Northland Referendum

The Committee for Responsible Development is running an information campaign regarding Newton’s City Councils decision to approve the massive Northland development on Needham Street.

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On 2nd December the Newton’s City Council narrowly missed voting down the Northland project, by just 2 votes!

Several councilors were very concerned about the impact Newtons largest ever development would have on the neighborhood, and voted no. Greg Schwartz, the chair of the Land Use Committee, stated that he believed the process had failed, and voted against it. The city council should have found that the Northland development would have an adverse affect on the neighborhood, and negotiated on behalf of local residents to make the project one that fits in with the neighborhood before giving it the green light.

Needham Street traffic is already saturated. Why would we approve a development that will make it worse? Northland refused to scale down the project to address traffic and school/financial concerns.  Northland refused to even leave the size of the project as-is, but phase development, so that it could be determined whether the traffic and school enrollment projections were accurate prior to the whole site being built out.  Northland even refused to eliminate (or limit) an exit onto Oak street, which many of the abutters worry will cause endless gridlock as traffic tried to avoid backups on Needham street.  Finally, Northland refused to even be held accountable for meeting the single-vehicle use reductions they promised in their presentations!

It will cost Newton at least $500,000 annually to fund education and other services to this new community. The developer should bear this cost, not the taxpayers.

Article 10 in the city charter provides a mechanism to give voters the opportunity to request the city council repeal a measure it has approved. This rarely used provision requires at least 5% of registered voters (approximately 3,100 people) to sign a petition within 20 days of the final passage of the measure. If the city council fails to repeal the decision, then the rules of charter obligates the city to hold a public referendum on the matter.

Whilst collecting signatures for the petition, it quickly became apparent many Newton residents are angry and frustrated by the decisions of the City Council.

For this initiative to be a success we must increase public awareness and counter misinformation being spread by Northland and its allies and that requires money : for printing, research, web services and messaging. Please help us in our effort by considering making a donation. Thank you!