The city released this today…

Starting next week you will start to see signs around Newton asking you questions about the city.  The campaign is part of the City Council’s Zoning Redesign project, which kicked off in October last year.  To participate, just pick up your cell phone and text in your idea.

You’ll be able to text in responses to questions like, “Newton Highlands developed over 100 years ago; How can zoning help create places we’ll love as much 100 years from now?”  The ideas will be posted online so that others can respond or even ‘support’ ideas of other people.

The project website ( has already drawn over 160 unique comments from the Newton community responding to the question, “What’s great about Newton’s buildings and use of space – and what could be better?” Ideas are placed on an interactive map of Newton.

The fifteen signs placed in different locations across the City ask about things the Zoning Ordinance typically regulates: the built environment and the use of land. Zoning sets the requirements for determining how the City will look in the future and manages the impacts of development, affecting the environment, transportation, economic development, and the supply of housing options. The sign questions are intended to be eye catching, thought provoking, and get you thinking about what the built environment offers and could offer in the future.

By responding via text, you can share your vision for Newton and let the project team know how Newton’s new zoning ordinance could create parameters for future building and development. After texting in a comment, you will receive a confirmation message and an invitation to follow the project online or via text.  If you don’t have a cell phone or are not comfortable texting, you can always add your comment to the online map by going to the project website from a computer.  You can also call the Planning Department and share your thoughts with us by phone (617-796-1120).

The goal of this texting campaign is to reach new people in Newton and invite participation in the Zoning Redesign project. This effort responds to requests from members of the public to employ new engagement methods. For those who are less likely to participate at a public meeting, this is a new way to share ideas about zoning quickly, easily, and on-the-go.

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