Version 1.0 2019-11-14
The Boston Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) only offers PDF meeting minutes, leaving residents wanting for a different, more structure dataformat that would enable analysis, so this specification was developed to support that use case.
This specification is currently implemented by Nat Taylor email@example.com and available on the web at https://nattaylor.com/eastboston/boston-zoning
The ZBA meeting minutes available at https://www.boston.gov/departments/inspectional-services/zoning-board-appeal are first converted to HTML with
The resulting HTML is then parsed into JSON that adheres to this specification.
The specification is flexible and allows the implementation to normalize the data by fixing typos, removing unnecessary tokens, joining with lookup tables and summarizing phrases (etc).
Each case follows this case specification. Currently, none of the fields are required.
|appeal||string||The appeal ID (e.g. BOA-123456) normalized for consistency (e.g. BOA#123 → BOA-123)|
|address||string||The address, normalized to remove trailing commas etc (e.g. "123 Fake St, " → "123 Fake St")|
|ward||string||The ward from List 4.1|
|applicant||string||The applicant, normalized to remove trailing abbreviations like ", Esq" and to fix typos like "Timuthy" → "Timothy"|
|articles||object||A dictionary of the articles from which relief is requested of the form
|vote||string||The vote inferred from the vote verbiage (e.g. "voted unanimously to deny" → "DENIED")|
|status||string||The appeal status from List 4.2 inferred from the raw status (e.g. when a vote approves a deferral, then "DEFERRED")|
|parcel||string||The GIS parcel id, if available, from joining to City Assessing data on ST_NUM and ST_NAME.|
|date||date||The date the appeal was heard|
|type||string||The type of appeal, usually from List 4.3, but the raw value if the list lookup fails|
|3||Back Bay/Beacon Hill; Downtown/North End/South End|
|4||Back Bay/Beacon Hill; Downtown/North End/South End; Jamaica Plain/Mission Hill|
|5||Back Bay/Beacon Hill; Downtown/North End/South End; Fenway/Kenmore|
|8||Downtown/North End/South End; North Dorchester; Roxbury/Franklin Field|
|9||Downtown/North End/South End|
|10||Fenway/Kenmore; Jamaica Plain/Mission Hill|
|11||Jamaica Plain/Mission Hill|
|12||Jamaica Plain/Mission Hill; Roxbury/Franklin Field|
|14||South Dorchester; Mattapan; Roxbury/Franklin Field|
|15||North Dorchester; South Dorchester|
|17||South Dorchester; Mattapan; Roxbury/Franklin Field|
|18||Hyde Park; Mattapan; Roslindale/Moss Hill/West Roxbury|
|19||Jamaica Plain/Mission Hill; Roslindale/Moss Hill/West Roxbury|
|20||Roslindale/Moss Hill/West Roxbury|
|BOARD FINAL ARBITER|