VIDEO: Watch NewTV’s election night interview with Mayor Fuller here

NewTV’s election night coverage Tuesday began with a wide ranging interview with Mayor Ruthanne Fuller where she discussed Webster Woods, NewCAL, Newton Power Choice, Northland, Riverside and other developments (including breaking news about a residential tower at Chestnut Hill Square) and zoning (along with what types of development projects might be proposed in the future).

This same video also includes interviews with Gail Spector and a BU student journalist, School Committee member Steve Siegel, City Council President Marc Laredo and Councilor Cheryl Lappin, following by election results and analysis. 

Globe editorial on region’s (and Newton’s) housing election

Read the full editorial here but here’s a key excerpt….
For local politicians, the easy way out is often to oppose just about anything — and hope some other community picks up the slack. But the most tragic consequence of the resulting housing shortage is that it worsens the very problems that antidevelopment forces often contend that they care about. Preventing development in dense urban areas near transit pushes the demand off to auto-centric suburbs, where it does more environmental damage. Displacement of low-income residents happens when insufficient supply creates gentrification pressures on existing neighborhoods. When you hear critics complain that developers only build new luxury housing, it’s worth remembering that failing to build those new units to keep the market in equilibrium turns all housing into luxury housing. Newton has resisted development, and now its median sale price for single-family homes is above $1 million.

Do attendees at public meetings reflect the views of the general public?

From a story on the CityLab website….

To understand local housing politics over the past several decades, consider a recent study out of Boston University. Political science professor Katherine Levine Einstein surveyed all of the minutes for zoning and planning meetings about housing across 97 cities and counties in Massachusetts…

 

“In every single city and county we studied, the advantaged dominated the proceedings,” Einstein said at a recent Brookings Institution panel on housing. Residents who are older, men, longtime residents, local voters, and homeowners are much more likely to participate in these meetings. And they are much more likely to oppose new construction than the general public.

 

Residents who oppose new housing are also

Newton’s ‘hiring crisis’ weighs heavily on our local businesses

Newton’s ‘hiring crisis’ weighs heavily on our local businesses

Here’s a column I wrote for the TAB about how a very tight labor marking may impact Newton businesses in 2019. And here’s one excerpt…

The good news is local business is booming. Generally speaking, our merchants, restaurants owners and many other businesses operating in our village centers and commercial districts report that 2018 was a good year.

The bad news is that an alarmingly large number of those same employers say their ability to be successful in 2019 will largely hinge — not on their ability to attract enough customers — but their ability to find enough employees.

VIDEO: Northland’s presentation (and Cypress Tree vote)

Tuesday’s Land Use Committee meeting had two interesting agenda items on its agenda – the presentation of the Northland project and the final committee vote on Cypress Tree, the proposed medical marijuana clinic on Route 9 — and, thankfully, NewTV recorded it all!

 

  • The Cypress Tree debate and vote starts at the 27:45 mark
  • The Northland presentation begins at the 72:55 mark