A mixed-use development proposal, which would provide 164 units of mixed-income housing, 40,000 square feet of street level commercial/retail frontage, a 9,000 square foot outdoor public plaza and a 2,000 sq. foot community arts center, is being proposed for a 2.85 acre parcel at the corner of Walnut and Washington Streets in Newtonville. The developer is seeking a zone change and special permit from the City Council.
The petitioner has made efforts to reach out to the community to solicit feedback on the project in advance of the special permit process. The resulting project design reflects that feedback including moving from one large building to a set of three buildings, and the proposed height and number of stories has decreased.
The petitioner has stated that the project design is inspired by the historic buildings of Newtonville Square which were comparable in height to the buildings proposed.
The City Council will consider the project under the special permit criteria, as well as the criteria for the Mixed Use 4 District: that the proposed use will encourage an active, pedestrian-oriented streetscape throughout the day and week; that the proposed use fills a demonstrated need for the use within the vicinity; and that the proposed use is not inconsistent with the purposes of the Mixed Use 4 District or the City’s Comprehensive Plan.
The Land Use Committee opened the public hearing on June 7, 2016, and the hearing was held open. A site visit was held by the Committee on June 13, 2016, and the hearing was continued on July 12, 2016, September 13, 2016, October 4, 2016, November 1, 2016, November 29, 2016, and December 15, 2016.
The Planning and Development Board held a public hearing on December 5, 2016 and will hold a second public hearing on January 11, 2017.
The January 12, 2017 meeting will focus on the crafting of a draft Council Order with findings and conditions for the approval of the proposed project. The next meeting scheduled for the project is expected to occur on January 31st and will focus on finalizing the Council Orders. The public hearing is expected to remain open and public comment will be taken at these meetings.
Read the Newton Tab Op-Ed by Mayor Warren January 11, 2017.
To see documents submitted for public hearings go to the Special Permits webpage (see “Washington Street and Walnut Street - #179-16”).
To see the petitioner’s most recent presentation (12/15/16) go to this link.
To learn more about the City’s Housing Strategy go to this link.