January 12, 2017 mtg

Thursday, January 12, 2017, 7:30pm, Waban Library Center

Zervas community/ construction team meeting 7Pm


I. ELECTION OF WABAN AREA COUNCIL OFFICERS FOR 2017-2018 (5 min) All Councilors.



IV. BURNING ISSUES: Community comments for future agenda or immediate resolution. (5 min)



VI. UPDATES: (35 min)

  1. St. Philip Neri at 1521 Beacon St.: KW (5 min)
  2. Staples-Craft House at 1615 Beacon Street – Report on ZBA Hearing Opened on Nov. 17, RG and KW (10 min).
  3. WAC Waban Historic District Sub-Committee Information Gathering Update RG (5 min)
  4. “Waban Common” (Island Across from Angier). Third Public Hearing scheduled for Wed., January 4 was postponed for traffic safety resolution. SL and JR (5 min)
  5. WAC Visioning Community Survey CP  (5 min)
  6. Charter Commission – Discussion on possible Charter proposals.(5 min) SL

VII. WABAN AREA COUNCIL GOALS FOR 2017 10 min (All Councilors)

VIII. NEW BUSINESS: New items that may lawfully arise for discussion.

IX. ADJOURN. Next regularly scheduled Waban Area Council Meeting: Thurs. Feb. 9, 2017, 7:30pm, immediately following the Zervas Construction Team/Community Meeting at 7PM at Waban Lib. Ctr.


   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 the city of Newton’s ADA Coordinator, Jini Fairley, at least two business days

in advance of the meeting: jfairley@newtonma.gov or (617) 796-1253. For Telecommunications Relay Service, please dial 711.

Meeting Date: 
Thursday, January 12, 2017 - 7:30pm

DRAFT Meeting Minutes

January 12, 2016, 7:30pm


Members in Attendance: Sallee Lipshutz, Chris Pitts, Maureen Reilly Meagher, Kathy Winters, Isabelle Albeck, Rena Getz.

City Councilors: John Rice

City Officials: Newton Commissioner of Inspectional Services, John Lojek

Other attendees: Dorothy Roberts, Betsy Hewitt and Don Ross

1. Election of Officers.  Unanimous vote (5-0, RG was not present for this vote) approving the following:

            Sallee Lipshutz – President

            Chris Pitts – Vice President

            Rena Getz – Treasurer

            Joe Corkery – Secretary

2. Minutes. Approval of Dec. 8 minutes by unanimous vote.


3. Treasurer’s Report. Treasurer’s Report approved by unanimous vote. Balance of $1,447.83.


4. Inspectional Services Presentation. Newton Commissioner of Inspectional Services, John Lojek gave a presentation on the Inspectional Services Department “ISD 101.” The two main functions of ISD: (1) provide information, and (2) keep the records. JL stated that they are overwhelmed with code enforcement these days. JL stated that the building code is 90% “shall” and 10% “may.” He presented an organizational chart; ISD has 15 employees. They are responsible for:

  • plans examination,
  • periodics (schools, daycares, restaurants, camps, etc.)
  • field inspections


ISD works with many different City Departments (Planning, Law, DPW, Health, Fire, City Buildings, Schools). JL gave a review of the permit process.


5. SPN Update. Nothing to report.


6. Peck Property Update. DHCD ruled against the City on the 1.5% land area safe harbor issue.  The ZBA can appeal that decision to the HAC, and will meet Jan. 24th to decide whether to do so.  After HAC ruling, the project would go back before the ZBA for a full hearing on the merits.


7. Waban Common. JR had a meeting on Waban Common with City traffic officials who informed that they are looking at solutions for traffic issues around the common and will be meeting again over the next week or two. They are trying to get those issues resolved quickly so that they can stay on track for planting in the Spring.


8. WAC Waban Historic District Sub-Committee Information Gathering Update.  RG went over the West Newton Historic group’s work on researching a historic commission and went over their timeline. RG would like to get the sub-committee together to plan an event over the next couple of months to get public involved in research following a similar track to the West Newton group.


9. WAC Visioning Community Survey. CP went over plans for the survey and asked councilors to take the trial surveys he sent out.


10. Charter Commission. SL informed that the transitional portion of the proposed charter does not include anything about legal status of current area councils pending adoption of new ordinance covering area councils. The proposed charter will not include language authorizing area councils to receive city funds. SL proposed that we agree to work with other area councils on strategies.  CP made a motion to authorize SL (or if SL is unable to attend, another WAC member) to voice WAC’s position on various aspects of the charter. After deliberation the following votes were taken. Unanimous approval to authorize SL (or other WAC member) to speak at the next CC meeting and state that WAC opposes the changes to Article 9 as drafted. Unanimous approval to authorize SL (or other WAC member) to speak at the next CC meeting and state that WAC opposes the elimination of directly elected Ward councilors.   Unanimous vote against authorizing SL (or other WAC member) to speak at the next CC meeting and state that WAC opposes reduction of size of the City Council.


11. Waban Council Goals for 2017. SL discussed the need to raise money to support programs such as “meet the candidates nights” in the Fall. SL asked and received support among the council to support raising money necessary for those types of programs.


12. FOIA request.  MRM noticed that the City website showed a FOIA request for all correspondence from WAC to the City. Julie Ross of the City law department informed MRM that the FOIA request is under appeal and therefore she cannot discuss it.




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.