The Zoning Ordinance

Zoning Ordinance Cover Graphic

As a public service, this page provides links to electronic versions of the Zoning Ordinance Text of the City of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Our goal is to make zoning more accessible by placing this information on the Web. The Ordinance is a complex legal document.

PLEASE NOTE: The online versions of the City of Cambridge, Massachusetts Zoning Ordinance and Maps are provided for reference and the convenience of having the Ordinance in a computer-readable format. The print version of the Zoning Ordinance, together with any amendments adopted by the City Council subsequent to the most recent update to the print version, remains the official version of the Ordinance. If any discrepancies exist between the print and web versions of the Zoning Ordinance, the print version, together with any City Council amendments, shall be considered correct. There is an interim period between the date when the City Council adopts a text or map amendment to the Zoning Ordinance and the revision date of this web site. Zoning text and map amendments, as well as corrections, will be placed on-line as available. Recent amendments to the Zoning Ordinance may appear on the Web prior to being incorporated into the print version of the Ordinance.

View Recent Amendments Adopted into the Zoning Ordinance.

Article Title
1.000 Preamble
2.000 Definitions
3.000 Zoning Districts
4.000 Use Regulations
5.000 Development Standards
6.000 Off Street Parking and Loading Requirements
7.000 Signs and Illumination
8.000 Nonconformity
9.000 Procedures and Administration
10.000 Appeals, Variances, and Special Permits
11.000 Special Regulations
12.000 Planned Unit Development
13.000 Planned Unit Development Districts
14.000 Mixed Use Development District: Cambridge Center
15.000 Cambridgeport Revitalization Development District
16.000 North Point Residence, Office and Business District
17.000 Special Business, Office and Industrial Districts
18.000 Traffic Mitigation and Construction Management
19.000 Project Review
20.000 Overlay Districts
21.000 Transfer of Development Rights
22.000 Sustainable Design and Development
23.000 Standards for Urban Agriculture 


Online Zoning Ordinance on Municode

The Zoning Ordinance on Municode is most easily navigated in a web-based format. The online version allows you to do the following:

  • Search by keyword to find terms in the Zoning Ordinance and Municipal Code;
  • Click “Show Changes” in the upper-right corner of the webpage to see which sections of the Zoning Ordinance have been modified or added and highlight changed text within those sections;
  • Find links to adopted ordinances at the bottom of each section.

For more information about how to navigate Municode, see the General Overview video tutorial and the Basic Site Navigation video tutorial.

Download a PDF of the Zoning Ordinance

It is possible to download a PDF of the Zoning Ordinance through Municode. Note that this version may still not incorporate recently-adopted zoning amendments.

  1. Visit the Municode Download Archive.
  2. You will have a choice to download the most recent version of the Zoning Ordinance or an older version. All versions are dated and the most recent version typically appears as the first option.
  3. Once you choose a version, you will have a choice to download the entire Zoning Ordinance or only the sections that have changed since the previous update. To download the entire Zoning Ordinance, choose the “PDF” option. To download only changed sections, choose the “PDF (Supplement Only)” option.
  4. The document will download as a compressed ZIP file.

View or Purchase Print Copies of the Zoning Ordinance and Maps

  • To purchase a paper copy of the Zoning Ordinance, visit the Office of the City Clerk at City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue in Central Square. The Clerk's office also has copies of the Zoning Map for sale. Call 617/349-4260 for more information.
  • Zoning Maps may also be purchased at the Community Development Department offices, 344 Broadway. Call 617/349-4600 for more information.

For More Information

Visit the Contact Us page.