About the Planning Board

The Planning Board is the Special Permit Granting Authority for the Assembly Square Mixed-Use Development (ASMD), Corridor Commercial Development (CCD), and Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Districts, Planned Unit Developments (PUDs), Overlay Districts, and Site Plan Approvals. The Board also holds public hearings and renders recommendations to the City Council on zoning amendments.

  • Notes to Applicants

  • Members

  • Reports & Decisions

Development Review Standards:

  • Please be advised that, per the standards set out in Article 15 of the Somerville Zoning Ordinance, a development review application is not complete until all required community and Design Review meetings have been held, all necessary information has been submitted, and all fees have been paid. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed, will not be publicly noticed, and will not be scheduled for a public hearing.
  • Planning staff will work with applicants to discuss meeting dates and review application materials.
  • Applications for large projects may require a longer review period and evaluation by multiple City departments before being deemed complete and scheduled for a public hearing.
  • Planning staff reserves the right to ask for additional information or to change meeting dates.
  • Michael A. Capuano, Chair
  • Amelia Aboff, Vice Chair
  • Sam Dinning
  • Jahan Habib
  • Rob Buchanan (Alternate)

Michael Capuano

Mike Capuano has served on the Planning Board since 2008. He is a graduate of Somerville High School, Harvard College, and the Suffolk Law School.  He has also served as the Planning Board's designee to the Community Preservation Committee since its inception in 2013 and served two terms as its inaugural Chairman.  For the last four years, he has served as Assistant General Counsel at the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, where he represents the Secretariat and its agencies and programs, including the Office of Medicaid.

Amelia Aboff (Vice Chair)

Amelia Aboff is a project manager at Leggat McCall Properties, working with the strategic real estate advisory team on projects for academic and institutional clients. Prior to joining Leggat McCall, she was a development manager at WS Development focusing on mixed-use and retail assets. In earlier roles, Amelia led expansion efforts at Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) and sustainability, urban planning, and economic development initiatives at BuroHappold Engineering. Amelia is an AICP-certified planner and a LEED Accredited Professional.

Sam Dinning (Clerk)

Sam Dinning is an attorney specializing in local government law and public sector litigation.  Previously, he served as a prosecutor in King County, Washington, and as a voter protection attorney in Ohio during the 2016 election.  Sam grew up in Natick and now lives in East Somerville with his girlfriend, Janice, and their dog, Bo.  

Jahan Habib

Jahan Habib is a Global Financial and Accounting Operations Manager at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Office of the Vice President for Finance, where he works on the organization's Global engagements. He is an MBA candidate at Boston College, with a focus on real estate, urban planning, and development. In addition, Jahan is a licensed real estate salesperson and residential property manager.

Rob Buchanan (Alternate)

Rob Buchanan has been a resident of Somerville since 2009 and has been a community advocate on a number of planning and zoning issues, particularly with respect to transformation areas such as Union Square, Boynton Yards, and Assembly Square. He is a member of the Cambridge Health Alliance Board of Trustees and was previously involved in Union Square Main Streets, Union Square Neighbors, and MassDOT's McGrath Boulevard Project Development Working Group. He is a health policy consultant and works on issues centered on improving publicly funded health care for vulnerable populations. Rob earned his master’s degree in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Reports and Decisions

PLEASE NOTE: Applications made before April 15, 2011 are not included in this listing and can be found by clicking here.

Street Number Case Numbersort descending First Hearing Date Decisions Other Reports Updated date
Glenwood Rd 86 ZBA 2015-48 Aug 05, 2015 PDF icon GlenwoodRd86.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08/20/2015 - 9:04am
Highland Ave 81 ZBA 2017-101 Oct 18, 2017 PDF icon Variance Decision
PDF icon Special Permit Decision
PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Executive Summary - Parking Study
PDF icon Parking Study
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Parking Variance Memo
08/07/2018 - 1:17pm
Orchard St 101 ZBA #2014-84 Jul 31, 2014 PDF icon OrchardSt101.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 9-11-14
PDF icon Plot Plan
11/06/2014 - 7:15pm
Summer St 227A ZBA #2015-60 Sep 16, 2015 PDF icon SummerSt227A.pdf PDF icon Planning Staff Report 09/30/2015 - 1:56pm
Bow Street 23A ZBA #2015-66 Sep 16, 2015 PDF icon BowSt23A.pdf PDF icon Planning Staff Report 09/30/2015 - 1:47pm
Highland Rd 87 ZBA #2015-69 Sep 16, 2015 PDF icon HighlandRd87.pdf PDF icon Planning Staff Report 09/30/2015 - 1:51pm
Partridge Ave 92-94 ZBA #2015-69 Sep 16, 2015 PDF icon PartridgeAve92-94.pdf PDF icon Planning Staff Report 09/30/2015 - 4:10pm
Bonair 78 ZBA #2016-115 Nov 02, 2016 PDF icon Decision 09/17/2018 - 5:25pm
Florence Terrace 10 ZBA #2016-130 Jan 18, 2017 PDF icon Decision 09/18/2018 - 3:41pm
Montgomery Avenue 5 ZBA #2016-131 Jan 18, 2017 PDF icon MontgomeryAve5.pdf 09/20/2018 - 2:48pm
Summer Street 301 ZBA #2016-144 Feb 01, 2017 PDF icon SummerSt301.pdf 09/20/2018 - 7:24pm
13 School Street ZBA #2016-33 Apr 20, 2016 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 09/20/2018 - 7:09pm
Highland Avenue 117-119 ZBA #2016-96 Jan 18, 2017 PDF icon Decision 09/19/2018 - 1:15pm
Rogers Avenue 91-93 ZBA #2017-03 Jan 26, 2017 PDF icon Decision 08/06/2018 - 11:27am
Medford Street 466 ZBA #2017-08 Jan 10, 2017 PDF icon Decision 08/06/2018 - 11:27am

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