Zoning & Planning


The Boston Planning & Development Agency’s (BPDA) role is not to enforce or manage zoning code and requirements. Rather, the BPDA helps to shape zoning code. After public planning processes and dialogue, the BPDA may petition the Boston Zoning Commission (BZC) to adopt changes that reflect the neighborhood planning goals. The BPDA also reviews development projects which are so large or unique that they cannot be reasonably approved using the existing zoning code. When this occurs, the BPDA uses tools such as Article 80 Project Review, Institutional Master Plans (IMPs), and Planned Development Areas (PDAs) to determine the shape, density, and use guidelines. Below are links to documents which are used in their processes.

Zoning TrackerQuickly search for a specific appeal that has been submitted to the ZBA, or to search for appeals based on criteria such as location or applicant, in order to identify the status of the appeal.
Approved Building PermitsThe Inspectional Services Department (ISD) issues building permits for construction projects within the City of Boston. Various projects require different types of applications, and work
BPDA Glossary Boston Planning Development Agency Glossary of terms
ARTICLE 80 – DEVELOPMENT REVIEW AND APPROVAL Large Project Review guidelines; Article 80-E is contained within for Small Projects
Article 80 Accessibility Guidelines and ChecklistAll BPDA Small or Large Project Review, including Institutional Master Plan modifications, must complete this Checklist to provide specific detail and data on accessibility. An updated Checklist is required if any project plans change significantly.
A Citizen’s Guide to Development Review Under Article 80Citizen participation is vital to the success of development review under Article 80. Members of the public are encouraged to offer their comments and insights on projects in their community.
ARTICLE 60 – GREATER MATTAPAN NEIGHBORHOOD DISTRICT Article for Greater Mattapan Neighborhood District
ARTICLE 60 – TABLES Relates to Article 60
Greater Mattapan District Map – 8A Part 1 of 3 official zoning maps for Mattapan
Greater Mattapan District Map – 8B Part 2 of 3 official zoning maps for Mattapan
Greater Mattapan District Map – 8C Part 3 of 3 official zoning maps for Mattapan
ARTICLE 89 – URBAN AGRICULTURE Applies where on zoning maps see “Urban Agriculture Overlay District”
Article 89 Made Easy: Urban Agriculture Zoning For The City of Boston an illustrative guide to help “demystify” the zoning language found in Article 89.
TEXT AMENDMENT NO. 432 Cannabis Establishments
ZBA-BPDA Design Review ensures that a design is compatible with the existing character of the immediate neighborhood
A Pattern Book of Boston HousesNew or rehabilitated residential buildings should reflect and complement the patterns of height, siting, and architectural character of the surrounding residential structures. Applicants are encouraged to consult the reference work
PROCESS: PERMITTING AND ZONING APPEAL FOR DEVELOPMENTSone-pager is to help inform residents about the process any development must go through and where the community voice is taken into consideration
Boston Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP):
Project Review Process, Projects Requiring Zoning Relief*
Under IDP, developers may include affordable units within their developments (on-site), create affordable housing in an off-site location, or make a cash contribution towards the creation or preservation of affordable housing.
Imagine Boston 2030Citywide plan
BPDA Mattapan Neighborhood Profile, July 2017
Zoning Viewer
find zoning by addresses
Boston Complete Streets
Analyze BostonCity of Boston’s open data hub
Zoning Board of Appeal DecisionsZBA Decisions from 2017 – 2019