Attention Customers: The City of Boston is Open for Business!

By Director Christina Fish

Christina Fish croppedStreamlined. Simple. Quick. These are just a few of the words being used to describe the brand new Boston Permits & Licenses online platform that was unveiled at last Monday’s Chamber of Commerce Breakfast.

For those who may be wondering, yes – we are, in fact, talking about permitting.

It’s no secret that the process of acquiring a permit has not always been known for its ease and efficiency; however, last Monday’s announcement is the latest in a series of steps towards making City services more accessible and predictable for developers—big and small. And the timing could not be better. With millions of square feet of new development recently approved by the Boston Redevelopment Authority throughout the City, the advent of a new permitting system will almost certainly help to stoke the flames of Boston’s development boon.

According to a press release issued by the City, the new permitting platform will provide “customers” with the ability to:

  • Apply for multiple permits at once and group permits together in a single project.
  • Build a team of project partners, homeowner, contractors, and licensed professionals — who can together advance all permits needed for a project to move forward.
  • View enhanced information about project review statuses.
  • Create accounts through Google Mail and other common login providers.
  • Identify project location on an intuitive map-based interface.

For the first time, the City aims to streamline the process so that all members of a project team can access permitting information in real time, from remote access. In other words, through this new platform, the City is showing, and not just telling, all of us that it wants to work with us to make developments happen throughout the city.

As a director in O’Neill and Associates’ community relations practice, Christina Fish advises real estate development clients on a variety of issues including community outreach, permitting, zoning, regulatory advocacy, and licensing concerns.