Julia Malakie's projects
The patterns that occur in Newton are interesting. Some areas are quite dense and others much less so. However, the assumption seems to be that, once a pattern is determined, then future development should continue in the same pattern. Thus, dense neighborhoods could be developed with greater density, whereas areas where houses sit on very large lots would not be affected. This assumption is not going to be acceptable to people living in the already dense parts of Newton. The whole process will increase income inequality and set up even greater class divisions within our city based on ambiance and affordability.
I am upset about the lack of zoning controlling greedy developers tearing down beautiful old homes, putting up McMansions, or, worse, cramming two McMansions on one lot. Also, the height of some of these homes is absurd. The house at the corner of Sylvan and Bigelow is an example. The monstrous house takes up the whole lot. Its height dwarfs the rest of the surrounding homes. The same is now happening at 174 Valentine. The mayor and legislators don't care that the character of Newton is being destroyed. Zoning needs to be revised. Historic homes also need to be valued.
With Auburndale already being overrun with condominiums taking the place of a single family home, adding a huge project to the Turtle Lane Playhouse location is overkill. A bucolic place in a family home neighborhood is a gem. Adding over 20 more condominiums and stores on once acre of land is a very bad idea.
I share the concern Ian mentions about the sign and implied change. I don't believe residents were aware or involved in this decision and I think a lot of us would want to have input into this decision and maintain the center as a place for restaurants and stores.
This development, built as a private public partnership for returning WWII veterans has been decimated by teardowns and overbuilt replacement homes. We need to preserve some of the small single level homes to preserve affordability, universal design for the lifespan and open space; all in Newton's housing vision statement. Stop teardowns and allow 'reasonable' sized additions that do not dwarf the original structures or the integrity of the parklike pathway setting. If this doesn't happen in this and other neihborhoods, affordable housing will mean studio, 1 , 2 bedroom apartments; no green space. Might as well live in Boston.
Rowe St Commercial District is cut-off from Auburndale Village & West Newton by the Mass Pike and associated Road Cuts/Relocations due to highway and will never be a contiguous area to any of our villages. Rowe St has a thriving commercial businesses and job creators in the City of Newton, it should remain a commercial district as the area is not suitable for the masssive >160 unit appartment complex proposals that have been submittted in the past and ultimately not moved forward with.
Our neighborhood has smaller homes and modest yards. There's a lot to value in keeping things small. One house on our street has already been torn down and replaced with quite a large home. I worry that our smaller home will be overshadowed by more big homes.
I think the only mention of trees in our current zoning ordinance is in the landscaping requirements for parking lots, 1 tree for every ten spaces, but this only applies to new or major reconstructions of parking lots, so you don't see many that satisfy the requirement. The only one I can think of that's close is the Library parking lot, where the city wanted to cut down most of them to put up solar carports. A plan which I was relieved to see voted down.
Some cities do have canopy coverage standards, but I don;t recall if they're in zoning or in separate tree ordinances.
This is one of the areas in Newton where there is no median/berm. As a consequence there are no trees in the (non-existant) berm, but the trees on private property are mature and taller than the city trees in the berm (not competing with/clipped to accommodate power lines) - revised zoning should consider how to encourage urban trees ... even (or especially) if they need to be (or could preferentially be, for the health of the tree) planted on private property.
The Mosman - Maynard neighborhood (perhaps we could call it Quabeca - the Quadrilateral below Calvary Cemetery) is under siege as these lovely, smaller, and relatively affordable homes are being torn down for monsters three times the size. The FAR allows for homes of over 4,000 square feet in an area of homes that were originally build to about 1,200 square feet. Adjusting the FAR to perhaps double the size of the original home might help save this wonderful neighborhood from becoming full of over-sized, slapped-up McMansions built on spec.
I think what I and other neighbors are concerned about is why this area is being changed to a residential area and whether residents had any input into that. Is there a meeting or more formal forum to discuss whether the neighborhood actually supports the idea of a transition at all?