Virtual meetings next week on waterfront zoning plans

The Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) will host two virtual public meetings next week to discuss its latest plans for zoning changes in waterfront neighborhoods, including Dorchester.

The proposed Coastal Flood Resilience Overlay District will apply to areas of Boston that could be inundated during a major coastal storm event, defined as a one percent chance flood event, with 40 inches of sea level rise. 

Under the proposal, developers and property owners would be required to take additional steps to limit the natural damage and displacement that could happen in parts of the city that are at risk for coastal storm flooding and sea level rise.

The Q&A meetings will be held online on Jan. 13 on from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and on Jan. 15 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m Residents will then have until Feb. 12 to submit public comments. 

“In order for Boston to grow and thrive for generations to come, we must make sure that what we are building today is resilient and protected from impacts of climate change,” said Brian Golden of the BPDA. “By updating our zoning code, we are strengthening our tools to protect our city and our shore line, and following through on the steps outlined in Mayor Walsh’s Climate Ready Boston.”

Based upon climate modeling, the city projects 40 inches of sea level rise between 2070 and 2100, a time frame that is within the usable life of most of the buildings currently undergoing BPDA review. 

The Zoning Overlay —Article 25A of the Boston Zoning Code— will provide new definitions and standards for building dimensions and designs for new projects and building retrofits. It is intended to prevent flood damage by elevating occupiable space, flood-proofing areas beneath flood elevations, and promoting health and safety by preventing uses such as living space below the flood elevation.

All development projects subject to BPDA’s Article 80 Large and Small Project review will be required to undergo resilience review and comply with the coastal flood resilience design guidelines.

Information to register for the meetings follows:

Jan. 13
Toll free call-in number: 833.568.8864
Meeting ID: 160 772 4427

Jan. 15
Toll free call-in number: 833.568.8864
Meeting ID: 160 772 4427