News & Updates

BRA board meeting times and agendas retooled starting this month

Feb 05, 2016

Beginning next Thursday, February 11, the BRA will implement an earlier start time and revised agenda order for its monthly board of directors meetings. For several years the meetings have started at 5:30 p.m., but after having many of them last late into the evening hours in the past year officials decided to restructure the format so that meetings end at a more reasonable time without taking away opportunity for public participation.

Next week’s meeting, and all future board gatherings, will begin at 3:30 p.m. However, in an effort to best accommodate public participation in the meetings, the start time for the public hearing portion of the agenda – where in-person testimony from members of the community is encouraged – will remain at 5:30 p.m.

Only certain items, including deliberations on Planned Development Areas, Chapter 121A decisions, Institutional Master Plans, and Development Impact Projects, are open for public testimony. Most agenda items are discussed between the board, development proponents, and BRA staff members, as projects have already undergone a community review process that includes a public comment period.

The Economic Development and Industrial Corporation (EDIC) board meeting, which used to take place after the BRA meeting, will now happen first. The goal of this change is to allow board deliberations on proposed development projects and public hearings to occur in the early evening hours when it is most convenient for residents to attend.

BRA Director Brian Golden and senior staff hope that the new meeting format is a welcome change. “It was difficult and inconvenient for members of the public and our staff when board meetings stretched until nine, ten, and eleven o’clock at night. When this started to become a common occurrence we felt that we needed to make a change. We hope the revised format is a good compromise for all of the various stakeholders that participate in our meetings.”

Board meetings take place in Room 900 on the ninth floor of Boston City Hall, and the proceedings will continue to be streamed live online on by the City of Boston’s Cable Office.

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