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NEIGHBORHOOD
PLANNING & ZONING

THE INTERIM PLANNING OVERLAY DISTRICT




EAST




BOSTON



A PLAN TO MANAGE GROWTH

CITY OF BOSTON n RAYMOND L FLYNN. MAYOR
BOSTON REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY a STEPHEN COYLE. DIRECTOR



ROBERT L. FARRELL

JOSEPH J WALSH

JAMES K. FLAHERTY

CLARENCE J. JONES

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MICHAEL F DONU^N

ViC9-Chairwan SuO-Coi^rnin^s

KANE SIMONIAN

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NEIGHBORHOOD
PLANNING & ZONING






THE INTERIM PLANNING OVERLAY DISTRICT



EAST








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BOSTON




A PLAN TO MANAGE GROWTH

CITY OF BOSTON D RAYMOND L FLYNN. MAYOR
BOSTON REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY a STEPHEN COYLE. DIRECTOR



ROBERT L, FARR6LL

JOSEPH J WALSH
JAMES K FLAHERTY
CLARENCE J. JONES

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MICHAEL F DONLAN

'^iC9-ChairTr>an Sub-Cofrtmirteea

KANE SIMONIAN

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

/

LETTER FROM THE MAYOR



z

LETTER FROM PZAC CHAIRMAN



3



NEIGHBORHOOD PLANNING
AND ZONING



4

SUMMARY OF EAST BOSTON PLAN



5

NEIGHBORHOOD PROFILE



6

EAST BOSTON
INTERIM PLANNING OVERLAY DISTRICT

ARTICLE 27G



n



/



LETTER FROM THE MAYOR




CITY OF BOSTON • MASSACHUSETTS



OmCE OF THE MAYOR
RAYMOND L. FLYNN



March 24, 1988



Robert L. Farrell, Chairman
Boston Redevelopment Authority
One City Hall Square
Boston, MA 02201

Dear Mr. Farrell:

The zoning amendment contained in this document is the latest
example of the grass roots planning and zoning process taking
place in neighborhoods throughout the City of Boston. Planning
and zoning proposals contained within this amendment represent
a unique and exciting collaborative effort involving city
government and residents of Boston's neighborhoods.

East Boston's interim zoning plan, like earlier plans adopted
for Allston-Brighton and Roxbury, proposes guidelines which
preserve the character of East Boston and encourage job creation
and the development of affordable housing for neighborhood
residents. These planning and zoning proposals emerged from
open community meetings held over two years and hosted by a
21-member Planning and Zoning Advisory Committee made up of a
cross-section of East Boston residents. This grass roots/bottom-up
approach produced the visionary plan I submit today for your
approval, the East Boston Interim Planning Overlay District.

From this two-year dialogue emerged a number of planning and
zoning proposals, including:

• The prohibition of airport-related uses beyond the boundaries
of Logan Airport ;

• The establishment of height standards to ensure that new
development is consistent with East Boston's scale and character;

• Increased parking requirements for new residential development
and a Transportation Master Plan to be completed within the
two-year planning period;

• An Open Space Plan which identifies new open space and links
the community to the waterfront;

BOSTON CIT^' HALL • ONE CITi' HALL PLAZA • BOSTON • MASSACHUSETTS 02201 • oil 725-4000



Robert L,



Farrell,
March



Chairman

24, 1988

Page 2



• The development of design guidelines which reinforce East
Boston's positive scale, character, and architectural elements;

• Planning studies for neighborhood business areas and major
boulevards .

These interim planning and zoning proposals - and the two-year
process during which new zoning will be put in place - take
advantage of East Boston's economic potential while safeguarding
the sense of community so evident in every area of the
neighborhood. It is with pride and pleasure that I forward these-
proposals to you for your approval.

I want to take this opportunity to thank the members of the East
Boston PZAC and the people of East Boston who took the time to
shape this interim plan. They have contributed their ideas and
insight toward making East Boston a better place to live. We
appreciate their effort and look forward to working with them
over the next two years.



1&U/f'



Raymond L. Flynn



ymoad





LETTER FROM PZAC CHAIRMAN



EAST BOSTON PLANNING & ZONING ADVISORY COMMITTEE

March 24, 1988



Mr. Robert L. Farrell

Chairman

Boston Redevelopment Authority

One City Hall Square

Boston, MA 02201

Dear Mr. Farrel 1 :

In July of 1986 Mayor Flynn appointed a twenty-one member East Boston Planning and Zoning
Advisory Committee (PZAC) to work with the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services and
the Boston Redevelopment Authority on a major planning and rezoning effort for our
neighborhood. The PZAC has met twice a month for almost two years to discuss the major
planning issues affecting East Boston. In a marathon working session held over the
weekend of December 6 and 7, 1986 the PZAC identified East Boston's opportunities and
problems, addressing such issues as traffic and parking, affordable housing, urban design,
open space and the environment. December's working weekend showed the committee's deep
commitment to the neighborhood planning process and provided in-depth discussions of
the issues facing our community.

East Boston's issues were discussed in the context of drafting the East Boston Interim
Planning Overlay District (IPOD) zoning amendment. The IPOD will allow the residents
of the neighborhood to play a key role in developing future land use policies in East
Boston while guiding growth in a manner that is sensitive to the community.

The IPOD amendment recommends land use policies that are intended to protect the
residential character of East Boston, prevent future encroachment of airport related
uses into neighborhoods, and encourage a more in-depth study of the community's
transportation, open space, urban design and business needs. Future growth should provide
affordable housing, adequate parking, and open space, and enhance the quality of life
for the residents of East Boston.

It is the consensus of the PZAC that the first phase of the IPOD process, the development
of this zoning amendment, has been completed through an open, community-based effort
which represents many of the concerns of East Boston residents. It is this dedication
to community involvement that will help us, together with community residents, to shape
the final zoning plan for East Boston.

I would like to pay special thanks to my colleagues on the PZAC for their dedication
during the IPOD development process; James Aloisi, Dominic Amara, Sonny Buttiglieri,
Al Caldarelli, Peter Cernada, Father Norbert DeAmato, Samuel DePaulo, Philip Giffee,
John McCarthy, Reverend Bernard McLaughlin, Angelo Musto, Elvira "Pixie" Palladino,
Ginnie St. Cyr, Jack Scalcione, Fred Stefano, and Maria Torres. Also, our thanks to
Leslie Lament, the BRA planner, and Lucy Ferullo and Sal Lamatina, Mayor's Office of
Neighborhood Services.

Sincerely,

/ ^-^ ' • ' "

Ron Catena
Chai rman
East Boston PZAC



3



NEIGHBORHOOD PLANNING
AND ZONING



■ NEIGHBORHOOD PLANNING AND ZONING



Boston is in the midst of an unprecedented community-based planning pro-
cess. The Flynn Administration is dedicated to a balanced growth approach
to economic development that is predicated on an open community planning
process. The central premise of this is that all knowledge about what is best
for the city does not reside with the government. Plans work best when they
are fashioned by the community.

Simultaneously with the planning for the downtown, city representatives have
been working with a wide array of citizen groups to develop specific neighbor-
hood planning and zoning initiatives and to review major projects and land
disposition policies. The community planning process gives special attention
to each neighborhood, and provides communities with a significant role in
shaping land use controls to meet the individual needs of their neighborhoods.
This process involves interested citizens attending meetings with representa-
tives of the BRA and other city departments.

Residents from Harborpark neighborhoods. Port Norfolk, East Boston, North
End, Allston-Brighton, Roxbury, South End, West Roxbury, Jamaica Plain,
and the Boylston Street area are working with the the BRA and the Mayor's
Office of Neighborhood Services on interim and final rezoning that responds
to particular issues raised by the communities. These issues include the need
to protect residential areas from encroachment by commercial uses, and the
need to provide more open space and parking. Each neighborhood planning
area is subdivided into districts to undergo more comprehensive review.
Over the next two years, major portions of neighborhoods across the city will
be rezoned through the community planning process.

Rezoning in the neighborhoods occurs either through the Interim Planning
Overlay District (I POD) process, or through citizen-initiated proposals to
directly amend zoning in an area. In many planning areas, the planning
process begins with the appointment by the Mayor of an Advisory Committee
as in the case of Harborpark, or in the case of Boylston Street by the official
recognition of a Citizens' Review Committee (CRC) consisting of residents and
local business leaders and property owners. The Mayor's Office of
Neighborhood Services attends community meetings and provides organizational
assistance. The BRA provides leadership in land use analysis and policy
recommendations. After defining the geographical area of focus, the group
then establishes goals and objectives for the area and issues to be addressed.
The BRA then works with the designated community planning group to design
specific zoning regulations to address these issues and to achieve the goals
and objectives. The zoning regulations are presented to the BRA Board and
then to the Zoning Commission for adoption.

Not surprisingly, many of the neighborhoods are experiencing similar develop-
ment pressures and similar planning concerns. Policy initiatives have been
developed as concepts and then refined to meet the specific characteristics of
particular areas. Among the major zoning concepts proposed in the neighbor-
hoods are:



Height Standards . Height standards send a clear signal to developers
and the community on the growth and density that can be accommodated
in an area; they also serve to direct growth to sites of greater capacity,
as well as protect existing scale and character.

Transportation and Parking Controls . New development must demon-
strate adequate vehicular access and off-street parking. Three trans-
portation and parking elements are needed: a Transportation Master
Plan for the entire neighborhood, a Transportation Access Plan for
individual projects, and an increase in Residential Parking Requirements.

Open Space Plan . With the increased population in many areas over the
past fifteen years and opportunities for new residential development,
there is a growing need for increased open space. Neighborhood open
space plans developed during the interim planning period emphasize the
geographic and functional links of open space to historic neighborhoods,
and to the existing open space and park system.

Design Guidelines . The urban design of most neighborhoods incor-
porates a mix of architectural styles, but has a generally consistent
scale. Neighborhood commercial centers have no clear identity nor do
the buildings demonstrate any real standard in design. Design stan-
dards must be developed to protect the character of residential areas
and historic structures, upgrade commercial centers and guide future
development.

Affordable Housing and Mixed Use Reserve Districts . Adjacent to some
existing residential areas are large parcels of under-utilized publicly-
owned land that have the capacity to accommodate residential development
and relieve pressure on the existing housing stock. Such parcels would
be proposed as Affordable Housing or Mixed Use Reserve Zones.

New Light Manufacturing District . Heavy industrial uses that are accom-
panied by noxious pollutants and heavy truck traffic are currently
permitted as-of-right in heavy industrial zones. The new Light
Manufacturing District would permit light manufacturing uses that
maximize employment for Boston's residents and minimize adverse
environmental effects and truck traffic.

Boulevard Planning Districts . Boulevard Planning Districts (BPD) are
major arterials and cross streets that serve as primary access to all
areas of the community and contain uses that provide services to the
community. Their visual prominence and importance to the economy and
transportation system of the community require special studies as input
to the revised zoning.

Institutional Master Plans . Institutions constitute a major part of the
area's physical environs and contribute to the overall economic base as
major employers of area residents. At the same time the continued
expansion of the institutions and related pressure on the housing market
and transportation and parking infrastructure is a major issue. Future
institutional development must be planned within the context of the needs
of the residential neighborhoods.



2.



The specific status of proposed zoning in each of the neighborhoods follows:

North End . A height limit of 55' was adopted for the North End on March 24,
1985, together with a Restricted Roof Structure Overlay District requiring
Board of Appeal approval for construction of roof structures.

Rosiindale . On October 29, 1985 the Zoning Commission adopted a map change
from manufacturing to residential use. This citizen-initiated rezoning covered
13.5 acres. Forty residents signed the petition of support to the Zoning
Commission.

West Roxbury . On February 6, 1987 a map change was enacted which rezoned
a large area along the VFW Parkway from local business and light industrial
to residential use. This accomplishment was initiated by the West Roxbury
Neighborhood Council.

Mission Hill . On July 31, 1986 a map change was enacted which rezoned
portions of the Mission Hill Triangle from business to residential. Sub-
sequently the area was actually developed as residential. The Mission Hill /
Fenway- Kenmore area will also undergo a planning study.

Boylston Street . The Citizen's Review Committee was formed in March 1985 to
transform Boylston Street into the major boulevard that it was originally
planned to be. The group focussed on design, capital improvement, and
traffic and transportation issues. In April 1986 the Boylston Street Interim
Planning Overlay District was adopted by the Zoning Commission, setting
interim design regulations for height, bulk, and roofline setbacks. The
Zoning Commission adopted permanent zoning in March 1987.

Harborpark . The twelve-member Harborpark Advisory Committee was appointed
by the Mayor in 1985 to help devise a plan to protect the entire length of
Boston Harbor as both a recreational and a maritime industrial resource, to
preserve sight lines and views, and to provide access to the public along the
waterfront. The zoning regulations for Harborpark were adopted by the
Zoning Commission in March 1987.

Port Norfolk . The Port Norfolk Interim Planning Overlay District was adopted
in September 1985. The Planning and Zoning Advisory Committee was ap-
pointed in September 1986. Since that time the group and the BRA have set
goals to guide the land use study, and have developed various zoning options
for analyses by BRA and consultants. Final recommendations will be com-
pleted by early 1988.

Allston-Brighton . The Allston-Brighton Planning and Zoning Advisory
Committee was appointed in January 1986. It set to work with the BRA and
Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services to develop an Interim Planning
Overlay District. Adopted in August 1987, the interim plan included
provisions for zoning, transportation, open space, economic, and design
studies that are underway. The studies will lead to permanent land-use
regulations for the neighborhood.



Roxbury . Members of the Planning Advisory Committee voted August 7,
1986, at a Roxbury town meeting to begin working with the BRA to develop
new zoning rules for Roxbury. After numerous working sessions and
community meetings, the Roxbury Interim Planning Overlay District was
adopted by the community, and then, in August 1987, approved by the
Zoning Commission. The interim plan included provisions for zoning,
transportation, open space, economic, and design studies that will lead to
permanent land-use regulations for the neighborhood.

South End . Two zoning changes for the South End were approved by the
Zoning Commission in September, 1987. One reduced building bulk by approxi-
mately fifty percent in areas in which existing rules allow apartment
buildings. The other established a Density Limitation Overlay District which
limits the number of small one and two bedroom units in each structure,
depending on the number of floors in the structure.

East Boston . Since July 24, 1986, the BRA and the Mayor's Office of
Neighborhood Services have been meeting approximately twice monthly with
the East Boston Planning and Zoning Advisory Committee to develop the East
Boston Interim Planning Overlay District. Adoption of the interim zoning plan
is expected in early 1988.

West Roxbury . In November, 1986, the BRA began working on zoning and
land-use issues with the West Roxbury Neighborhood Council. Since then,
numerous meetings have been held with the community, the Council and its
committees, and staff of the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services to
coordinate the preliminary work on how issues should be addressed by the
new planning rules. Major issues are preservation of open space and the
scale and character of the planning area.

Charlestown . In response to the intense development pressures in this
already densely-populated area, the BRA has initiated parking and density
analyses preliminary to the formulation of new planning and zoning guidelines.

Dorchester . The BRA is conducting a land-use analysis of Dorchester Avenue
in order to determine traffic and transportation needs as well as how to
accommodate the competing industrial, commercial, residential, institutional,
and local business uses.

Jamaica Plain . The process leading to the enactment of an Interim Planning
Overlay District in Jamaica Plain started in May 1986. The BRA staff has met
with the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council's Zoning Subcommittee regularly
to identify concerns and consolidate a working coalition. The Jamaica Plain
Neighborhood Council is sponsoring several community meetings for the pur-
pose of notifying the neighborhood about the IPOD process, its boundaries,
and the study sub-districts.

Fort Point Channel . A process is underway with the BRA and the Fort Point
Channel Advisory Committee to develop new planning rules in the Fort Point
Channel area to deal with the impacts of downtown development,
commercial traffic, and local residential development, as well as major public
works projects such as the Central Artery depression, construction of a
Third Harbor Crossing, and the Boston Harbor Clean-up.



4.



Community Based Planning



STEP 1 Proposal of Zoning Guidlines



STEP 2 Comnnunity Review Process



STEP 3 Zoning-lnterinn Controls



STEP 4 District Planning
Special Studies
Project Reviews



STEP 5 Final Zoning Ordinances
Final Plan



5.



4



SUMMARY OF EAST BOSTON PLAN



Summary of East Boston Interim Zoning Amendment

East Boston is experiencing an unprecedented boom in the real estate market.
The pressure for development is associated with the vital downtown economy,
the increasing population, and the growing perception of the City of Boston
as an attractive place to live.

Zoning is the most important tool available to manage and control the long-
and short-term impacts of real estate development on people and their environ-
ment, and to direct the momentum of private investment in real estate in ways
that benefit the community. Zoning regulations based on comprehensive
analyses of current uses and trends, potential future impacts, and residents'
positive vision for the community can direct the type and location of
investment in such a way as to preserve the quality of life, to create new
opportunities, and to halt new undesirable uses.

In Boston, the positive vision for the future is shaped by the residents of
each neighborhood. Perhaps, because the development pressures are so great
there, the people of East Boston have worked especially hard to preserve the
quality of life in their neighborhood.

To continue that work, the Flynn Administration proposes to implement an
Interim Planning Overlay District (IPOD) which will establish land-use goals
and objectives to manage growth and which will begin a two-year planning
and rezoning process.

In July, 1986 Mayor Flynn appointed the 21-member East Boston Planning and
Zoning Advisory Committee (PZAC). In the past year and a half PZAC
members, Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services and staff from the Boston
Redevelopment Authority have met twice a month to develop the Interim
Planning Overlay District (IPOD) zoning amendment.

In a marathon working session held over the weekend of December 6 and 7,
1986, committee members identified problems and opportunities within East
Boston, addressing issues such as traffic, proliferation of airport-related
businesses in the community, preservation of open space, affordable housing,
urban design and enhancement of business areas.

As a result, fourteen key elements have been combined to create the East
Boston interim zoning amendment.

1 . Logan Airport

The expansion and impacts of Logan Airport and airport-related uses have
had serious impacts on the quality of life in East Boston and are key issues
to be addressed through the community-planning process. Zoning and planning
policies shall be designed to address the issues of Logan's expansion, the
impacts on the housing market in East Boston, the impact of airport-related
uses within the communities, and controls on negative environmental impacts.

o Airport-Related Uses shall be prohibited from locating in East Boston,
outside of Logan's boundaries during the two-year planning process.



6.



o Logan Airport Masterplan requires Massport to submit a Masterplan for
Logan Airport that would include, at a minimum:

traffic and parking analysis including community traffic impacts of
the proposed Third Harbor Tunnel

a Parking Management and Mitigation Plan

2. Affordable Housing and Mixed-Use

The lack of housing supply in East Boston is reaching a critical stage. After
decades of decline, the population of East Boston has begun to rebound.
Yet, even during the period of decline of population, the total number of
households - and consequently the demand for housing - did not diminish.
Therefore, because of the combination of the two trends of increased
population and smaller household size, the demand for housing in East Boston
is expected to continue to increase sharply." The creation of an Affordable
Housing Reserve District will provide the community with the needed addition
of affordable housing units.

While some publicly-owned parcels could be specifically targeted for housing,
other sites may best serve the community by a mixed-use Reserve District.
This zone would incorporate with housing an appropriate mix of open space,
commercial and/or light manufacturing and public service uses to provide
jobs, services and open space amenities for residents.

o Affordable Housing Reserve District (AHR) is a zoning overlay that will
be mapped on publicly-owned land over one acre and requires that 75%
of the gross floor area of any development proposal in such area be
devoted to housing. Of that figure at least one-third must be affordable
for low-income households and one-third for moderate-income households.
The Boston East parcel, on Border Street will be established as an AHR.

o Mixed-Use Reserve District (MUR) will be mapped on publicly-owned land
over one acre in size. In an MUR any development proposal is required
to proceed as a Planned Development Area, planned in concert with the
community. A mix of housing, open space, commercial, light manufacturing
and public service uses are permitted in an MUR. The MBTA car barn
site, on East Eagle Street, will be established as a MUR.

3. Height Limits and Rooftop Restriction

Much of East Boston consists of structures ranging from 2-4 stories in
residential areas and 2-3 stories in commercial districts. The existing height
limit in many lower-density residential, manufacturing and commercial zones is
35 feet. In other areas, however, including most "H" districts, no height
limits exist. The Jeffries Point neighborhood is the only H zoned district


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