Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for 2009

2008 has been a year of massive global economic change and also many changes
in our town government.  Our building inspector of 36 years retired in May, and we have a new Fire Chief ( and a new fire truck).  We also have one new affordable rental unit to be rented to a qualified family by […]

2008 has been a year of massive global economic change and also many changes
in our town government.  Our building inspector of 36 years retired in May, and we have a new Fire Chief ( and a new fire truck).  We also have one new affordable rental unit to be rented to a qualified family by lottery to be held in January, a new position of administrator of the Zoning Board of Appeals, and a new administrative officer for the Conservation Commission.

It is my hope that as a town, Weston will think about the many projects
currently in the pipeline: the construction of a new DPW at $17
million, formulation of a restaurant at the Josiah Smith Tavern projected
to cost $7 million, the acquisition of the Case Estate Land from Harvard
at $22 million, and the possible reconstruction or new construction of Field
School at over $30 million.   It would be nice if we could also keep the tax rate ( which
increased from 10.67 to 11.02 dollars per $1000 ) steady and maintain our overall operating budget
(which was approx. $55 million in 2008) in the year to come.

Although it is likely that revenue for the town generated by new growth
will decrease because the number of building permits issued has dropped, higher property taxes might not be the best option.  We should also consider ways of generating
additional non-property-tax revenue. Our local budget challenges are unique to Weston.
Weston is is diverse economic community in that its residents make a
living in many different sectors of our global economy. What Weston
residents all have in common is a strong commitment to education in our
public schools. The financial pressures that we will experience as a town
in the coming year will be great.

I am optimistic that we can find a balance in regulation and taxation that
allows Weston citizens to come through these unprecedented times with
strong respect for our town, its governance, and its efficiency in budget
balancing. We will need to work together in spending less and generating
more non property tax revenue so that we are well poised for the future.




Christmas Eve Carol Sing December 24th

The Annual Christmas Carol Sing will take place begining at 7:00 p.m in front of the Josiah Smith Tavern.
This festive event hosted by the Women’s Community League will feature a Brass Quartet from the High School.  This event has been sponsored for over 45 years.

The Annual Christmas Carol Sing will take place begining at 7:00 p.m in front of the Josiah Smith Tavern.

This festive event hosted by the Women’s Community League will feature a Brass Quartet from the High School.  This event has been sponsored for over 45 years.


New Consultant Selected by Planning Board

On December 10th the Planning Board interviewed three potential consultants to be
hired for the purpose of reviewing proposed changes to the Zoning By Law for Town
Meeting in May. The Board selected: Philip B Herr & Associates 447 Centre St,
Newton, MA 02458. On January 21st Mr. Herr will present his findings at the
Planning Board […]

On December 10th the Planning Board interviewed three potential consultants to be

hired for the purpose of reviewing proposed changes to the Zoning By Law for Town

Meeting in May. The Board selected: Philip B Herr & Associates 447 Centre St,

Newton, MA 02458. On January 21st Mr. Herr will present his findings at the

Planning Board meeting on an assignment given to him by the board.

The public is invited to attend.



Come Lunch Tuesday December 9th at 12:30

The last WCL Clothing Exchange of 2008 will be held on Decemebr 9th at the Josiah Smith Tavern in Weston Center.  Find fabulous deals and many Holiday Treasures for less!! After shopping till you drop, join Nancy Hughes President of WCL and MaryAnn Rogers Treasurer of WCL for lunch at 12:30.  Enjoy warm soup,  a […]

The last WCL Clothing Exchange of 2008 will be held on Decemebr 9th at the Josiah Smith Tavern in Weston Center.  Find fabulous deals and many Holiday Treasures for less!! After shopping till you drop, join Nancy Hughes President of WCL and MaryAnn Rogers Treasurer of WCL for lunch at 12:30.  Enjoy warm soup,  a sandwich, good conversation and great company!!!


Planning Board to Hire Architectural Consultant

The Weston planning board is hiring an architectural consultant in order to determine how to address “mansionization”, which many of the town’s changes and re-interpretations of square-footage limits and permitting requirements have been supposedly addressing.  The Town released a brief memo, copied below. Here is the original file, or read more below.

The Planning Board is […]

The Weston planning board is hiring an architectural consultant in order to determine how to address “mansionization”, which many of the town’s changes and re-interpretations of square-footage limits and permitting requirements have been supposedly addressing.  The Town released a brief memo, copied below. Here is the original file, or read more below.

The Planning Board is seeking an architectural consultant who can assist the board in evaluating two different methodologies that address the concept of “mansionization” or construction of a large home in relation to its lot size. Both methodologies go through a process of reviewing architectural plans, and, in this evaluation, set a specific size of a house as a “trigger” for an in depth site plan review by the Planning Board. The methodologies use different methods of measuring a house to calculate the trigger for review. The Board is trying to evaluate these different methods of calculation of the trigger for review. Criteria include: relative difficulty/ease of use; do the methodologies encourage/discourage a particular type of design or feature? Does the threshold for review seem appropriate? Should it be larger/smaller? Do the items included in the RGFA make sense in evaluating mass of a house (garages, finished attics, basements if they are a Story Above Grade)? Do the numbers and assumptions built into the FA, MEEA, MVD, TMI make sense? Do they capture the mass of a house? How does this method compare to the RGFA in capturing mass of a house? How do the 2 methods compare when considering additions? Is either a significantly better predictor of mass impact than the other? Is either methodology more user-friendly?

1. RGFA Methodology: The first methodology, referred to as the Residential Gross Floor Area (“RGFA”), was adopted by the Town in 1997 and is used currently. The RGFA is calculated by measuring the proposed house from exterior wall to exterior wall. Attached or detached garages, both under the house or at grade, are calculated as part of the RGFA figure. Screened porches are included, decks are not. Finished attics are included, the space over a garage is included, basements are included if they are a Story above Grade, as defined in the Weston Zoning By-law.

2. Multi Tiered Methodology- This method is really four different methods including : 1. a Footprint Trigger (FA); 2. a Maximum Exterior Elevation Trigger (MEEA); 3. A Maximum Vertical Distance Trigger(MVD); 4. A Total Mass Index Figure(TMI). This methodology has not been used by the Town.

The consultant is expected to meet initially with the Planning Board to discuss the project goals, and to ensure that the consultant has a thorough enough understanding of the methodologies so that they can be applied to actual building plans. The plans will be provided by the Town Planner. The consultant will meet again with the Planning Board to review and discuss his/her results. the consultant is encouraged to meet with the Weston building Inspector for his input and explanation of how he interprets RGFA.

The analysis will compare 5 recent “real world” cases from examples selected from the Town’s records.


Rail Trail Meeting

On December 9th the Board of Selectman will meet with Dan Driscoll from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation to explain the implications of the state’s lease of the Central Mass Rail line.

Make sure to attend!! Questions? Post a comment!

On December 9th the Board of Selectman will meet with Dan Driscoll from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation to explain the implications of the state’s lease of the Central Mass Rail line.

Make sure to attend!! Questions? Post a comment!