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Last updated: 8/8/19

Public Improvement Commission

The Commission owns and controls Boston’s public space. We play an important role in the City’s urban development and permitting.

First established in 1954, we are an independent body located in Public Works. Members of the Public Improvement Commission include:

  • the Commissioner of Public Works, who is the Chairperson of the Commission
  • the Commissioners of Property Management, Inspectional Services, and Transportation
  • the Executive Director of Boston Water and Sewer
  • the Executive Secretary, and
  • Administrative personnel.

Public Improvement Commission

Have questions? Contact us:

Have questions about permitting?

Contact Public Works’ Permitting Division at 617-635-4909.

Our responsibilities

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.

2019 scheduled hearings

Upcoming hearings

There are no upcoming events available at this time.

2019 Scheduled Hearings

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 developments

Related documents

These are the templates and examples that are generally used with all of the other plans shown in the different sections below.

These are the different documents that should be used so your Abandonment plans are successfully put through.

These are the different documents that should be used so your Areaway plans are successfully put through.

These are the different documents that should be used so your Earth Retention Systems plans are successfully put through.

These are the different documents that should be used so your Easement plans are successfully put through.

These are the different documents that should be used so your Layout plans are successfully put through.

These are the different documents that should be used so your Line and Grade plans are successfully put through.

These are the different documents that should be used so your Monitoring Wells plans are successfully put through.

These are the different documents that should be used so your Projections plans are successfully put through.

These are the different documents that should be used so your Sidewalk Cafe plans are successfully put through.

These are the different documents that should be used so your Street Name Change 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.

The review process is managed and tracked by the Public Works permitting office, located at Boston City Hall in room 715. The Public Works curb cut application package includes:

  • The application form
  • Design guidelines
  • Submission requirements.

Curb cut application package

Site plans

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.

Commission details

Authority:
City
Stipend:
$0.00
Total Seats:
5

Current members

Member Appointed Expires Status
Gina Fiandaca Active
Christopher Osgood Active
Henry Vitale Active
Sean Lydon Active
Gregory Rooney Active
Brian Ronan Active
Edward Hesford Active
Michael Nelson Active