The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) last week announced the expansion of the Boston Civic Design Commission (BCDC) with the appointment of two additional members by Mayor Martin J. Walsh. Jonathan Evans of MASS Design Group and Mimi Garza Love of Utile will fill newly created positions, and Kathy Kottaridis of Historic Boston Inc. will replace the seat being vacated by the retirement of Paul McDonough as the member representing expertise in historic preservation.
“By expanding the Boston Civic Design Commission, we are continuing to build on our work to create a more inclusive, equitable BPDA and City of Boston,” said BPDA Director Brian Golden. “I welcome Jonathan, Mimi, and Kathy, and look forward to the unique perspectives and experience they will bring to our work. I thank Paul McDonough for his many years of valuable service to the Commission and Boston’s built environment and public realm.”
The expansion of the Commissioners from 11 to 13 will help bring new perspectives to the BCDC and responds to the ongoing pace of development in Boston by helping ensure that there is a quorum at all meetings. Under the change, at least seven of the 13 Commissioners must be professionals in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, or urban design.
The BCDC, managed by the BPDA’s Urban Design Department, is charged with examining the aesthetics of proposed development projects and ensuring that the projects have a positive impact on Boston’s public realm. This includes the review of large projects over 100,000 gross square feet, projects of special significance, civic projects, and district design guidelines.
The BPDA held a public meeting on October 22, 2020 to discuss amending Article 28 of the Boston Zoning Code to expand the number of Commissioners, and the text amendment was approved by the BPDA Board in November 2020, and by the Boston Zoning Commission in December 2020. To learn more about the BCDC, read the 2019 BCDC Annual Report.