Public Improvement Commission
The Public Improvement Commission (PIC) was formally established in 1954, and is derived from the original Board of Alderman, which later delegated certain powers to the Board of Street Commissioners. The PIC is an independent body managed by the Public Works Department. Members of the Commission include:
- Commissioner of the Public Works Department, who is the Chairperson of the Commission
- Commissioners of the Property Management, Inspectional Services, and Transportation Departments, as well as the Disabilities Commission
- Executive Director of Boston Water and Sewer Commission
- Chief Engineer
- Executive Secretary, and
- administrative personnel.
If you want to use public space for your business venture, you need our approval. Our work includes many responsibilities:
- We order the creation, repair, adjusting, or renaming of highways.
- We call for the construction of sewers and storm drains.
- We use eminent domain to take land for the City, except housing and off-street parking.
- We levy taxes for betterment projects involving the street, sidewalks, and sewers.
2021 Hearing Schedule
COVID-19 update: Due to ongoing public health concerns, the Public Improvement Commission's hearing schedule is subject to change. Please refer to our notice for additional information.
The Public Improvement Commission meets every two weeks on Thursday at 10 a.m. in City Hall, room 801. The filing deadline for all projects to be considered on a PIC New Business agenda is the Friday before the desired hearing date.
Documents for new developmentsRelated documents
These are the different documents that should be used so your Widening and Relocation plans are successfully put through.
These are the different documents that should be used so your Discontinuance plans are successfully put through.
- Example Title Opinion Letter
- Petition Example (w. BRA)
- Petition Example - Hwy Discontinuance (Joint Petition)
- Petition Example - Vert Discontinuance (Sole Petitioner)
- Plan Example - Highway Discontinuance (Full)
- Plan Example - Highway Discontinuance (Partial)
- Plan Example - Stairs Discontinuance
- Plan Example - Vertical Discontinuance
These are the different documents that should be used so your Specific Repairs plans are successfully put through.
These are the different documents that should be used so your Grant of Location plans are successfully put through.
Driveway Curb Cuts
Our staff takes part in the review of Curb Cut applications. We are one of many reviewers.
As of November 1, 2017, we no longer have a role in site plan reviews. Instead, the review process through Public Works is as follows:
1. Your engineer should add this note to all site plans: "The finished floor elevation (FFE) is to be higher than any adjacent public sidewalk.”
2. Your engineer should highlight all public sidewalks next to the property. They should also write down the surface material. Example materials include cement concrete, brick, or asphalt. Also, they should note the public sidewalk width, as well as linear feet of property frontage.
3. After the Boston Water and Sewer Commission has approved these site plans, your contractor should deliver one full-size (to-scale) set to the Public Works Permitting office. The office is located in Boston City Hall, room 715. These plans must show the highlighted and dimensioned sidewalk areas. Public Works Permitting will determine the sidewalk deposit amount. They will also issue the Sidewalk Deposit permit.
4. To be considered for an Erection or Alteration permit, you must give these documents to Inspectional Services at 1010 Massachusetts Avenue:
- site plans approved by the Boston Water and Sewer Commission, and
- a copy of the Public Works Sidewalk Deposit permit.