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Development approval near public parks and parkways

Last updated: 7/14/16

Development approval near public parks and parkways

Any construction or alteration within 100 feet of a park or parkway requires the approval of the Boston Parks and Recreation Commission prior to the issuance of building permits.

The review under Municipal Code Section 7-4.11 (the "100' rule") generally focuses on projects adjacent to:

  • public parks and parkways owned by the City, state, or federal government
  • open space that is protected by a conservation or deed restrictions, and
  • property protected under Article 97 of the Article of Amendment to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Projects near certain parkways in the City also need to follow the height and setbacks created in Municipal Ordinance Sections 7-4.10, 7-4.12, and 7-4.13.

Still have questions? Contact:
Parks and Recreation
1010 Massachusetts Avenue
3rd Floor
Boston, MA 02118
United States
Questions about your application?

Contact Carrie Marsh at 617-961-3074, or email

Need to know

Before you can get building permits, the Boston Parks and Recreation Commission will need to approve your project. The Commission typically reviews projects after all other federal, state, and City agencies including the Boston Redevelopment Authority, the Zoning Board of Appeal, the Landmarks Commission, and the Conservation Commission.

Please reach out to the Commission staff during the Redevelopment Authority’s Article 80 review of your planned project. Applications are due by the first Friday of each month in order to be considered at that month’s public hearing.

Small renovations and additions may be approved administratively.  This approval typically takes about two weeks after all plans and information have been received.

To submit an application

Apply online or download the Parks Commission Design Review application form.

You can email your application to or drop it off:

Boston Parks and Recreation Commission
1010 Massachusetts Avenue, 3rd Floor
Boston, MA 02118
Office hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.