Virtual Community Meeting on Roundabout Design
Tuesday, April 26 at 6 p.m.
As part of the Riverside development, there are plans to construct a roundabout (small traffic circle) to manage the significant increase in traffic the Riverside development is expected to bring. It will be located at the intersection of Grove Street, the 128 South off-ramp, and Asheville Road. An initial design for the roundabout was approved during the Riverside special permit process.
Because the roundabout involves the state and federal highway system, it also needs approval from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). After reviewing the initial design, MassDOT has requested some changes. This proposed redesign would eliminate the ability for drivers on Asheville to take a left turn onto Grove Street toward Auburndale. Instead, neighbors will need to use alternate routes (such as driving to Pierrepont Road or Pine Grove Avenue) to take a left toward Auburndale or to access 128 South. The stated reason for these changes is to reduce vehicle speeds.
Graphics showing the initial design and the MassDOT modifications are attached.
Two committees of the Newton City Council discussed the roundabout during a virtual public hearing on April 6.
Now, Newton Commissioner of Public Works James McGonagle wants to hear the neighborhood’s thoughts on the proposed redesign. The City is holding a virtual community meeting on Tuesday, April 26 at 6 p.m. To attend, please register at newtonma.gov/riverside. After registering, you will be emailed information about how to join the webinar.
Architectural Design Review
Riverside Developer Mark Development (MD) submitted initial designs for four planned buildings on the site: the two lab buildings facing Lower Falls, and Buildings 3 and 4 -- the two residential structures along Grove Street.
Here’s a link to the conceptual renderings for Buildings 7-10. The side of Building 7 is on Grove Street; the rest of the buildings are in the development's interior.
We are still awaiting proposed designs for Buildings 5 and 6.
As background: When the Riverside development was approved in September 2021, the overall size and height of each of the 10 buildings were determined, but specific architectural designs were not. The Newton City Council adopted a multi-step review process and Design Guidelines: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/as221ssmavue3gw/AAAeGVpHn90tjpfVvfJa4zO1a?dl=0&preview=Approved+Design+Guidelines.pdf.
Public meetings to discuss proposed building designs began in January 2022.
Recent meetings involving Riverside plans:
* The City’s Urban Design Commission (UDC) met virtually on March 9 at 7 p.m. and was going to consider its subcommittee’s design consistency review and recommendations on buildings 1-4 and 7-10.
* The Riverside Neighborhood Liaison Committee met virtually on March 15 at 8:30 a.m. to discuss proposed designs for the roundabout near the intersection of Asheville and Grove.
Roundabout Public Hearing (Virtual) was held on April 6.
Urban Design Commission (UDC) met on Feb. 2
Riverside Neighborhood Liaison Committee met on Jan. 25, Feb. 15
Thursday, Sept. 9: Full City Council unanimously approved the project with agreed-upon changes to building use and heights, traffic, design, etc.
Tuesday, August 24: Land Use Committee unanimously approved the proposed council order with the proposed changes to the Riverside Zoning and special permit, after months of public hearings and negotiations. Read the Committee's report here:
Tuesday, August 10: Land Use Committee public hearing on Sustainability, Civil Engineering, Signage, and Design Guidelines.
Tuesday, July 13: Land Use Committee public hearing on Transportation issues
Tuesday, June 22: Land Use Committee public hearing on Site and Building Design, and Design Guidelines
Tuesday, May 11: Land Use Committee public hearing on Housing and Fiscal Impact (first half hour), then Traffic and Transportation. Reviewed projected traffic impacts of the developer's proposed changes.
Tuesday, April 27: Land Use Committee public hearing on Housing and Fiscal Impact. Reviewed proposed changes to residential and commercial programs, including affordable housing, and fiscal impact analysis. Discussion continued to May 11.
Tuesday, April 13: Land Use Committee public hearing to discuss the developer's proposed changes to the project.
Monday, Oct. 19
Full City Council
Land Use Committee:
Tuesday, Oct. 6
Tuesday, Sept 29
Thursday, Sept. 10
Tuesday, Aug. 18
Tuesday, Aug. 4
Tuesday, July 28
And numerous meetings and hearings before these ...