In 2009, Somerville residents and City planning staff started a lively community planning process with the goal of creating Somerville's first comprehensive plan. A 60-member steering committee, supported by the staff of the Mayor's Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development, put every idea on the table. After more than fifty meetings, visioning sessions and public workshops, SomerVision: Somerville's Comprehensive Plan 2010-2030 was born.
In April of 2012, the Board of Aldermen endosed SomerVision. SomerVision sets out a vision to make Somerville an even more exceptional place to live, work, play, and raise a family. SomerVision is an easy to use guide for future growth and development in the City. The plan establishes shared values, creates measurable goals for job creation, open space, housing development, and transportation, and illustrates the areas of the city to conserve, enhance, and transform. SomerVision is a plan for neighborhood protection and a plan for growth. The plan is focused on creating significant new job opportunities and meeting our portion of the regional need for new housing while conserving our traditional neighborhoods of two and three family housing.
The steering committee organized the SomerVision goals according to the following themes: neighborhoods; commercial corridors, squares, and growth districts; resources; transportation and infrastructure; and housing. The plan identifies policies and actions to help the community reach these goals. SomerVision also includes an implementation plan, which identified six priorities: station area planning, quality of life strategies, housing activities, sustainability programs, infrastructure and transportation improvements, and a zoning code overhaul. OSPCD, in collaboration with other departments, is working on implementing the actions and policies of SomerVision to reach the stated goals. One of biggest implementation strategies is neighborhood planning. For more information, check out Somerville by Design.