Waban Area Council
March 14 2019 7:30pm-9:15 pm
Waban Library Center
WAC Members Present: Salle Lipshutz, Joe Corkery, Kathryn Winters, Dinah Bodkin, Christopher Pitts, Bob Jampol, Isabelle Albeck, Patrick Maher.
City Councilor Present: John Rice
Members of the Community Present: Bill Humphrey, Julia Golden, Colleen Nolan, Alan Nogee, Maureen R Meagher, Rebecca Conon, Jenn Martin.
February Minutes and Treasurer’s Report Approved.
Issues from the Community MRM suggested posting WAC agendas on bulletin board in Waban Square (in front of XXX).
Friends of Quinobequin/ Hemlock Gorge
Question still remains as to whether the two organizations should merge into one. Friends of Quinobequin does not want to lose its status as a subcommittee of WAC. But public interest in Friends of Quinobequin has been waning. Hemlock Gorge is a strong organization, helped greatly over the year by Brian Yates. Access to DCR is critical, as Northland and Riverside Developments will impact these parks in a significant way.
Charter Reform Five WAC members attended meeting of Programs and Services on March 6. Programs and Services is reviewing changes suggested by the Charter Commission, one of which would remove area councils from the City Charter and have the created by ordinance through the city council. All WAC members, in addition to members of other area councils, spoke against this change. P and S took that item off the table for now. Other item discussed was Article 10, which requires 20% threshold voter participation for initiatives and referenda. Issue was left unresolved. See detailed discussion at http://www.newtonma.gov/civicax/filebank/documents/95828/03-06-19%20Programs%20&%20Services%20Report.pdf.
Zoning Redesign Update On February 25th the Planning Department presented the buildout analysis to the Planning and Zoning Committee. As of the current Zoning Redesign Draft, the biggest changes in zoning regulations will happen in the R3 districts. The proposals are in flux, R3 may be divided into R3 and R4. Changes in R1 will likely be in the feasibility of subdivisions. Zoning Reform in the R1 districts is oriented towards reducing tear down vulnerability. Summary memo can be found here http://www.newtonma.gov/civicax/filebank/documents/95483.
Allen Ave/Beethoven Ave Pedestrian Safety. Jason Sobel of Transportation Department communicated to Councilor Rice that there will be bump outs on the west side of Allen Ave. Bump outs have the effect of slowing traffic regardless of which side of the street they are on. Bump out will be across from Richardson Field and will have cross walks to Richardson Field. Beethoven Ave is not wide enough for bump outs. Members of the public in attendance requested cross walks at the aqueducts. JR suggested individuals email Jason Sobel. Motion passed that WAC will draft a letter requesting that these issues be addressed when a comprehensive parking plan for Zervas is put in effect.
Finance Committee Transfer of $1.25 M from Angier Account to Capital Stabilization Account Essentially an accounting sleight of hand (JR) necessitated by the debt exclusion override. City general fund had loaned the money to Angier and now the money is being returned from Angier to the city.
WAC 2019 Goals Candidate showcases as done two years ago; communicating with the public; keeping the email list up to date, making the most of Village Day. BJ: WAC should deepen its connections with Friends of Hemlock Gorge, Quinobequin and Cold Spring Park. Rebecca Cohon stated that WAC meetings will be announced in Zervas emails. Several members expressed that we need more consistent outreach to local businesses, possibly having one of nine WAC positions go to a local business owner.
Announcements As in Agenda
Meeting adjourned 9:15.
Respectfully submitted by
Dinah Bodkin 03/21/19