Candidate bounty for reading The Color of Law

Candidate bounty for reading The Color of Law

As I have been writing and will continue to write that, as a matter of social justice, it’s inconceivable that Newton, in 2019, is planning to re-up single-family zoning for another generation or two or three. As a tool, the history of single-family zoning is...
Two more zoning reform ward meetings

Two more zoning reform ward meetings

Hard working planning staff are wrapping up their ward-by-ward zoning reform road shows with two more meetings, this Thursday and next. If you haven’t been to one (or even if you have), I highly recommend attending. It’s a critical change that the city is planning and you will learn a ton about the why, what, and how of zoning reform. And, you’ll hear what folks in the ward like and are concerned about.  Click through for dates, times, and venues.
Baker responds

Baker responds

Councilor Lisle Baker responds to the posting of a transcript of his comments at the 2/11/19 meeting of the City Council’s Zoning and Planning committee.
Baker: Newton is a city where people drive

Baker: Newton is a city where people drive

Ward 7 Councilor Lisle Baker had some thoughts about driving and parking at last week’s meeting of the City Council’s Zoning and Planning Committee. Click through for his words and some reflections on his words.
Zoning rewrite, residential: hewing to what’s built

Zoning rewrite, residential: hewing to what’s built

The key takeaway from the residential sections of the draft zoning ordinance: the intent to keep things as built, except where it doesn’t. The city planners and consultants who developed the plan were given a brief: have the zoning map reflect the built status...
Ward 1 Zoning Redesign Review Meeting — 2/7

Ward 1 Zoning Redesign Review Meeting — 2/7

I strongly encourage everyone to attend one of the ward review meetings of the first draft of the redesigned zoning ordinance. (That’s a mouthful, eh?) Up next is Ward 1’s meeting, on 2/7 at 6:30 PM at the Ciociaro Club, 144 Bridge St., Nonantum. They...

What if we pay for commuter rail stations

What if, instead of waiting for the MBTA to fix our horrendous commuter rail situation, we started to fix it ourselves? Adam wrote about the cluster that is the Auburndale Station project (here and here). Background: the three Newton stations on the commuter rail are...

Land-use regulation and wealth creation/destruction

The value of land, in most cases, has little to do with the intrinsic value of the soil. Land in Newton is more valuable than land in Wakefield because land in Newton is closer to Boston and living on land in Newton entitles one to send their children to Newton...

Zoning Rewrite: changing the how

Thirty years after the last wholesale1 rewrite, Newton is in the final stages of a redesign of the city’s zoning ordinance. As I noted here, this will arguably produce the most consequential change to the city in generations. Traffic, schools, McMansions,...

40B, but for housing near transit, sorta

Two state legislators have proposed a new bill that, among other things, would limit municipalities ability to block multi-family housing near transit. Bill SD.1640 would require covered cities and towns — Newton is covered — to create at least one...

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