6 thoughts on “Council Roundup: Councilor Opposes Planning Board Appointee, Tower at Mall, Trees & Green Schools

  1. Didn’t the town vote to allow the limit to go from 79ft to 130ft(special cases) for this building over much controversy to start with? Now AY is asking for an even taller building at this location(or more)? I believe 130ft was quite a generous increase. There will be an even longer shadow on Arsenal Park if taller even if the building is narrower. I’m for improvement but the huge buildings will change the dynamics of this space. I would not want the park to have an even larger, towering building looming over it and already think 130ft too much.

  2. How can the town add trees when road projects eliminate the green space between the sidewalks and curbs? This has happened on highland ave between Gilbert st and Lexington st just last year and on Chapman st between Highland st and Warren st also just last year. Seems like the right hand doesn’t know what left hand is doing.

  3. Just this week, Scientific American published an article warning its readers about the massive loss of urban trees in US cities – on the order of 37 million trees are lost PER YEAR – and about the serious effects of all that urban canopy loss.

    The articles’ final paragraph could have been written explicitly for Watertown:

    “Adding tree cover will, however, require a shift to long-term thinking—especially to plan ways to make room for nature while also accommodating new growth. ‘We’re urbanizing like crazy,’ says Sullivan, the landscape architect. ‘And it takes a lot more than a few cities with million tree programs to replace the trees that get chewed up by office buildings and big box stores and parking lots.’ Living well in an increasingly urbanized world, he adds, will require ‘nature at every doorstep. It’s not enough to have a phenomenal world-class park three miles from your home. It’s not enough to have these incredible national parks five states away.’ A tree needs to grow, he says, outside every window and doorway.”

  4. Having watched (on television) Councillor Kounelis express her opposition to my nomination at yesterday’s T.C. meeting, and reading it again here, I feel compelled to respond and set the record straight. I was quite surprised to watch her tirade against me, and frankly did not realize my statements at that ZBA meeting last May had been so offensive to her. I did, at that same hearing, explicitly follow up my initial comment by saying that I meant no disrespect to her personally. However, in hindsight I probably could have chosen my words more carefully so as not to give the impression that I was dismissing anyone’s previous comments on the matter of the proposed medical marijuana dispensary.

    That said, I want to express my disappointment at her follow-up comments last night regarding my commitment to Watertown over my 17 years living here. Though I still struggle to understand the relevance of those comments, the insinuation was that I had not adequately given back to my community, since the earliest record she could find of my “involvement” in civic life here was in 2010, 9 years after I first moved to Watertown. I would like to point out, for the record, that my children have been in the WPS system since 2009, I was a T-ball coach in the WYBB organization for two years, my family has participated in “Watertown Helps Out” for the last 2 years, I was an alternate member of the ZBA for almost 3 years, I at one time submitted my candidacy for the School Building Committee, and finally I was confirmed yesterday for a 3-year term on the Planning Board. And the reason that I only registered to vote last September (as Councillor Kounelis mentioned, again not sure why this is even relevant) is because I only became a U.S. citizen 3 weeks prior to that (having been born in Canada). I think this adequately demonstrates my commitment to this town.

    That said, I know that Councillor Kounelis and I share the desire to improve the quality of life in our wonderful community. And although we may sometimes “agree to disagree” on certain issues, I believe it is critical that we treat each other with respect along the way.

    Jason Cohen

  5. Hi, I’ve lived in this town almost all of my life. It is a great place to live. An essential part of that is it has small town neighborhood ambiance snd not a city croweed with apartment buildings and high rises. Over the last 10 years we are certainly trending away from what Watertown was. If we continue to move in the direction that some in this town want us to go on the name “progress” we move farther and farther away from Watertown’s forever appealing hometown character. Let’s stop this never ending development in the name of profits and more money and realize how good our town is now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *