Mayor Wu Signs Ordinance Creating New City Planning Department

Photo: WBZ NewsRadio

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Boston is getting a new agency to oversee real estate development in the city.

Mayor Michelle Wu signed an ordinance Tuesday that will replace the existing Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) with a new Planning Department.

The new department will cover planning, zoning, development review, urban design, and real estate, while also allowing current BPDA workers to transfer over, according to a City press release.

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Along with creating the Planning Department, the ordinance also "codifies the purpose of the Department as creating comprehensive plans for Boston’s built environment, a predictable zoning code and development process, urban design standards, and planning for the best use of publicly-owned land," the release stated.

"This is the most fundamental way that we’re gonna get it right in terms of how Boston grows," Mayor Wu told reporters at Tuesday's signing in the West End. "This is about continuing to grow as a city in a way that meets our needs, and that our development should be delivering the resources to meet our climate changes and transportation challenges, school access, housing affordability."

Also attending the signing were members of the Boston City Council, who approved the ordinance on Wednesday, March 27.

"I do think that the council will have a greater voice given the fiscal transparency and some of the oversight that we baked into it," said City Councilor Gabriella Coletta.

City officials said the Planning Department will be operational by July 1.

WBZ's Mike Macklin reports.

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