March 2014 Update

Dear Sustainable Watertown,
We are using a new mail server that will give us more flexibility and interesting Updates as we learn to use it and it will allow you to unsubscribe easily at the link at the very end. We do hope that you will continue to stick with us, and in fact add your interest areas so that with the new program we can reach you when specific issues arise around town. Communications are often very difficult and sometimes impossible in this era of multiple sources and varying quality of news even in little Watertown. In our quest for neighborhood groups to be watchdogs, share communications, and to facilitate getting to know your neighbors we'd like to know what street you live on which may not have been given when you signed up for Sustainable Watertown news. You may send that information and your interest in joining our neighborhood network by writing toinfo@sustainablewatertown.org.

•March is a very busy month. Please see calendar below for information on NEW DEVELOPMENTS, conversations beginning about THE PLEASANT STREET CORRIDOR, a variety of department meetings, and town committee and subcommittee meetings. Remember that you can sign up for notifications of meetings by looking forNotify Me at the town website, http://www.watertown-ma.gov/.

•••The Bike and Pedestrian Committee agenda brings up an interesting question: should approvals be given piecemeal on developments which are in fact, or will be, crucial to other developments on the drawing boards now? Will one approval end the ability forcreative, combined solutions to connected problems (e.g. bike/community path, traffic, public transportation, connected green space, appropriate transitions to neighborhoods)?•••

•You will be pleased to know that the Committee on Rules and Ordinances (Councilors Woodland, Falkoff, Dushku) passed a resolution asking the full Council to require at least one developer meeting before plans are officially filed before the Community Planning and Development Dept and are heard by the Planning Board. This is our first formal opportunity for knowledgeable participation early in the planning process. Join our neighborhood groups to get the information you need to be well prepared.

•The Committee on State, Federal, and Regional Government (Councilors Kounelis, Palomba, Piccirelli) voted approval to send a motion to the full Council for a letter to be sent to the General Manager of the MBTA and others involved in public transportation in the region. The letter expresses gratitude for the improvements recently made, and explains that the Watertown Buses, 70, 71, 73 are at capacity and need attention as presented in a letter by Watertown resident Joe Levendusky. Some of the suggestions the committee discussed are immediate fixes, such as extra buses during rush hours, off-bus payments and kiosks for Charlie Cards, and other mid and long-range techniques to create Bus Rapid Transit. In addition, privately funded shuttle buses available to all riders with Charlie Cards were encouraged. The full motion will be posted onwww.SustainableWatertown.org as soon as it is published. Senator Brownsberger, Representative Hecht, Transportation Planning Director of MAPC Eric Bourassa with another transportation specialist, and our Planning Director Steve Magoon participated in the discussions. Councilors Falkoff and Dushku were also present.

•More development issues: Community and developer meeting for 33 Mt Auburn Street is Tuesday. The Planning Board will hear amendments to the zoning ordinances and hear a report on the land use chapter of the Comprehensive Plan Wednesday, March 12. 202 Arsenal Street Community and Developer meeting, March 13.

•A panel and discussion of the Lockdown in Watertown April 19, 2013 will be Wednesday (see flyer).

•There is a hearing on a ten year license for WCATV, our community cable access station with Comcast, March 5; hearing on a cell antenna/tower March 20.

•As you can see, there is great opportunity for participation and advocacy. Please join ournetwork of neighborhood groups to stay up to date and informed about the issues of importance to the entire town. These developments and decisions will affect us all for decades to come. Check out www.SustainableWatertown.org to see reports from five neighborhood groups that met to learn about and comment on the huge apartment (300 units) and supermarket development at 202 Arsenal Street. A look at the large community meeting held last month and issues to be discussed before the developers officially file will be put up soon.

Calendar of Events:
Monday, March 3:
6:30 Belmont-Watertown Local First, the voice of local, independent businesses. Monthly meeting. All invited. 134 Main Street.
7PM Rethink Plastic!. Monthly meeting to discuss decreasing use of plastic and polystyrene. First Parish Church, 35 Church Street, lower level.
7:30 Bike and Pedestrian Committee. Lower Hearing Room, Town Hall. Bike parking, Charles River Road bike lanes, Lexus Site Plan Review, 125 Walnut Street, 202 Arsenal Street Site Plan Review, Comprehensive Plan update, new member application.
Tuesday, March 4:
5PM Economic Development and Planning Committee. Zoning Board of Appeals appointments; PLEASANT STREET CORRIDOR discussion.
6-7 Recreation Open Forum, Lower Meeting Room. See the possible new plan for Victory Field with additional artificial turf; discussion on Rec issues.
7PM COMMUNITY DEVELOPER MEETING, 33 MT AUBURN STREET PROPOSAL, Library. Preliminary drawings on Town website: http://www.watertown-ma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/12887. Great opportunity to discuss this project.
Wednesday, March 5:
7-9, LOCKDOWN: April 19, 2013 and Beyond. Panel and Discussion. Sponsored by the National Lawyers Guild. Taking a critical look at the events of April 2013. Was the town's response proper? Was the lockdown necessary? What effects did house to house searches have on Watertown residents? Was the U.S. Constitution followed? What is the future of the Fourth Amendment? For information, or to tell your story, or concerns, call 617-227-7335, or email nlgmass-director@igc.org. First Parish Church, 35 Church Street, lower level. (see flyer)
7PM, Public hearing, Ten year Comcast license for WCATV hearing convened by Town Manager Mike Driscoll. Council Chambers, Town Hall.
Thursday, March 6:
6:30, Meet the SolarizeWatertown representatives. Mass Clean Energy Center will host a workshop about solar panels, prices, and installation with town-wide discounts available through June 30, 2013. Next Step Living will speak about installation details. Some citizens have petitioned the Council to stop the process until all of the bids are received and reviewed in order to determine in a transparent process which vendor is best for Watertown. It should be an interestingdiscussion.
7PM, Public hearing about Greenough Boulevard and adjacent riverbank improvements, at Cambridge Boat Club, Greenough Blvd, Camb. end.

Monday, March 10:
7-9, Committee of Budget and Fiscal Oversight. Recommendations for FY 2015-19 capital improvements program.
Tuesday, March 11:
7:15-10, Town Council meeting. Council Chambers.
Wednesday, March 12:
7PM, Planning Board: Amendments to Zoning Ordinance, Land use chapter of Comprehensive Plan discussion; 33 Mt Auburn St development continued until another meeting. For information, please call the Planning Department 617-972-6417.
Thursday, March 13:
7-9, COMMUNITY AND DEVELOPER MEETING, 202 ARSENAL STREET. CCG ABUTTERS PARTICULARLY INVITED. ALL WELCOME. IT IS A PUBLIC MEETING. Plans available at Town website, http://www.watertown-ma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/13898. Crucial meeting to discuss size, density, massing of the building and all the other issues. Let us know if you need more information.
7-9, Historical Commission, Lower Hearing Room.
7:15-9, Personnell and Town Organization. Council Chambers.
Tuesday, March 18:
7-9, Watertown Housing Partnership, Project update of affordable housing final review for 45 Bacon/60 Howard residential development; Public hearing, FY 2014 amendment to Home Budget and Annual Action Plan.
Thursday, March 20:
5:15-7, Joint meeting of Economic Development and Planning and Public Works Subcommittees to discuss cell and antenna/tower for Watertown.
Tuesday, March 25:
7:15-10, Town Council, Council Chambers.

Thanks for all you do.
Sustainable Watertown

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