Ken Stern



April, 2019

Recent Activity

Commented on Newton Riverside Visioning Process 4 years, 8 months ago
The infrastructure costs, immediate and future, of any development must be realistically assessed. The school impact will not be just to WIlliams, which is already at (beyond?) capacity. If a large number of residential units are added, the kids in those units (and there will be lots of them, as people want to access the Newton schools) will indeed go to Williams. To make room, kids from Auburndale and Lower Falls will be shifted to other schools, which will cause additional kids to be shifted. The effect will ripple through the entire town. What is the total excess capacity of the schools right now? Because if it is insufficient toi absorb REALISTIC estimates of the students who will be added by Riverside AND Northland AND Washington Street (?), then additional schools will need to be built. The city must factor in the cost of these new schools, including purchase/acquisition of the land needed, into the equation when determining if there is even net benefit of additional fees and taxes which the proponents of a large development like.
Commented on Newton Riverside Visioning Process 4 years, 8 months ago
Lots of great sounding goals on the draft principles, but I am deeply concerned that the presentation of so many wonderful goals will result in the developer saying "I can give you many if not most of those amenities, but I can only afford to do so if you will approve an enormous development." The benefits of these goals do not outweigh the negative impact on the community of an enormous development in our side yard. I would happily scale back on everything on the wishlist if it meant that the development is right-sized for the site - in scale to the residential neighbors to the east and west.
Supported a comment by Ian Lamont on Newton Riverside Visioning Process 4 years, 8 months ago
Ian Lamont
That's right. The focus is often on schools and traffic. There are other significant infrastructure costs that residents will have to pay for, for decades into the future.
Supported a comment by Larry Rosenberg on Newton Riverside Visioning Process 4 years, 8 months ago
Larry Rosenberg
Fully vet the impact to city services. Fire Dept, Police trash collection traffic and more. We are proposing 3 huge projects all at the same time. This will be a city people who want the "charm" will NOT want to live.
Supported a comment by Debra Ruder on Newton Riverside Visioning Process 4 years, 8 months ago
Debra Ruder
The development should be only as large/dense/tall as the site and city's schools, roads, infrastructure, environment, social and emergency services, and surrounding villages can bear. In 2013, when it approved the "Station at Riverside" plan after years of public meetings and negotiations, the City of Newton deemed that to be roughly 580,000 square feet. There is so much at stake. Let's take the time to get it right!
Commented on Newton Riverside Visioning Process 4 years, 8 months ago
Yes, Waltham, Wellesley, Needham & Weston do all have large commercial developments along the highway. In all cases, the residential sections of the town ends where the commercial section begins, and there is no further residential section on the other side. Needham and Wellesley have parts of their town on the opposite side of the highway than where most of their town is located, but that portion is entirely commercial.
In Newton, Lower Falls was already somewhat cut off from the rest of Newton by the highway. Whats left of the connection will be virtually severed by putting an enormous commercial development