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This is the website for the City of Boston’s new Planning Department, which launched on July 1. The staff and many responsibilities of the Boston Planning & Development Agency have moved to the Planning Department of the City of Boston including planning & zoning, urban design, development review, and real estate divisions. Please excuse any misalignment you may see on our site as we transition to the City. Learn more

News & Updates

Mayor Menino’s Solar Permitting Guidelines Approved

Dec 16, 2010

On December 15, 2010, Boston City Council approved a proposal by Mayor Thomas M. Menino to encourage the use of solar technologies by reducing building permit fees for building owners implementing solar photovoltaic rooftop technologies. The new solar permitting fees are the latest initiative in the mayor’s plan to make Boston one of the greenest cities in America. The City has also developed an online Solar Map and released a comprehensive Solar Permitting Guide that aim to streamline the design and permitting process and motivate property owners to install solar systems. “Boston has consistently been ranked among the nation’s top green cities and the passing of this ordinance proves once again that our City is committed to forward-thinking and innovative environmental policy,” said Mayor Menino. “Now, Boston developers will find it easier to adopt new solar technologies, while further reducing energy costs and providing long term benefits to the environment and our local economy.” The ordinance will reduce permitting fees by sixty-percent for solar projects by removing the cost of photovoltaic panels and other hardware from the calculation of project costs. With this new ordinance, Boston will have some of the lowest solar permitting fees in the nation, making solar technologies more economically feasible and bringing more green development and quality green jobs into the City. The new Solar Permitting Guide, prepared by the City’s Solar Boston program in cooperation with the City’s Inspectional Services Department, Boston Fire Department, and Boston Environment Department detail new permitting provisions specific to solar photovoltaic systems. The online Solar Map tracks all clean energy projects developed in the city and allows property owners to "point and click" on their property to estimate the solar potential of their rooftop. This effort to advance solar, along with the City’s green building and wind energy zoning provisions, rounds out Mayor Menino’s commitment to promote the advancement of green and renewable energy development projects in Boston. The Solar Guide and the Solar Map are available on the City of Boston website at

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