Preservation Committee Approves Acquisition!

Posted on Tuesday 27 March 2007

After over two hours of deliberations- The 20 Rogers Street/Crystal Lake acquisition was approved by the Preservation Committee. It’s recommendation will be sent on to the Finance Committee (April 9), and the full Board (April 17).
Mayor Cohen presented and attended the entire session.

Please send a ‘thank you’ message to the mayor and members of this committee for their diligence, wisdom, and forsight.

Stephen M. Linsky is the Chairman.
His email contact information is below, along with other members of the
committee: Scott Lennon, Ted Hess-Mahan, Amy Sangiolo, Brian Yates, Ken
Parker, Verne Vance and Cheryl Lappin. Alderman Mansfield was also there to express his enthusiastic support.

dcohen@newtonma.gov,
slinsky@newtonma.gov,
asangiolo@newtonma.gov, byates@newtonma.gov, sangiolo1@rcn.com,
sflennon@comcast.net, slennon@newtonma.gov, tedhess-mahan@rcn.com,
vvance@rcn.com, ken@kenparker.org, Clappin@newtonma.gov

rfizek @ 8:12 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
CPC APPROVES ACQUISITION FUNDING

Posted on Wednesday 7 March 2007

The Community Preservation Committee voted unanimously to allocate the bonding of$2.3 million for the purchase of 20 Rogers St.- as Recreation space.
Mayor Cohen presented the reasoning behind eminent domain as the fairest and preferred method for the acquisition. (full information can be found at the Newton Community Newsletter- http://www.ci.newton.ma.us/Exec/NCR/03-2007.html)
Several Aldermen spoke in support, and it is now incumbent upon the approval of at least 2/3 of the Board to gain purchase, Title, and immediate Community use of the land.
A public process will also be established to more comprehensively plan for the future.

Thanks to all who have demonstrated their interest and support.
Call or write your Aldermen NOW.

rfizek @ 7:55 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
Hannon files for 40B at 20 Rogers St.!

Posted on Wednesday 7 February 2007

The owner of 20 Rogers has filed an application for having his property approved for housing development status as a so-called 40B project (reportedly for 120 units)!!!
This represents only the latest provocative action by the owner; who has refused to negotiate directly with the city in the sale of his Crystal Lake property. You may interpret this as you will, but it seems clear that the owner is not really interested in a process of negotiation that would gain him a fair price, and allow the opportunity to make this lovely property to become a lake-side park and serve the recreation needs of our community for generations to come.
We may wish and hope that negotiations can be reestablished.
Yet, given the history of this property and this owner, we need not accept this situation to proceed unchallenged and unresolved for many months or years!
It is time to unreservedly insist that our Mayor and Aldermen act to acquire this property by any means possible, including a purchase enforced by eminent domain.

Call, Write, email the Mayor and Aldermen Now!!!
Do the same to the TAB and its’ blog
Stay aware and attend relevant Community and City meetings.
Bring others with you.
-will try to keep you informed on www.betterrlake.com

rfizek @ 4:14 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
Crystal Lake/CPC/Mayor’s Commitment

Posted on Saturday 20 January 2007

We’ve received a message that clarifies the way that the revised Hannon proposal will be ‘heard’ by the CPC. It will be included at the end of the meeting for information purposes only! (… and without public comment.)
This is certainly a positive development; Yet there is a way to go before the ‘deal’ is done. CPA funding regulation does impose limitations to the purchase cost. The establishment of a reasonable value for the property is required to obtain funding.
The Mayor has told us -and personally reiterated this to me yesterday- that he is completely commited to do whatever is needed to obtain the purchase of this property for the citizens of Newton. Yet it is also his responsibility to get it done in a way that is consistent with the Law and at reasonble expense to the Community- AND with reasonable compensation to the Owner.
There would appear to be a willing buyer and a willing seller, but they need to find a means to communicate, at least enough to come to mutually acceptable terms, and get this transaction done.
The City has funded its own appraisal (upon which its offer was based), but is also willing to work with the Owner to accept an alternative appraisal, or an appraisal by a neutral party. It is also ready and willing to expedite all parts of this process and with
immediate attention and action.
Let us hope and encourage all parties to work together to make this happen soon!

rfizek @ 11:39 am
Filed under: Uncategorized
The Rising Tide of Spam…

Posted on Tuesday 16 January 2007

I apologize to those of you who follow the comments who have been subjected to so much spam lately. I delete them several times a day, but I know it is still annoying.

I regret having to require registration with the site before commenting, but I have turned on that option and it should virtually eliminate spam.

If you haven’t registered, please do, it’s pretty painless, and we promise to keep your personal information (like email address) secret!

kevin.osborn @ 10:36 am
Filed under: Uncategorized
City Makes offer to Hannon

Posted on Saturday 6 January 2007

The Mayor has communicated an ‘Offer’ to Hannon, based on it’s
appraisal of the property. My understanding is that the amount was
$2.2 to 2.3M. Mr. Hannon’s response was to list the property with R.E. brokers.
The Mayor says that it is a realistic valuation, based on the City’s appraisal (certainly $4.5M is not). Yet it seems low- given the situation and what could be considered the ‘opportunity cost’ in obtaining this land as a community asset.
The Mayor stresses that the City really DOES want the land and wants
to continue to negotiate. Mr. Hannon can provide a legitimate
appraisal -or a competing offer indicating a higher value- to which
the City would respond.
We again encourage ALL to share this information and express your opinions with the Mayor, Aldermen, TAB, TAB blog, our comments page, etc.

rfizek @ 10:11 am
Filed under: Uncategorized
Lake Meeting shows clear mandate:

Posted on Wednesday 8 November 2006

Thanks to all in attendance at Mondays’ Meeting; It was an SRO event!
The unofficial count for the attendance recorded about 240 people were there!

The Comments and discussions showed a clear mandate supporting the 20 Rogers acquisition; And indicating a genuine enthusiasm for more ‘ open’, natural, and accessible Park land as part of an efficient, environmentally sensitive renewal of the site and recreation facility for the benefit of ALL Newton residents.
Aldermen Parker and Danberg -who have worked hard to put this idea on the City agenda- spoke with great enthusiasm. Aldermen Mansfield and Samuelson have also been supporting the effort, and several other Aldermen have also recorded their support.
The Newton Conservator’s Chair, William Hagar also took the occassion to express the support of their organisation.
Mr. Hannon was also duly recognized for his outreach to the Community in offering the City the first opportunity for purchasing his land for public use.

Most importantly, the Mayor pledged to continue the negotiations to establish a fair purchase price, and work to expedite the CPA funding request and governmental approvals. (The city has created it’s own email address for this issue: crystallake@newtonma.gov)
Please take the time to express your thanks to all of these people for their commitment and efforts!

There is certain to be more Community involvement as the process moves forward–
The www.betterlake.com website will remain- so feel free to post your thoughts about current events and plans for the future; So please stay aware and involved!

rfizek @ 2:49 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
20 Rogers Street owner wants to sell!!

Posted on Friday 13 October 2006

The October 12 Boston Globe Westword reports that Patrick Hannon intends to sell his property and move on to Maine.
“Hannon said he and his wife Elizabeth decided to relocate on a 300-acre lakefront property they own in Maine because they believe it would be a better environment for their four children, ages 5 to 11. Hannon said he would give the city the first option to buy his property.”

This should be the beginning of a “Better Lake” !!!
WE ALL need to tell the Mayor and Aldermen AGAIN
that they need to get this done ASAP!
Spread the word!

CALL & EMAIL NOW:

Mayor’s Policy Director:Jeremy Solomon: 617- 796-1110
(You can leave a message !!)
email: jsolomon@newtonma.gov

Mayor Cohen: (617) 796-1100
email: dcohen@newtonma.gov
and follow links on this site for Aldermen contact info.

rfizek @ 10:07 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
Highlands Council & Newton Conservators Support

Posted on Friday 29 September 2006

Robert Fizek and other Citizens for a Better Lake, and Ward 6 Aldermen present 20 Rogers acquisition proposition at recent Board meetings. After extensive discussion and careful consideration, both the Newton Highlands Neighborhood Area Council and The Newton Conservators unanimously voted to support efforts (and CPA funding) leading to the acquistion of the Rogers Street property for additional park and swimming recreation.

The Newton Parks & Recreation Commission is already on record (at their June 19(!), 2006 Meeting) with a unanimous motion for making an application to CPC for this same purpose…
We invite and encourage other interested Groups to also express the same support to the Mayor, City agencies, and Aldermen.

rfizek @ 8:21 am
Filed under: Uncategorized
A Plan for a Better Lake

Posted on Monday 11 September 2006

Sorry to be late in posting this, here’s a sketch of what is possible:

New bathouse plan

Click for a bigger version

kevin.osborn @ 8:26 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized