The City of Cambridge encourages and promotes involvement by residents in the decision-making process through participation in a variety of boards and commissions. Serving on a board or commission can be a rewarding experience and an excellent way to contribute to the quality of life of the community in which you live or work. We rely greatly on the interest and involvement of those volunteers who seek a more active role in the functioning of their local government.
Selection for appointment to one of our boards and commissions is generally based on the following characteristics:
- A broad perspective and concern for the welfare and progress of the City
- A familiarity with the City’s history, issues and goals
- Interest in the functions/responsibilities of the board or commission under consideration
- City residency, in most cases
- A willingness to devote time and effort to the work of said board or commission
- Awareness of and understanding of the City’s ordinances and policies
- Balanced and diverse representation on boards and commissions as feasible
Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA). Application Deadline 9-12-14.
Made up of five members and seven associate members, the BZA meets twice a month on Thursday evenings to review applications for variances and special permits in accordance with Cambridge Zoning Ordinance. Board members also act on appeals to zoning decisions made by the Commissioner of Inspectional Services.
Cambridge Conservation Commission. Application Deadline 10-3-14
The Conservation Commission is responsible for administration of the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act (WPA), a state law governing activities in and immediately adjacent to local wetlands, waterways and floodplains. The Commission holds two regularly scheduled public meetings each month to review permit applications under the WPA, issue permits and conduct other business related to the management of Cambridge’s natural resource areas. The Conservation Commission consists of seven members appointed by the City Manager to serve three-year terms. Cambridge residents with expertise in landscape architecture, civil/environmental engineering, hydrology, ecology or law are encouraged to apply.