City Seeking Members for Boards and Commissions

Openings available on eight essential Boards & Commissions

SOMERVILLE – The City of Somerville is seeking to fill vacancies on eight essential boards and commissions appointed by the Mayor and coordinated by the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development. Boards and commissions offer an opportunity for community members with a range of experience, skills, expertise, and perspectives to share their talents and insights with their community. The Mayor’s office will be accepting applications for the open positions through Monday, October 15, 2018. All are also invited to a Volunteer Boards and Commissions Fair on Thursday, September 27, at the Central Library, 6-8 p.m., to learn about the duties of these and other City commissions and how to get involved.

There are currently eight opportunities, as follows:

1. Planning Board

Open Positions: one full member position
Term: 5 years
Availability: Immediate

The city seeks a Somerville resident with an interest in the implementation of SomerVision goals, including job creation, development of market rate and affordable housing, and the advancement of open space and multi-modal transportation strategies. A background in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, urban planning, and/or land use law is beneficial, but not required. Applicants should be prepared to provide constructive input into zoning amendments and development proposals including multiple large-scale developments in the City.

The Planning Board is established to review long-term and large-scale planning throughout the city. It is tasked with approving and implementing the SomerVision Comprehensive Plan, and grants special permits for development projects in key transformational areas. The Planning Board also provides recommendations to the Board of Aldermen on amendments to the Somerville Zoning Ordinance. The Planning Board typically meets two Thursday evenings per month at 6 p.m.

Applicants are encouraged to submit a resume and cover letter, as well as any relevant supplemental material by email to:[email protected]. Questions may also be submitted to [email protected].

2. Zoning Board of Appeals

Open Positions: one full member and one alternate position
Term: 5 years for full members; 2 years for alternate positions
Availability: Immediate

The city seeks Somerville residents for the Zoning Board of Appeals, with an interest in successful design and development of Somerville’s neighborhoods and squares. A background in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, urban planning, and/or land use law is beneficial, but not required. The Zoning Board of Appeals is established to review proposals for most special permits and all variances under the Somerville Zoning Ordinance. The Zoning Board typically meets on the first and third Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m.

The ZBA has full members and alternate members.  Alternate members participate in all discussion on items before the board and vote in the place of full members when full members are absent from a meeting. The current openings on the ZBA are for one full member and one alternate member.

Applicants are encouraged to submit a resume and cover letter, as well as any relevant supplemental material by email to:[email protected]. Questions may also be submitted to [email protected].

3. Somerville Historic Preservation Commission

Open Positions: multiple alternate positions available
Term: 3 years
Availability: Immediate

The City is seeking multiple alternate members to the Somerville Historic Preservation Commission (SHPC). The SHPC is charged with protecting and enhancing historic resources in the City of Somerville. The SHPC seeks candidates with an interest in historic preservation and prefers applicants with a background in architecture, architectural history, historic preservation, urban planning, and/or building trades. The SHPC encourages residents of current Local Historic Districts (LCDs) to apply. The SHPC typically meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 6:40 p.m.

The SHPC has four important roles in the city: Reviewing any alterations or repairs to properties in a Local Historic District (LHD) that are visible from a public way and that would result in an irreversible change in the design, materials, or outward appearance of the structure, and any changes in the general arrangement of the building’s features or its architectural details; administering the city’s Demolition Review Ordinance; offering pro bono professional advice, practical information, and pertinent references about materials and techniques used in historic preservation and restoration, including providing technical assistance throughout design and construction; and sponsoring events and activities to highlight the importance of historic resources in Somerville.

The SHPC has full members and alternate members. Alternate members participate in all discussion on items before the commission and vote in the place of full members when full members are absent from a meeting. The current openings at the SHPC are for alternate members.

Applicants are encouraged to submit a resume and cover letter, as well as any relevant supplemental material by email to:[email protected]. Questions may also be submitted to [email protected].

4. Design Review Committee

Open Positions: The City is seeking to fill one position at this time
Term: 2 years
Availability: Immediate

The City seeks Somerville residents with experience in urban design and/or landscape architecture for a position on the Design Review Committee. Applicants should be prepared to provide creative input in project design, be able to problem solve with applicants and think comprehensively about how development contributes to the future of Somerville. Applicants must have strong communication skills, the ability to convey design concepts in critique-like format, and urban design experience with compact, walkable, transit-oriented, and mixed-use neighborhoods. Applicants are encouraged to provide their own work samples with their application.

The Design Review Committee (DRC) is an advisory committee to the Somerville Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA). The DRC reviews applications at the request of Planning Staff, the Planning Board, or ZBA. The DRC plays a key role in providing constructive input towards improving proposed development projects before they enter the public hearing process before either the Planning Board or ZBA. The DRC typically meets the fourth Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m., but meeting times and dates can vary.

Applicants are encouraged to submit a resume and cover letter, as well as any relevant supplemental material by email to:[email protected]. Questions may also be submitted to [email protected].

5. Somerville Redevelopment Authority 

Open Positions: one position available
Term: 5 years
Availability: Immediate

The City of Somerville seeks one resident with interest or experience in community planning, real estate development, housing, financial services, transit-oriented development, design, or architecture to serve on the Somerville Redevelopment Authority (SRA). The SRA has powers to plan and implement activities needed to redevelop underutilized, deteriorated, or blighted open areas, to encourage new development, and to promote sound growth. In recent years, the SRA has been instrumental in helping to facilitate the transit-oriented redevelopment of Assembly Row, as well as the Union Square Revitalization Plan.

The SRA consists of five members, one of whom is appointed by the Governor and four that are appointed by the Mayor and approved by the Board of Aldermen. The members meet monthly on the second Thursday evening and serve staggered terms of five years or shorter, if the appointment comes during an unfulfilled term of a prior member. This position is for a full five-year term to be appointed by the Mayor.

Applicants are encouraged to submit a resume and cover letter, as well as any relevant supplemental material by email to:[email protected]. Questions may also be submitted to [email protected].

6. Condominium Review Board

Open Positions: two positions available
Term: 3 years
Availability: Immediate

The City of Somerville seeks two residents to fill vacancies on the City’s Condominium Review Board. The Condominium Review Board consists of five members appointed by the Mayor and approved by the Board of Aldermen who serve staggered terms of three years or until another member is appointed.

The Board is responsible for administering the City’s Condominium Conversion Ordinance that governs proposed conversion of rental units to condominium units, and substantial rehabilitation of existing rental units. This appointment includes a monthly stipend.  

Meetings are held monthly, typically on the fourth Monday of each month at 6 p.m.

Currently, one vacant seat that must be occupied by a homeowner and one vacant seat that must be occupied by a renter are available. Applicants for either seat must be residents of the city. 

Applicants are encouraged to submit a resume and cover letter, as well as any relevant supplemental material by email to:[email protected]. Questions may also be submitted to [email protected].

7. Fair Housing Commission

Open Positions: one position available
Term: 3 years
Availability: Immediate

The City of Somerville seeks a resident with an interest in Fair Housing Law and addressing discrimination that renters or buyers may face.

Training or experience in Fair Housing and Housing Law is welcome, but is not required. Prospective Commissioners should demonstrate a willingness and desire to inform, educate, and provide outreach on Fair Housing Law to residents of Somerville. 

Commissioners will be informed of Fair Housing complaints in the city and provide information to renters or buyers regarding how to file a complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and other various resources. The Fair Housing Commission consists of five commissioners appointed by the Mayor and approved by the Board of Alderman who serve three-year terms. Meetings are typically held once a month on the last Thursday of the month; at least three members are required for a quorum to hold meetings.

Applicants are encouraged to submit a resume and cover letter, as well as any relevant supplemental material by email to:[email protected]. Questions may also be submitted to [email protected].

8. Somerville Affordable Housing Trust

Open Positions: one position available
Term: 2 years
Availability: November 2018

The City of Somerville seeks an income-eligible Somerville resident to serve on the Somerville Affordable Housing Trust. The Trust consists of nine members who serve two-year terms or until another member is appointed. Meetings are held monthly typically on the second Thursday of the month. The City of Somerville seeks a resident with an interest in addressing the city’s affordable housing needs. 

The purpose of the Trust is to administer funding to create and preserve affordable homes in Somerville for the benefit of renters and prospective owners with low and moderate incomes. Through a public process, Trustees evaluate project and program proposals and approve allocations of funds used to increase the supply of affordable housing. The Trust is composed of nine Trustees: three designated by the Mayor, Board of Aldermen, and Somerville Housing Authority, respectively; two Somerville residents (one who is a tenant whose household is eligible for federal or state housing programs), two representatives of nonprofit organizations, one professional in real estate or housing, and another in banking or finance.

Trustees meet monthly on the second Thursday evening of each month from 6:15 to 7:30 p.m. Applicants should expect to commit a total of approximately 4 hours per month.

The current opening on the Trust is for a tenant whose household is eligible for federal or state housing programs within the income limits listed below. To qualify for the open Trustee position, an applicant’s household gross income must be at or below the limits shown, adjusted by household size (number of persons in household).

1 Person

2 People

3 People

4 People

5 People

6+ People

$56,800

$64,900

$73,000

$81,100

87,600

on request

 

Applicants are encouraged to submit a resume and cover letter, as well as any relevant supplemental material by email to:[email protected]. Questions may also be submitted to [email protected].

 


The City of Somerville does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, age, national origin, disability or any other protected category. Auxiliary aids and services, written materials in alternative formats, and reasonable modifications in policies and procedures will be provided to qualified applicants and employees with disabilities free of charge, upon request, at the address noted below:

Nency Salamoun, JD
[email protected]
(617) 625-6600, Ext. 2323 (Voice)
(617) 808-4851 (TTY)