View or download the January-February 2018 issue as a color PDF here, or read single articles below. . Articles in this issue: A Vision for Belmont Looking Back, Looking Ahead by Sue Bass Nearly eight years ago, in the spring of 2010, the town completed two years of work on a comprehensive plan intended to guide the next decade of change in Belmont. Looking back, how are we doing? The $148,000 plan, called “A Vision for Belmont: Mapping a Sustainable Future,” which was adopted by the Belmont Planning Board and is posted on its website, made nine primary recommendations. Read more. [READ MORE]
Pavement and Policy in Belmont by Kate Bowen In 2015, I wrote a story for this newsletter on “hell strips,” those swaths of dirt between the sidewalk and the street, where water-thirsty plants die and well-suited natives thrive. To recall the benefits, these planted strips cool streets in the heat. They provide filtration of fine particulate matter making sidewalk areas healthier. They provide food for birds and insects, and hold snow in winter. And, they delineate the vehicle travel/parking lane from the sidewalk area. This last function has become most important to me. In 2016, Bartlett Avenue, where I live, [READ MORE]
But Progress is Slow and Info Is Lacking by John DiCocco Would you buy a used car from Toll Brothers? Trust is difficult when repeated questions go unanswered. Since our last story in September 2017, “What’s The Latest in Cushing Square?”, construction has been slow and information flow has been slower. It’s wise for the town to continually kick the tires and keep having its own mechanic inspect the goods. Fencing, one lingering safety issue has finally been addressed, while another, contaminated soil, took a new turn. The project was shut down December 11 because of a permit problem. Ongoing [READ MORE]
Providing More Affordable Options by Julie Perkins Belmont is a wealthy town by most standards, with a higher-than-state-average median income. But a quarter of Belmont’s population would be eligible for affordable housing if more were available, according to statistics gathered by Metro West Collaborative Development, a nonprofit based in Newton. And creating that housing (also called “community housing”1) would get the town out from under the threat of unwanted development—because Belmont would meet the state standard of having 10% of its housing affordable. For the past two years, the Belmont Housing Trust has been working on a housing production plan (HPP) to encourage [READ MORE]
View or download the November-December 2017 issue as a color PDF here, or read single articles below. . . Articles in this issue: Belmont’s Housing Future. Providing More Affordable Options. Read more here. Belmont Traffic: Driving In, Out, and Through Everyone Is Someone Else’s Cut-Through Traffic Read more here. JKR Conservation Fund Charts A New Path New Structure, New Name Read more here. An Update On The Bradford Multiple Activities On- And Off-site Read more here. Environmental Events Read more here.
Everyone Is Someone Else’s Cut-Through Traffic by Aryan Mehrotra, with Sumner Brown Watching drivers trying to get through the railroad underpass at Belmont Center is unnerving, especially when someone who apparently did not learn to take turns in kindergarten starts swearing. Belmont’s traffic seems to be getting worse. Where does it come from and where is it going? How much traffic cuts through Belmont? On weekday mornings, traffic backs up from Belmont Center to the top of Belmont Hill, snagged by the three places where cars cross or pass under the railroad tracks. Cut-through = Congestion Many people in Belmont [READ MORE]
Multiple Activities On- and Off-site by John DiCocco Excavation and foundation work continues at the Bradford, the apartment and retail complex in Cushing Square, previously known as Cushing Village. However, the contaminated soil remaining from the demolished Tops Cleaners continues to be a problem and has not yet been treated to a level that allows it to be handled as non-hazardous waste. A new round of tests is pending. A Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) site visit in early October found a new area of potential contamination. Since DEP visits infrequently, and Toll/Nauset Construction (the primary contractor) hadn’t flagged this area [READ MORE]
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.
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]