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Zoning Board of Appeal

We inspect and review buildings for zoning compliance. The board regulates the rules behind what you can build and where you can build in Boston.

COVID-19 UPDATE: On March 30, 2020, the Supreme Judicial Court issued an order (OE-144) concerning service of papers under Rule 5(b) of the Mass. Rules of Civil Procedure to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. In the spirit of the order, the Board of Appeal will accept service of Complaints under Rule 4 of the Mass. Rules of Civil Procedure via email. If you wish to serve a Complaint appealing a decision of the Board of Appeal, please do so by emailing a copy of the summons and filing to kevin.oconnor@boston.gov.


City officials created the Boston Zoning Code in 1964. There are now 14 neighborhood codes and 18 codes for downtown Boston and the waterfront. You can also find the zoning for addresses in the City.

Zoning codes in Boston

Have questions? Contact:

Zoning Board of Appeal
Fax: 617-635-2918
1010 Mass. Ave, 5th Floor
Boston, MA 02118
Office hours

Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Public hearings

To find information on upcoming Board of Appeal hearings, please visit the public notices section of Boston.gov. You can also review Zoning Board of Appeal decisions.

Upcoming hearings

Upcoming hearings
Image for Zoning Board of Appeal hearing
Jul 14

Zoning Board of Appeal hearing

Image for Zoning Board of Appeal hearing
Jul 21

Zoning Board of Appeal hearing

Search public notices

Meeting minutes

Meeting minutes

Board of Appeal reviews

The board reviews exceptions to the City’s zoning code.

The mayor appoints seven people to the board every three years. They meet every other Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. The meetings take place at:

1 City Hall Square, Room 801
Boston, MA 02201

You can ask for an exception if your project gets rejected because it doesn’t meet a City zoning code. You have go to a public hearing to explain why you think you should get an exception to the zoning code.

how to apply for an appeal

2020 hearing dates

2020 hearing dates
  • Tuesday, January 14, 2020
  • Tuesday, January 28, 2020
  • Tuesday, February 4, 2020
  • Tuesday, February 25, 2020
  • Tuesday, March 10, 2020
  • Tuesday, March 24, 2020
  • Tuesday, April 7, 2020
  • Tuesday, April 28, 2020
  • Tuesday, May 5, 2020
  • Tuesday, May 19, 2020
  • Tuesday, June 9, 2020
  • Tuesday, June 30, 2020
  • Tuesday, July 14, 2020
  • Tuesday, July 28, 2020
  • Tuesday, August 11, 2020
  • Tuesday, August 25, 2020
  • Tuesday, September 1, 2020
  • Tuesday, September 22, 2020
  • Tuesday, October 6, 2020
  • Tuesday, October 27, 2020
  • Tuesday, November 10, 2020
  • Tuesday, November 17, 2020
  • Tuesday, December 1, 2020
  • Tuesday, December 8, 2020
  • Thursday, January 23, 2020
  • Thursday, February 13, 2020
  • Thursday, March 19, 2020
  • Thursday, April 16, 2020
  • Thursday, May 14, 2020
  • Thursday, June 18, 2020
  • Thursday, July 23, 2020
  • Thursday, August 20, 2020
  • Thursday, September 17, 2020
  • Thursday, October 15, 2020
  • Thursday, November 19, 2020
  • Thursday, December 3, 2020

Boston Planning & Development Agency

The Boston Planning & Development Agency reviews appeal applications. They help builders plan projects and stay within zoning codes.

When reviewing an appeal application, they'll make recommendations to the Zoning Board on what to do.

They work with community groups and neighboring property owners. They also attend public hearings and help builders through the approval process.

Contact the Zoning Planner

Public records requests

Have a public records request for the Board of Appeal?

Please contact Assistant Corporation Counsel Kevin P. O'Connor, Jr.

Contact information

Kevin P. O'Connor, Jr.
Assistant Corporation Counsel
Executive Secretary, Board of Appeal
Inspectional Services Department
1010 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02118
617-961-3361 (Direct) 617-635-5385 (Fax)
kevin.oconnor@boston.gov

Members and alternate members of the Zoning Board of Appeal receive a stipend of $200 per day of service, up to a maximum of $24,000 per year.