Letter from Newton City Council Zoning and Planning Committee Chair

I’m excited to write to you as Chair of the City Council’s Zoning and Planning Committee (ZAP) to inform you about the important work our committee is doing regarding zoning changes in Newton.  What is zoning?  Zoning is the way governments control the physical development of our city. For example, it governs areas where we can have residences of various types, as well as commercial, manufacturing and mixed-use buildings.  It also governs the use of properties throughout the city as well as the size of buildings on these properties.

Why does Newton need new zoning?

The City Council’s efforts to reform zoning began with the work of a group of citizens tasked by Mayor Warren and (then) Board of Alderman to develop a plan for reforming Newton’s outdated zoning ordinance.  Our ordinance has not been comprehensively reviewed since 1953.    In 2011, this group produced a report reflecting citizens commonly voiced concerns such as;

  • Why are there so many teardowns?
  • Why should people be allowed to build “McMansions” that come so close to my home?
  • What can we do to make sure my daughter can afford to live in Newton when she starts looking for a home?
  • Why aren’t there any options for places to live in Newton when I can no longer take care of my big home where I raised my family?
  • How can we keep our villages full of shoppers with a vibrant mix of shops?
  • How can we manage parking and traffic?
  • How can we channel growth that we need to thrive and advance to appropriate areas of our city?
  • How can we preserve the character of our neighborhoods?
  • How can Newton contribute to climate change mitigation?

[Read more…]

Housing, Transportation and Climate Change Speakers from Newton-Needham Regional Chamber

At a recent Newton-Needham Regional Chamber event, speakers addressed the topics of diverse and affordable housing, as well as transportation and climate change.  The latter speaker was Robin Chase, an American transportation entrepreneur. She is co-founder and former CEO of Zipcar as well as founder and former CEO of Buzzcar, a peer-to-peer car sharing service, acquired by Drivy.  Watch the comments here:

Newton-Needham Chamber:  Affordable Housing

Newton-Needham Chamber:  Transportation and Climate Change

The League Presents…the Economics of Affordable Housing

Have you ever been confused about how affordable housing is financed?  There is a lot of misinformation that one hears when proposals are made.  Time to learn from the experts!  Listen to experts Susan Connelly and Bart Lloyd discuss the economics of affordable housing with LWVN host Marcia Johnson our our latest episode of LWVN’s TV show, ‘The League Presents…’

Click here to watch:  The League Presents…the Economics of Affordable Housing

Click on this links to see the information discussed on the program (pages 9 and 10): Kuehn Fellows Cost Discussion (March 2019)

 

The League Presents…the Economics of Affordable Housing

Have you ever been confused about how affordable housing is financed?  There is a lot of misinformation that one hears when proposals are made.  Time to learn from the experts!  Listen to experts Susan Connelly and Bart Lloyd discuss the economics of affordable housing with LWVN host Marcia Johnson our our latest episode of LWVN’s TV show, ‘The League Presents…’

Click here to watch:  The League Presents…the Economics of Affordable Housing

Click on this links to see the information discussed on the program (pages 9 and 10): Kuehn Fellows Cost Discussion (March 2019)

 

Public Comment Opportunity for ‘Hello Washington Street’

Dear Community Friends & Neighbors,

As you know “Hello Washington Street’s” thirteen-month process which started in April 2018 and is anticipated to go until May 2019, continues.  We now have another opportunity to provide feedback on the visioning document.  It is important for us to provide feedback that density in village [retail/commercial] areas is what is needed to provide more diverse housing and a vibrant community.  So please enter your thoughts, so our voices will be heard. The document is open for public comment through March 13th.

There are three ways to read and comment on Draft Two of the Vision Plan:

1.       Online – read and leave a comment directly on the plan by following  

          the link below.

2.       Newton Free Library – read and leave a comment on a hard copy.

3.       Newton Planning Department – read and leave a comment on a hard

          copy during business hours at City Hall.

You can also come to a Drop-In Office Hours to discuss and provide feedback.

So we ask that you please take a moment before March 13th  to provide your valuable feedback.  

washington-street-vision-plan-draft-two

Sincerely,

Marcia Johnson & Tamara Bliss

Hello Washington Street Community Connectors

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