October 10th 2019

October 10, 2019, 7:30pm-9:00pm

Waban Library Center

  1. Approval of September WAC minutes. Treasurer’s Report. (5 minutes)
  2. Issues from the community. (10 minutes)
  3. NewCAL update from Councilor John Rice. (20 minutes)
  4. Update on future Chestnut St. repaving. (10 minutes)
    • Rt. 9 to Beacon: water and any necessary gas line work tentatively slated for next spring and summer (2021). Repaving, sidewalk and curb work will follow once any water and gas work is complete. Some touch-up work may occur before this winter.
    • Beacon St. to Commonwealth Ave: This section needs both water and gas line work, so repaving not likely to occur for 3-4 years.
  5. Update on Waban Area Council Elections. Five people are on the ballot for the nine-member council. Write-in candidates who receive at least 25 votes are also eligible to be elected to the council in the November 5th election. (10 minutes)
  6. Update on proposed Union Twist RMD at 1158 Beacon St. (former Jaylin cleaners site). See below for community meeting notice. (10 minutes)
  7. Announcements:
    • Community Outreach Meeting – Union Twist RMD: There will be a community outreach meeting on a proposed adult use marijuana establishment (Union Twist) for 1158 Beacon Street on Thursday, October 10th at 6:30 p.m. at the First Unitarian Universalist Society, 1326 Washington Street. The Meeting Notice can be found here
    • Area Council Sponsored Debates for School Committee and City Council Candidates (more information here):
      1. Wards 1-4, Sunday, October 20, 2019; 2:00–5:30 pm. Newton North High School cafeteria, 457 Walnut St.
      2. Wards 5-6, Sunday, October 27, 2019; 2:00–5:00 pm. Zervas Elementary School, 30 Beethoven Ave.
Meeting Date: 
Thursday, October 10, 2019 - 7:30pm

Meeting Minutes October 10, 2019

Waban Library Center 7:30pm

WAC Members in Attendance:  Bob Jampol, Chris Pitts, Kathryn Winters, Sallee Lipshutz, Dinah Bodkin, Rena Getz, Patrick Maher. 

City Councilor Present:  John Rice

Members of Community:  Ronald Marcus, Bill Humphrey, Jane Pollard, Maureen O’Reilly Meagher, Betsey Hewitt.

September Minutes Accepted as Amended.

Issues from the Community  Discussion re budgets for area council hosted debates among City Council and School Committee candidates  Charge for rental of the school was forgiven last year by Newton Schools Superintendent.  Arranged by SL last year, will be taken care of by BJ this year.  Letter sent to Mayor Fuller by KW to address concerns re Wellesley Office Park (see WAC Minutes 09/12/19).  RG: Condominium development at 20 Kinmoth is currently before the Land Use Committee.  Good moment for community input, such as requiring that sidewalks be improved.  BH:  Bad traffic on Quinobequin, street lights don’t work.  JR: Quinobequin is technically a state road, but Newton police monitor the road and can issue tickets for traffic violations.  SL: A comparison should be made of traffic levels on Quinobequin before and after Add A Lane.  JR: will reach out to traffic department for this comparison. 

NewCal Update (JR):  Mayor’s working group had, by the end of the summer, ranked Albemarle Park as top location.  Opposition from residents caused Mayor Fuller to consider the “triangle” in the Newton Center Parking lot.  “Triangle” would offer multiple advantages, ie proximity to public transportion, restaurants and shops.  This would only require approval of City Council, making passage somewhat likelier.  Locating NewCAL at Albemarle Park requires approval of both City Council and Dept of Parks and Recreation.  SL:  Are any sites being looked at that are privately owned?  JR:  Only Mayor’s office (not the working group) would look at privately owned sites. 

Chestnut St Repaving:  Rte 9 to Beacon St: Utility work will be done during the spring and summer of 2021.  Repaving will not happen until summer 2022.  Beacon St to Commonwealth Ave:  Utility work also necessary.  Repaving this section will probably occur in 3 to 4 years. 

Waban Area Council Elections  Five people are on the ballot for a nine member board.  Upper Falls and Highlands Area Council also have only five on the ballot.  Quorum requirement is five and that can not be changed.  By-laws allow members to appoint other members- this could be a mechanism for getting closer to the allotted nine members.  Election by write in requires 25 votes   Ronald Marcus has offered to serve and those present at the meeting were asked to recruit the necessary write in votes.

Union Twist RMD:  PM attended meeting at 1326 Washington St at 6:30pm.  UT represented by same individuals that had presented at a WAC meeting in spring 2019.   Meeting attended by 45-65 people.  In general attendants were hostile to UT.  Traffic was biggest concern expressed by attendees.  UT site (Jaylin Cleaners building) has more than required number of parking spots.  UT will start out as an “appointment only” dispensary, will be only for recreational marijuana.  UT possesses the franchise, but the special permit can still be rejected by City Council.  Meeting was badly sited (far from site of proposed RMD) and badly timed (conflicted with WAC meeting).  KW proposed WAC write a letter jointly with presidents of other area councils, informing Mayor Fuller that meeting re marijuana dispensaries should be held in neighborhoods affected by the dispensary.

Announcements: As in Agenda

Respectfully submitted by

Dinah Bodkin