Bribery Scandal Leads to Zoning Board Reforms in Boston

The planning approvals process took a black eye in Boston last year, when a bribery scandal sent a Boston Planning and Development Agency staffer to jail.

1 minute read

February 25, 2020, 11:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Brutalism

Wangkun Jia / Shutterstock

Tim Logan and Milton J. Valencia report: "Six months after a bribery scandal rocked Boston’s Zoning Board of Appeal, Mayor Martin J. Walsh on Monday detailed changes that he hopes will prevent such an incident from happening again."

The changes, implemented by way of executive order, "strengthen conflict-of-interest and financial disclosure rules for the seven-member board, which governs small and midsize development projects across the city," according to Logan and Valencia. The mayor promised continue to push for additional reforms that will require state approval.

"The move comes following the revelation in August that a veteran City Hall aide — then-Planning & Development Agency staffer John Lynch — took bribes from a developer to influence a project before the ZBA. Lynch pleaded guilty and was sentenced in January to 40 months in federal prison."

Monday, February 24, 2020 in The Boston Globe

View of Mount Hood at golden hour with Happy Valley, Oregon homes in foreground.

Clackamas County Votes to Allow ADUs, Residential RVs

County officials hope the zoning changes will help boost the housing supply in the region.

June 18, 2024 - Mountain Times

Single-family homes in a suburban neighborhood in Florida.

New Florida Law Curbs HOA Power

The legislation seeks to cut down on ‘absurd’ citations for low-level violations.

June 16, 2024 - The Guardian

Aerial view of intersection in New York City with yellow cabs and zebra crosswalks.

Planners’ Complicity in Excessive Traffic Deaths

Professor Wes Marshall’s provocatively-titled new book, "Killed by a Traffic Engineer," has stimulated fierce debates. Are his criticisms justified? Let’s examine the degree that traffic engineers contribute to avoidable traffic deaths.

June 13, 2024 - Todd Litman

Two-story homes on residential street in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada.

British Columbia Cracks Down on Short-Term Rentals

Provincial leaders say the new rules could open up as many as 19,000 units for long-term rental.

June 20 - CTV

Small backyard cottage with gabled roof in San Diego, California.

San Diego Sees Continued Growth in ADU Permits

Recent changes to regulations have made it easier and more affordable for homeowners to build ‘granny flats,’ and San Diego’s housing stock is benefiting.

June 20 - Axios San Diego

Close-up of top of California state capitol dome with U.S. and California flags flying and blue sky in background.

California is Updating its Climate Adaptation Strategy

The 2024 draft plan outlines the state's key climate resilience priorities, includes specific and measurable actions, and serves as a framework for collective efforts across sectors and regions in California.

June 20 - California Natural Resources Agency

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.