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Resolution H.2201 supports reform to the Zoning Board of Appeals

In 2020, the Council and former Mayor Walsh passed a Home Rule Petition (HRP) that would reform the Zoning Board of Appeals.

The HRP has made its way to the state house with the goals of adding environmental and urban planning experts to the board, setting term limits for board members, requiring board members to recuse themselves from projects they’ve been involved with in the past five years, and requiring quarterly reports on the variances and conditional use permits given out by the board in each neighborhood. Having these changes to the current make up to the board would set standards for use permits, variances and exceptions should include considerations such as benefits, burdens, consistency with neighborhood planning, impacts on the affordability of housing, furthering fair housing, preventing eviction and displacement, addressing climate change, and environmental resilience.

If H.2201 were to pass, it would make permanent the protections outlined in the Executive Order, and furthermore it would expand on those protections to include enhanced provisions around real estate conflict of interests, term limits, and appointment powers as well as require that at least one renter and homeowner sit on the board and create a new position to provide neutral advice to applicants and neighbors about the ZBA process.

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