The town boundaries all around us are historic artifacts that are long outdated and have outlived their usefulness. Over the last three year a multi-municipality consortium of Newton, Wellesley, and Newton have been meeting regularly to craft a fair and equitable plan for rationalizing the three towns’ borders to reflect 21st century realities.
Says Needham Planning Director Lee Newman the effort started three years ago with informal talks that we jokingly called the ITG Summit – the “Isn’t That … Group”. It started one Saturday morning when my neighbor said I’m going over to the Needham St, Staples. I tried to explain Staples was on Highland Ave in Needham. He was adamant that everything on the far side of Rt 128 was Newton and the road there was called Needham St. I couldn’t convince him and everyone I told the story to said “Staples, Isn’t that Newton”.
At a meeting in 2015 I mentioned this to my counterpart, Barney Heath, Newton’s Director of Planning and Development. Barney said I get that all the time about Lower Falls – “Isn’t that Wellesley?”.
Wellesley’s Planning DIrector Victor Panak said he’s forever hearing folks say about Cedar St east of Rt 9 “Isn’t that Needham”.
Says’s Newton’s Heath “the lightbulb-over-the-head moment came when we realized that “highways are the new rivers“.
The three-way municipal land swap to redraw the borders will be finalized in June and should forever end the confusion about meetings at Panera in Newton.
Disclaimer: This was one of our many April Fools stories for 2019