March 2015 mtg
I. APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF FEBRUARY 12 MEETING JC (1 min)
II. APPROVAL OF MAR. 12, 2015 TREASURER’S REPORT RG (1 min)
III. BURNING ISSUES: Community comments for future agenda or immediate resolution (10 min)
A. Angier School/Beacon St/Collins Rd latest plans/changes: AD (5 min)
B. Zervas School – AD, RG, SL (5 min) – Including Mar. 5 NHAC meeting
C. Waban Future Vision 3rd Community Session- Rescheduled to March 19
D. Angier Construction Progress – BB (2 min)
E. Zoning Reform – Public Hearing tentative date: April 13 for Phase 1 Zoning Regulation Approval - RG (2 min)
F. St. Philip Neri – KW and SL (3 min)
G. Add-A-Lane March Update from MassDOT: SL (1 min)
A. Contacts at MassDOT: Joseph Graham (MassDOT Resident Engineer) and Trish Foley (MassDOT Legislative Liaison) E-mail: NWi95@dot.state.ma.us
B. Website for Add-A-Lane: (Citizens can also sign up for updates here): www.massdot.state.ma.us/highway/highlightedprojects/NeedhamWellesleyI95Addalane.aspx
C. Mitigation suggestions and discussion of docketed item to put Add-A-Lane on City Website (All – 10 min)
H. Council Boundaries Resolution -SL (5 min.) Feb. 25 mtg; Mar 5 NHAC approval
ACTION: WAC APPROVAL OF NHAC AND WAC AGREED BOUNDARIES
I. Street, Sidewalk, Parking Working Group: AD and MRM
Waban pre-paving community input on Annawan and Varick. AD & MRM (5 min)
Report on Beacon St. Parking Meeting and Safe School Site Meeting AD (5 min)
J. Friends of the Quinobequin – MRM (2 min)
V. COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE – CP, JC, MRM, SL (40 min)
ACTION: Logo - final determination on use by WAC.
ACTION: Approval of content and cost of proposed Waban Postcard.
VI. SILENT AUCTIONS WITH NHAC (SL and BB 5 min) First meeting on Monday, March 9
Participation by Councilors getting donations.
VII. DONATION IN MEMORIUM
VIII. NEW BUSINESS:
IX. ADJOURN: Next Waban Area Council Meeting: April 9, 2015, 7:30PM, Waban Lib. Ctr.
A. 3rd Waban Future Vision Session: Thurs., March 19, 7:30P.M., Waban Library Center
B. 11th Waban Village Day and WAC Silent Auction – May 17, 2015
We encourage you to contribute to the Newton Food Pantry, housed in the basement of the Waban Library Ctr., by bringing non-perishable food items when you attend our monthly meetings! Brutal winter weather brings more need for fragile families to choose between food or heat!
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:
firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-796-1064. For Telecommunications Relay Service dial 711.
Meeting Minutes DRAFT
March 12, 2015, 7:30pm
Members in Attendance: Sallee Lipshutz, Maureen Reilly-Meagher, Rena Getz, Barbara Bower, Joe Corkery, Andreae Downs, Chris Pitts, Matthew Gardella
City officials: John Rice (Alderman)
Other attendees: Isabelle Albeck, Gretchen Friend, D. Roberts, Marilyn Broyles
Members Absent: Kathy Winters
1. Meeting called to order at 7:36 PM
2. Secretary’s Report: JC presents the minutes from the previous meeting. MRM moves to accept minutes. CP seconds. Unanimously approved.
3. Treasurer’s Report: RG states no change in finances, bank balance is the same as last month. RG is investigating handheld devices to accept credit card payments for silent auction (e.g. Square and PayPal). RG will present her findings at next meeting. CP moves to accept report. MRM seconds. Unanimously approved.
4. Burning Issues:
No burning issues raised by the community in attendance.
SL brings attention to letter sent to everyone on the council regarding funding for the WLC for use of the space. MRM reports that she wrote back as an individual to report that WAC is an unfunded organization and that the only money raised by WAC comes from a single fundraiser to fund communications with the community. MRM states that the WLC responded graciously with thanks. CP states that the WLC is run under the auspices of the WIS and that WIS rents the library building from the city for ~$15,000 (which approximates the cost of heating the building). MRM states that her goal in considering whether any donation should be made is not to commit the WAC to a monthly fee that would then necessitate fundraising. JR reports that NHAC runs out of Brigham House and doesn’t pay rent. SL asks do we need to have an addendum to add WAC use to the library’s lease from the city? JR suggests that the legal department would probably prefer not to revise the lease. AD reports that library was originally closed by the city as a means to cut costs. States that since then the city has not invested in the maintenance of this building. Made her think again about whether we can do something to get maintenance done. Energy study was done of the building and was determined to be one of the less efficient buildings in the city. With a proper energy retrofit it might be cheaper to run and perhaps could get city to fund maintenance. AD suggests we should consider how we could preserve this as an asset. CP reports on history of Waban Library. It was originally independent of the city and through a legal mechanism at one point it became part of the city. Provides details on process that the city went through to shut the library down. SL asks is this an issue we want to take up? AD would like to know what it costs to run the building and what the subsidy from the city is. JR suggests having Josh Morse to attend a future meeting to discuss library. RG reports that WLC is already on the CIP for accessibility improvements, as well as roof improvements. MRM states that estimated costs are captured in the CIP. MRM feels that this might be outside the scope of WLC and in the domain of WIS. Wants to flesh out where we can be helpful. JR suggests a joint meeting with WAC/WIS and Josh Morse. Goal of the meeting would be to identify the needs and how to get those done. BB didn’t see the letter as a rent demand, but a request for voluntary contribution. SL does think it was a rent request. JR says that since city still owns the building, a city org shouldn’t be paying rent. BB perhaps we can consider making a donation at the end of the year if funds appropriate. IA thinks time to start a discussion about landmarking the building. AD states something to do after knowing the costs.
SL states that in response to factual inaccuracies in the Boston Magazine article on the Engine 6 process she would like to consider whether we should update the Engine 6 section of the website to include an accurate timeline of the process. BB suggests that we let it go. MRM disagrees and thinks that if corrections are to be made, they should be made. AD states that she thinks a reporter would certainly pick this up again. CP wants to clarify what the misinformation was about, whether it was about the meeting the mayor on addalane. MRM says there was a perception that that meeting was about Engine 6, and it wasn’t. States that they did not meet with the mayor the night before as reported. JC asks what the goal is in this process, whether to correct misinformation on website or something else. CP states that people misinterpreted what was written on the website to mean something else. MRM / SL states that there had been a discussion about updating the original summary for accuracy among the three people who attended the meeting with the mayor. Ultimately they decided against this action as it was no longer timely. CP reads information on the website. JC suggests that the best course would be for the individuals who are interested in clarifying the situation to take individual action as opposed to a WAC action. AD says that writing a letter to the editor will likely only stir things up again. MRM says that she would like to see a correction to the article about the misinformation about meeting with the mayor the night before because it reflects poorly on WAC. RG suggests that we need to figure out whether HUD complaint has been dismissed and that we should update the site to reflect the current status of the site and what is going on there now. MG suggests that this is probably not worth it because it is wasting time because it’s a done issue. SL proposes that RG and MRM meet to develop timeline and bring it to next meeting for discussion.
SL states that there was a suggestion that the storm water committee aggregate complaints to provide that information to the city. MRM suggests that we table discussion and that people document their complaints on the WAC website. Could put out email to encourage people to submit complaints to compile data. RG says that we should ask for data from 311. IA suggests that we send an email telling people to let WAC know about their problems. CP we will invite people to comment on the site about these issues.
5. Angier St / Beacon St changes: no update at this time
6. Zervas: RG reports that she/SL/CP attended NHAC meeting on Mar 5 and that three school committee members attended to have a discussion about priorities for Zervas (desire for new school, districting issues, want to keep it safe to walk). AD reports slides for safe school design meeting are on website. Says meeting was very well attended and that presentations were good. States there was a lot of interest from school committee members about engaging around these topics. SL reports that school committee is inviting public comment on budget and Angier/Zervas schedule.
7. Waban Future Vision: CP reports that meeting was rescheduled for March 19 and will focus on housing. CP wants to know whether we should reach out to other villages. JR suggests reaching to other villages but doubts people would attend. RG says would be good to have Newton Highlands come because they are further along the process. MRM suggests reaching out to the churches to see if they want to come. SL suggests reaching out to hospital. CP will ask WIS to see if they could send an email.
8. Angier Construction: BB reports that the steel is up? the building is wrapped. Heating is on inside to warm things so they can pour concrete. Neighbors state the heaters are very loud. After the meeting, the construction team was going to go to site with neighbors to listen to the noise. Peak worker time will be June through October. So far have been able to accommodate parking on site. Encouraging carpooling, parking on side streets should not be an issue.
9. Zoning reform: SL reports tentative date for public hearing data for phase 1 zoning regulation is April 13. RG reports that document will be available next week and she will provide a link. If there are any issues with document, now is the time to speak. RG will send document to all councilors. MRM asks if RG might be able to identify important changes. RG willing to overview enough without providing an opinion. Planning to speak at meeting.
10. St. Philip Neri: ?SL states that as of Feb 27, KW met with Stephen Buchbinder to discuss status of proposed development. Developer is refining plan for rental units on site through 40B proposal. Details on website. SB also met with Ald. Deb Crossley. May be ready to file paperwork in late April / early May. RG reports that there is an opportunity to file a counteraction (based on 1.5 criteria) if developer drops an application with the city. RG will link 40B appeals process to website. RG explains the process by which the 1.5 criteria might be settled. JR suggests we should discuss whether or not WAC wants to facilitate community meeting. MRM suggests that WAC hosts the meeting. AD suggests that we borrow techniques learned from LWV on how to run the meeting.
11. AddALane: SL reports that we hold on suggestions for mitigation until we ask? the community for what the community might desire as mitigation. MRM would like to give people the opportunity to engage on mitigation ideas and to reflect feedback back at the next month’s meeting. AD thinks it’s important to reflect on the realistic probability of getting mitigations. Doesn’t expect it is likely. SL reports that at a meeting 2 years ago, the mayor said that we would get mitigation if there was damage. MRM says that it would be good to ask what people want in order to develop a list. AD states we should just make sure to not make promises to community. SL reports on four ideas:
The barrier wall to be extended to go to the Wellesley Office Park from where it now ends. As work commences on our segment of AddALane, traffic will move away from us and then back when the work is done.
Measurement should be done now, and then when traffic is returned.
Wellesley secured sound barrier wall as mitigation.
DOT should work with Newton and abutting towns on the river to manage the river from a regional perspective. DOT is at the table in this role in other areas. We need to develop a regional body of towns near Newton that abut the Charles River that have an interest in the management of the river?
We need a bathymetric study of the topography of the river to demonstrate that Waban has been negatively affected by silt buildup between the two dams.
Along with DCR, DOT needs to help Newton make Quinobequin a safer road for our residents.
MRM suggests that we hold discussion to next month. JR states that a week ago the city reached out to owners of Wellesley Office Park to discuss the possibility of an onramp to 128 from the WOP parking lot of which they are very supportive. They have gotten traffic studies done and are going to the state to ask for this. Strong support for this in Newton as well as in the Wellesley City Council. They also need to meet with State government to move things along. CP suggests that we ask DOT to get invested in fixing storm water issues on Quinobequin Rd. MRM thinks it's a good question, but thinks there is a lot of fuzziness about ownership of the issue.
12. Council boundaries: SL reports that she went to NHAC meeting where they approved a compromise border agreement (see document). She states that the proposal has been approved by David Olson as a workable solution. AD moves to approve. CP seconds. Unanimously in favor of proposal.
13. Friends of the Quinobequin:? MRM nothing to report. Says that Charles River Watershed Association volunteer day is coming up. She will post date. Good opportunity for people to come down and help out. AD and MRM both report it is a lot of fun and a good way to get a lot of work done to make the park beautiful. 14. Streets & Parking: AD reports that the first meeting report (Safe School Site Design) was reported on earlier in the meeting. January parking meeting was cancelled due to blizzard. When it was rescheduled there was only one nonWAC councilor. Will plan for a followup meeting later this year.
15. RG wants to know how long it will take to implement traffic/parking changes. JR reports that once you get into traffic council (which can take a while), it moves quickly, but you usually have a 56 month test run and then it becomes permanent. AD reports that city would like to do a broader plan instead of focusing on street by street. SL wants to know when street plan will be done. JR reports that Collins Rd will be done before school is done. AD reports that plans for lots of water, utility, etc. work on Beacon over next few years, so no reason to push for repaving anytime soon. MRM states that there is an interest in evaluating Quinobequin Road for potential crosswalks as well as striping along edges, to further safety goals for all as a part of Annawan and Varick repaving project. Says that best way to make it happen would be to get expressions of interest from community. JR states there is a goal to get a meeting together to talk about having a “road opening” where Quinobequin would be open to public for walking.
16. Communications: MRM proposes voting on postcard first. CP wants to vote on logo first. SL proposes we discuss postcard first because the postcard needs to go out. SL suggests adding traffic light picture to the postcard instead of addalane image. MRM would like to use that traffic light picture more prominently on website as well. SL suggests saying “for alerts on Waban issues, submit your email at” instead of existing phrase. SL suggests listing officers first and eliminating contact info for the postcard. MRM says that most important part of postcard is to entreat people to submit their email addresses. All agree that we don’t want addresses on postcard. AD would like to see meeting schedules more prominently. Put email request and meeting info in the same place. RG suggests that less content would help bring more attention to request. JC reports that printing and mailing the postcard will cost $1700. SL moves that we approve funds. CP disagrees that this is worth the expense. Proposes that we put together a book that people might want to keep. Perhaps in combination with WIS, like a welcome package. Suggests offseting cost by including advertising for local businesses. MRM supports idea of doing a high quality project but current topic is the postcard. SL moves that we discuss and decide on issue of whether or not to do a postcard. JC seconds to have discussion. BB proposes that we do brochure next year and do postcard this year. RG would like to see more quotes on the price. MRM states that the purpose of raising the money for communication purposes. SL moves that we vote to approve budget for postcard. Vote is taken and does not pass (yes: SL/MRM/BB, no: CP/RG/JC/MG, abstained: AD).
Decided to continue discussion. JC states that he does not believe that postcard would be a good value for raising awareness as most of these get recycled/trashed immediately. JC proposes that we revisit CP’s suggestion from a previous WAC meeting of adding an insert to the WIS newsletter. Not sure that we will get actual value out of postcard. SL asks community attendees what they think. DR states that she is not sure that we would get value out of it. Thinks WIS should help. SL feels that we probably shouldn’t do silent auction because we don’t need to raise funds if not doing this mailing. RG thinks we should see where we go with email and then decide on postcard. CP we should try to do email and see response right away. SL has asked all area councilors about silent auction but nobody but only BB has expressed interest in helping. MRM concerned that we raised money without purpose at this point. MRM asks can we raise the issues: concerned about the issues, regardless of cost but not effective means of communicating, concerned that we are not doing what we raised money to do. BB agrees that postcard is low for the bang for the buck, but she did become aware of WIS via mailing. Concerned that we need to spend the money we raised. CP volunteers to coordinate with Teresa Fitzpatrick about upcoming WIS newsletter and possibility of a 1page inclusion in newsletter. BB moves to not do silent auction. SL second. Motion caries (All in favor except MRM who votes no and AD who was no longer present).
BB moves to adjourn. JC seconds.
Next meeting will take place on April 9, 2015.
Adjourn. 10:07 pm.