Planning Department Friday Report

  • Weekly planning-related meeting information and project updatesSign up for email newsletter here.

City Council Friday Packet

  • Links to all the material the Council will be using for meetings in the coming week. For things posted in a prior week, check the Friday Packet Archives.

Zoning Redesign (Planning Department page)

Newton Zoning Ordinance (existing)

  • Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance (Art. 5, Sec. 5.11). Inclusionary Zoning is a tool local governments across the country use to leverage private development to create affordable housing. Such ordinances commonly require a percentage of units in a private development be rented or sold at affordable levels to low- and moderate-income households, usually at or below 80% of area median income (AMI).

Affordable Housing Trust—Preliminary Guidance from Newton Housing Partnership (5/27/21 Letter to Mayor & Council)

Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice, FY2021–2025

WestMetro HOME Consortium Fair Housing Workshop (4/11/21, Judi Barrett of Barrett Planning Group presenting)


Newton Housing Strategy (2016)


Newton Transportation Strategy (2017)


Newton Economic Development Strategy (2019)


Newton Climate Action Plan (2019)

Newton does not have enough homes (our 2-page flyer)

Letter—Newton officials, residents to MA legislators: Support H.4263, "Housing Choices" bill (5/9/20)

Northland Project

(approved 12/2/19 by City Council, affirmed by referendum 3/3/20)

Livable Newton

Friends of Austin Street

Engine 6 HUD Complaint (2013) and Conciliation Agreement (2015)

The image in this page's background is a screen shot of the federal Home Owners' Loan Corporation map for Newton and areas east toward Boston, from the interactive website Mapping Inequality: Redlining in New Deal America, a collaboration spearheaded by the University of Richmond's Digital Scholarship Lab.


Keep it positive!

  • Suggestions for responding to anti-zoning reform negativity

Potential Benefits of Zoning Reform

  • Actual social media post by Kathy Pillsbury with great attitude and positive language

Instructions for Submitting to the Newton TAB

  • Parameters, deadlines for letters and opinion pieces


Mayor Ruthanne Fuller


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Newton City Council

  • Go here for individual emails.

  • Acting Council Clerk:

Nadia Khan,

City Council Committee Assignments

Land Use Committee

    Rick Lipof, Chair

    Andrea Kelley, Vice Chair

    Nadia Khan, Clerk

Zoning & Planning Committee (ZAP)

    Deb Crossley, Chair

    Vicki Danberg, Vice Chair

    Danielle Delaney, Clerk


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Planning Department

  • Community Preservation Program. The Community Preservation Act (CPA) allows local communities to adopt a surcharge on property taxes and receive state matching funds for 1) affordable housing, 2) historic resources, and 3) open space and recreation land. Newton voters adopted the CPA in 2001, the first possible year, with a 1% local surcharge.


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Community Preservation Committee

    Mark Armstrong, Chair

    Lara Kritzer, Program Manager

Newton Housing Partnership

    Lizbeth Heyer, Chair

Planning & Development Board

    Peter Doeringer, Chair

Fair Housing Committee

    Ted Hess-Mahan, Chair

Zoning Board of Appeals

    Brooke Lipsitt, Chair


Other YIMBY Groups

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America (Richard Rothstein, Liveright Books, 2017)

  • Essential reading for a true and comprehensive understanding of how the suburbs were created, Newton's role in the regional housing shortage, and our moral obligation to something about it.

The State of Zoning for Multi-Family Housing in Greater Boston (Amy Dain, June 2019)

Greater Boston Housing Report Card 2019: Supply, Demand and the Challenge of Local Control (Engine 6 summary of Newton findings in the report by The Boston Foundation)

TODEX: Transit-Oriented Development Explorer for Massachusetts (MHP Center for Housing Data)

  • This interactive map allows you to explore housing development patterns across neighborhoods in the MBTA rail system. Click on any station to see a graphic with surrounding housing density levels. Click "Data" tab to sort, filter, and download info for any station, line, or town in the data set.

  • Research suggests a recommended minimum density of at least 10 homes/acre to support rail service. For the Green Line D stations in Newton, the densities are: Chestnut Hill—1.9; Newton Centre—3.2; Newton Highlands—4.0; Eliot—4.2; Waban—2.1; Woodland—3.6; Riverside—2.3.

MAPC Metro Mayors Coalition Housing Task Force

  • Compact: "After factoring in the housing demand created by... new workers, the increasing number of senior households, and the changing needs of existing residents, we estimate that the [15 municipalities of the] Metro Mayors Coalition will need to add 185,000 housing units from 2015–2030 in order to meet demand and reduce—or at least stabilize—housing costs." Pro-rated by population size, that means Newton should ideally add 1,000+ units a year through 2030. 

Can 40R help address our housing shortage?

  • 4/9/20 Newton-Needham Chamber panel with Bill Reyelt, Principal Planner, Smart Growth Programs, MA Dept. of Housing & Community DevelopmentJulie Mercier, Community Devel. Director, ReadingDavid Gillespie, VP–Development, AvalonBay

Affordable Housing Finance 101 (5/14/19 presentation to A Better Cambridge by Peter Roth, Lecturer, MIT Center for Real Estate & Department of Architecture)

Cambridge Affordable Housing Overlay

  • Approved by City Council on 10/5/20. It allows construction of 100% affordable, four-story apartment buildings anywhere in the city by right, entirely eliminates parking minimums, and eliminates or mitigates any zoning feature that impeded apartment construction.

The Waning Influence of Housing Production on Public School Enrollment (Oct. 2017 MAPC research brief)

Race-Class Narrative Project (Demos)

Housing Justice Narrative Initiative  (PolicyLink)

Fifty Years Of “The People v. HUD”: A Timeline of Significant Civil Rights Lawsuits and HUD Fair Housing Advances