Inside Arlington

Experimental News Digest for Arlington, MA

Park and Recreation Commission, February 13, 2024

Special Event Requests: Classic Car Show

The Arlington Classic Car Club, represented by Mike Hendy, submitted a request to host a classic car show at the Reservoir Parking Lot on June 2, 2024, with a rain date of June 9. Mr. Hendy gave an overview of the event which includes an expectation of 30-40 classic cars, an ice cream truck, and a member’s donut stand. A marshal will be appointed for parking assistance, and prizes will be given based on judging. Commission member Jen Rothenberg recommended hiring a police detail to manage traffic. Joe Connelly, Recreation Director, agreed to organize the police detail. Others asked for clarification on judging and prizes, and requested the parking lot’s closure for safety during the event, to which Joe Connelly promised to block off the lot the night prior. One member inquired about the impact of additional groups on traffic. The permit was approved with conditions of a police detail, safety plan, and public notification.

Special Event Requests: Bark for Life and Relay for Life

Jen Rothenberg proposed permitting only one of the two events, as they are close in timing and have no direct ties to Arlington. Concern was raised about the presence of commercial canine vendors which goes against policy. Canniff noted the prevalence of other dog-related events in Arlington, while Mayer questioned the basis for denying one event over another. Joe Connelly suggested inviting the American Cancer Society to discuss the events further due to the more suitable fall timing. Both requests were tabled with no vote taken.

Capital Plan Process Discussion

The Commission reviewed ways to engage the community more in the capital planning process. Joe Connelly highlighted the importance of community support and public involvement in project ideas and surveys. Canniff observed public resistance to recent projects, underscoring the Commission’s management of safety, accessibility, and beautification efforts. Lasker called for a plan to handle competing interests, noting the absence of critics at public meetings. Mayer mentioned the leaning support from active participants and the opposition from uninformed neighborhoods. Walker recommended publishing the Capital Plan in advance to invite sponsorships, suggesting a reduction in projects to increase funding. Rothenberg considered limiting to one project per year and enhancing public education on the process. Connelly agreed to circulate the multi-year Capital Plan for further scrutiny and dialogue about timelines and public engagement. Canniff proposed informal neighborhood discussions, while Fenollosa recalled a suggestion for surveys during town events. Mayer highlighted the annual Envision Arlington surveys sent to households.

Comments and Items for Future Meetings

The topic of park and playground permitting was brought up for future discussion.

Correspondence Received

Gabrielle Keller requested the installation of a berm to preserve disappearing bird habitats.

New Business

  • Joe Connelly provided an update from the Artificial Turf Committee, relaying that experts had presented findings and a compiled list of topics, bullet points, and recommendations would be shared with the public.
  • No updates were available from the Open Space Committee, as reported by Shirley Canniff.



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