CityOfBoston Official An official website of the City of Boston

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

Large Project Review

Large project review applies to virtually all major projects in Boston, including projects that add at least 50,000 square feet of gross floor area, projects of varying size near Boston Harbor, and large projects that involve a significant change of use without new construction. During the large project review process, the impacts of a project on its immediate neighborhood and on the city as a whole is examined. Depending upon the project’s impacts, staff may require the developer to modify the project’s design or take other measures to reduce or mitigate those impacts.

Depending upon the project’s size, location and use, the review process may address the project’s impacts in a variety of areas, including:

  • transportation,
  • environmental protection (wind, shadow, noise, air quality, solar glare, etc.),
  • LEED compliance,
  • urban design,
  • historic resources,
  • infrastructure systems,
  • and climate resilience

Large Project review is a multi-step process that involves input from the Urban Design and Planning & Zoning divisions; the public; and external departments including the Boston Transportation Department, the Environment Department, and the Landmarks Commission.

The major steps in the Large Project Review are as follows. Opportunities for public comment are afforded throughout the process.

  1. Applicant files Letter of Intent (LOI) describing the project.
  2. Applicant files a Project Notification Form (PNF) which further describes the project and is available for public comment.
  3. If, applicant may need to submit a Draft Project Impact Report (DPIR), which provides additional analysis and is available for public comment.
  4. If, applicant may need to submit a Final Project Impact Report (FPIR) to provide additional analysis. This addresses concerns raised by the DPIR and is available for public comment.
  5. Once review of the FPIR is complete,a final directive called an Adequacy Determination will be issued, which requires a vote of the BPDA Board. The Board may choose to approve a project, not approve it, or approve it with conditions.

If you are a developer looking to begin the development review process, please find information in the Development Review Guidelines.

For more information, please contact Casey Hines or Nupoor Monani, Senior Deputy Directors of Development Review.