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How to apply for a parking freeze permit

Whether you apply for a new or modified parking freeze permit, it’s the same process

Last updated:

Is Your Project in a Parking Freeze Zone?

Projects that fall within a parking freeze zone may require approval by the Air Pollution Control Commission (the Commission). You can enter your address on our webmap to check if you are in a parking freeze zone.


Who Needs to Apply in South Boston

There are three zones covered by the South Boston Parking Freeze area:

  • the Piers zone
  • the Commercial and Industrial zone, and
  • the Residential zone.

You do NOT need to apply for a South Boston parking freeze permit if:

  • If the ratio of parking spaces to housing units is one to one (1:1) or less; 
  • you want to create new residential parking spaces in the residential zone and the spaces are for a residence in that zone; or
  • you want to create new commercial parking spaces in the residential zone, and the spaces are for a business in that zone.

For all other projects, you MUST apply for a South Boston parking freeze permit. This includes permit modifications.

You can contact the Commission if you are still unsure.


Who Needs to Apply in Downtown

You do NOT need to apply for a Downtown parking freeze permit if your project only includes residential parking.

For all other projects you MUST apply for a Downtown parking freeze permit or exemption.

You can contact the Commission if you are still unsure.


Fill out your application

There are two ways for you to fill out an application:

If a section of the application doesn't apply, be sure to write “N/A.”

Please note:
  • We will need the Parcel ID number assigned to the land by the Assessing Department. You can find this number on your most recent property tax return or on the Assessing Department's tax parcel viewer.
  • The Commission's current electric vehicle policy requires that 25% of parking spaces be equipped with EV chargers and 100% of remaining spaces be “EV-ready”, to the maximum extent practicable.
  • Consult the official bike guidelines for bicycle parking requirements.

Compile Your Project Documents

In addition to your application we will also need the following documents:

  • Written proof of ownership. You must be the owner or owner's agent for the land. We will accept the following documents:
    • a copy of last year's bill from the Assessing Department
    • a statement from the owner, or
    • another written document proving ownership or authorization.
  • A site plan for the proposed facility and a locus map that shows the location of the proposed parking and the surrounding area.
  • A “Statement of Need” that details why you need the parking spots and how they will serve your patrons. This should include a general description of the facility and parking needs. Please include any supporting items like letters from neighborhood associations or local businesses.
  • [South Boston only] A check or money order made payable to the City of Boston, Air Pollution Control Commission. A $10 fee per parking space is applied to locations within the South Boston Parking Freeze Zone. NOTE: if you apply online, we must also receive your check by the application deadline in order for your application to be complete.

Submit your application

If you chose the online option, please follow the online options. You will receive a confirmation that your application has been received.

If you chose to download the application, you can email your application and documents to APCC@boston.gov.

After you have submitted the application online or via email, please mail one (1) hard copy of the application materials to:

Air Pollution Control Commission, Environment Department
1 City Hall Square, Room 709
Boston, MA 02201

NOTE: During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are not accepting paper application submissions in person. You must apply either online or via email.


We will get in touch

The Commission reviews all received applications in regularly scheduled public hearings. Once we receive your application, we will notify you of the date of your hearing. You will also receive a hearing timeline and Joint Staff Report template to complete.

The Commission will only consider applications that are submitted by the filing deadline. If you miss the deadline, you will have to wait until the following public hearing.

Please bear in mind that:
  • You will need to publish a public notice in a major or local newspaper, or both, 28 - 35 days before your hearing date.
  • You will also need to notify any abutters of your application 21 - 28 days before your hearing date. An abutter is the owner of a property within 300 feet of the proposed parking facility. You can contact the City's Assessing Department or use the City's Abutter Map to obtain a list of abutters. 

Get ready for the hearing

The Commission holds quarterly hearings to review applications. We post hearing information on our Commission page. Detailed hearing information will appear on the City's public notices page.

Before the hearing you will need to give us, at most, six hard copies of your application.  We will let you know when to deliver them to us. You can deliver or mail the hard-copy applications to:

Air Pollution Control Commission, Environment Department
1 City Hall Square, Room 709
Boston, MA 02201
Office hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.


Attend the hearing

At the hearing, you or a representative must be prepared to present your application to the Commission. You can either use drawings or digital slides to accompany your presentation. If you wish to use a Powerpoint or PDF presentation, please make sure to send it to APCC@boston.gov at least 24 hours before the hearing.

Payment Info:

South Boston permits are required to be renewed annually for a fee of $10 per space.

  • If you don’t follow the Parking Freeze regulations, or violate the terms of your permit, you may get a violation and fine.
  • We consider each day that you violate the permit or regulations a separate violation.

You may contact the Air Pollution Control Commission at APCC@boston.gov or at 617-635-3850.

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