In its recent approval of the 6-year extension of Urban Renewal powers by the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA), the State’s Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) imposed conditions to address lingering concerns related to the extension. In particular, the review process by the Boston City Council become more important. The first BRA oversight hearing by the City Council President Michelle Wu is expected in September 2016. In a release, the BRA said:
Over the next two years, the BRA will catalog all Land Disposition Agreements within the 14 urban renewal plan areas that are being extended, a process that, for the first time, will allow the agency to have a comprehensive grasp of the agreements governing properties in those areas. Alongside this process, the BRA will document in a digital database all of its land holdings (both vacant and occupied) across the city. These efforts are already underway, and senior staff from the BRA will present an update on their progress to the City Council in the fall. The cataloging of Land Disposition Agreements and BRA owned land will help inform a future analysis that could lead to modifying the boundaries of urban renewal plan areas to better suit current conditions, as the boundaries have remained unchanged since the inception of the plans decades ago.
The complete letter of DHCD’s letter is shown here: