Sep 27, 2022 - Politics

Michelle Wu-era zoning shake-up begins

Photo illustration of Boston Mayor Michelle Wu with lines radiating from her.

Photo Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu nominated a new slate of members to the city's Zoning Board of Appeal. The plan, first reported by the Boston Business Journal, is part of an overhaul of the real estate board.

Why it matters: The ZBA has rejected housing plans in recent years even after applicants were approved by the Boston Planning and Development Agency.

  • One of the most controversial instances was the rejection of a mixed-use development with 31 apartments in Roslindale Square. It would have had 13 income-restricted units, per BBJ.

Details: The ZBA consists of a seven-member board and seven alternates who can fill in at meetings. Wu announced yesterday morning that she was nominating seven members and six alternates, including three holdovers from previous administrations.

  • She named Giovanny Valencia, an affordable housing advocate, as an at-large member from West Roxbury, as well as 12 other members and alternates.
  • Some of the nominees — Jeanne Pinado of Jamaica Plain and Sherry Dong of Dorchester and Hansy Better Barraza of Roslindale — are current members first nominated by former Mayor Marty Walsh.

What they're saying: "The appointees live across the City and represent the diversity of Boston, including members who are multilingual, renters in income-restricted housing, homeowners, building trades members, first generation immigrants and multigenerational Bostonians," the city said in a release yesterday.

What's next: City Council must approve the nominees.

Editor’s note: This piece was corrected to show that Jeanne Pinado, Sherry Dong and Hansy Better Barraza were first nominated by former Mayor Marty Walsh.


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