October 11, 2018


  1. Approval of September Minutes and Treasurer’s Report. (5 minutes).
  2. Burning Issues from the Community (10 minutes).
  3. Presentations on Ballot Questions Regarding Recreational Marijuana Retail Stores in Newton. Representatives from Responsible First Step Newton and Opt Out Newton will present. (45 minutes).
  4. Waban Common Update (SL - 10 minutes).
  5. Zoning Redesign Updates (10 minutes).
  6. Agendas for Upcoming WAC meetings (10 minutes).
  7. Announcements:
    • Opioids and Our Community Presentation, First Baptist Church Newton Centre, October 25th, 6:30 - 8:30 pm. 
    • PorchFest Planning Meeting October 22, 7:30p at Auburndale Library.The organizers of Auburndale’s PorchFest have extended an invite to surrounding villages to organize their own event. Please contact Chris Pitts at cbpitts@gmail.com if you would like to get involved with bringing PorchFest to Waban.
    • Friends of Cold Spring Park. A community organization has been formed to protect and improve Cold Spring Park trail. If you’d like to get on their email list, email friendsofcoldspringpark@gmail.com
    • No Right on Red at Manitoba and Beacon St. (all day long) has been installed. Please observe this new rule. 
    • Roadwork occurring this week on Beacon (between Chestnut and Woodward) and Woodward and Elliot. Please be patient!
    • MBTA D Line Reconstruction Project commences this month. Limited prep work will take place in Waban this year. Sign up for MBTA updates here
    • December 13th 6:30 pm - Mayor Ruthanne Fuller will be at the Waban Library Center prior to our regularly scheduled WAC meeting to meet with residents. 
  8. Next Meeting: November 8th.

  9. Minutes from September Meeting can be found here.


Meeting Date: 
Thursday, October 11, 2018 - 7:30pm


Waban Area Council

October 11, 2018 7:30pm


All Members of Waban Area Council present


Members of the Community present: Bill Humphrey, Julia Golden, Nelson Lipshutz, Alec Bodkin, Karen Sherman, Jane Frantz.


City Councilor present:  John Rice


Presentations on Ballot Questions Regarding Retail Recreational Marijuana Stores in Newton Two ballot questions have arisen from the legalization of marijuana in Massachusetts in 2016.  One is the “opt out” question in which a yes vote bans marijuana in Newton.  The other is the “2-4” limit question where a yes vote limits the number of recreational marijuana stores to 2-4.


Karen Sherman presented the case for “Opt Out Newton.” making several points.  1.  Long term health and cognitive effects of marijuana are not known 2.  Today’s THC is much more potent than what was consumed in the 1970’s and 1980’s.  3.  Increased revenue raised by taxes on marijuana would be offset by social and other costs.  See OptOutNewton.org.


Jane Frantz presented the case for “Responsible First Steps for Newton” making several points.  1.  Cannabis sales are heavily regulated at the state level by the Cannabis Control Commission.  2.  The City of Newton is able to exercise stringent control over recreational marijuana stores through its special permitting process.  3.  At this time of serious budget constraints the tax revenue created through marijuana sales is welcome and needed.  See www.nobannewton.org.


Ten minutes of discussion followed the presentations.


Approval of September Minutes and Treasurer’s Report  Both approved.


Burning Issues from the Community Patrick Maher reported on the on-site meeting (10/11/2018) at Cold Spring Park attended by city employees from Parks & Recreations, Engineering, and Utiliies to review the project status for rerouting the rain water culvert's outflow currently impacting the exercise trail.  The School Department has given its approval to make the change on the public land controlled by that department.  The target timeframe for the project is Spring 2019. 

Isabelle Ahlbeck:  Two parking spaces in front of Waban Library Center have been eliminated.  It makes no sense because Woodward St is wide at that point.  John Rice said he will check with the relevant official.     

Sallee Lipshutz : More lighting needed at Waban Library Center and railing on handicap ramp needs work.


Waban Common Update (SL) Groundbreaking Oct 3.  Sallee read article submitted to Tab but not published (will be available on WAC website and at wabancommon.org).


Zoning Redesign Update (RG)  Planning Team will release to the Zoning and Planning Committee the new draft Zoning Ordinance on October 22 2018 .  Between November and March staff will organize ward-by-ward meetings where members of the community will be invited to provide comment.  Revised second draft will be presented in May 22 2019.  See WAC website for more information.


Announcements  As described in October Agenda.  Purpose of Mayor’s visit on December 13 is to discuss economic life of Waban Village.  Business representatives will be invited.  John Rice updated on Newton Center for Active Living (NewCAL).  See NewCAL website for upcoming meetings soliciting community input.


Meeting adjourned 9:30pm


Respectfully submitted by

Dinah Bodkin 10/13/18