boston planning & development agency


Posted Date 12/02/2019
Job ID
Downtown & Neighborhood Planning
Grade Level
# of Hours
Salary Range
$52,200 - $65,300


boston planning & development agency











The Downtown & Neighborhood Planning Department works with Boston’s communities to create and implement plans that help foster the development of attractive, safe, diverse, and economically thriving places to live, work and play.  The Department works at the neighborhood level in partnership with local residents, businesses, institutions, and other public departments and agencies to create community visions that look at current assets and opportunities for future growth to enhance quality of life. Planners explore the issues of land use, housing needs, open space, transportation and multimodal networks, economic development and access to opportunity with community members.  The envisioned plans, informed by the community's input, guide future development scenarios and may result in: urban design guidelines, master plans, zoning recommendations, and/or other policy changes.




Under the direction of the Assistant Deputy Director for Neighborhood Planning and in collaboration with planning team members, the Planner will conduct and participate in planning initiatives. Additionally, in concert with current planning objectives, the Planner will research and prepare recommendations for the Zoning Board of Appeal and provide a planning perspective to the BPDA Development Review Department on projects undergoing the Article 80 process. As is essential to the success of any planning effort, this Planner will engage the community, other constituencies, and public agency departments to solicit input and feedback for recommendations on the above referenced tasks. 



The general duties and responsibilities of the position are included in but not limited to the information listed below.  


Planning Initiatives

  • Under the direction of the Assistant Deputy Director for Neighborhood Planning assist in developing, managing and conducting planning initiatives for specific city neighborhood(s), with a focus on the PLAN initiatives. Assist in developing and executing appropriate studies and surveys.  Research and prepare planning and urban design scenarios and policy options.
  • Establish effective working relationships with neighborhood and community groups and organizations.  Maintain current knowledge of neighborhood issues, concerns, goals and opportunities. 
  • Analyze submitted reports and planning documents by public agencies, advocacy groups and other involved parties. 
  • Assist in drafting Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for PLAN initiatives.
  • Assist in preparing draft planning and urban design guidelines as they relate to PLAN initiatives.
  • Design and develop neighborhood specific community engagement strategies for a diverse group of stakeholders (internal & external) around planning.
  • Assist in consultant selection and subsequent management of consultant work and budgets for PLAN and other neighborhood planning initiatives.

Zoning Review

  • Research, formulate and draft staff recommendations for the Zoning Board of Appeal regarding zoning appeal cases and zoning variances. Solicit information from the appellant, abutters and other members of the community.  Research and apply pertinent planning issues. Write and submit recommendations. Maintain and update all relevant documentation and databases
  • Prepare draft zoning recommendations; provide technical advice and assistance in the development and preparation of neighborhood rezoning documents to be submitted to the Zoning Commission for approval. 
  • Work with community advisory groups in preparation of new zoning.  Convey and interpret information about current zoning regulations; evaluate impact of proposed changes; assist in achieving consensus and resolving issues.  Coordinate and create document for Commission presentation. 

Article 80 Development Review

  • Participate in large and small project reviews under Article 80 as assigned.
  • Review Article 80 projects’ consistency with zoning and planning studies. Coordinate community priorities for discussion on project mitigation and community benefits.
  • Contribute to writing scoping determinations. 
  • Provide regular updates to the Deputy Director for Downtown & Neighborhood Planning and the Assistant Deputy Director for Neighborhood Planning on planning issues pertaining to Article 80 development review.


  • Prepare analytical studies, written and graphic presentations of planning and zoning goals, concerns and issues.
  • Assist in preparing briefings for senior Agency staff or City officials.
  • Ensure that response to public questions, needs or concerns is prompt and accurate.
  • Prepare and participate in presentations at community meetings and neighborhood advisory groups. 
  • Arrange and conduct evening and daytime public meetings.  Participate in evening community meetings to provide for public input. 
  • Assist in studies required for comprehensive planning studies in the neighborhoods.
  • Attend and support Planning Department at meetings and events as assigned.
  • Provide regular updates on workflow and progress on assigned projects to the Assistant Deputy Director for Neighborhood Planning.
  • Perform other related duties as required.



Work requires completion of a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning or closely related field with a minimum of 2-3 years’ experience as a planner or equivalent related experience. Prior experience in conducting or actively participating in the planning process is highly desirable. Work requires ability to solve urban design and zoning problems; to analyze and interpret planning issues; to communicate clearly in written, verbal and graphic form; and to operate effectively as part of an interdisciplinary team.  Strong written and verbal communications skills are an essential requirement; strong computer graphic skills are desired.  Full command of Microsoft Office programs is required. Proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite, PowerPoint, and Geographic Informational Systems (GIS) to design and assemble graphically compelling (clear) presentations and reports is highly desirable. 



Normal office environment; occasional site visits.



Little or no exertion; occasional local travel.



Not applicable.





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