Remote Board of Zoning Appeal Meetings

Due to statewide emergency orders limiting the size of public gatherings in response to COVID-19, and in accordance with Governor Charles D. Baker's Executive Order of March 12, 2020, temporarily amending certain requirements of the Open Meeting Law, as well as the City of Cambridge Temporary Emergency Restrictions on City Public Meetings, City Events and City Permitted Events Due to COVID-19 dated May 27, 2020, meetings of the Planning Board will be held with remote participation until further notice. Meetings will be closed to in-person attendance.

Members of the public can view the meeting, without providing comments, online or on cable television within Cambridge. Members of the public can provide comments either before the meeting in writing, or in real time by attending the meeting virtually through Zoom Webinar.

How to Find Meeting Materials

Cases to be reviewed and discussed by the Board of Zoning Appeal – including application materials, and plans – can be found in a few ways:

  • The City Calendar lists upcoming hearings, typically two Thursdays per month. By clicking on the Board of Zoning Appeal calendar item, the agenda will open with links to case materials
  • Open Meeting Portal is where the Agenda for each meeting will be posted in advance.
  • Meeting Minutes of previous BZA meetings can be found on Inspectional Services’ website.

How to Send Written Comments

Send an e-mail to Address your comments to the Board of Zoning Appeal and identify the agenda item (by title, case number, or address) in the subject line. E-mail is preferred, but comments may also be mailed to Inspectional Services-Zoning, 831 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139.

Written comments received by 5:00 P.M. the Monday before the meeting will be considered by Board Members in advance of the meeting; e-mailing comments in advance is preferred so that Board Members have more time to review.

How to Watch the Meeting

There are two ways to watch:

  • Register using Zoom Webinar: see Participate/Comment in Real Time instructions below. You do not have to speak if you register as a participant.
  • Cable Television: Tune to Channel 22 within Cambridge at the time of the meeting.

How to Participate/Comment in Real Time

To attend the meeting virtually by computer and/or telephone:

  1. Select the meeting date from the Open Meeting Portal and click open the Agenda Packet.
  2. Scroll to the second page and click the Zoom Webinar Link. Register for the Webinar either before or during the meeting.
  3. Check your e-mail for instructions to join the meeting by computer and/or telephone. If you don’t see it at first, check your “junk” or “spam” folder.
  4. If you are only able to participate by watching Cable TV and/or by telephone, dial into the phone number advertised in the Open Meeting Portal Agenda Summary. The available phone numbers are listed after the Zoom link. You do not need to register with Zoom in order to use the phone number, but will need to enter the Webinar ID number listed in the Agenda Summary right after the phone numbers.

To comment in real time:

  • Be sure that your computer has a working microphone and speakers. If not, you can listen and speak by telephone. The registration e-mail will have instructions.
  • Your sound will be muted until it is time for public comment. The Meeting Chair will announce when public comment is about to start.
  • Select “Raise Hand” to speak during public comment time. You can find the “Raise Hand” icon at the bottom of your Zoom screen.
  • If you are calling by phone, press *9 to raise your hand, and press *6 to mute and unmute yourself
  • When it is your turn, staff will read your name, then ask you to say your name and address to confirm you can be heard.
  • Generally, you will have up to 3 minutes to speak, but that might change based on the number of speakers.
  • Address all comments to the Meeting Chair.
  • You may only speak once on each agenda item, unless the Board decides to take additional comment.


Contact Stephen Natola at