Mayor Walsh is ordering the Zoning Board of Appeals to start hearing cases all the livelong day in an effort to bust up a backlog of hearings that now extends to six months.
Starting Aug. 5, the board will meet from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Tuesdays to consider requests from residents and companies who want to do something to their property that needs zoning-board permission. The board currently knocks off around noontime on its hearing days.
"We will continue to run longer hours until the backlog of cases for review has been addressed," said ISD Commissioner William "Buddy" Christopher.
A recent report identified long waits just for hearings as a key problem in the city's permitting process (the report also cited lengthy delays in getting the city law department to certify decisions after hearings).
Also, starting that day, ZBA hearings will be broadcast on the city cable channel (Comcast channel 24, RCN channel 13 and on the web), no doubt with special microphones with filters to eliminate the HVAC sounds that make ZBA hearings among the most painful to attend in City Hall.