NEW TIME: Councilor Feltner and City Manager Hosting Meet & Greet

District B City Councilor Lisa Feltner. District B City Councilor Lisa Feltner will be joined by City Manager George Proakis for a Meet & Greet. The City sent out the following announcement:

Join City Councilor Lisa Feltner for a District B Meet and Greet with City Manager George Proakis on Monday, April 29, 2024 from 6:-7:30 p.m. at the Parker Annex, Suite 2E, 124 Watertown Street.

Patriots Day Will Impact City Hall, Library, Senior Center and More

by Charlie BreitroseMembers of the Watertown Colonial Guard reenactment group march in the 2018 Memorial Day Parade. Patriots Day is Monday, April 15, and the holiday will impact facilities in the City of Watertown. The City sent out the following information:

Watertown City Hall, Parker Annex, Senior Center, Department of Public Works Offices, and the Watertown Free Public Library are closed on Monday, April 15, 2024 in observance of the Patriots Day holiday. Please note that trash and recycling pickup will be delayed one day. The pickup schedule next week is Tuesday, April 16 through Saturday, April 20, 2024.

Council Votes Down Proposal for Short Term Rentals in Watertown

Watertown City Hall

A proposal that would have allowed limited forms of short term rentals, such as Airbnb and VRBO, in Watertown was rejected by the City Council in a split vote. On April 9, the Council heard more than an hour of input from residents, and then discussed it for another hour or so. The proposal only allowed short term rentals in owner-occupied homes, or bedrooms of a home when the owner is home, and the most that a home could be rented as a short term rental was 3 months of a year. This was the second time that a proposal had come forward, but in 2021 the Planning Board sent it back for reworking. This year, the Planning Board endorsed the proposal, and sent it to the City Council for a final vote.

Resident Wanted to Serve as Alternate Member of Planning Board

The following announcement was provided by the City of Watertown:

City Manager George J. Proakis is seeking community-minded residents to become an Alternate Member of the Planning Board. Are you interested in shaping the overall future of our City? Then the Planning Board might be just the thing for you.  

You will have opportunities to participate in the review and discussion of new plans and projects proposed within the City. Candidates should have background in architecture, landscape architecture, engineering, land-use planning, construction, or any related fields. 

The Planning Board meets the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 7:00 p.m.

Interested applicants should submit a letter of interest accompanied by a resume or other information concerning background or experience by email to or City Manager’s Office, 149 Main Street, Watertown, Massachusetts 02472.

This Week: Short Term Rentals and School Budget Presentation

Watertown City Hall

Tuesday night, the City Council will consider the proposed rules for short term rentals, aka Airbnb or VRBO, in Watertown. On Monday, the School Committee will hear the Superintendent’s budget presentation for the 2024-25 school year. The City Council will hold a public hearing and vote on a zoning amendment about short term rentals (i.e. Airbnb and VRBO) in Watertown on Tuesday. In March the Planning Board supported the proposal which allows short term rentals with some restrictions, including that the homes or rooms in homes must be the owner’s primary residence, they can only be rented up to three months a year, and they will not be allowed in adjacent units in a multi-family home, such as half of a two family or an accessory (mother-in-law) unit. (Read more details here).

Council Increases Tax Exemption for Businesses, Waiting on Real Estate Transfer Tax

Watertown City Hall

Watertown businesses will get some tax relief after the City Council approved increasing the exemption on business personal property taxes by $5,000. Councilors will not be deciding on whether to have a real estate transfer tax until a later date. On March 26, the Council voted to increase the exemption to from $5,000 to $10,000 on items including machinery, equipment and tools, inventory, furniture, and fixtures. The Council followed the recommendation of the Council’s Committee on Budget and Fiscal Oversight. The proposal received mixed reactions from business organizations.

City Manager: Next Watertown Square Meeting a Key One, Discusses How MBTA Communities Zoning Works

The Watertown Square Area Plan meeting on April 4 will not be the last meeting in the process, City Manager George Proakis told the City Council Tuesday, but it will be an important point in the redesign of the intersection and the City’s effort to meet the MBTA Law requirements. Proakis also explained what the zoning changes would and would not do. The next meeting in the Watertown Square Area Plan process will be held at 66 Galen Street on Thursday, April 4 at 6:30 p.m. Proakis said this will be the sixth meeting held by the City in the process and it will be a key one. “This particular meeting is important for us. We will be presenting one idea for where to move forward on streetscape, one on where to move forward on zoning,” Proakis said.