Sep 162017
 

View or download the September-October 2017 issue as a color PDF here, or read single articles below.  . Articles in this issue: Demolition Delay Could Save Historic Buildings Read more here. Belmont Reviews Trash and Recycling Options Read more here. Iyengar Joins Land Management Committee Read more here. Keeping the Lights On and the Water Flowing Read more here. Tracking Traffic Read more here. What’s the Latest in Cushing Square? Read more here. Letter to the Editor Read more here. Environmental Events Read more here.

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Sep 132017
 
Demolition Delay Could Save Historic Buildings

182 Structures Now Under Consideration for “Historic” Designation                               by Sharon Vanderslice Belmont’s historic districts preserve many of the town’s historic buildings, which contribute dramatically to its sense of place. But many other important buildings are outside the districts. To protect them, Belmont Town Meeting has now required a one-year delay before anyone can get a permit to demolish 182 historically or architecturally significant buildings not otherwise protected. The list of designated buildings was developed by the Historic District Commission (HDC) from information prepared by a [READ MORE]

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Sep 132017
 
Keeping the Lights On and the Water Flowing

The Sources of Belmont Utilities by Virginia Jordan In the US, most of us take our water and other utilities for granted. But how are they delivered to Belmont residents, and who is responsible for keeping them flowing? Utility companies supply our electricity, gas, water, telephone, cable, internet, and wireless. Some are supplied by corporations like National Grid or Eversource (formerly NStar.) These private electricity and gas providers, also known as investor-owned utilities, are regulated by various state and federal agencies. Other utilities are supplied by the Water Division of Belmont’s Department of Public Works  (DPW) and the Belmont Light [READ MORE]

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Sep 132017
 
Belmont Reviews Trash and Recycling Options

Town Hearing Set for September 25 by Kim Slack This fall, Belmont will be negotiating a new contract for trash and recycling collection with interested haulers, to begin in July 2018. Now is an optimal time to consider other options for how Belmont deals with its trash. There are many urgent reasons that suggest that we change how we deal with our trash. Along with fellow members of the Sustainable Belmont Advisory Group, I evaluated several options. We encourage the public to voice their views at a meeting on September 25 at Town Hall. The state has set a goal that [READ MORE]

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Sep 132017
 
What’s The Latest in Cushing Square?

The Project Moves Forward and Continues to Evolve by John DiCocco There’s progress at the Bradford (formerly named Cushing Village), the three-building residential and retail complex in Cushing Square. Since our last article on the development in the May-June 2017 issue, construction is still moving ahead although several issues remain unresolved. Toll Brothers Apartment Living is the developer (through a subsidiary named Belmont Residential LLC), and Nauset Construction is the general contractor. Toll Brothers employs Sage Environmental as their licensed site professional (LSP) and the town has independently contracted with John Thompson, LSP, of Waypoint Environmental, who reports to town [READ MORE]

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Sep 132017
 

Extreme Events and Climate Change Thursday, September 14; 7–8 PM What We Know and What We Can Do Ellen Marie Douglas, Associate Professor of Hydrology, School for the Environment, University of Massachusetts Boston. Douglas will discuss observations of our changing climate, what changes may be in Boston’s future, and some plans for how to adapt to these changes. New England Aquarium, 1 Central Wharf, Boston. Belmont Drives Electric, Ride & Drive Sunday, September 17, 1–4 PM Learn about electric vehicles and test drive Chevy Bolts, Volkswagen Golfs, Nissan Leafs, and other electric vehicles. Meet local owners to get their experience. [READ MORE]

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Jul 102017
 
The Future of the Incinerator Site

Athletic Fields? Police Station? Solar Farm? Bike Park? by Lucia Wille Belmont’s former trash incinerator facility occupies 25 acres on Concord Avenue, close to the Lexington town line. About two-thirds of the site was owned by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts until May 2017, when it was conveyed to Belmont. The conveyance represents a windfall for a town often struggling with space constraints. As Belmont balances its municipal and recreational needs, the incinerator site presents a valuable opportunity for the community to either ease municipal space constraints or add to its portfolio of recreational assets, with the potential to further Belmont’s [READ MORE]

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A Cure for Belmont Traffic Congestion

 Air Quality, Environment, July 2017, Traffic, Transit  Comments Off on A Cure for Belmont Traffic Congestion
Jul 102017
 
A Cure for Belmont Traffic Congestion

Could Congestion Pricing Work Here? by Sumner Brown Nothing spoils Belmont’s small town atmosphere as much as our traffic. Residents complain it is terrible, getting worse, and they feel they can’t do anything about it. In fact, anger about traffic congestion dominated recent Planning Board meetings on Belmont Day School’s request to add a new driveway off Concord Avenue. In the future, perhaps in my lifetime, there is hope in technology-enabled solutions. Consider congestion pricing, made possible by technology such as Fast Lane. It’s working in London and other European cities. There is no fundamental reason why congestion pricing could [READ MORE]

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Fix the Stormwater System: It’s the Law

 Environment, July 2017, Newsletter, Stormwater, Water Quality  Comments Off on Fix the Stormwater System: It’s the Law
Jul 102017
 
Fix the Stormwater System: It’s the Law

Leaks and Illegal Connections Create Pollution by Anne-Marie Lambert After months of negotiation with the EPA, on May 15 the Belmont Board of Selectmen approved and signed a 2017 EPA Administrative Order for Compliance on Consent. This enforcement action makes mandatory a negotiated plan for addressing our illegal discharge of sewage into the Mystic River watershed. It requires the town to investigate and remove all pollution within five years, a daunting task. The likely sources are leaks and illegal connections in over 50 miles of Belmont’s 76 miles of street drains, as well as in over 50 miles of lateral [READ MORE]

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