Zoning Redesign
The City of Newton's project to redesign the zoning code
June Newsletter
  • Zoning Redesign: What Values Should Guide Village Center Zoning Updates?: How the Mayor Engaged & How You Can Engage!
  • Discussion of What Makes a Village Center: Its Mix of Uses
  • June ZAP Committee & Tentative Agendas for Upcoming ZAP Meeting
Image Description: In both images, Mayor Ruthanne Fuller is completing the Vision Kit in the village center of Nonantum. On the left, the Mayor stands in front of Coletti-Magni Park, considering its wonderful attributes as well as serving as a home for arts + culture. On the right, the Mayor chats with volunteer Michael Lee as he contributes food to the Community Freedge, in front of Central Dry Cleaning - an inspiring mixing of retail with community resources.
What Values Should Guide Village Center Zoning Updates?

The Zoning Redesign project is asking Newton community members - those who live or work in Newton - to share their experiences of and future visions for village centers, from now until the end of September! Learn how you can contribute your voice and see what others are saying: 
Fill Out the Online Interactive Forum
Spend as little as a minute to as long as an hour on this online interactive forum - weigh in on others’ statements or submit your own! So far over 200 Newton community members have cast over 20,000 votes. Let us know your thoughts and see the results so far on the live Polis Report. Learn more about how Polis is being used around the world to crowdsource policy debates, remain civil and reach consensus in this MIT Technology Review article.
Complete a Vision Kit - by yourself or with others
Tell us what values should guide village center zoning updates through pictures and stories - either through the mobile Vision Kit or one you can print or use on your computer. This is a self-guided tour of a village center of your choice, with a set of prompts that asks you to reflect on what is currently there as well as what you would want to see in the future. See what Newtonians have already sent us, including observations and ideas from Newton North High School’s Sustainability Class!
And the Vision Kit is now available in Spanish, Russian, and Chinese!:

La ciudad de Newton desea conocer cómo es su experiencia con los centros de los pueblos y cómo imagina su futuro en lo que respecta a actualizaciones de zonificación. Utilice el Kit de visión (Vision Kit) o complete la encuesta: encuesta en línea // Kit de visión autoguiado

牛顿市希望了解您对乡村中心有何体验,以及您对其分区更新措施的前景有何设 想。请使用愿景套件 (Vision Kit) 或完成调查:在线调查 // 自助式愿景套件 (Vision Kit)

Администрации г. Ньютон важно услышать ваше мнение о жизни в пригородных поселениях и какими они станут после территориального зонирования в будущем. Используйте Vision Kit либо заполните опросную анкету: онлайн-опросе // Vision Kit для самостоятельного изучения
Participate in Focus Groups for Equitable Engagement
Sign up for the remaining Focus Groups that you may identify with! This month, Youth Commission members facilitated great break-out rooms with younger people of Newton (ages 15-24) and the city’s Cultural Development team facilitated a discussion where Newton’s artists shared their thoughts on village centers. The focus groups are an effort to facilitate the Vision Kit with groups that have been underrepresented in our past engagement efforts.
  • Thursday, July 22nd @ 6-7pm: Renters: Register here
  • Tuesday, July 27th @ 6-7pm: BIPOC (Black, Indigenous & People of Color): Register here
  • Monday, August 2nd @ 6-7pm: LGBTQ+: Register here
  • Tuesday, August 3rd @ 6-7pm: Younger people (ages 25-35): Register here
  • Monday, August 23rd @ 2-3pm: People with disabilities: Register here
  • Thursday, September 9th, 2-3pm: Older adults (65+): Register here
  • If you identify with one of these groups but cannot make the time, please still fill out this Focus Group Interest Form so we can keep you posted on future engagement opportunities! 

*Interested in hosting a focus group of your own? We’ve put together a facilitation guide and we’re happy to help anyone looking to do this - email us at zoningredesign@newtonma.gov
Participate in Economic Development Engagement
Are you a business owner or property owner in a village center? Fill out this interest form to engage in focus groups and surveys for Newton’s business communities. Recently our consultant Utile and members of the Economic Development Commission (EDC) hosted a focus group with real estate brokers and consultants who have first hand experience with retail and commercial markets in Newton’s village centers and other similar areas in the region. They provided wonderful insight on where they see retail and office trends moving towards following the pandemic and beyond into the 21st century.
Register for the History Village Centers Presentation
Staff have created a short presentation that includes historical images and interpretations about how and why Newton’s villages evolved through time and some thoughts about what makes a village center a village center. A panel of Historic Newton and other community members will participate in an open Q & A webinar on August 10th, 2021 at 7:00pm to provide their thoughts and ideas on the history of village centers, register here.
Want the Zoning Redesign engagement team at your summer event?
Staff attended the City’s Pride Flag Raising Event, Newton Open Studio, and the Juneteenth event commemorated by Historic Newton, Newton Cultural Council, Newton Community Pride, FORJ, and the Harmony Foundation. Email us at zoningredesign@newtonma.gov if you’d like us to be at your event and engage your community members around village centers!
What Makes a Village Center: Its Mix of Uses

At the end of May, Utile, our Zoning Redesign partner, presented some provisional analysis on what makes a village center by looking at the mix of uses across all the City’s commercial areas. Click here for a short piece summarizing their work thus far.
June ZAP Committee + Dates of Upcoming ZAP Meetings (agenda items are not finalized and subject to change)

This month’s newsletter is dedicated to the community engagement planned for Village Centers. July’s newsletter will go over the outcomes of both June and July’s ZAP Committee meetings - stay tuned or review meeting reports at the ZAP website.

July 8th, 2021 at 7pm

  • Zoning Redesign: Village Centers engagement update (discussion)
  • Zoning Clean-Up Items (intro-discussion)

July 26th, 2021 at 7pm (to be determined)
City of Newton, Massachusetts