Alewife Study Group > W. R. Grace site > community feedback > March 1999, zoning flyer Search 

A flyer hand-distributed, by the Alewife Study Group, to North Cambridge homes.

City Council Rejects the Neighborhood's Zoning Petition for the W.R. Grace Site . . .

In January, you were asked to pitch in to help pass the Von Grossmann Petition (VGP), a downzoning petition for the W. R.Grace/Alewife area drafted by several neighborhood folk. The VGP would have helped to protect the neighborhood from the increased flooding, traffic, and environmental hazards that would be the inevitable by-product of the large development planned by W.R.Grace for that area. Neighbors responded in impressive numbers, as you flooded City Hall with calls and postcards and crowded City Council and Planning Board meetings.

Sadly, only Councillors Triantafillou, Reeves, Toomey, and Born supported the neighborhood at the Council meeting on January 6th and voted for the VGP. The other Councillors, citing fears of a lawsuit by Grace, approved the developer-friendly alternative petition submitted by the City Manager and the Planning Board.

. . . then Adds Insult to Injury!

In a mind-boggling series of events, Councillor Davis then went on to speak at length in favor of building a large hotel on the site at the corner of Rindge Avenue and the Alewife Brook Parkway, Councillor Galluccio proceeded to amend the zoning to allow a 55,000 square foot superstore on the site, and Councillor Sullivan introduced a number of late amendments apparently designed to facilitate development.

The Results are that the City has:

Bottom Line:

Grace and its developer, Spaulding & Slye, were given everything they asked for, and more!

Next Steps?

Neighbor by neighbor, street by street, we re-affirm our commitment to our community, our homes and each other during this fight. And THAT'S a part of the neighborhood the developers and the City can't take away from us!

Contact the Alewife Study Group, North Cambridge Massachusetts, by email at