After repeatedly hearing from community members, developers, and even its own staff over the years that Article 80 can be unnecessarily complicated and unpredictable, the Boston Planning & Development Agency is now seeking to overhaul and streamline its regulatory process for large-scale development projects.
Article 80 of the Boston Zoning Code, which the city adopted in 1996 and hasn’t been updated since then, is triggered for new development projects that include at least 15 units of housing or are larger than 20,000 square feet.
The BPDA has partnered with two consulting firms to comprehensively update the process, which includes working to update community engagement practices, the Article 80 zoning code text, and its internal operations, and expects “to deliver this work over the next year” per the city’s webpage on the initiative (see end of story for link).
“A successful development project and review process is one that advances citywide goals of affordability, resilience, and equity; aligns with the planning vision for the area; is transparent, clear, and easy to engage with; and embraces growth while creating a predictable process,” according to the BPDA.
To this end, the BPDA is looking for feedback and ideas from a broad range of voices across the city’s neighborhoods, including “target populations” of individuals who are aware of or not involved in the processes; community leaders and organizations which focus on engaging marginalized communities; and longtime partners, such as civic and neighborhood groups, Impact Advisory Group (IAG) members.
For more information, visit the BPDA’s webpage on this initiative at https://www.bostonplans.org/projects/improving-development-review-process-article-80.
If you work for, or are a member of, a community organization, civic or neighborhood group, or are just a resident who wants to learn more about our community engagement efforts as part of the Article 80 modernization process, email [email protected].