April - 2023
Waban Area Council
MEETING AGENDA – April 2023
Isabelle Albeck, Dinah Bodkin, Bill Bracken, Rena Getz, Sallee Lipshutz, Drake McCabe,
Megan Meirav, Chris Pitts, Sumukh Tendulkar
Ex-Officio City Councilor: Bill Humphrey
When: Thursday, April, 13, 2023, 7:30 pm
Where: Virtual Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 868 4752 0630
I. Opening (5’)
A. Confirmation of quorum
B. Issues from the Community
II. Substantive Topics (40’)
A. Discussion of Landmark considerations held at NHC Meeting -Thursday, April 27, 2023.
B. WAC presence at Waban Village Day - Sunday, May 21, 2023
C. Community Outreach Events
D. Possible change to NAC elections
III. Zoning Updates (60’)
A. Village Center Rezoning
B. City of Newton’s compliance with the MBTA Communities Act
IV. Administrative Items (5’)
A. Review & approval of Meeting Minutes
B. Treasurer’s Report
C. Fundraising Update
V. New Business (5’)
Please note: Agenda order and discussion length is at the President’s discretion.
Draft Meeting Minutes:
Area Council Meeting
Prepared by Drake McCabe
Issues from the Community
Sallee brought up the fire trucks that were on Beacon St. today.
Strong block landmarking is in-progress. Rena explained that the law department is working with Molly to make sure that the notification is correct. Address discrepancies around the multiple address on the same parcel.
Will not be included on the meeting on the 27th.
Strong block is individually listed, but other buildings on the parcel are not.
Rena Getz shared a presentation showing updates to the landmarking process.
Chris Pitts showed a Google Street View of the Strong Block and Annex building. Rena explained the different architects that were involved with building the two buildings.
Rena explained how the application for landmarking has to be resubmitted so that the addresses are correct.
The Strong Block would more than likely go on the May agenda for the Newton Historic Commission (NHC).
Waban Hall is on the agenda for April 7th. The NHC will vote if they will adopt or do further study of the site.
Rena showed the NWT.DV resource area which encompasses the historical buildings within the Waban Village Center.
Rena explained the process by which the landmarking would take place, starting with the next NHC meeting.
Martha and John Mclean, the owners of Waban Hall spoke about how they are opposed to the landmarking.
Waban Village Day
Discussion about the WAC present at this year’s Waban Village Day.
Isabelle Volunteered to create a schedule for WAC councilors to rotate shifts in the WAC booth during village day.
Discussion turned to how to use social media to promote the Village Day.
Rena shared the idea of holding a picnic on Waban Common. Sallee mentioned that a permit from parks and rec would be needed to hold an event there. Rena suggested such an event could be held in the fall.
Megan shared that the Windsor Club had looked into a high tea event as a fundraising option, but noted that it might be difficult to raise money that way. Megan suggested a concert with live music as an alternative event. Megan also shared the Windsor Club has been testing a new, hybrid event approach that would allow public, non-members to attend.
Sallee asked if there is any updated information around fundraising and the rules the WAC has to follow. Isabelle gave an update to the group that we have not heard back from the law department in regards to if we were allowed to solicit donations through the WAC website. Isabelle was able to clarify that WAC members and individuals in the community can donate to the WAC.
Sallee suggested we put a notice in the next WAC email newsletter to solicit donations for the WAC to hold debates, and distribute other programming.
Rena shared an update on the conversation with city officials around changing the process for electing area council members across Newton. Jeremy Freudberg noted that the city council would have to have a conversation around that soon, because of the election later this year.
Village Center Rezoning Update
Rena shared an update on the village center zoning process. Rena said the ZAP had met for times since the last WAC meeting.
Key changes include, a change to designate streets as mixed use required on the first floor. Rena explained that this means that those buildings potentially do not count towards MBTA communities act zoning since they would not be 100% by right. Rena explained that the purpose of this was to encourage adaptive reuse and historic preservation.
For Waban, this would include the MBTA parking lot, Waban Hall building, and the Strong Block building. There is some concern that these lots would not be eligible for inclusion in MBTA communities zoning.
Zoning exemptions would be provided for reuse of pre 1940’s buildings.
Chris Pitts talked about a new ordinance for additions/renovations that would come into affect later this summer which would require developers to be compliant with new energy efficient regulations if the project is over a certain percentage change of the existing structure.
Slide Decks presented at the meeting:
Waban VC LM Updates 04-13-23_vposted.pdf
Waban VC LM Updates 04-13-23_vposted.pdf