What are privately owned public spaces (POPS), and how do they work?
  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Real Estate Zoning
  4.  » What are privately owned public spaces (POPS), and how do they work?

What are privately owned public spaces (POPS), and how do they work?

On Behalf of | Apr 10, 2022 | Real Estate Zoning |

Boston city planning has been an ongoing effort for decades. One of the highlights of living and working in Boston is the beautiful community spaces for people to gather.

Boston has a unique blend of public spaces. While some receive public funding through tax dollars, others are owned by private individuals or corporations.

Here’s what you should know about privately-owned public spaces and how they support the Boston community.

What is the advantage of POPS?

An issue with many purely private spaces is maintenance. Although some community members will feel an obligation to care for the area, others may leave messes or intentionally cause damage. Ultimately, the burden for caring for a purely public space lands on funding and employees from the city.

A privately-owned public space means that someone specific is responsible for maintaining the property and making repairs. Private ownership also means that the owner can take more precautions against those who might try to damage the property while making sure it is still available for public use.

What about zoning?

Privately owned public spaces fall under different zoning categories depending on the use of the land. Not all POPS are zoned as “open space.” While some fall under the open space zoning category, many others are considered residential, commercial, industrial, commercial or institutional.

When it is time to purchase a POPS, you may need support from an experienced professional to learn about the limitations that exist for the property and any changes you need to make to modify the zoning of the parcel.