Boston Moves Zoning Reform Forward

The ‘Squares + Streets’ plan creates form-based zoning templates for neighborhoods that promote mixed use and denser housing near transit.

1 minute read

March 29, 2024, 6:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Aerial view of high-rise buildings on waterfront in Boston, Massachusetts

Sean Pavone / Boston, Massachusetts

The Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) voted to support proposed citywide zoning changes that would create “form-based zoning templates for neighborhood transit nodes and main streets.”

As David Ingraham, David Linhart, Matthew J. Kiefer explain in The National Law Review, “So-called Squares + Streets zoning would support mixed uses, walkability, adaptive reuse, and infill development at varying levels of intensity, including by reducing the amount of zoning relief required for such projects.”

According to the article, “Once the templates are adopted, Mattapan will be the first neighborhood onto which the templates will be mapped as part of the BPDA’s implementation of PLAN: Mattapan. BPDA planning staff will conduct six- to nine-month “Small Area Plan” studies to identify other transit nodes and main streets where the templates can be mapped.”

All six proposed templates allow residential uses but have strict height limits, parking requirements, and other standards.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024 in The National Law Review

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