River Road Study Committee


  • Ben Franco, Chair
  • Dick Benka
  • Alan Christ
  • Chris Dempsey
  • Steve Heikin
  • Brian Hochleutner
  • Yvette Johnson
  • Ken Lewis
  • Wendy Machmuller

  • Hugh Mattison
  • Tom Nally
  • Marilyn Newman
  • Mariah Nobrega
  • Charles Osborne
  • Linda Pehlke
  • Bill Reyelt
  • Daniel Weingart


Andy Martineau


On November 15, 2016, Town Meeting voted to adopt the Emerald Island Special District (EISD) Zoning. Passage of the zoning will allow a proposed Hilton Garden Inn to move forward on the former Gulf Station site, subject to receiving all of the necessary permits and approvals. The hotel consists of 175 guest rooms and 70 parking spaces. A Design Advisory Team (DAT) will be formed to work with the Developer to refine the project aesthetics before it goes before the Board of Appeals.

For more information on the DAT and to receive meeting updates, contact Karen Martin at [email protected].

Committee Charge

The charge of the River Road Special District Zoning Study Committee (RRSC) is to review and analyze current conditions, zoning, parking requirements; design guidelines; shadow studies; and other land use planning tools such as transit-oriented development, that affect the district bounded by Boylston Street, Brookline Avenue and River Road.

The Study Committee is to report back at least one month prior to the close of the fall 2016 Town Meeting warrant, with recommendations for zoning amendments to create a Special District under Section 5.06 of the Zoning Bylaw that would permit appropriate commercial and mixed-use redevelopment projects, while mitigating impacts on adjacent neighborhoods, the Muddy River, Emerald Necklace and historic districts.

Building on the vision articulated in the recently completed M.I.T. study of Route 9 East, The River Road Special District Zoning Study Committee shall review and analyze the redevelopment potential of the Industrial Zone, including the current proposed redevelopment presented to Economic Development Advisory Board (EDAB) at its January, 2016 meeting (the "Project") by Claremont Corp ("Claremont") in relation to the parcel located at 25 Washington Street (the "Site"). The Site is the largest parcel in the I-1.0 Zone in Section 5.01 of the Zoning Bylaw and is located on a prominent corner lot. Any redevelopment here will have a significant impact on the redevelopment of the neighboring parcels. Therefore, the RRSC shall review and gather information with respect to the Site, including but not necessarily limited to the:

  • Conceptual building massing
  • Open space creation/connectivity
  • Environmentally friendly design elements and materials
  • Existing zoning
  • Locations, size, and design of parking facilities
  • Physical and economic conditions
  • Financial feasibility
  • Synergy with other potential mixed-use redevelopments in the district
  • Public benefits proffered to the town

In addition, the RRSC shall review and analyze the connectivity and synergy of other potential uses determined to be appropriate under the newly established special district zoning with the Emerald Necklace, the Brookline Village Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) stop, the Route 9 / Brookline Avenue roadways and existing uses within the Brookline Village commercial district.

Authorization The RRSC shall be authorized to work with the Planning Director, Alison Steinfeld and/or her designee(s), members of EDAB as well as Town Counsel, and designated Selectmen regarding proposed terms for a Memorandum of Agreement with Claremont to address design, financial operational, environmental and other matters relative to the Project and the Site so that the net results benefit both the town and Claremont.

The RRSC should be mindful of the Site design work typically undertaken by the Planning Board and their designated Project Review Team or Design Advisory Team that would follow any zoning change recommendations. Goal The RRSC will have a goal of presenting its findings to the Planning Board, EDAB and the Zoning Bylaw Committee in June 2016 and submitting its final report and recommendation to the Selectmen at least one month prior to the close of the fall 2016 Annual Town Meeting warrant in order that its recommendations for any zoning amendments and related agreements, are timely filed and/or approved, and appropriate plans are in place to address mitigation of any adverse impacts on adjacent neighborhoods, Muddy River, Emerald Necklace and commercial areas.

Agendas & Minutes

Agendas are available prior to the meetings. Minutes are available following approval.

Most Recent Agenda | View All Agendas and Minutes

Presentations and Related Documents

Memorandum of Agreement and Restrictive Covenant 

Board of Appeals Presentations