New Zoning Code for South Boston Increases Parking Requirements

Recently approved changes to the zoning code in South Boston are designed to reduce the number variances granted by the Boston Zoning Board of Appeals. They also increase the number of parking sports required for new developments.

1 minute read

January 6, 2017, 2:00 PM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

South Boston

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Andrew Ryan reports on the recent adoption of "new zoning regulations that will impact virtually the entire neighborhood" of South Boston.

"The rules are an attempt to restore order to a booming neighborhood that can feel like a giant construction site, and a sense of fairness to a development and permitting process often shaped by influence and special exemptions,' explains Ryan.

The changes approved last month by removing bottlenecks in the permitting process, which proponents hope bring consistency to the development process, both for developers and residents.

Critics of the changes, however, point to the new zoning's increased parking requirements, which are likely to raise the costs of some developments beyond feasibility. "Under the new zoning rules, each new unit must come with 1.5 parking spots, up from 0.9 spaces," reports Ryan. "Since parking requirements are always rounded up, a new building with three two-bedroom apartments must include five parking spots. (Studio and one-bedroom units need only one space.)"

An article by Ryan and Mark Arsenault from September provides additional background on the new zoning code.

Friday, January 6, 2017 in The Boston Globe

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