After a long, contentious hearing Thursday, city officials approved a new zoning plan that could bring thousands of new housing units to Washington Street in Jamaica Plain and Roxbury.
The Boston Planning & Development Agency board approved the plan, but not before their meeting was repeatedly disrupted by protesters who demanded more affordable housing in their fast-changing neighborhood.
Dozens of activists affiliated with a group called Keep It 100 for Real Affordable Housing and Racial Justice filled the board room, chanting, clapping, and holding signs until at least 10 were escorted from the room by police. Their chants could be heard from the hallway outside while the hearing continued.
While the plan sets affordable housing requirements higher than city minimums — 22 percent of units in privately developed buildings, compared to the 13 percent requirement citywide — activist groups have pushed for a larger requirement and more housing set aside for lower-income renters.
“If you’re going to build in our neighborhoods, you need to build for us,” said Modesto Sanchez, a 24-year-old Mattapan resident who said his family had been pushed out of Jamaica Plain and Roxbury by rent increases.
Still, the plan, which has been in the works for a year and a half, was approved quickly and unanimously by BPDA board members. Next BPDA staff will start writing more specific zoning rules for the area.