The Lower Falls Improvement Association’s Riverside Committee is a neighborhood group concerned about oversized development at the Riverside MBTA Station in Newton
What is RightSize Newton?
The LFIA Riverside Committee, known as RightSize Riverside, focuses specifically on the proposed Riverside Station development. RightSize Newton, a nonprofit civic organization, advocates for appropriately sized and thoughtful development across Newton. Our committee supports the goals and values of RightSize Newton.
To learn more about RightSize Newton, click here.
Lawn Signs are here! Order
A birds-eye view of Newton Lower Falls. The Riverside site, where Mark Development plans to build a mixed-use complex, is on top left.
GETTING RIVERSIDE RIGHT.
The Lower Falls Improvement Association’s Riverside Committee is a neighborhood group that advocates for sensible and sustainable development at Riverside Station that fits the scale of the surrounding community.
After months of intense negotiations involving our committee, our Ward 4 Newton City Councilors, and Mark Development (MD), we reached a zoning compromise that the City Council’s Zoning and Planning Committee (ZAP) approved on Nov. 7, 2019. The full City Council approved the zoning plan without discussion on Nov. 18.
The zoning sets a cap of 1.025 million square feet of development, instead of the 1.5 million square feet originally filed. It also requires that 60% of the mixed-use project be allocated to housing (about 600 units), which will help meet housing needs while generating less traffic than office space. The agreement limits the highest building to 170 feet (down from 220 feet). On scenic Grove Street, it reduces the maximum height sought by MD while increasing the minimum building setbacks from the curb.
During the Nov. 7 ZAP hearing, language was added to ensure the development will not negatively affect public transportation, such as overcrowding on the T.
Next steps: We expect Mark Development to file a revised special permit application for a mixed-use project to fit within the approved zone. Then the City Council's Land Use Committee will review various aspects of the proposed development, including traffic, design, fiscal and school impact, and environmental issues. We expect these discussions to begin in January 2020.
During upcoming Land Use hearings, our committee — known as RightSize Riverside — will continue to press for development at Riverside that:
· Limits traffic to volumes that our streets can bear
· Provides access to efficient and reliable transportation
· Creates real affordable housing
· Preserves/creates green, open, and community spaces
· Welcomes people of ALL ages, backgrounds, and abilities
A huge thanks to everyone who has attended City Council meetings, written letters, put up RightSize Riverside signs, or donated to the LFIA Riverside Committee. Councilors recognized the hard work we have done to reach this point. We will need your continued engagement as we head into the Land Use phase!
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