New Development in Your 'Hood? How to Tell the Boston Redevelopment Authority What You Think

How to comment, participate in or find out who is on an impact advisory group.

Despite the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s efforts at transparency, portions of the authority’s review process may still happen outside the view of the average Beacon Hill resident.

But, if you’re interested in knowing what’s going on—or getting involved—here’s what you need to know:

Participating with an impact advisory group
Heather Campisano, the authority’s Deputy Director for Development Review, said that the groups are usually composed of already-engaged members of the local community, but “In some cases, you do see new faces and we actually encourage that.”

How can you make yourself one of those new faces? Contact your state representative, state senator or city councilor.

Campisano said the authority seeks nominations from elected officials, and Adam Webster, chief of staff for City Councilor John Connolly, said those nominations are usually honored.

Finding out who is in an impact advisory group
As of right now, according to Susan Elsbree, director of communications for the Boston Redevelopment Authority, the authority doesn’t have an online location to find this information. They plan to add that feature in the of the Authority’s web site, she said.

In the mean time, she said, anyone interested in the composition of a given board can call the Authority at (617) 722-4300.

Comment periods
If you’ve heard about a new project in the news and want to make your opinion heard, you may be able to. Go to the BRA website and click on the “text” link under the “development” header. Using the dropdown, sort the projects by under review.

If you see the project you’re interested in, click on it. Then, scroll down to the “What is the current review status?” header. If the project’s comment period is still open, you should see its end date there.


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