Green Caucus Endorsements for the November 2019 Special Town Meeting

The Green Caucus consists of over 100 Brookline Town Meeting Members from every precinct who seek to promote a sustainable future, a lower impact on the natural environment, and an improved quality of life for the greater Brookline Community.
We inform Town Meeting Members of the positions adopted by the Green Caucus on the Warrant Articles that we feel most directly affect sustainability and environmental stewardship, and that passed our endorsement threshold.


Articles 3 Item C: Appropriation of TNC fee revenue - Select Board

We recommend FAVORABLE ACTION on this item which will help mitigate the impact of transportation network services (Uber, Lyft, etc.) on municipal roads, bridges and other transportation infrastructure. Most specifically, the Caucus recommends following the age-friendly, multi-modal project and funding Plan prepared by Transportation Division staff and endorsed by the Transportation Board.

Article 7: Highly Visible Street Markings - Electris & Miller

We recommend FAVORABLE ACTION on this item which will benefit all transportation modes.

Article 12: Solar Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) - Select Board

We recommend FAVORABLE ACTION on this long-delayed initiative to put significant solar projects on municipal buildings.

Article 13: Ground-Mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installations - Department of Planning & Community Development   

We recommend FAVORABLE ACTION on this Zoning Amendment to allow ground-mounted solar on residential and business property. This includes solar parking canopies.

Article 14: EV-ready parking spaces - Ananian & Gray

We recommend FAVORABLE ACTION on this Zoning Amendment which requires all parking lots of more than 15 spaces to have 15% of the spaces be EV-ready. The EV READY simply means that the parking space has the electric infrastructure required for charging and does not reserve a space for charging.

Articles 15: Storefront parking spaces - Pehlke and Saner

We recommend FAVORABLE ACTION on this Zoning Amendment which should reduce land devoted to private on-site parking and increase walkability and vibrancy in our commercial districts.

Articles 16: E-Scooters - Paul Warren and Heather Hamilton

We recommend NO ACTION on this by-law primarily because it requires the State Legislature to act before e-scooters could be re-introduced. Note that we share the goal of preserving sidewalks for walking and seating but feel this could be done by other means than this article.

Article 17: Resolution on EV charging stations - Ananian & Gray

We recommend FAVORABLE ACTION on this resolution which seeks to make EV charging more widely available including for renters. This article recommends (1) the development of incentives for licensed private parking lots to be EV-ready; and (2) that municipal parking lots have multiple low-speed EV charging outlets.

Article 21: Prohibition on New Fossil Fuel Infrastructure in Major Construction -  Gray, Lohe, etc.

We recommend FAVORABLE ACTION on this by-law which would ban oil or gas piping inside new buildings or major renovations. Inspired by the new Berkeley Calif. ordinance, this would be the first similar law in Massachusetts (although efforts are underway in other cities and towns). Various amendments have been proposed and the Caucus recommends following the lead petitioners' recommendation.

Article 22: Ban on Gasoline-powered Leaf Blowers

Article 23: Ban on use of Leaf Blowers on Sidewalks

The Green Caucus has supported all past efforts to restrict the use of gasoline-powered leaf blowers because of fossil-fuel consumption, reduced air quality, health impacts, and noise. Enforcement has been failing under the current law from the use outside of the approved seasons to the use of units that exceeds our noise limits (such as backpack units). While Article 22 may not be moved, this issue remains a concern and we look forward to much improved enforcement, which is being developed as a result of this article.

Article 23 addresses these same issues of air quality, health and noise that stem from use of all types of leaf blowers (gas and electric) on side walks and the public way. The health and air quality impacts result from blown particulate matter. Noise is further amplified when leaf blowers are used on the streets especially in denser areas. This by-law will benefit both pedestrians and neighbors.

Article 31: Resolution on Transportation Planning - Milner-Brage, etc.

We recommend FAVORABLE ACTION on this Article which seeks to restore the balance between modes of transportation by looking to historical development patterns more centered on public mass-transit and person-scale (walking, cycling, etc.) travel and which seeks to coordinate addition of non-fossil-fuel power supply infrastructure for motor vehicles with improved facilities for non-private-car travel. This is consistent with our Complete Streets Policy and Climate Action Plan. The resolution calls for reporting on this issue and the establishment of a Sustainable Transportation Engineer or Planner staff position to support implementation and community engagement.