Does this describe you? If so, you are not alone.
"I’m fine with some development; in fact, I’d like to see more local retail, more truly affordable housing, and beautification, but what is being proposed is way out of scale for Newton.”
The reason so much overdevelopment is happening is because our city councilors keep voting for it.
If we want a different result, we have to elect different councilors!
“I would like to elect city councilors who will actually represent me, but I don’t even know who my councilors are, much less what they stand for.”
With 24 councilors, it’s a lot to keep track of. So we are following it all for you! We are residents who think the City Council should work on behalf of voters, rather than for large, for-profit developers. We support village-scale development, affordable housing rather than luxury units, and small, local businesses, not national chains. If you agree with us, sign up in the form below. Prior to Election Day (November 5) we will send you updates on a list of candidates who are on the side of constrained, right-sized development.
Residents Want a Right-sized Newton
Newton is rated as one of the best places to live: a “City of Villages.” The Newton Democracy PAC believes most of us like it that way and want it to remain 13 villages with modest-size architecture.
The Newtonville Area Council did an extensive survey focusing on north-side residents. The results were striking and completely different from the huge developments and high density that the city is encouraging.
82% wanted new buildings to be no more than four stories. Yet the City Council is considering 10-story buildings in several locations on Washington Street, and an 18-story building at Riverside.
At least 75% of these new units are likely to be “market-rate,” with median rents of $3200 and $4100/month for one- and two-bedroom apartments, respectively.
This is not affordable housing – our most diverse communities would be replaced with gentrified ones.
New Draft Ordinance
The new draft Zoning Ordinance paves the way for huge increases in housing density and commercial construction. If passed by the City Council next year, these changes will impact every zone in Newton, creating a more crowded and expensive city.
Shifts power of zoning decisions from elected officials. It gives the unelected Planning & Development Board (appointed by the Mayor) authority to approve new developments of up to 20 housing units.
Creates a way to increase density in every zone. Lots where one house is now allowed could have several.
Lumps single-family and two-family homes and up to 20-unit apartment buildings into one zone, especially in Nonantum, Newton Corner, Newtonville, and West Newton. Residents could soon abut a 20-unit apartment building.
Places the burdens of densification on working-class and middle-class families.