Tag Archives: Wetlands

Stormwater Working Group Meeting 12/14/2015

Our next meeting is Monday night, December 14, at the Assembly Room of the Belmont Memorial Library on Concord Avenue.  Agenda will include:

  • Cambridge Climate Change Vulnerability project I will be using this material from a December 3 presentation about the recently completed computer models of the impact of sea rise and storm surge on Cambridge waterways and drainage systems in order to lead a discussion about the possible implications for areas of Belmont adjacent to Cambridge.
  • Preparing for a public presentation by Glenn Clancy to the Board of Selectmen about stormwater monitoring results and management plans: our latest understanding from the Town Administrator’s office is that this presentation has been postponed to a likely date of Monday, January 11. Keep monitoring the Event calendar on the Town website for a Board of Selectmen’s meeting with an agenda that includes it.
  • Belmont Library Rain Garden proposal: We will review more lessons learned from trying to persuade and help the town to submit a proposal to implement a rain garden at the library using funds from the grant program “BWSC-NRD-2015-02 Upper Mystic Restoration”. We obtained support from the Belmont ConCom, and contacted all stakeholders, but suspended this grant-writing effort November 25 when it became clear there was not sufficient time to gain the necessary approvals for the proposal for the original December 11 deadline.  A new deadline of January 9 was just announced yesterday.
  • Pervious Driveway projects: there are now at least two pervious driveway projects recently completed in Belmont, one on School Street and one in the Winn Brook neighborhood, both with lessons learned for others interested in pursuing this type of project.
Time permitting, our agenda may also include:
  • MIT Water Summit: We will touch on some of the interesting presentations and panels at this 2-day annual summit as they apply to Belmont
  • MIT Climate workshop: I’ll describe a role-playing workshop aimed at engaging citizens on climate change challenges in a city or town, including flooding. Members of the MIT Science Impact Collaborative were invited to conduct one in Cambridge yesterday, and I participated.  For the sake of the training of graduate students at the MIT Urban Studies program, an MIT professor would be willing to conduct a similar project in Belmont. Anyone interested in pursing this?
  • Belmont ZBA special permit regulations: several of us attended a ZBA meeting this fall during which town staff and the ZBA were reluctant to require stormwater mitigation measures for proposals to increase a property’s violation of lot coverage requirements without more specific guidance on what exact mitigation measures did or did not meet requirements; addressing this concern would require someone drafting up new regulations to cover special permits on properties less than the 2500 square feet covered by the town’s stormwater bylaw regulations.

Meanwhile, of possible interest are some additional web resources I’ve encountered recently:

At the Belmont Stormwater Working Group Dropbox location you can find earlier presentations, minutes from previous BSWG meetings. Here, and on the stormwater tab of the Belmont Citizens Forum web site, you can also find other storm water-related  material.

Silver Maple Forest Action Day

Rally and Parade to forest to Stand up for Silver Maples
Starts at Alewife T Stop, Cambridge
Saturday, June 28 10-12 noon

Rapid development and climate change are making floods more common and more damaging, and low-lying areas around Boston are threatened with future flooding—including the area surrounding the Silver Maple Forest, an open space where developers are planning  to build a 299-apartment complex. Friends of Alewife Reservation, Green Cambridge, Belmont Citizen Forum and other local environmental organizations will rally and parade in front of the MBTA Alewife Station and to the Silver Maple Forest (also known as the Belmont Uplands) Saturday, June 28th from 10am to 12pm to bring attention to flooding, climate change, traffic, and other negative effects building on the Silver Maple Forest will have on our future. Alewife Station itself is only five feet above sea level, and also is at risk.

Belmont Uplands

The Coalition to Preserve the Belmont Uplands and Winn Brook Neighbrhood, Inc. is a non-profit corporation. More than a dozen Coalition volunteers are supported by hundreds of area residents. They are currently seeking funds for future legal and expert fees related to the permitting process in support of its mission, among other efforts.

At a recent presentation hosted by Sustainable Belmont on April 2, 2014, Anne-Marie Lambert presented a brief history of the Belmont Uplands as well as a Belmont perspective on the risks to wildlife and flooding from development in this area. You can walk with Anne-Marie on one of her educational, family-friendly tours by writing to her at the Belmont Citizens Forum for more information.

Idith Haber of the Coalition presented the history of the Coalition’s efforts to preserve the Uplands, the status of the building permit application, and Belmont’s new stormwater by-law and its applicability to the project.