I appreciate that the Mayor has attempted to create a vision for housing in the city. The Newton Leads 2040 Factbook is full of useful data.
The Mayor’s opening remarks about “the beginning of a conversation” are an invitation that should be made more concrete. How do residents participate in this conversation? Will there be an opportunity to approve or modify the stated goal of 3,200 or more additional units of housing? How can the City “preserve what we love about our city–the suburban feel, village amenities, and open spaces” when multi-story, dense buildings are proposed for the identified priority sites? I’m concerned that there is a disconnect between the words and images in the factbook and the reality of what the proposed strategy looks like in the built environment.
Perhaps a few pictures can substitute for many words:
Symbol used throughout the Newton Leads 2040 factbook. Looks like one, two and three-story 1-3 unit buildings to me.
Austin Street project rendering
Kesseler Woods project rendering
Orr Block project rendering
It’s difficult to locate “suburban feel” in these latter pictures. Is this the look residents want for our City? Or is there some other path to more housing affordability?
It’s instructive to read the New York Times article about a community that has responded to its mayor’s vision with its own vision of how change should come to their neighborhoods.