac Schildcrout, Nelson Lipshutz, Neil Todreas, Carol Tasgal, Rona Ellenbogen, Bill Humphrey, Betsy Hewitt, Anastoli Rastorgronan, Brendan Joyce.


Members of Waban Area Council Present: Kathryn Winters, Sallee Lipshutz, Rena Getz, Chris Pitts, Bob Jampol, Dinah Bodkin, Patrick Maher, Joe Corkery (present for Union Twist presentation).


Presentation by Union Twist, developer of proposed RMD at 1158 Beacon St.  Presenters were Marie St Fleur, Tahira Ramatulla and Matty Skelly from Union Twist, as well as attorneys Mike Ross and Donnalyn Kahn.  Attorney Ross explained that adult retail shops can only be placed in certain locations throughout the city, of which former Jaylin site is one.  Union Twist plans to buy the building and rent to IQ, the Chinese restaurant currently occupying the site next to former Jaylin.  The site layout was displayed on an overhead screen.  15 parking spaces are available on site, which fulfills zoning requirements.  Customer entrance is in the back, and the area for product drop off will not be accessible to customers.  All regulations regarding external appearance and accessibility will be adhered to. 

Matt Skelly discussed traffic implications.   They anticipate 50 visits during afternoon peak hours and 13-15 visits during morning peak hours.   The store is close to bus and transit access, which will hopefully minimize the increase in traffic.  There is an average of 4 auto crashes per year on that 1,000 foot section of Beacon St., although most crashes occur closer to Walnut St than the proposed location.   A detailed discussion of how the additional car traffic will impact that section of Beacon St. was not presented. 

         Tahira Ramatulla explained the operations of the shop.  Marijuana purchased at retail locations can only be consumed in private homes.  Public consumption is illegal.  Diversion of product to minors and other inappropriate consumer is Union Twist’s greatest concern.  Product is trackable, and they would expect to be informed by Newton Police if Union Twist product is found in an illegal location.  The building will adhere to the most up to date security standards. 

         Union Twist is projecting $11,000,000.00 of revenue in their first year of operation, with approximately 25% of that revenue going towards state and local taxes.

         A Question and Answer session followed  Many members of the public were concerned about the impact on traffic.  Many were also concerned about the possible negative implications of a marijuana shop in a family oriented neighborhood.  Garden Remedies is currently the only pot shop in Newton, and purchase is by appointment only.  Union Twist will operate by appointment only if requested to do so by the city.  Marijuana shops can not borrow money from banks, so Union Twist and all others need investors who put cash forward.  SL:  Where are you in the special permitting process?  Ross-two other potential stores are vying for the one space available on that stretch of Beacon St.  One community member asked about Union Twist’s relationship with Ascend, a large corporation which owns marijuana stores throughout the country.  UT representatives stated that they are not owned by Ascend, but that they have a contractual relationship with Ascend as their supplier.  UT does not do any of their own cultivation.  Some concern was expressed that Ascend will eventually buy Union Twist.   The meeting wherein Union Twist presents its plans to the community has yet to take place and must be publicly announced.


April and May Minutes Approved with changes suggested by RG


Issues from the Community  Senior Center possibly being located in Cold Spring Park!  Waban Common update:  Sod laid by Troop 209.  Project allowed one Eagle Scout to complete the community service requirement that is part of his Eagle Scout Badge.  Food and sod were donated.  Still seeking ADA compliance.


Zoning Reform, Northland and Riverside RG:  Washington St moving ahead, next working session is June 24.  Next session for Northland is June 18.  RG: we need to define WAC role for residents’ groups.  Examine old meeting notes and come to consenus at next WAC meeting.


Future Meeting Schedule  No WAC meetings in July and August.  KW:  May have a special meeting to discuss repaving of Chestnut St. SL:  Candidates’ night in the fall?  KW: Yes, participation of WAC members sought. 



Meeting adjourned 9:40pm. 


Respectfully submitted by

Dinah Bodkin

June 26 2019