Another way with 230 Lake Ave.

Posted on Tuesday 8 April 2008

It’s been a while since we’ve been able to offer some positive news about progress to preserve and re-connect the South Cove at Crystal Lake, but here it is…
The ends are the same, but the means have been changed to accommodate the current political reality.
Since not quite enough members of the Board were willing to invest in the outright acquisition of the 230 Lake Ave. property -with subsequent subdivision- the Aldermen have approved a much reduced expenditure of CPA funds to purchase the portion of wooded land adjacent to the new open space; the waterfront easement; a conservation restriction on the waterfront; and a front facade restriction on the house at 230 Rogers Street.
This transaction would be done in coordination with the current owner- who must complete her negotiations with buyer(s) willing to coordinate with the City on the final reconfiguration and covenants. Several potential buyers have already expressed a desire to obtain the property as redefined for the benefit of the Community (and at a reduced cost to obtain that waterfront address).
This certainly involves more unconventional commitments and cooperation on the part of all parties, but it became the only avenue left- as it reduces the up-front cost and removes the risk of resale- two items that a few Aldermen had based their opposition. We hope that Ms. Sciegienny and the City can agree to this course of action.Many thanks to Ms. Scieghenny, the CPC, the Aldermen and Mayor, and many others, who have stuck with this process in order to allow this opportunity to be sustained.
-and Thanks to all who have communicated your support to the Aldermen. 


rfizek @ 8:30 am
Filed under: Uncategorized
A vision of the future!

Posted on Saturday 23 February 2008

PLEASE NOTE: This illustration is but one version of a possible design, based on available information, a reasonably high degree of familiarity with the site, and a set of objectives culled from Citizen comment and the designer’s experience. The final form of this Park will be the result of a more comprehensive and collaborative public process that will likely be done in phases according to community priorities and available resources. This ‘vision’ is meant only to give citizens and elected officials a sense of the opportunity available to us… IF we choose to work together to make it happen.

Click on the picture to see it full size

General information regarding this Sketch :

  1. The parking area and related paving shown is 25 to 30% LESS than present parking lot paving, and will not drain into the lake.
  2. The parking area is BELOW the street level and screened by landscaping to allow for unobstructed views to be maintained- BOTH into and out of the Park.
  3. The structures shown are quite small (more of residential scale)and include open pavilions for shade and cover from rain. In TOTAL they represent a 20% LESS area than the present bathhouse.
  4. ALL new green space is maintained as such; and it’s anticipated that the area around the ‘buildings’ would be naturally permeable materials to join more naturally with new open space and control run-off.
kevin.osborn @ 6:56 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
CPC Recommends Revised Acquisition Plan

Posted on Wednesday 13 February 2008

Last night the CPC voted -unanimously- in favor of a revised Acquisition Plan for 230 Lake Avenue. This plan was crafted with input from Crystal Lake activists, neighbors, Aldermen, and Mayors office to address various concerns raised by citizens, and and Aldermen in recent meetings by:
• Funding the entire purchase with CPC money at a cost not greater
than appraised value
• Creating a permanent waterfront easement to connect all public parcels
• Subdivision of the parcel to allocate more public open space and allow for the house to be leased or sold to an appropriate user- with proceeds to return to CPC fund.
• Establishing a conservation and historic restriction on the property
and home in order to protect it from wholesale modifications or
• Allowing a resident caretaker to occupy and maintain the house until
its future is settled.

The Owner has generously cooperated with the public process so far, but has told the City to complete this process by end of March.

CONTACT YOUR ALDERMEN- Information provided in our side-bar at left.

rfizek @ 8:33 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
Crystal Lake Conservancy/Community Support Plan

Posted on Tuesday 12 February 2008

Conservancy Plan
This can take several minutes, but it’s worth it.

Images supporting the Conservancy plan

Solomon Funding Letter

kevin.osborn @ 4:12 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
Aldermen grant delay of 230 Lake vote

Posted on Saturday 26 January 2008

“We’d love to do this for the Community, but…”
The current proposal does not have sufficient support to get the required 2/3 majority for funding approval. Therefore, Aldermen Mansfield and Parker asked for a delay while supporters seek modifications of the proposal to address Aldermen concerns.

We had delivered a comprehensive Community Support and Fundraising
Plan and a means for getting it into action. However, without another
overwhelming public response to reinforce the purpose of this acquisition, and physically demonstrate community interest. There was little incentive for the Aldermen to shake their skepticism and fiscal concerns enough to invest city resources to complete the open space at the South cove. Surprised?… dissapointed?…
Communicate that NOW!
We shall continue to find a way to do this!

rfizek @ 6:26 am
Filed under: Uncategorized
230 Lake Ave Grounds

Posted on Wednesday 24 October 2007

A little walk through the Park:
The property is situated between the Levingston Cove Park and new public Open Space and swimming area. It’s smaller than the Rogers St. parcel -into which it projects- but has a wonderful cedar grove, lakeside yard space, and more water-frontage than 20 Rogers Street.

Garden pools

Click here

Photos of 230 Lake Ave Grounds, starting from the cove park.

kevin.osborn @ 1:35 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
CPC Approves 230 Lake land purchase

Posted on Monday 22 October 2007

In a 7-2 vote the CPC approved their funding for the land portion of the purchase of 230 Lake Ave. So that it may be merged with the old and new properties to form a complete Open Space and Park. Thank You! to the CPC, the Mayor, Aldermen…and to all who have contributed and will continue to work together in this effort.

rfizek @ 6:03 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
Expanded Concept

Posted on Wednesday 3 October 2007

Expanded Concept plan by Robert Fizek

Design Concept Sketch, by local Architect Robert Fizek, to help envision the possibilities.
(Click on the image to get a larger version)

kevin.osborn @ 2:17 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Posted on Wednesday 3 October 2007

Crystal Lake Aerial Photo: West Cove- from Levingston to Bathouse

230 Rogers would add 300 more feet of waterfront and over half an acre of open space- contributing to a WHOLE Public Park -more than three times larger than the existing Levingston Park land area. It’s quite easy to imagine how the whole area would form a lovely, protected Open Space and Park.

kevin.osborn @ 2:06 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
Our letter of support to CPC

Posted on Wednesday 26 September 2007

CPC Meeting tonight 7:00, City Hall

FYI: Final text of my letter to CPC (absent previous draft errors!)

Dear Ms. Jacobson & Members of the CPC Board:

It is my pleasure to address you to advocate for the City of Newton to acquire the property at 230 Lake Avenue. This lakefront property is the sole remaining parcel between the Levingston Park and the recently expanded open space at the old Gil Champagne Bathouse and water recreation facility.
We understand that this is a significant commitment of funding at a time when there are competing proposals from other parts of the Community that deserve consideration; And that it may see unfair to ask for more in the same place, and so soon. However, it would be short-sighted to prejudice this opportunity due to cooincidence; And the fact remains that this site also has unique natural qualities, and value that is incomparable in it’s location, attributes, and potential to provide for the daily use and occasional enjoyment of a significant number of citizens, young and old.
Already the waterfront and landscape improvements -made possible by the 20 Rogers Street acquistion- have delighted and impressed the many users of the swimming area, and citizens that walk, run, or ride along the existing small lakeside parks. They have noticed –from near and far- the beginning of a beautiful, more accomodating, relaxing, and inviting Park. What was formerly a constrained‚ dead-end site, and somewhat forgotten building -serving a couple of months of precious swimming access to the water- now glows with promise to become a better part of the landscape and a renewed recreation area avialable to all the citizens of Newton.
It is with this promise, and this potential, that the Mayor and concerned Aldermen have boldly moved to propose that we look again to invest our resouces -in this place- to forever preserve another 300 feet of lakefront and landscape for public enjoyment.
We urge you to approve the Community Preservation funding portion of the purchase of 230 Lake Avenue; And with this, allow the property to be preserved and joined with the neighboring parcels to form a complete West Cove Park at Crystal Lake.

rfizek @ 8:19 am
Filed under: Uncategorized