|With Labor Day behind us and school back in session, there is a very busy fall ahead of us! Here are a few things going on in Newtonville and beyond.
On Thursday, Sept. 24th at 7:00PM in the Aldermanic Chamber, the Land Use Committee will take up the proposed Austin Street project. The Planning Dept. prepared this memo for the meeting. There will be opportunity for public comment.
Many residents have asked me the status of the Austin Street project. At this point it requires 16 votes from the Board of Aldermen in order to be approved as a special permit. The mayor cannot move ahead without those 16 votes. In addition, according to our city charter, when deciding special permits, there are very specific criteria upon which aldermen are authorized to vote yay or nea. "The board of aldermen may grant a special permit when, in its judgment, the public convenience and welfare will be served…(1) The specific site is an appropriate location for such use, structure; (2) The use as developed and operated will not adversely affect the neighborhood; (3) There will be no nuisance or serious hazard to vehicles or pedestrians; ..." (See p. 114)
The next Land Use Committee meeting to discuss Austin St. is scheduled for October 6th.
Walnut/Washington Proposed Development
As I mentioned last month, a developer is interested in tearing down the buildings at the corner of Washington and Walnut Streets in Newtonville and building a mixed use development. Here is the Boston Globe story about it. The Newton Historical Commission will hear a demolition request for this property on Thursday, Sept. 24 at 7:00 in Room 205 at City Hall (yes at the same time as the Austin St meeting), here is the agenda for the meeting.
Cabot School Parking Lot
The Parks and Recreation Commission is meeting Wednesday, September 30th at 7:00 p.m. in the Aldermanic Chambers, here is the agenda. They will hold a public hearing on the Cabot School Renovation Project, in particular whether to allow a parking lot to be built on Cabot Park and if so, what size. See pp. 26-29 for visual representations of the options under consideration.
Newtonville Village Day Sept. 27; Elections for Newtonville Area Council
Next week is Newtonville Village Day, and from this flyer you can see it promises to be the best one yet! Many thanks to the Mayor's office, Newton Community Pride and the Newtonville Area Council for pulling it together. Speaking of, elections for Newtonville Area Council will also take place during Village Day, so please remember to vote. (List of candidates is available here, scroll down)
I wanted to take this opportunity to publicly thank a relatively new Dept. of Public Works employee, Shane Mark, who served as our interim Public Works Commissioner for several months while we were between Commissioners. As a ward alderwoman I am contacting DPW with some frequency on behalf of residents, and have been consistently impressed with Shane’s responsiveness, commitment to solve the problem, and follow through. So thank you Shane, and welcome as well to our new DPW Commissioner Jim McGonagle - you are inheriting a department in good hands.
Trimmed shrubs make for a safer walk
Please take an honest look at your shrubbery. If it is blocking the sidewalk, it forces pedestrians to walk on the berm and makes it particularly challenging for those in a wheelchair or pushing a stroller. Review these pictures below, and you can see which one allows easy passing -- and which two don't. Be a good neighbor and trim them back if they need it.
Are You a Councilor Yet?
Why am I still using the term “alderman?” Because the home rule petition to amend our city charter is still wending its way through the state legislature. It passed the House and Senate, and now awaits the governor’s signature.
My office hours are the last Friday of the month, 9-10AM at the Newton Senior Center, 345 Walnut Street in Newtonville. I will be there this Friday, Sept. 25 and hope to see you there!