When I bought my home in Brookline, my first thought was 'this is the neighborhood I have always wanted to live in'.


I hope I can do my small part to help neighbors, new and old, feel the same way.

A Balanced Approach to Zoning: Learning from the Hart's Content Experience


As a newer Brookline resident, and having chosen our town in part because of its charming neighborhoods, I understand the delicate balance between preserving our town's historic character and allowing for sensible development. My personal journey with the Hart's Content Local Historic District highlights the need for a more nuanced approach to zoning.


When I set out to build my home in Brookline, I was met with unexpected challenges. The Local Historic District's proposed regulations, while intended to preserve the area's historical integrity, threatened more than just our ability to build a home. They risked our family's financial stability. This experience opened my eyes to the complexities and sometimes unintended consequences of unclear and reactive zoning laws.

While I deeply respect and value our town's history and character, this experience taught me that our zoning policies must also accommodate the evolving needs of our community. While my family's experience was unique, I have met many others whose experience in Brookline was complicated due to opaque and sometimes detrimental zoning policies, regulations which frequently pit neighbors against each other as they debate the balance between preserving the character of a neighborhood and an individual family's dreams. We need to find a middle ground where we can protect our historical landmarks without stifling the reasonable development needs of our residents.


In my view, the future of zoning in Brookline should involve:


  • Informed Neighborhood Input: Streamlining and enhancing the process for neighbor input during special permit zoning requests to balance community involvement with efficient and fair decision-making.
  • Flexibility: Adapting zoning laws to meet the changing needs of our community, balancing historical preservation with modern development needs. A proactive and not reactive approach to zoning law and historic designations is necessary.
  • Transparency: Making the zoning process clear and accessible, so that residents understand how decisions are made and how they can be involved. Residents and investors in Brookline should have a straightforward understanding of the headwinds and multi-year zoning processes that they may face if they choose to improve their properties.
  • Innovative Solutions: Exploring creative zoning solutions that respect Brookline's heritage while promoting sustainable and sensible growth.


Through my experience with the Hart's Content Local Historic District, I learned the importance of a balanced, thoughtful approach to zoning. As a community, we can work together to protect what we love about Brookline while making room for our town to grow and thrive.