February 2019


1. Approval of January Minutes and Treasurer’s Report. (5 minutes).
2. Approval of Annual reports. (5 minutes).
3. New issues from the public.
4. Riverside Update – visioning process. (10 minutes).
5. Charter Reform (30 minutes) – Discuss Charter Subcommittee Report and upcoming
Public Hearing before Programs and Services Committee.
6. Zoning Redesign Update. (15 minutes).
7. WAC 2019 Goals. (20 minutes).
8. Next Meeting March 14 th

Meeting Date: 
Thursday, February 14, 2019 - 7:30pm

Meeting Minutes

February 14, 2019 7:30pm-9:15  

Waban Library Center              

Members of Waban Area Council Present: Kathryn Winters, Rena Getz, Isabelle Albeck, Dinah Bodkin, Chris Pitts, Patrick Maher, Bob Jampol, Sallee Lipshutz.

Members of the Public Present:  Nathaniel Lichtin, Robert Burke, Bill Humphrey, Liz Mirabile, Betsy Hewitt, John Mordes.

January Minutes and Treasurer’s Report Approved

Annual Report Approved

Issues from the community:  Possibility of new marijuana dispensary at site of former Jaylin Cleaners.  New developer will be invited to a WAC meeting. BJ has suggested two stop signs along Allen Ave as a traffic calming measure.  John Mordes of the Friends of Hemlock Gorge raised several concerns of his organization.  SL suggested they coordinate w Friends of Quinobequin, possibly holding joint meetings.  Others mentioned John Rice should be contacted re needs of Friends of Quinobequin.  JM:  Andrea Downs has been helpful, secured funding for Railings for the Stone Building.  Possibility raised of parking area at west end of Quinobequin.  Apparently DCR wishes to upgrade the park along the Charles. Betsy Hewitt stated that a “Riverside Greenway” is under proposal.

Riverside Update Liz Mirabile from Riverside Committee of Newton Lower Falls Improvement Association reported that Mark Development filed for zoning review on January 9 2018.  The “Riverside Visioning” held at Williams School on Feb 10 was attended by over 300 people.  Residents are concerned about the short time frame for their input, much shorter than other major developments.  Next relevant meeting is March 28. 

Charter Reform  The Charter Subcommittee of the Programs & Services Committee of the City Council is proposing incremental changes to the City Charter that could significantly weaken area councils.  Charter Reform proposes setting up area councils by ordinance, which is less stable than how they are currently established.  A public hearing will be held March 6.  Generally WAC members expressed concern as to how area councils will fare in a changed charter.  RG stated that the change, should it occur, will allow monies to flow from the city to the area councils.

Zoning Redesign  Ward by ward meetings are still under way.  See http://www.newtonma.gov/gov/planning/lrplan/zoning_redesign.asp.  The Analytical Buildout will be presented to the public at the Zoning & Planning Committee meeting in City Hall, Rm 205 on Monday February 25th, 7pm.

WAC 2019 Goals Due to meeting already going over time, KW asked that council members email their 2019 goals to her. 

Respectfully submitted by

Dinah Bodkin, February 19 2019