Mayor Walsh Creates Separate Zoning Board of Appeals Process for Small Businesses, 1-2 Family Owner-Occupied Residential Cases
Move will cut wait times for relatively minor zoning variances needed to open a small business or perform home renovations
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For Immediate Release
August 15, 2014
Released By:
Mayor's Office
For More Information Contact:
Mayor's Press Office

 BOSTON – Fulfilling a commitment made in his 101 Days Report, Mayor Walsh announced the creation of streamlined Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) process for small businesses and 1-2 family owner-occupied residential applications.


A subcommittee of the Zoning Board of Appeals will meet bi-weekly on Thursday nights to hear zoning relief requests from small businesses and smaller residential projects. The move will aid small businesses and homeowners making renovations to their properties, by separating smaller projects from major developments.  


"Small businesses should not have to wait along major development to have their zoning relief requests heard," said Mayor Walsh. "This move will provide immediate relief, while we continue to pursue more fundamental regulatory reforms and zoning updates." 


"This change will allow one and two family homeowners and small business to request zoning relief without having to take time out of the weekday schedule to do so," said William 'Buddy' Christopher, Commissioner of Inspectional Services. "This is just one more promise that the mayor made that his delivering."


The first hearing of the ZBA Small Business and Owner-Occupied Residential Subcommittee will be September 11, 2014. Staff is currently examining ZBA cases scheduled for September, October and November, and contacting applicants eligible for the streamlined process. Applicants interested in having their appeal heard through the subcommittee should contact 617-635-5300.


This reform is the latest improvement to Boston’s permitting and licensing system, led by Mayor Walsh’s interagency permitting team, which has been meeting regularly since February to improve the process, technology and tracking of permit applications citywide.




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