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Zoning Code Amendment Regulating Executive Suites Supported by Residents’ Association

The North End/ Waterfront Residents’ Association has submitted a letter in support of the City of Boston Department of Neighborhood Development’s proposed amendment to the Boston Zoning Code in regards to Executive Suites.

The amendment, seeking to discourage short-term rental operators from circumventing the new short-term rental ordinance, would change the regulation of executive suites. Currently, the conversion of properties to executive suites is an “allowed” use in parts of the North End. This means that property owners simply apply for a permit from the City of Boston without having to go through any approval processes.

According to Section 2a of the Boston Zoning Code, an “Executive Suite” is defined as “any dwelling (other than a boarding house, dormitory, fraternity, lodging house, sorority house, hotel, motel, or apartment hotel) in which living space, with kitchen facilities, is let to fewer than ten persons who are not related by blood, marriage, adoption or other analogous family union, primarily the temporary abode of persons living elsewhere.”

The amendment would change the status to “conditional” in certain neighborhoods, including the North End. This would require applications to be presented to the community for review and input.

Currently, much of Hanover Street from Cross Street up to the Paul Revere Mall, parts of Richmond Street and North Street, and Prince Street lay within districts that allow executive suites. This leaves dozens of North End buildings open to the potential of long-term housing being converted into short-term rentals.

Members of NEWRA voted unanimously in support of amending the Boston Zoning Code. In the drafted letter, NEWRA executives expressed hope for long-term housing to return to the area following the short-term rental ordinance. However, concern was also expressed regarding the potential for executive suites to limit that return. Read the entire letter below (click to enlarge).

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