BRA/EDIC Details Response to AuditJanuary 2015 – Advisories
Under its newly-appointed director, Brian Golden, the Boston Redevelopment Authority and Economic Development and Industrial Corporation (BRA/EDIC) has released its 2014 Year in Review report entitled “Building the New Boston Redevelopment Authority.” The report details the agency’s response to KMPG’s performance review released in July 2014, focusing on policies and protocols regarding fiscal accountability, regulatory procedures and operational matters. The report also describes measures to advance the Walsh administration’s housing plan released in October 2014, such as strategic planning for new as-of-right zoning and preparing surplus City-owned parcels for housing creation.
Amid a surge in development from 4.5 million square feet under construction in 2012, to 14.5 million square feet under construction at the 2014 year end, the BRA/EDIC reforms include:
- Inclusionary Development — Changes in how the BRA/EDIC coordinates Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP) contributions with the Department of Neighborhood Development (DND), which now manages IDP funds;
- Article 80 Review — Refinement of the criteria used by the BRA Board for approval of Planned Development Areas, a requirement for early disclosure of beneficial interests in significant development projects, a new Accessibility Checklist to be completed by proponents of large projects, and an online portal for submission and review of project documents;
- Commercial Signage — New guidelines for proposed wayfinding and anchor tenant signs atop tall buildings;
- Developer Designations — A new protocol that will consider a developer’s financing, the complexity of a proposed project, and the length, extension and expiration of designations;
- Planning Audit — A performance review of the BRA/EDIC’s Planning Division by an outside consultant, to be completed by spring 2015, in preparation for updating a comprehensive citywide master plan for the first time since 1964 and undertaking strategic planning studies at the neighborhood level to create new as-of-right zoning; and
- Property Transfers — Formation of an inter-agency committee to consider transfer and development opportunities for BRA/EDIC properties that are not generating revenue, including the transfer to DND of over 20 parcels that may be used for housing creation and the examination of future land uses for underdeveloped parcels in the EDIC-owned Boston Marine Industrial Park.
Goulston & Storrs will continue to follow the BRA/EDIC’s updated policies and procedures as the agency modernizes its oversight of planning and development in Boston. For questions about the information in this advisory, please contact your usual Goulston & Storrs attorney or either of the individuals listed below.
This advisory should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own lawyer concerning your situation and any specific legal questions you may have.
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