December 2018

Agenda

Waban Library Center

  1. Mayor Ruthanne Fuller and Newton Economic Development Director Kathryn Ellis will join us from 6:30-7:30pm to hear from Waban residents.  
  2. Waban Village Center Discussion – we will be joined by representatives of local businesses to discuss maintaining a vibrant village center (7:30-8:15). 
  3. Burning Issues from the Community (5 minutes).
  4. Waban Common Update (SL – 5 minutes).
  5. Zoning Reform Update (RG -  5 minutes).
  6. Update on Riverside Development from Charlie Stover, Member of Newton Lower Falls Improvement Association Riverside Committee. (15 minutes).
  7. 1114 Beacon St. Update. Last week the developer presented revised plans to the Newton Highlands Area Council for a building with two stories of commercial space and 22 residential condominiums.  (5 minutes).
  8. Approval of November Minutes and Treasurer’s Report. (5 minutes).
  9. Next Meeting January 10th. 

 

Meeting Date: 
Thursday, December 13, 2018 - 6:30pm

Waban Area  Council Meeting 

Waban Library Center

December 13 2018

6:30-9:00pm
 
Members of Waban Area Council present:  Rena Getz, Bob Jampol, Dinah Bodkin, Patrick Maher, Kathryn Winters, Sallee Lipshutz, Christopher Pitts.
 
Members of public present: Alice Saed, Carol Todreas, Neil Todreas, Caroline Wilson, Chris Hepburn, Bill Humphrey, Carol Shlossman, Betsy Hewitt, Lawrence Licklider, Kurt Neuman, Jeremy Paul, Luke Switkoswki, Charles Stover, Tricia Marshall, Sachiko Isihara, Kathryn Ellis, Judy Burton, Maureen Meagher, Norman Wu, Pat Wu.
 
City Councilor present: Andreae Downs
 
First hour of meeting discussion led by Mayor Ruthanne Fuller and Kathryn Ellis to hear concerns and needs of Waban residents .
 
After departure of Mayor Fuller WAC hosted Waban Village Center Discussion.  
Business owners Kirk Neuman of Frame It and Tricia Marshall of Waban Hardware attended.  The most significant problem in Waban Village is traffic.  There is too much traffic, drivers are driving too fast, and drivers are not stopping when people are crossing the street in the crosswalk in front of Frame It.   Various solutions were discussed, RG mentioned Cambridge as a model.  Carol Todreas suggested curving streets rather than sharp corners encourage people to drive too fast.  Kirk and Tricia stated that parking becomes scarce when school gets out.  Most customers don’t realize there is parking behind the Strong Building.  All agreed that parking should be kept free of charge.  
Kirk and Tricia are happy with their businesses and stated business is good.  Kirk has tried to generate interest among other business owners in cooperating on putting together a flyer or advertising Waban Village in other ways.  The businesses in Waban Square have generally not responded to Kurt’s suggestions. It was suggested that Waban Square be lit at night, and that store owners keep their windows lit at night.  Thus, people walking or driving through the square will see it has an active commercial center.
Sachiko Isihara stated Suzuki School will open the first week of February.  Their goal is to host an open house on Waban Village Day.  All parking for Suzuki students will be accommodated on the property of the Suzuki School. 
Snow plowing is an important issue for Waban Village.  Kirk stated he is the only business owner who cuts a path to his business when snow banks pile up.  Each business owner is responsible for snow shoveling in front of his business. Snow thus accumulates at the edge of the sidewalk, creating banks that preclude direct entrance to stores .  RG moved that a letter be written from WAC to City of Newton requested snow removal  from in front of Waban Village stores.  Motion passed 6-1.  SL mentioned that railing between Starbucks and upper Waban square is loose.   That should also be brought to attention of city authorities.
 
Burning Issues from the Community  Friends of Cold Spring Park would like to use WAC mailing list.  CP agreed to include a link to Friends of Cold Spring Park in his email blasts.  
 
Waban Common  SL: Construction is complete.  Money still needed to reach fundraising goal of $100,000.  Those who give $500 or more by the end of January 2019 will be acknowledged on a permanent plaque.
 
Zoning Reform Update.  RG: Minutes of Joint Meeting of the WAC and NHNAC held November 19, 2018 approved 5-2.  
 
Update on Riverside Development from Charlie Stover.  All details on the proposed development can be found at https://newtonlf.org/news/riverside/.  The main point raised at this meeting by Charlie Stover was that there is no vision for what the city wants and needs from this project.  That a “vision” should precede any developer filing was raised by Mayor Fuller during the first hour of tonight’s meeting.  She even mentioned that the vision was lacking in the Riverside project.  A comment letter from WAC is warranted.  Anyone unhappy with the proposed massive development can sign a petition online at the above website.
 
1114 Beacon St.  Changes presented to the Newton Highlands Area Council.  Developer is now proposing two stories of commercial space and 22 residential condominiums.  
 
November Minutes Approved.
 
Meeting adjourned 9:35pm.
 
Respectfully submitted by
Dinah K Bodkin