May 14 2020

Waban Area Council Meeting May 14th 2020

Agenda:

  1. Burning Issues from the neighborhood
  2. Approval of minutes for Dec 2019 and April 2020
  3. Update on Open space: Bob
  4. Landmarking and zoning reform: Rena
  5. WAC Goals
  6. New Business

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Regards,

Chris Pitts

WAC President

Meeting Date: 
Thursday, May 14, 2020 - 7:30pm

Waban Area Council

Meeting Minutes

05/14/20 7:30pm

Held via Zoom

 

 

 

WAC members:  Sallee Lipschutz,  Dinah Bodkin, Chris Pitts, Bob Jampol, Tom Elkind, Rena Getz, Ronald Marcus, Isabelle Albeck.  

City Councillor Present:  Bill Humphrey

Community:  Kathleen Hobson, Margie Arons-Barron, Cristina Alexander, Maureen Reilly Meagher, Tim desChant, Henry Irwig, Barbara Bower, Lisa Monaghan, Alice Ingerson, Kathleen Kouri Greiser, Kathy Pillsbury, Lois Levin, Sachiko Isihara, William Koran, Barbara Darnell. 

 

December Minutes Approved.

 

Burning Issues from the Neighborhood: Maureen Reilly Meagher: Mayor not supportive of AD’s proposal to close Quinobequin to all but local traffic.  Ruth Balser looking for support from WAC since Quinobequin is a state road.  CP proposed that  WAC website post a survey asking whether people favor traffic mitigation.   Motion passed.  

 

BH: no updates from NWH re power plant.  No inspections logged on boiler replacement.  Will check w John Lojek.  

 

BH: Rental assistance program has launched.  Applications available at newtonma.gov/housingrelief.  All meeting attendees asked to spread the word re rental assistance.  BH will distribute flyers describing the program.  Constrained time frame.  Applicant must demonstrate that he/she has been affected by Covid.  $500,000 is available from the federal government, $2,000,000 is available from Newton CPA.  

 

IA: Has anyone reached out to Newton Chinese-American association? 

 As part of food relief, the City and Newton Public Schools are distributing “Grab and Go Meals” available to all ages.

Cristina Alexander:  HVAC noise from NWH constant and disruptive.  Tim deChant spoke with Justin Ferbert about this issue, said vibrations can be felt at certain places in his home.  SL: can vibrations be monitored as when Zervas was built?  Both de Chant and Alexander felt Justin Ferbert was concerned about the problem and would attempt to solve it.

 

 

Update on Newton Open Space Plan Kathleen Kouril Greiser:  Newton Open Space plan proposes moving Bullough’s Pond Association and several other “Friends” associations  from the Department of Parks and Recreation to the Conservation Commission.  (See http://www.newtonma.gov/gov/planning/lrplan/os/default.asp section 7 pg 9 “Efficient Management.”) Kathleen is Vice President of Bullough’s Pond Association (BPA).  In general BPA feels that Newton Open Space Plan is excellent.  However, the association feels that Parks and Recreation has worked well together with the Friends Associations in Newton and that a change in management would be detrimental to this relationship. The  BPA board wrote a letter to City Council outlining their concerns.  Kathleen wished to communicate this concern to WAC and make sure WAC is aware of this potential problem should WAC wish to write a letter of support re Newton Open Space Plan.  WAC member Bob Jampol has attended all meetings re Newton Open Space plan and agreed with Kathleen’s point.  CP:  BJ will keep WAC in the loop on this.

 

Landmark and Zoning Reform:  CP: Zoning Reform Update.  After a pause, Zoning Redesign on back on the city’s agenda.  Zoning will now be regulated through building type, which will result in more properties being subdivided.  The most up to date information is here http://www.newtonma.gov/gov/planning/lrplan/zoning_redesign.asp.  Rena Getz will follow developments and keep WAC informed.

 

Meeting ended temporarily by host due to “Zoom bomb.”  Meeting resumed by invitation.

 

RG: Landmarking of properties in Newton on hold until end of June.  The landmarking ordinance is being changed in a number of ways.   Discussions around amending the ordinance can be seen here http://www.newtonma.gov/civicax/filebank/documents/103779/05-07-20%20Zoning%20&%20Planning%20Report.pdf starting on page 6.  Changes also summarized in flow chart presented by RG.  RG will circulate summary of changes so WAC members can be appraised ahead of time.

 

Waban Square Updates:  SL  Pine Straw will be occupied by physical therapist formerly adjacent to post office.  Nursing home at 20 Kinmonth Rd has been demolished.

 

Meeting adjourned 9:40pm.

 

Respectfully submitted by Dinah Bodkin

May 27 2020