In April 2008, the BRA Board, along with Mayor Menino, voted to plan for and rezone Hyde Park, as it was one of the few remaining neighborhoods whose zoning has not been revised since the Boston Zoning Code’s 1965 establishment. Over the years, many aspects of the community have changed, and Article 69 now reflects the necessary modifications that more accurately reflect the neighborhood’s character.

The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) began a community planning initiative for Hyde Park in May 2009, for which the end products have been a neighborhood strategic plan followed by a new zoning article specific to Hyde Park (Article 69 and corresponding Map 12). An Advisory Group of 13 Hyde Park residents was appointed by Mayor Thomas M. Menino, and they worked with the BRA and other City agencies, the consultant team, and the wider community in both the planning and rezoning processes.

The BRA was committed to engaging the community in a strategic community planning process. Two of the main goals of the planning process were to establish an overall vision for the neighborhood, then make ultimate recommendations for zoning which includes block and street patterns, densities, building types, predominant setbacks and heights, open space and public realm, and off-street parking patterns.

In August 2011, the BRA Board adopted the Hyde Park Neighborhood Strategic Plan. Adoption of the neighborhood plan is the culmination of a two year planning process by Boston Redevelopment Authority staff and a team of planning consultants led by Crosby | Schlessinger | Smallridge, in collaboration with a neighborhood Advisory Group and the offices of Councilor Robert Consalvo and the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services.

In the fall of 2011, a new neighborhood zoning article for Hyde Park was prepared by the BRA which reflects many of the recommendations from the neighborhood plan. Specific focus areas of the plan included targeted recommendations for strengthening the Logan and Cleary Square commercial district, as well as tools for leveraging the natural assets of the neighborhood through the introduction of open space zoning protections and Boston’s first Riverfront Protection Overlay District.The Advisory Group continued to work with the BRA staff on the rezoning phase.

In summary, there were two major end products from the planning and rezoning processes which included 18 Advisory Group working sessions (open to the public) and 3 community-wide meetings:

Strategic Neighborhood Plan:

The plan, which was completed and adopted by the BRA Board in August 2011, provides a vision for the neighborhood and makes specific recommendations for land use/zoning/density, housing, historic preservation, open space and sustainability, transportation/traffic/parking, as well as exterior design requirements and review. It contains an implementation table with recommendations to address issues of concern. Responsible agencies and a timeline are assigned to fulfilling the recommendations.

Article 69 and Map 12:

The new neighborhood zoning article and map were prepared by the BRA and reflects many of the recommendations from the strategic neighborhood plan. The new zoning includes land use controls, dimensional requirements, urban design guidelines and requirements, and applicable parking requirements. Article 69 and Map 12 was first adopted by the BRA Board in January 2012, then by the City's Zoning Commission in February 2012.

For more information on either the planning or rezoning phase, please contact Ted Schwartzberg.

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