Stop the Belmont Hill School from destroying Belmont's woods

Stop the Belmont Hill School from destroying Belmont's woods

October 11, 2022
Signatures: 2,941Next Goal: 5,000
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Why this petition matters

Started by Belmont Wild

What’s going on?

Belmont Hill School proposes to clearcut a vibrant woodland in a residential area in North Belmont to build a 153 car parking lot and mechanical facility. 

There are many many reasons why this development is a bad idea:

  • The parking lot will have 43,000 sq. ft of pavement.  
  • This land is home to hundreds of species of animal, including nesting foxes, mink and and three species of owl. 
  • The land houses numerous magnificent stately 100 foot tall maple, oak and yew trees.
  • The proposed lot is uphill from a protected wetland which will be impacted by runoff.
  • Having 150 cars off of Park Ave will exacerbate already serious traffic in that area at peak times. 
  • Air pollution, noise pollution, light pollution and runoff from the parking lot and maintenance facility will be devastating for the local area.
  • The development will encourage single-driver commuting

We cannot let the Belmont Hill School get away with this!

Isn't this illegal?

Belmont Hill School can invoke Massachusetts General Law 40A §3 also known as the Dover Amendment. The Dover Amendment allows educational institutions to ignore local zoning laws. While originally designed to protect educational and religious institutions from discrimination, the Dover Amendment is increasingly being exploited in ways similar to how the Belmont Hill School is proposing.  

What can be done?

The Dover Amendment stipulates that towns are allowed to impose reasonable restrictions. In Belmont, the Planning Board has the power to impose such restrictions. We are asking the Town to say that this proposal is unreasonable. The Belmont Hill School does not need another parking lot, certainly not one this large. The argument that this lot would be of primarily educational use is tenuous at best. The school should instead invest in alternative transportation options and find a better use for their land.

Why should you care?

Climate change is real. We need to make smart decisions as a community to preserve the natural space we have left and not encourage more driving and pollution. If the Belmont Hill School is allowed to build this lot it will set a dangerous precedent for Belmont and Massachusetts.

What can you do?

First, sign the petition.

The Belmont government and the Belmont Hill School need to know that the we think this project is barbaric and unnecessary. Considering writing a letter to the Belmont Select Board or the Belmont Hiil School. More information at

Consider donating. We have set up a fundraiser at Your donations will support our legal fund for appeals to the Zoning Board, the Department of Environmental Protection and the Supreme Judicial Court. Anything helps!

How can you get more information?

Check out our website

Email us at

The proposal and other relevant materials as well as letters from the community can be found here



Support now
Signatures: 2,941Next Goal: 5,000
Support now