New signage to increase transparency in project development
The Inspectional Services Department (ISD) announced the Department has expanded the Board of Appeals community process/requirements and developed an additional resource to ensure transparency for all applicants requesting zoning or building relief from the Board of Appeals (BOA). All applicants of proposed projects that are in violation of the zoning or building code are required to post a notice on the property informing the community that a builders permit application has been filed and are seeking relief from the BOA.
Permit applicants are provided the signage (a 25” x 48”) by the BOA and are required to post the notice within 24-hours of filing an appeal. The notice must be posted on the front lawn of a construction site or affixed to a building on the property ensuring it is visible from the street. This signage will disclose the date the application was filed and the type of work proposed such as: a renovation, an addition, demolition of part or all of the building, erect a new building, change the use of the property and pending variance application.
“The new signage is in conjunction with Mayor Walsh’s efforts to ensure transparency throughout all of Boston," said Inspectional Services Commissioner Christopher. "The signs will provide insight to pending projects by displaying the type of work a developer is planning in the community.”
"For years the South End has worked with Inspectional Services and the Mayor's Office to create and implement policies that will balance the needs of developers with the transparency and respect neighbors have been asking for," said Steve Fox, head of the South End Forum. "When neighbors can see what work is being done in their community, we know that healthy conversations begin and ultimately a closer neighborhood is formed."
About the Board of Appeal
The Board of Appeal (ZBA) is an autonomous body comprised of 7 members who are appointed by the Mayor to serve a three-year term. The ZBA is charged with reviewing variance requests under the zoning or building codes regulating requirements including but not limited to; the uses dimensional boundaries and height a of privately owned buildings and land allowing owners and developers to build projects that are in compliance.
Each member is charged with reviewing cases during a public hearing for building or zoning relief and determining if an applicant should be granted relief. The Board has the right to reject and/or approve an appeal based on the merits of an application.