December 10, 2015

The Waban Area Council will hold its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, December 10th at 7:30pm at the Waban Library Center.  The Zervas/Angier construction update meeting takes place at 7pm at the WLC.  Please note that Ald. Rice and Ald. Crossley are expected to discuss the Waban parking plan status at the meeting.  See below for full agenda. 

Thurs., Dec. 10, 2015, 7:30pm
 Waban Library Center -

following 7PM angier-Zervas community and construction team meeting
III. BURNING ISSUES: Community comments for future agenda or immediate resolution (5 min)
             Planning for possible presentations from Diana Beck, Principal of Zervas; Alicia Bowman           from Safe Routes to School; Newton Police Captain, Marc Gromada, on crossing guards; William Paille, Newton Director of Transportation; Angier parents to report on lessons learned from their recent experience on their return to Angier. (Invitees to include: Zervas PTO, Newton School Committee, Ward 5 Aldermen and as many members of the Waban and Highlands public that we can reach.
V. ADOPT-A-TEACHER: CAR PROGRAM PLANNING: Coordinate w/h Angier PTO & WIS: (5min).
            A. St. Philip Neri KW (5min)
            B. Bulletin Board replacement (by WAC alone? Village Bank? Other?) MRM (10min)
            C. WAC future funding (Auction?) to underwrite communication & other activities. SL (5min)
VIII. NEW BUSINESS: New items that may lawfully arise for discussion.
            Next Waban Area Council Meeting of Council-Elect to nominate officers: Jan. 7, 2016.
            Next Waban Area Council Regularly Scheduled Meeting: Jan 14, 2016, 7:30PM, WLC.
            We encourage you to contribute to the Newton Food Pantry, housed in the basement of the Waban Library Center, by bringing non-perishable food items when you attend our monthly meetings! The Food Pantries especially need your donations as winter arrives!
The location of this meeting is handicap accessible, and reasonable accommodations will be provided to persons requiring assistance.  If you need a special accommodation, please contact John Lojek, at least two days in advance of the meeting: or 617-796-1064. For Telecommunications Relay Service dial 711.

Meeting Date: 
Thursday, December 10, 2015 - 7:30pm



Waban Library Center

In attendance: Andreae Downs, Barbara Bower, Maureen Reilly Meagher, Sallee Lipshutz, Chris Pitts, Kathy Winters, Rena Getz.

Ald. Deb Crossley

Residents: Helen Goldberg, Barbara & Dan Kozaas, Gretchen Friend, Isabelle Albeck, Doug, Jones, Jose Portuondo, Maria Wilson-Portuondo, Barbara Darnell, Maria Cristina Portuondo, Kim Flannery, Sue Haggie, Julia Golden.

1. Minutes of November meeting approved by unanimous vote.

2. Treasurer’s report. Current balance $2277.15. Treasurer’s report approved by unanimous vote.

3. Waban Parking Plan. Ald. Crossley discussed the previously proposed Waban parking plan. We had been told that a comprehensive parking plan for Waban would be tackled in the new year in association with the opening of the new Angier building. However, many other areas in the city have been waiting for parking plans for years, and the Traffic Council decided not to do a complete Waban parking plan at this time. Instead, parking issues will be dealt with in phases.

  • Immediate changes will occur on Beacon St. (from the T bridge to Metacomet) and the portion of Dorset Rd. from Beacon to Locke. Parking will be eliminated on certain portions of those streets, and restricted parking implemented on other portions. There will be a two-hour limit during the day. Residents will be issued permits exempting them from the restrictions. Residents will also receive a number of guest passes, and can call the police department to alert them if they are having an event where they expect a number of guests on a particular day.
  • In January, the Traffic Council will address parking on Locke Rd. (and will consider whether parking restrictions are needed there).
  • Sometime over the first three months of 2016, the Traffic Council will address parking on the following seven streets: Irvington, Manitoba, Nehoiden, Waban Ave., Annawan and Collins.

The Traffic Council and the City would both like to prevent commuters from regularly parking on Waban streets.

4. Other Angier Parking/Traffic Issues.

  • Several residents at the meeting questioned the parking plan for teachers. There are up to 90 teachers with parking for 60 cars on site. Teachers will be issued permits allowing them to park on parking-restricted roads.
  • The sidewalk is in on path to Angier by Dorset Rd. IA asked if the shortcut by Dorset Rd. would be plowed. · MRM recalled that at our last meeting it was suggested to have one place on Angier website to address parking/driving/walking issues. AD said Safe Routes to School is working on that.
  • Solana Fefer asked who to contact about problems with the intersections etc. MRM advised that residents can call 311 and also the police department. You can request records from the police department to track complaints and comments.
  • Rebecca Latimore suggested we gather information about the number of comments that are made and traffic data so that we can have a community narrative about the new design and changes.
  • Adopt-A-Teacher: Car Parking. Ald. John Rice has told AD that the city legal department said city insurance will not cover any incidents related to teachers parking in residents’ driveways. KW suggested residents willing to allow teachers to park could have teachers sign liability waivers.

5. Planning for area council-sponsored event to discuss arrival and departure policies for Zervas. AD explained the desire to get Zervas planning started early and involving the Newton Highlands Area council. SL will call Srdj and try to set up a joint meeting to plan. Discussion of making sure that the Zervas neighbors are aware of construction vehicle parking that will likely occur.

6. SPN Update. The Developer’s attorney plans to file an application with the ZBA at the beginning of the year.

7. Bulletin Board Issue. SL asked if there is any motivation on the council to pursue taking responsibility for a new bulletin board. MRM will look into it.

8. WAC Future Funding. Our funds are down from high of $3300 to about $1400. SL asked if that is enough to get through the next year. CP suggests putting on an animal show as a community building event that could raise money. CP has offered to chair it. BB said she would help. MRM asked for some budget planning before proceeding with further fundraising.

9. Census Questions. SL asked David Olson whether we could add questions to the census. He explained that it is not practical -- questions would have to be city wide, non political, area council would have to pay, election commission would have to agree. Emailed surveys could go out if there is an appropriate distribution list. But we would have to have the email addresses.

10. Island Garden Update. MRM gave an update on the status for planning a garden at the Waban Ave./Collins Rd./Beacon St. island. MRM has already filed adopt an island application with parks and rec. JR has informed us that if WAC proceeded the alderman would vote and he recommends that we adopt the island. Need to hear from Carol Shulman that they have approved the plan.

11. Nominating meeting Jan 7th. Location TBD. Jan 14th we will have our regularly scheduled meeting. Still waiting on a swearing in date from the Mayor.

12. Charter Commission. First public hearing will occur on December 17, 2015 at City Hall. Residents will have 3-5 minutes to speak. SL encourages residents to attend.

13. Future Planning meetings will start occurring on the third Thursday of the month. Srdj will be joining the team. CP informed that we hope to come up with a future planning document. Will look into creating a historic district for Waban.

14. SL recognized BB’s service on the Board, and acknowledged Matt Gardella’s work as well (not present).

Adjourn, 9:08pm


48 rental units under 40B 105 parking spots with access onto Karen road

The Beacon and Chestnut St intersection. is already too congested. We would contribute to stop this development. Developers make promises, but the reality of the finished project is always worse than what was proposed

Oakvale Road, unfortunately, is a private road and therefore is not maintained by the city. It is the cut-through of choice for vehicles going to Karen Road. Residents of Oakvale have been suffering the destruction of Oakvale's pavement by hundreds of construction trucks since the McMansioning of Karen Road started 10 or 12 years ago. So far, none of the developers has taken responsibility for mitigating the damage. We anticipate that this will get even worse during the project at St. Philip Neri. We would like to propose an agreement with the developer of St. Philip Neri that they will either send their trucks down a public street such as Montclair or Moffat rather than Oakvale, or repave our street when they are done with their project.

Residents of Oakvale are also concerned about the amount of traffic that will pass daily over our deteriorating private road once the multi-housing project is completed. We would appreciate an opportunity to discuss with the city and the developer ways to mitigate this problem, and would like to be included in “near neighbor” meetings. Possible solutions to the problem include: establishing Oakvale as a one-way street from west to east, on the model of nearby (private) Roslyn Road; putting the ingress to the new development on Short/Beacon Street rather than Karen Road; having the city make Oakvale a public road without charging the abutters for the improvement; or by some other means.

I asked several questions at the end of May 6th meeting at the WC which was attended by approximately 140 people to get a sense of where people stood after the presentation.

  1. How many were involved in the meetings the developer held prior to the May 6th meeting? Less than a dozen raised their hands
  2. How many were in favor of the current proposal? About a dozen raised their hands
  3. How many were opposed? 80-90% raised their hands
  4. How many would favor a design that had half as many units and preserved the Church structure? 50-60% raised their hands.