REMINDER: WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 13: SAVE THE RIVER, OPEN SPACE, GREEN SPACE: Second Citizen-Initiated Conversation for Watertown Residents on RMUD. 6:45PM LIBRARY.
We will have residents participating as presenters and facilitators. An independent advocate will join us to help with zoning questions. WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?
Because the issues of the proposed Regional Mixed Use District are so complicated, Sustainable Watertown and many others believe that more conversation is absolutely necessary before passage of an ordinance that will have lasting effects on Watertown for generations to come. We urge you to participate to help improve the plan.
The first of the series was a big success. About sixty residents--and all our Town Councilors at one time, or another-- turned out to talk and hear Watertown residents Jon Bockian and Gary Shaw lead discussions about zoning concepts and changes in the RMUD enabling ordinance and about the massing of allowable building square footage in the RMUD properties. Gary presented a 3D slide show to give us an idea of what the alternatives would be like from a variety of angles. Ensuing discussion was informative and to the point. We look forward to continuing the Conversations this month.
A map of the proposed RMUD is at: http://www.watertown-ma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/17705
** Especially for tomorrow night: A map of the 100 foot buffer plus Conservation Commission control is at: http://www.watertown-ma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/18189
The proposed amendments to the Watertown Zoning Ordinance are at: http://www.watertown-ma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/18149 Further amendments have been added by the Council Subcommittee.
Please contact email@example.com if you would be willing to help set up for the Citizen-Initiated Conversations and with your ideas.
CURIOUS? CONFUSED? CONCERNED? JOIN US.
JANUARY 13, WEDNESDAY, Library, 6:45PM. OPEN SPACE AND GREEN SPACE; DEFINITIONS; PUBLIC STEWARDSHIP OF THE RIVERWAY; LOCAL AND STATE ORDINANCES AND LAWS PROTECTING THE RIVER AND RIVERWAY; 100 FOOT BUFFER; PUBLIC PARKS; PUBLIC ACCESS. NANCY HAMMETT WILL PRESENT.
JANUARY 19, TUESDAY: (A.) TRAFFIC, TRANSIT (INCLUDING TMA, TDM), PLUS A STREET NETWORK VISION WITHIN RMUD AND CONNECTIVITY TO WATERTOWN CONSISTENT WITH THE COMPREHENSIVE PLAN. WATERTOWN PUBLIC TRANSIT TASK FORCE, WPTTF, LED BY JOE LEVENDUSKY, FACILITATORS. (B.) GREEN, SUSTAINABLE BUILDING. ZONING LANGUAGE. GARY SHAW, PRESENTER.
JANUARY 25, MONDAY: OPEN MEETING FOR RESIDENTS TO TALK ABOUT WHAT WE DIDN'T HAVE TIME TO COVER, WHAT WE'VE LEARNED, HOW THE RMUD ZONING AMENDMENTS RELATE TO THE COMPREHENSIVE PLAN, TO DEVELOP CONCRETE QUESTIONS, AND TO RECOMMEND CHANGES TO THE RMUD DOCUMENT. Location to be announced.
JANUARY 14, DEVELOPER MEETING, ATHANAHEALTH MASTER PLAN. 6:30PM, 311 Arsenal Street, Bldg 311, or Blakeway Auditorium. AODD Master Plan, 2016: http://www.ci.watertown.ma.us/DocumentCenter/View/18279. SW North Beacon Neighbors group asks for your attendance. Plans have been dramatically changed from what the residents understood from the last meetings. Please come to discuss and make the Athenahealth plan better.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 7, WATERTOWN PUBLIC LIBRARY, TIME: 6:45-9PM
TOPICS: Zoning Introduction to the Timeline for the Current Process, Approval Criteria, Comprehensive Plan.
TOPICS: Design Implications, Height and FAR, Massing and Sensitivity to Historical Buildings, Open Space, Public Space, Public Access. Gary Shaw, Presenter
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 13, WATERTOWN PUBLIC LIBRARY, TIME: 6:45-9PM
TOPICS: Open Space and Green Space, Definitions, Public Stewardship of the Riverway, Local and State Ordinances and Laws Protecting the River and Riverway, 100 Foot Buffer; Public Parks, Public Access. Nancy Hammett, Presenter
TUESDAY, JANUARY 19, WATERTOWN PUBLIC LIBRARY, TIME: 6:45-9PM
TOPICS: Traffic, Transit (Including TMA, TMD), Plus a Street Network Vision within RMUD and Connectivity to Watertown Consistent with the Comprehensive Plan. Watertown Public Transit Task Force (WPTTF) Led by Joe Levendusky, Facilitators
TOPICS: Green, Sustainable Building, Zoning Language. Gary Shaw, Presenter
MONDAY, JANUARY 25, LOCATION TO BE DETERMINED, TIME: 6:45-9PM
TOPICS: Open meeting for residents to talk about what we didn't have time to cover, what we've learned, how the RMUD Zoning Amendments relate to the Comprehensive Plan, to develop concrete questions, and to recommend changes to the RMUD document.
Sustainable Watertown is hoping to present a public forum to discuss the Planning and Zoning process in Watertown. We have heard an explanation from a town lawyer about what is; we have seen that in action. What we need is a town wide discussion about what should be and what goals we are trying to achieve. The Comprehensive Plan and Design Guidelines and Standards (which put the Guidelines into the zoning code specifically) represent those values and goals. The actual process is insufficient as it now stands. Consider the following Questions. We need your participation in planning this event and in asking the new applicant for a position on the Zoning Board of Appeals where he stands when he is interviewed May 27.
Questions for discussion, Planning and Zoning process in Watertown:
Volunteers are needed to make this project successful. We would appreciate your help with this Planning and Zoning Public Discussion Series. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with comments, to volunteer.
Here are the pages of the Watertown Zoning Code that might be useful to you in writing to the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) about the suitability of the proposal for the 14,000 sq ft CVS in Coolidge Square, and any other projects that come up by residential and small business neighborhoods.
The Zoning Purpose is Article 1.0:
Perhaps the most crucial is Section 9.05 of the Zoning Code. p. 89. Special Permit: Conditions for Approval. Does the project in question meet these conditions? A great basis for writing to the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Community Development and Planning Department, and your Town Councilors.
SECTION 9.05 SPECIAL PERMIT: CONDITIONS FOR APPROVAL
(a) A special permit shall be required for all uses and for all exceptions to dimensional regulations which are designated in this Zoning Ordinance as requiring a special permit before the Inspector of Buildings may issue a building permit or occupancy permit.
(b) The Board of Appeals shall not approve any such application unless it finds that in its judgment all of the following conditions are met:
(1) The specific site is an appropriate location for such a use, structure or condition;
(2) The use as developed will not adversely affect the neighborhood;
(3) There will be no nuisance or serious hazard to vehicles or pedestrians;
(4) Adequate and appropriate facilities will be provided for the proper operation of the proposed use.
In addition, Page 66: the Design Guidelines for only the Pleasant Street Corridor District. However, it is relevant following the Comprehensive Plan and Design Guidelines public meetings at which values and goals of the community were expressed. We think of it as the wish list for all of Watertown and even these conditions might be improved.
(f) Design Guidelines:
The Design Guidelines are intended to promote certain urban design principles and physical
building characteristics within the Pleasant Street Corridor District. The guidelines are intended to
aid in the review of proposals, but are not intended to discourage innovative architectural design
In general, proposals should seek to satisff the following:
(A) Be complementary to and provide for a harmonious transition in scale and character
between adjacent sites.
(B) Provide for high-density quality development consistent with the character of building
types, streetscapes, and other community features traditionally found in densely seftled
areas of the Town or in the region.
(C) Maintain streetscape continuity with a strong building presence along the primary street
(D) The size and detailing of buildings shall be pedestrian oriented and incorporate features to
add visual interest while reducing appearance of bulk or mass. Blank walls should be
(E) A distinct "sidewalk" presence with incorporation of elements such as planters, traditional
awnings, signage projecting from building fagade (blade signage), etc. to enhance the
pedestrian scale and interest of the street.
(F) Avoid prototypical, standardized brand identity-related architec.ture and signage for
businesses with multiple locations (i.e.: retail "chain" stores and restaurants.)
(g) Environmental Sustai nability Guidelines: