The Problem with Boston's Zoning Approval Process

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If you ask any developer in Boston what they think of the zoning approval process, I would guess that one of their first comments would be about how “political” it can be. A recent report by researcher Amy Dain looked at the zoning laws of 100 communities around Boston and found that “over a two-year period from 2015 to 2017, only 14% of multifamily units in the greater Boston communities Dain studied were permitted "by right".” That means the other 86% of projects were subject to the discretion of zoning boards - zoning boards that are often influenced by local politics. For a quick overview of the report’s findings, check out this article. For the full report, click here.