Not familiar with the Northland site? Take this tour

Not familiar with the Northland site? Take this tour

Many of us on Village 14 have been following the Northland project closely over the past three years and are quite familiar with the ways the project has changed over the years (for example, it shrunk from 2 million square feet to 1.1 million square feet and about a year ago Northland decided to place all the parking underground in order to create more parks and open space).

But as we get closer to the March 3 referendum, I’ve been running into a lot people who understandably are just beginning to learn about the project; including some who aren’t even that familiar with the location.

That was the case with a neighbor, who recently asked me how “800 apartments, as well as office, retail and parks could all fit into Marshalls Plaza?” The answer is

Right Size off to a wrong start

Right Size off to a wrong start

Remember last October when some folks here gave me grief for suggesting that “Right Size Newton was engaged in likely illegal campaigning” for “blanketing the city with color glossy flyers promoting their slate of candidates” without creating a...
When do you think the Northland referendum should be held?

When do you think the Northland referendum should be held?

The Newton City Council will meet Wednesday night in a special session to either repeal last month’s 17-7 super-majority Northland vote or to set a date for a special election.

While a repeal is unlikely, as City Clerk David Olson explained in a memo last week, the council has essentially three general choices when it comes to scheduling a date:

On March 3 in conjunction with the Super Tuesday presidential primaries (at a cost of approximately $32,917)
Sometime between mid-March and early May (at a cost of approximately $145,902)
At the next municipal election on Nov. 2, 2021 (where presumably it would be part of the regular ballot at no added expense).

Olson’s memo also contains a lot of historical data on voter turnout, suggesting that turnout on March 3 could be 20 to 30 percent points higher than a standalone spring election where Northland is the only item before voters.

As we saw during a brief debate at Monday’s council meeting (go to the 22:24 mark on the video below), this is going to be contentious. There’s also a very good chance that a minority of four councilors will

Obama was president, Brexit approved and Warren was mayor when this happened

One of the common arguments we’re heard signature gatherers are using as they look to overturn the Newton City’s Council’s 17-10 Northland vote is that the city has rushed this project without hearing from the public. 

Nothing, of course, could be further from the truth.  Even before the Land Use committee held 15 public meetings, there were dozens and dozens and dozens of community meetings, not to mention the months-long Needham Street Vision process, which included a wide cross section of community members. 

In fact this project has been in front of the city for so long that Barack Obama was president, the Brits has just approved Brexit and David Price was pitching in his first season as a member of the Red Sox when then Mayor Setti  Warren introduced this project back in 2016

Of course, since that 2016 community kick off event, this project has been substantially reduced in scope from 2 million to 1.1 million square feet, thanks to some tough negotiations by our “listening to the public” city leaders.  The number of

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