Special to the Sun
Mayor Michelle Wu celebrated the confirmation by the Boston City Council of eight new appointees to the Zoning Board of Appeal (ZBA), bringing the new total of confirmed ZBA appointees to 10. Mayor Wu announced a slate of appointees in September and sent their nominations to the City Council for review. The Mayor’s 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. Their collective training and experience include city and transportation planning, community development, affordable housing creation, sustainable development and architectural design, and construction.
As the City’s zoning code has not kept up with Boston’s growth, the majority of development proposals in the city require zoning relief and must be reviewed and approved by the ZBA. These new ZBA members will work closely with Chief of Planning Arthur Jemison to help advance the Mayor’s goal of rebuilding trust with communities through planning-led development while advancing equity, affordability, and resilience across all functions of the City’s development review process.
“Thank you to the City Council for confirming these new members, who will play a crucial role in our work to build more housing and address the regional affordability crisis, support equitable and resilient neighborhoods, and shift to planning-led development,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “These board members represent the diversity, talent, and expertise of our communities to ensure Boston’s growth helps address our greatest challenges.”
The ZBA totals 14 members – seven primary members and seven alternates with a range of experience as required by state law – who serve three-year terms. Alternates serve if primary members are unable to attend a ZBA hearing. All members currently serving on the ZBA were appointed by previous administrations.
Earlier this month, the City Council confirmed both Raheem Shepard and David Aiken to serve on the ZBA. Jeanne Pinado, Alaa Mukahhal and Thea Massouh are still awaiting confirmation by the Boston City Council.
Confirmed Members of Zoning Board of Appeal
Giovanni Valencia, West Roxbury (primary seat)
Neighborhood Organization Seats
Norm Stembridge, Roxbury (primary seat)
Shavel’le Olivier, Mattapan (alternate seat)
Sherry Dong, Dorchester (primary seat)
David Aiken, East Boston (alternate seat)
Greater Boston Real Estate Board
Katie Whewell, West End (alternate seat)
Boston Society of Architecture
Hansy Barraza, Roslindale (primary seat)
Building Trades Employers Association
Raheem Shepard, Hyde Park (primary seat)
Building Trades Council
Alan Langham, Dorchester (primary seat)
Dave Collins, Roslindale (alternate seat)