At its Annual Meeting held on June 12, 2022, the LWVN membership approved the formation of a Consensus Study Committee to update it’s zoning positions. This will be an intensive study of local zoning, and will be conducted in four stages: research and study; consensus meetings; preparation of a study report; and determination if an existing position should be revised or deleted, or if a new position is warranted and development of that position.
We are inviting all members to join us in the conduct of this study. There are lots of opportunities to participate, on whatever level and devoting as much time as you are comfortable with.
The study will be focusing on five key areas:
- review of Newton’s Comprehensive Plan
- examination of current zoning techniques
- examination of zoning ordinances that affect housing
- reevaluation of our support for historic districts
- examination of transportation goals
Anyone interested in participating should fill out this Form, letting us know what you are interested in and how much time you have to participate. A LWVN Board member will get back to you with further details.
The City is currently undertaking a multi-year effort to review its Zoning Ordinances. The City’s Zoning Ordinances have not been significantly updated since 1987, and since then the City has set forth many goals around land use, housing, transportation, economic development and climate action which cannot be met by current zoning ordinances. The City’s process for zoning review is undertaking to address all these issues. LWVN’s current positions are not updated enough to give adequate information and credibility for the LWVN to review, support, or oppose any recommendations arising from the City’s zoning review.
The Zoning Review Committee will be undertaking an in depth look at zoning issues. The study of zoning is closely linked with land use, housing, economic and mixed-use development; redevelopment, rehabilitation and conservation; historic preservation; and transportation. A balanced study is planned, including research and information gathering, informing members through our monthly emails, and member informational meetings. Current state and national positions will be researched, as well, to be sure any possible changes will be in compliance with them. It is hoped that the culmination of the committee’s work will result in a consensus meeting or meetings in which we reach a new position or positions with respect to zoning. The study is expected to take 1-2 years.
Focus and Scope
The approved focus and scope of the Study are as follows:
FOCUS: A study to update zoning positions
SCOPE: A study of how current LWVN positions and goals related to land use, housing, transportation, economic development, and climate action reflect the views and needs of Newton’s racial and economically diverse community and are advanced or impeded by current zoning ordinances.
More information about the study committee will be forthcoming in the next few months. Look for LWVN emails and newsletters.
Read about the City’s Zoning Redesign Process.