Waban Area Council
MEETING AGENDA – September 2022
Isabelle Albeck, Dinah Bodkin, Bill Bracken, Rena Getz, Sallee Lipshutz, Drake McCabe, Megan Meirav, Chris Pitts,
Ex-Officio City Councilor: Bill Humphrey
When: Thursday, September 8, 2022, 7:30 pm
Where: Virtual Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 868 4752 0630
I. Opening (5’)
A. Confirmation of quorum
B. Issues from the Community
II. Substantive Topics (15’)
1. Local (5’)
a. Discussion item - Waban Square Pedestrian Crosswalk
2. Citywide (5’)
3. Other Updates (5’)
III. Zoning Updates (60’)
A. Village Center Zoning Redesign Exhibit at Newton Free Library
B. Proposed Accessory Apartments Ordinance Amendments
IV. Administrative Items (5’)
A. Review & approval of Meeting Minutes
B. Treasurer’s Report
V. New Business (5’)
Please note: Agenda order and discussion length is at the President’s discretion.
Waban Area Council
September 8 2022 7:30pm
Held via Zoom
WAC members present: Rena Getz, Sallee Lipshutz, Isabelle Albeck, Dinah Bodkin, Christopher Pitts, Bill Bracken, Sumukh Tendulkar, Megan Meirav
Community: Alice Ingersohn, Bob Burke
Braeburn Country Club: Isabelle Albeck has expressed concerned that Braeburn Country Club is currently erecting fences which will prevent children from sledding there in winter. The Club receives significant tax benefits as a “working green space” and should act in ways that benefit the community. Isabelle contacted multiple country clubs and found the following: - Pine Brooks: sledding not allowed, Woodland: sledding allowed one day per winter, there are sledding activities for members as long as they sign a waiver. Wellesley CC: no sledding as the manager does not want to be responsible for anybody's death (last year a 10 year-old boy died sledding in another club in a western suburb). Wellelsey CC participates in the community in other ways: $ donations to some merchants and loan of golf carts at the town parade. Charles River CC: posts a No Trespassing sign but lets people sled in order to be a good partner to the community. The Commonwealth golf course belongs to the city of Newton and can not be sued. Therefore, they do not deny sledding. It was generally agreed during the discussion the Braeburn is putting up fences due to liability issues. Some discussion of whether those sledding could be asked to sign a waiver. General feeling that there is little WAC can do, but Rena will look into this issue further.
Megan Meirav brought to attention a huge stripe painted section on Waban Ave, near the intersection of Waban Ave and Manitoba. It is odd and confusing; she agreed to take picture; will be discussed at next meeting. The posts on Beacon St will be removed in winter because they interfere with snow removal. Possibly install planters as a traffic calming method? Possibly crowd fund cost of planters? Another approach to keeping our children safe is having the area policed and unsafe drivers are given tickets. Those at meeting agreed that police almost never seen in Waban Square. Alice Ingersohn stated that police department is very short staffed.
Megan: Can Windsor Club use Waban Market parking lot for overflow? Rena: It was understood that Suzuki School would provide overflow parking.
Leafblower ordinance discussed. All details re leaf blower ordinance at https://greennewton.org/newtons-leaf-blower-ordinance-is-now-in-effect-lets-keep-the-peace-and-the-air-breathable/
Chris: It would generally be desirable to have greater communication among the councils and clubs in Waban. Ie, Windsor Club, Waban Improvement Society, Waban Area Council, Waban Common. Possibly create a smaller online group that people would actually read as opposed to NextDoor Neighbor. Meghan notes that Windsor Club is willing to donate space for community events.
Rena: Joint area council meeting will be Sept 17 at WLC. Zoning Redesign exhibit available at Newton Free Library. Newtonville Area Council and WAC are collaborating on a letter that will be in Friday packet on 09/09/22.
Zoning Redesign currently focused on Village Center Zoning Updates. Need to comply with MBTA Communities Act in order to continue to receive significant state funding. Waban is Tier B Village Center. Unit capacity does not take into account what is already on the lot. Next step will be to determine what is currently in our zone.
Accessory apartment ordinance: Public hearing Sept 12. Unit can be 900 sq ft or half the space of the principal unit, whichever is smaller. Rena showed slide with U_CHAN (Uniting Citizens for Housing Affordability in Newton) letter to be sent to Mayor Fuller. Anyone interested in signing can let Rena know and she will send a link.
July and August Minutes accepted. Treasurer Report approximately the same as last month, $362.75.
Respectfully submitted by Dinah Bodkin
September 17, 2022