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Five Things You Missed at the Board of Aldermen: Permits for Business Expansion, Naming Rights

A recap of some of the items the board voted on and discussed Monday night.

The aldermen spent some time Monday night , and whether the proposed property was too big for the neighborhood. 

Aside from that, the aldermen had some catching up to do during its only August meeting. Here are five things you may have missed:

 

1. The full board voted unanimously to approve special permits for O'Hara's Pub and Walgreen's in Four Corners, two local businesses that are looking to expand and renovate. into the space formerly occupied by Bead & Pearl, and . The Land Use Committee previously approved these items at meetings earlier this summer.

 

2. The board agreed to assign a number of future public hearings for both the Land Use Committee and the Zoning and Planning Committee. One hearing, which is scheduled for September 10, will consider changing the zoning for the Austin Street municipal lot to "Mixed Use 4," to allow for a potential mixed-use development. The lot is currently under review through a joint advisory planning group.

In addition, Land Use Committee Chair Ted Hess-Mahan assigned a September 11 public hearing for the demolition of 429 Cherry St. and rebuilding of a three-story, multi-family building. Earlier this summer, the board debated when to hold this hearing and to allow for more abutters to attend.

The board also approved a September 11 hearing for Brae Burn Country Club. is looking to expand its clubhouse and convert a temporary tent structure into a permanent area for outdoor dining. 

 

3. Alderman Lisle Baker informed the board that a subcommittee of the Programs and Services Committee has formed to discuss naming rights of public buildings in the city. In recent months, naming rights have been a hot topic in Newton after the . 

The subcommittee met once, Baker said, and is hoping to meet once more before reporting back to the Programs and Services Committee in September. Baker said the group was hoping to meet sometime this week, but the meeting was not finalized.

 

4. An item involving a small housing development at 112-116 Dedham St. was brought before the board Monday night to clarify a home's layout in the site plan. There was some discrepancy between the plan presented in a Land Use Committee meeting earlier this summer and the actual, engineered plan.

The item under consideration involved a special permit request to exceed the  (FAR) for two of the four homes in the plan. 

The board held a discussion on the item, and whether it was the right option for the space and if the home should be allowed to surpass the lot's allowed FAR.

"I believe that exceeding the FAR in this case is not warranted," said Ward 6 Alderman-at-Large Alderman Greg Schwartz.

According to Hess-Mahan, a 40B development was initially proposed for the property, but the developer backed out. This new development includes four lots in a small subdivision off Dedham Street. 

In the end, the board voted 18 in favor of the item and 3 opposed. Aldermen Schwartz, Baker and Greer-Tan Swiston were the three dissenting votes. Aldermen Amy Mah Sangiolo, David Kalis and Anthony Salvucci were absent.

 

5. During Monday night's meeting, the aldermen had a chance to meet . A small reception was held for Barrett in City Hall room 202. 

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