Improving Our Development Review Process

Upcoming Engagement

Join the Boston Planning & Development Agency at one of our upcoming workshops (all have identical content) to learn about our draft recommendations and share your ideas about how Boston's development review process can be more predictable, transparent, and accountable.

Not able to attend in person? Review our draft recommendation materials online and respond to our survey by June 3, 2024.

Please register in advance for a workshop at one of the following locations:

Date Location Address Time
May 11 Garage B  525 Western Avenue Brighton, MA 02135 2:00 PM–4:00 PM
May 14 Civic Pavilion 5 Congress Street, Boston, MA 02203 6:00 PM–8:00 PM
May 15 Perkins Community Center 155 Talbot Avenue, Boston, MA 02124 6:00 PM–8:00 PM
May 18 Condon Community Center 200 D Street, South Boston, MA 02127 2:00 PM–4:00 PM
May 21 Fenway Community Center 1282 Boylston Street #123, Boston, MA 02215 6:00 PM–8:00 PM
May 23 Veronica Robles Community Center 282 Meridian Street, Boston, MA 02128 6:00 PM–8:00 PM
May 30 Menino Community Center 125 Brookway Road, Roslindale, MA 02131 6:00 PM–8:00 PM
June 1 Bolling Building 2300 Washington Street, Roxbury, MA 02119 2:00 PM–4:00 PM

Project Goals

The BPDA has often heard from community members, developers, and even BPDA staff that the Article 80 development review process can be complicated and unpredictable. Mayor Wu’s vision for development is to shape growth that furthers the City’s goals of resilience, affordability, and equity through a process that is more transparent and predictable. To achieve this vision, the BPDA is excited to work with the public to modernize the development review process.

Process Overview

Phase 1 of engagement and data collection efforts focused on identifying ideas for how to modernize Article 80 and the community engagement process. This included:

Phase 1 - Listening & Research

  • Survey Outreach
    • Community Barriers Survey (targeting those not currently involved in our process)
    • Community Experience and Mitigation Survey
    • Developer Experience Survey
  • Peer City Research into Best Practices
  • Working Sessions with:
    • Article 80 Steering Committee
    • Community leaders and organizations
    • Institutions
    • Project proponents and development teams
    • BPDA and City staff
  • 2 Public Meetings
  • Presentation slides from public meetings held on February 28 and February 29, 2024
  • Public Meeting recording
  • Public Meeting Questions and Answers
    • During our public meeting on February 29, 2024 BPDA staff received some questions that we did not have a chance to cover. Here you will find those questions and corresponding answers.

Check out what we heard and learned during phase 1:

Phase 2 - Initial Themes + Ideas

Check out what we heard and learned during phase 2:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Article 80?

  • Article 80 of the Boston Zoning Code is the regulatory process that dictates how development proposals are reviewed. The current development review process is triggered for development projects that include at least 15 units of housing, or are larger than 20,000 square feet.
  • Article 80 was adopted to the Zoning Code in 1996 and has not been updated or revised until now.

What does Article 80 Modernization mean?

  • Article 80 Modernization is the BPDA’s effort to comprehensively update our development review process. This includes working to update our community engagement practices, the Article 80 zoning code text, and our internal operations. The BPDA has partnered with two consultant teams to deliver this work over the next year.

Why are we modernizing Article 80?

  • We often hear from community members, developers, and even BPDA staff that the Article 80 process is complicated, unpredictable, and frustrating for those who participate.
  • The Article 80 Modernization project seeks to update our internal and external processes and the Zoning code to help address and respond to the needs of Bostonians today.
  • This project is an opportunity to rethink and create a new process to review and shape new development projects in Boston.
  • As Boston continues to grow, we want development to help serve the city and its residents in the best way possible and further the City’s goals of resilience, affordability, and equity.

What outcomes do we want to achieve?

  • To create a predictable and transparent development review process
  • To make sure Article 80 responds to the needs of Bostonians and delivers on Mayor Wu’s vision for a resilient, affordable, equitable City for all
  • Create decision-making processes that are clear, accountable and responsive to planning efforts and community needs
  • To build trust with the community and its stakeholders through predictable, transparent and inclusive community engagement

How can I help?

  • Feedback, lived experience and solution-oriented ideas are welcomed through the form on the webpage
  • Actively participate in ongoing Article 80 projects

Do you have questions not answered here? Please email us at [email protected]. If you have specific questions, you may email Nupoor Monani ([email protected]) to learn more about the internal operations modernization process or Kristiana Lachiusa ([email protected]) about the community engagement process.

Share Your Thoughts

Based on the initial summary of key takeaways from this work, we want to hear from you! What do you agree with or think is missing from this data? All responses are welcome and will be reviewed by the Article 80 Modernization Project team.

This form includes some optional demographic questions. Completion of these questions is not required. The City of Boston is committed to equity and inclusion, and the provided demographic information will help ensure that we reach the range of different people who live in our community.

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  • What is your Race/Ethnicity? Select all that apply: