Coastal Flood Resilience Overlay District


One of the goals of the 2016 Climate Ready Boston plan was to promote adapted buildings that will limit damage and displacement related to the impacts of climate change.  As one of the most significant climate risks facing Boston is coastal flooding, the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) was tasked with developing the Coastal Flood Risk Design Guidelines for new construction and building retrofits that were completed in 2019. These guidelines are intended to provide best practices for flood resistant design, and to be administered by BPDA staff for the review of projects within a proposed Flood Resilience Zoning Overlay District.

A draft of this Coastal Flood Resilience Overlay District (CFROD), Article 25A, was released in late 2020 for public comment.

A Better City submitted comments on the draft Coastal Flood Resilience Overlay District on February 12, 2021. Although we were pleased to see clarification on some items that members had raised previously like how to measure building height and the location of vertical circulation items, we also requested the following amendments for BPDA’s consideration:

  • That the resilience review component of Article 80, not the Board of Appeals, is the more appropriate process for determining that all uses proposed within the CFROD are designed to address projected coastal flood risks.
  • That below grade parking that includes parking accessory to non-residential uses be amended to include residential and mixed-uses as well.
  • That modeling data used in the determination of the CFROD map be amended to clarify the rationale for the selection of current datasets and the cadence for the update of the datasets and the CFROD map.
  • That language clarification and guidance is provided to ensure a property, in the process of enhancing an individual parcel or project, is not worsening risk on adjacent parcels.

A Better City also requested an opportunity to review the next draft of the CFROD with member companies and institutions, once released.

For further information, please contact Yve Torrie.


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