July 10 mtg

BURNING ISSUES: From the Community for next WAC Agenda or possible immediate resolution (5 minutes) 
COUNCIL ISSUES: (2 – 2 1⁄2 Hours): “The Mission of the Waban Area Council is to hear, respond to and represent village concerns and issues; to provide a forum for Waban issues, and to encourage resident involvement in local government.”
  • How do we facilitate communication among Council Members, City Hall and Residents?
  • How do we reach the Waban community to take its pulse on issues in order to ensure that we represent our community and not just ourselves?
  • How do we form committees and how do they function?
  • What is a WAC committee’s relationship to us and its responsibility to our Council? 
  • Action choices for WAC. 
  • Financial issues between meetings.
Topics to include: Website-responsibility for content –short term and long-term updates of automatic information from the City; Council observer function and reports/updates from City Hall; Use of Mail Chimp, leafleting neighborhood; Making policy decisions; Determining Agenda items; Engagement with the area schools, Taking joint positions with other Councils; other. 
Waban Area Councilors are kindly asked to be prepared to discuss their ideas on these issues and to move their approval/disapproval by our Council so that we can establish a record of how we wish WAC to NEW BUSINESS: For Next WAC Meeting Agenda. 
ADJOURN by 10:00PM: Next Waban Area Council Meeting: TBD
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 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 meeting: jlojek@newtonma.gov or 617-796-1064. For Telecommunications Relay Service dial 711.
Meeting Date: 
Thursday, July 10, 2014 - 7:30pm



Waban Area Council

Meeting Minutes

Members in Attendance: Rena Getz, Sallee Lipshutz, Christopher Pitts, Kathy Winters, Andreae Downs, Joe Corkery, Matt Gardella, and Barbara Bower.

Aldermen in Attendance: John Rice

  1. March Minutes. After making one revision, minutes of March 13, 2014 meeting approved by unanimous vote.

  1. Treasurer’s Report. RG reported that we have a tax ID number and a bank account at Village Bank. We also have a post office box at the Waban Post Office. The Council agreed that the Secretary and the Treasurer will have the keys to the PO box and will check it regularly. RG paid $90 for two years for the PO Box. Unanimous approval to give the Treasurer discretion to pay any bills less than $100 and report those expenditures at the next meeting. Bills above $100 will be paid after approval by the Council.

  1. New Business – Parking/Bike Lane. AD wants to work with a group to look into removing parking along Beacon St. and adding a bike lane while considering possible increased commuter parking on nearby side streets. Would possibly have a neighborhood meeting in September. The Council agreed that Ald. Rice should put in a joint request from him and WAC for a parking study for Beacon St.

  1. WLC Ramp and Parking Lot. Ald. Rice informed us that the ramp went in to the WLC on Wednesday. Currently working on repaving the parking lot and putting in curbs. The engineering department is looking into cutting two handicap parking spots onto the property along Beacon St. to provide better handicap access to the building. Ald. Rice is trying to ensure that the new parking spots will work with the new garden design.

  1. WAC Functionality. The Council had a lengthy discussion about how to operate effectively and ensure compliance with Open Meeting Law (“OML”). It was agreed that we should assign responsibility for the topics being addressed by WAC, and the Council drafted a list to accomplish that. Attached is the list of topics and the councilors assigned to each one. It was agreed that each group should work together as needed between meetings on their particular issue (i.e., by attending City meetings, conducting research, compiling materials), taking care not to do any deliberations that would contravene OML. Each group will update the President regularly and provide the President with advance notice if there is something that needs to be addressed at the next meeting. The Council also discussed the length of regular meetings. There was consensus that the meetings should be two hours long and there was a discussion about how to limit the number of issues addressed at each meeting.

  1. Next meeting will take place on September 11, 2014.

Adjourn. 9:30pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathy Winters


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.