Zoning Code

The Boston Zoning Code dictates the allowed shape, density, and use of development in a given area. It protects Boston's distinct neighborhoods from the development of buildings or uses that do not harmonize with their surrounding context.

Fifteen of the Boston's twenty-six neighborhoods were once separate towns (or neighborhoods of separate towns). As the years passed, these neighborhoods were slowly annexed by the City of Boston. To this day, many of these neighborhood remain unique in their look and feel compared to the rest of the City.  The Boston Zoning Code, enacted in 1964, has evolved and adapted to accommodate the unique character of these places and it includes many separate maps and amendments.

The Boston Redevelopment Authority's role is not to enforce or manage zoning code and requirements. Rather, the BRA helps to shape zoning code.  After public planning processes and dialogue, the BRA may petition the Boston Zoning Commission (BZC) to adopt changes. The BRA also reviews development projects which are so large or unique that they cannot be reasonably approved using the existing zoning code. When this occurs, the BRA uses tools such as Article 80 Project Review, Institutional Master Plans, and Planned Development Areas to determine shape, density, and use guidelines. 

Zoning maps for the City of Boston may be obtained at the Boston Redevelopment Authority's Planning and Zoning Department during regular business hours. Boston Redevelopment Authority staff members are available during regular business hours to assist you with questions about the zoning process, the Zoning Code, and zoning maps.

To look up common terms related to zoning, please see the BRA's glossary

For more information, please contact Jeffrey Hampton, Senior Land Use Planner, by email or by telephone at (617) 918-4308.

Zoning Code and Maps

Table of Contents
Volume I
Volume II
Volume III
Volume I - Enabling Act / General Code
Article Document
General Code Maps All Zoning Maps
  Map 1 (Boston Proper)
  Map 4 (South Boston)
Enabling Act Chapter 665 of the Acts of 1956
Article 1 Title, Purpose and Scope
Article 2 Definitions
Article 2A Definitions Applicable in Neighborhood Districts and in Article 80 (Development Review and Approval)
Article 3 Establishment of Zoning Districts
Article 4 Application of Regulations
Article 5 Administration and Procedure
Article 6 Conditional Uses
Article 6A Other Exceptions
Article 7 Variances
Article 8 Regulation of Uses
Article 9 Nonconforming Uses
Article 10 Accessory Uses
Article 11 Signs
  Theatre District
Article 12 Transition Zoning
Article 13 Dimensional Requirements
  Table B
Article 14 Lot Size, Area and Width
Article 15 Building Bulk
Article 16 Height of Buildings
Article 17 Open Space Requirement for Residences
Article 18 Front Yard
Article 19 Side Yards
Article 20 Rear Yards
Article 21 Setbacks
Article 22 Yard Regulations
Article 23 Off-Street Parking
Article 24 Off-Street Loading
Article 25 Flood Hazard Districts
Article 26 DELETED
Article 26A DELETED
Article 26B DELETED
Article 27 Interim Planning Overlay District
  Map 1
  Map 2
  Map 3
  Map 4
Article 27B EXPIRED
Article 27D Downtown Interim Planning Overlay District
  Appendix I to Article 27D
Article 27P South Boston Waterfront Interim Planning Overlay District
  Map 1
  Map 2
Article 28 Boston Civic Design Commission
Article 29 Greenbelt Protection Overlay District
Article 30 Barrier-Free Access
Article 31 DELETED
Article 31 RESERVED
Article 31A DELETED
Article 32 Groundwater Conservation Overlay District
  Groundwater Overlay Zoning
Article 33 Open Space Subdistricts
Article 34 EXPIRED
Article 35 DELETED
Article 36 Light Manufacturing District
Article 37 Green Buildings
Articles 38-49 See Volume II - Downtown Districts, Central Artery, Special District, Harborpark District
Articles 50-73 See Volume III - Neighborhood Districts
Articles 74-79 RESERVED
Article 80 Development Review and Approval
  Appendix A -- Longwood Area Map
Articles 81-84 RESERVED
Article 85 Demolition Delay
Article 86 Wireless Communications Equipment
Article 87 Smart Growth Overlay Districts
Article 87A Olmsted Green Smart Growth Overlay District
Article 88 Wind Energy Facilities
Article 89 Urban Agriculture
Appendix 1 and Appendix 2 (Illustrations) Appendix 1 and Appendix 2 (Illustrations)
Volume II - Downtown Districts, Central Artery, Special District, Harborpark District
A. Downtown Districts
Article 38 Midtown Cultural District
  Map 1A
  Appendix F to Article 38
Article 39 North Station Economic Development Area
  Map 1B/1J/1K/1L
Article 40 South Station Economic Development Area
  Map 1C/1G/1N (Leather District and South Station EDA, Chinatown, Bay Village)
Article 41 Huntington Avenue / Prudential Center District
  Map 1D
* Articles 42A through 42F comprise the Harborpark District. These articles are included below.
Article 43 Chinatown District
  Map 1C/1G/1N (Leather District and South Station EDA, Chinatown, Bay Village)
  Table E and F
Article 44 Leather District
  Map 1C/1G/1N (Leather District and South Station EDA, Chinatown, Bay Village)
Article 45 Government Center / Markets Districts
  Map 1H
Article 46 Bulfinch Triangle District
  Map 1B/1J/1K/1L
Article 47A Cambridge Street North District
  Map 1B/1J/1K/1L
Article 48 RESERVED
B. Central Artery Special District
Article 49 Central Artery Special District
  Map 1Xa/1Xb
Article 49A Greenway Overlay District
C. Harborpark District
Article 42A North End / Downtown Waterfront and Dorchester Bay / Neponset River Waterfront
  Map 1E/1F
  Map 4A/4B
  Map 4B/4C
  Map 4C/4D
  Map 5F/5G
  Map 5H
Article 42B Charlestown Waterfront
  Map 2B/2C
Article 42C Waterfront Service District
Article 42D Waterfront Manufacturing District
Article 42E Fort Point Waterfront
  Map 4A/4B
Article 42F Charlestown Navy Yard
  Map 2B/2C
Volume III - Neighborhood Districts
Article 50 Roxbury Neighborhood District
  Table F
  Map 6A/6B (Roxbury)
  Map 6B/6C (Roxbury)
Article 51 Allston-Brighton Neighborhood District
  Map 7A/7C
  Map 7B/7D
Article 52 DELETED
Article 53 East Boston Neighborhood District
  Table F
  Map 3A/3B (East Boston)
  Map 3C (East Boston)
Article 54 North End Neighborhood District
  Map 1B/1J/1K/1L
Article 55 Jamaica Plain Neighborhood District
  Table E
  Map 9A
  Map 9B
  Map 9C
Article 56 West Roxbury Neighborhood District
  Table D
  Map 11A
  Map 11B
  Map 11C
  Map 11D
  Map 11E
Article 57 Saint Vincent Neighborhood District
  Table C
  Map 4E
Article 58 City Square Neighborhood District
  Map 2D
  Table B
Article 59 Mission Hill Neighborhood District
  Table E
  Map 6D (Mission Hill)
Article 60 Greater Mattapan Neighborhood District
  Table D
  Map 8A
  Map 8B
  Map 8C
Article 61 Audubon Circle Neighborhood District
  Map 1M
  Table B
  Appendix A Map
Article 62 Charlestown Neighborhood District
  Map 2E (Charlestown)
  Table C
Article 63 Bay Village Neighborhood District
  Map 1C/1G/1N (Leather District and South Station EDA, Chinatown, Bay Village)
  Table B
Article 64 South End Neighborhood District
  Map 1P
  Table D
  Appendix A Map
Article 65 Dorchester Neighborhood District
  Map 5A/5B
  Map 5C
  Map 5D
  Map 5E
  Table A
  Table B
  Table C
  Table D
  Table E
  Table F
  Table G
Article 66 Fenway Neighborhood District
  Fenway Map 1Q
Article 67 Roslindale Neighborhood Zoning
  Roslindale Map 10A
  Roslindale Map 10B
Article 68 South Boston Neighborhood Zoning
  South Boston Map 4F
Article 69 Hyde Park Neighborhood District
  Hyde Park Map 12
Article 70 Beth Israel Hospital Institutional District
Article 71 Massachusetts College of Pharmacy Institutional District
Article 72 New England Deaconess Hospital Institutional District
Article 73 Dana-Farber Cancer Institutional District
Article 90 Newmarket Industrial Commercial Neighborhood District
  Map 6E
  Table A