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Boston City Council honors long serving zoning-board member

Anthony Pisani

At Pisani's final board meeting, board member Bruce Bickerstaff (r) wore a bow tie in homage to Pisani's love of them.

The City Council designated today as Anthony Pisani Day, for the Jamaica Plain architect who recently retired from the Zoning Board of Appeal after 32 years as a member.

At a ceremony in the council chambers, Pisani said he was honored to have spent so much time working on appeals and praised "the incredible diversity and dedication of the people, you, who work for the city."

At his last zoning-board meeting, two weeks ago, fellow board members, board staffers and attorneys with cases before the board wore bow ties as a nod to Pisani's love of them.

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I love how they honored him. And great reminder that old(er) Architects never die, they just go volunteer at their town's ZBA or HDC, in this case for the better.

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Having watched a number of ZBA cases, I am not sure that I would go as far as calling Pisani a great architect. I actually think that he has been on that board for at least 20 years too long. All too often, he seemed to be the only opinion that mattered at the ZBA and his values and priorities appeared to be from an other era*.

It would be nice if the mayor could appoint new board members who actually understand and care about the greatest challenges in today's Boston. Like the fact that we need much more resource efficient development, or that so little housing is built for people who earn under $75k/year. Now that would be a bold and innovative move!

* Pisani didn't like small efficient units, especially if they were going to be built anywhere near is 3000+ sqft home in JP. This was best illustrated with this particular project that had full community support (something that almost never happens), but Pisani went all all to make sure it wouldn't happen and he got his way.

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Anthony Pisani for the untold number of hours you've invested in improving the City for all of its residents. As a residents of a two family home I appreciate your thoughts in improving my design. Your kindness meant a lot to me.

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