Newbury Campus Zoning Study Committee


Nancy Heller, Chair, Select Board
Helen Charlupski, Fisher Hill Resident/School Committee Member
Derrick Choi, Fisher Hill Resident/Architect/EDAB Member
Janet Fierman, Building Commission Member/Attorney
Michael Glover, School Committee Member/Attorney
Bernard Greene, Select Board Chair
Steve Heikin, Planning Board Member/Architect
Georgia Johnson, Fisher Hill Resident
Roger Lipson, Fisher Hill Resident/Town Meeting Member Pct 14/Attorney
Carlos Ridruejo, Fisher Hill Resident/Advisory Committee Member/Architect
Paul Saner, Fisher Hill Resident/EDAB Member/ Town Meeting Member Pct 13
Kathy Spiegelman, Urban Planner/Real Estate Expert
Neil Wishinsky, Advisory Committee Member/Town Meeting member Pct 5




The Newbury Campus Zoning Study Committee (NZC) is charged with the responsibility of reviewing, analyzing and proposing modifications to the redevelopment proposal presented by the proposed buyer/owner of the (former) Newbury College campus to construct a continuum of care facility on the “east side” of the property and to sell the “west side” of the property to the Town of Brookline for municipal and/or school uses.  

East Side of the Property

The primary focus of the NZC shall be on the east side and involve evaluating the proposed development scenario prepared by the buyer/owner.  The evaluation shall involve a review of information provided by Town Staff and the buyer/owner, including but not necessarily limited to existing physical and economic conditions; current zoning; proposed building massing; and proposed site layout including open space as well as size and design of proposed at-grade and/or structured parking facilities.  The NZC shall be cognizant of the Fisher Hill context in which the site is located including the abutting and nearby residential neighborhood and Town recreational facility. 

Additional issues that the NZC shall address shall include but not necessarily be limited to:


  • traffic impacts
  • visual impacts
  • shadow impacts
  • financial feasibility
  • public realm enhancement opportunities including but not limited to open space creation and potential linkages to public space on the west side of Fisher Avenue including the Fisher Hill Reservoir Park
  • infrastructure, design elements and materials  that advance the Towns’ climate action goals
  • design guidelines
  • historic preservation
  • net fiscal impact to the Town

Due to the nature of issues to be discussed relative to the east side, ranging from massing to negotiating financial and other commitments to the Town, the NZC should not focus on architectural  design work that ultimately will be undertaken by the Planning Board and its designated  Design Advisory Team, pending Town Meeting approval.   

West Side of the Property

The NZC’s work relative to the west side shall be limited to: a) helping determine its value to the Town in order to develop an appropriate strategy for the Town to negotiate the purchase from the buyer/owner and b) acknowledging the interrelationship between the value of the west side and the reuse of the east side. 

While the NZC pursues its Charge, the Select Board will be evaluating the viability and desirability of the west side for various municipal and public school uses. Planning for the east side and for the west side will proceed simultaneously. 

In creating the NZC, the Select Board will designate specific NZC members to participate with the Select Board in negotiations with the buyer/owner in Executive Session regarding the purchase terms of the west side, and other protections and benefits including but not limited to a tax certainty agreement.  

Linkages between planning processes relative to reuse of east and west sides

Clearly, the ultimate reuses of the east and west sides are inexorably linked.    The NZC shall identify and acknowledge the potential impacts of the proposed reuse of the east side on the municipal/school use on the west side, and identify possible opportunities to take advantage of synergies between the public and private uses.

Town staff and officials will insure that the two planning processes are coordinated.

Recommendations of the NZC and members thereof shall be advisory to the Select Board; the Select Board retains the sole authority to negotiate agreements on behalf of the Town of Brookline as authorized by Town Meeting.

The NZC shall be authorized and delegated to work with the Town Administrator, Planning Director, Select Board and consultants engaged by the Town in order to develop recommendations to the Select Board relative to proposed terms for a Memorandum of Agreement with the buyer/owner to address protections and benefits including but not necessarily limited to design, financial, tax certainty , operational, climate action and environmental issues; and possibly terms and conditions relating to the disposition of the western portion of the (former) campus.

It is expected that the ultimate deliverables of the NZC shall be a proposed Zoning Amendment to create an Overlay District, a Memorandum of Agreement between the Town and the buyer/owner, and other associated documents to be submitted for approval by 2020 Spring Town Meeting.  This timing assumes that the owner will be responsive to requests of staff, consultants, and the NZC. Accordingly, the NZC shall endeavor to present its findings to the Select Board and Zoning By-law Committee in January 2020 and submit its recommendations to the Select Board at least one month prior to the close of the Spring 2020 Town Meeting Warrant in order that its recommendations for any zoning amendments and related agreements are filed in a timely manner. 

Municipal Resources

Town staff and officials are prepared to provide extensive support to the NZC and to arrange for appropriate consulting services.  It is important to note that considerable due diligence has been conducted by the Town as well as Newbury College.  All available information will be provided to support the work of the NZC. 

Agendas & Minutes

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