by Irina Costache, Campaign Organizer
This week, Bill continued to knock doors, reaching over 150 more homes in Ward 5! Road repairs remained at the top of voters’ concern list. Another top issue that Bill heard from voters about this week was the potential added traffic from proposed city developments.
Engine 6/Livable Newton
On Wednesday, Bill attended the monthly meeting of Engine 6/Livable Newton, the affordable housing activist group, which heard this month from the Planning Department about Washington St and from Mark Development about Riverside and Washington St (Cheesecake Brook) development filings now before City Council.
Newton Highlands Area Council monthly meeting
On Thursday night, Bill attended the monthly Newton Highlands Area Council meeting, where the agenda mainly consisted of giving updates on items from previous meetings. Here are some points to note:
965 Walnut Street Project
This is the project that was previously presented for near Whole Foods at Four Corners. A representative of the developer was present at the meeting to answer questions and to defend/explain their proposal again
A community member spoke out, arguing that the proposed five connected units are too dense and will “ruin the neighborhood”
The special permit for Walnut Street may be filed as early as next week
Right Size Newton
The group opposing large housing developments in Newton presented to the area council against the Northland project and urged people to make public comments at the transit/traffic hearing before Land Use next week
One concern that was emphasized was about ride-share apps vs the shuttles. The presenter argued that these apps are likely to have more ridership than the proposed shuttles because of their better flexibility and likely similar fares. This would mean that the city would take on all of the traffic problems that come with those apps, like their size to occupancy ratios compared to shuttles/buses, and gain none of the benefits of the proposed shuttle.
The area council also spent half an hour to plan the Newton Highlands Village Day in June. Our campaign has already signed up for a booth!
Area Council Secretary Srdj Nedeljkovic presented an item that advocated for a city ordinance on utility undergrounding, for which he offered a draft text
Area Council President Nathaniel Lichtin recommended that there be an exemption or deferral provision to protect fixed and low income residents, especially retirees, from exorbitant expense from an undergrounding mandate
Other updates from issues brought up at previous meetings
Zoning redesign has been delayed to the next term
The city council in their city charter reform process has reduced the proposed 20% turnout threshold for a referendum down to a 15% threshold. There has been a bit of a stumbling block over the discussion of giving the Council a separate attorney.
A hearing will be held soon on the Elliot St marijuana retail petition. Community meetings on the Beacon St marijuana retail proposal will also begin next week at the Waban Area Council.
The Oak St/Christina St alignment project is underway, so expect temporary lane closures soon
As noted in last week’s newsletter – the track replacement and signal upgrade project on the D Line is resuming, starting at Waban Station, on Monday April 8. Work will be conducted overnight most weeks Monday through Friday between 8:30 PM (later on Red Sox game nights) and 5 AM. More info is available on the project website at mbta.com/GreenLineD. You can also call a 24/7 noise hotline at: 508-676-3550. And you can email the project team at DBranchInfo@MBTA.com
A number of Newton Highlands streets by Cold Spring Park’s south corner, on both sides the Ward 5/Ward 6 boundary, have temporary restrictions beginning today due to the filming of a TV miniseries based on a book by a Newton author. According to the email update from Ward 6 Councilor Brenda Noel, they are as follows:
Temporary road closure:
Plymouth Road, between Cochituate Rd and Kingston Rd - April 8, 9, 16 from 7AM to 8PM
Temporary no parking and tow zone:
Cold Spring Park- Plymouth Rd: April 8 - April 9
PLYMOUTH RD (Both sides) Cochituate Rd to Kingston Rd - April 5, 8am-6pm
PLYMOUTH RD (Both sides) Cochituate Rd to Kingston Rd- April 6, 10am- 5pm
PLYMOUTH RD (Both sides) Cochituate Rd to Kingston Rd- 6am April 8 until 7pm April 10
PLYMOUTH RD (Both sides) Chatman Rd to Bellingham St- 6am April 8 until 10pm April 9
KINGSTON RD (100ft @ 48 Kingston Rd)- 8am April 7 until 10pm April 9
BRADFORD RD (Both sides) Endicott Rd to Bellingham St - 6am April 8 until 10pm April 9
ENDICOTT ST (Both sides) Plymouth Rd to Carver Rd - 8am April 7 until 10pm April 9
COCHITUATE RD (Both sides) - 8am April 7 until 10pm April 9
NANTUCKET RD (Both sides) Cochituate Rd to Wood End Rd - 8am April 7 until 10pm April 9
Don’t forget to sign up for Newton Serves Day projects (April 28): http://www.newtoncommunitypride.org/NewtonSERVES.html
Upcoming Meet & Greets
Saturday April 13 at 3 PM: Please join Susan Forrow at 86 Varick Rd in Waban for a wide-ranging discussion and Q & A on the issues with Bill Humphrey.
Sunday May 5 at 4 PM: Please join environmentalists Marcia Cooper, Helen Rittenberg, and Nathan Phillips at 170 Evelyn Rd in Waban for a conversation with Bill Humphrey on the urgency of climate action, green energy, and strong public transportation at the municipal level. No donations are required to attend either event. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP for either event.