2022 Election Q&A with Rob Levash , candidate for Milton Planning Board
The Milton Scene gave all 2022 Town-Wide candidates the opportunity to respond to the following questions via our Candidate Questionnaire.
Why are you running for this position?
To give back to my community while supporting a proactive planning approach.
What is the biggest challenge facing the Board (or Town Meeting) you are running for and why?
The biggest challenge the town faces currently is navigating the seven 40b projects. I want to make sure they are properly planned and fit within their context and neighborhoods. I also want to make sure such projects are sustainably planned for and do not create adverse conditions to their site and surroundings.
What are your proposed ideas or solutions to this big challenge?
I plan on actively engaging in these projects, listening to local concerns, meeting with developers and their consultants, and providing necessary design feedback to improve the process and projects as a whole. My recent experience with the 582 Blue Hill Ave 40b project provides me with great insight on these type of projects and how to negotiate for successful outcomes.
What are your ideas and/or proposed solutions regarding the problem of overcrowding in Milton Public Schools?
I support the School Building Committee and their research to date. It’s clear Milton needs a new building to accommodate the overcrowding.
What are Milton’s housing and development opportunities and what should be prioritized in an effort to address them?
Use the Housing Production Plan as a guide for how Milton can grow sustainably. We should also be looking for additional affordability opportunities. The use of CPC funds can be used to increase the amount of affordability in housing. Milton’s zoning is extremely outdated and needs updating. With 96% of our towns budget coming from residents, I hope to encourage more small-scale commerce and mixed-use zoning in our business districts to increase Town resources.
What is your position on Accessory Dwelling Units?
It’s clear the current temporary apartment by law needs updating. While I supported the planning boards last article, I’m also for compromise and continuing to work through the two proposed articles to reach consensus.
What suggestions do you have for improving communication between Town boards and residents?
Being available to talk to residents directly through any form of communication, email, phone, & in-person. Attending site-walks to review issues with residents is crucial for this board.
How do you suggest the Town move forward with the MBTA Community law?
Commentary letters should be submitted by our town leaders and members of our planning board to voice concerns on the language of the article. Every town and city has different site situations around their MBTA stops. In Milton, the stops are landlocked with the Neponset River, Trail, and conservation land. The law should have a comprehensive planning study completed for our town to understand the different options which the town could comply without state restrictions.
Do you have any specific thoughts on Milton’s budget?
Milton’s budget will continue to grow and require tax overrides unless we start to make necessary investments & create opportunities to increase tax revenue. I support the creation of more small-scale commerce opportunities as well as additional revenue streams like a town wide broadband network.
What have you done to further your knowledge about diversity and/or foster diversity either in Milton or in other settings?
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion is extremely important to me. I am an active member in the National Organization of Minority Architects and continue to advocate for more diversity within our Architecture profession as well as my own practice. Within our firm, I’m on the DEI admin group. This group manages firm DEI initiatives as well as in-house DEI training and management. In Milton, I participate regularly with the MARC group.
How does your experience match the position you’re running for?
I am an Award-Winning Architect, a business leader, and hold a Masters Degree in Architecture with a concentration in Master Planning. I have completed many multi-million projects which require extensive planning. Ive lead the design process successfully for many projects through municipal design reviews and regulatory process so that all stakeholders are heard.
How do you problem solve and manage all voices?
As a Principal of my firm, I lead many large scale projects with many stakeholders. I solve problems by casting a large net and exploring many opportunities to flush out the best outcome. I believe all voices are extremely important in the design and planning process. I encourage and engage many to participate in the process and listen to all voices.
Any additional information?
I am extremely passionate and hard working with my commitments. If I’m elected, I will promise to bring my strong work ethic and respect for my fellow board members as well as residents who I will serve. I hope to earn your trust and respect with your vote in April 26.