As chair of the Zoning and Planning Committee, I am proud to have led the city in adopting Newton's Comprehensive Plan in 2007. This document has been widely cited as a model to achieve our goals for positive new development in Newton while respecting the fabric of our neighborhoods and our historic village centers.
Former Mayor Cohen appointed two successive committees, chaired by nationally known planner and Newton resident Phil Herr, to update the city's Comprehensive Plan, which was last revised in the late 1980s. After years of work, the first committee submitted the “Framework for Planning” to the Board of Aldermen. Under my leadership, the Zoning and Planning Committee added explicit references to the value of Village Centers and the losses caused by closing of Village Schools and Branch Libraries. We also attached to the Framework a request that an Historic Preservation element of the final plan be completed as soon as possible.
Following initial work on the Framework plan, I was appointed to the Comprehensive Planning Advisory Committee. Throughout this process, I led the effort to insure that the "Charleston Principles of Historic Preservation" were considered and included in the "Planning with and for History" section. This section of the plan insures that Newton will consider and implement efforts for preservation of our historical resources when making future development decisions. This issue also has personal relevance. My Great Grandfather's Great Grandfather, Lieutenant Samuel Richardson, lies in the Revolutionary War section of the South Burying Ground. In researching my family's roots, I've become even more interested in the history of the city where my family has lived for at least six generations.
As we envision our city in future years, it is important that we plan wisely and that historical preservation in Newton should be an important part of public policy. I will strive to continue to be a voice on the Board that supports the type of growth and economic development that respects our village centers and preserves the qualities that we prize in our residential neighborhoods.