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
  • Rob Buchanan, Clerk
  • Jahan Habib
  • Erin Geno
  • Debbie Howitt Easton, Alternate

Michael Capuano (Chair)

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.

Rob Buchanan (Clerk)

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.

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.

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 Numbersort descending Case Number First Hearing Date Decisions Other Reports Updated date
Broadway 1234-1236 ZBA 2014-74 Nov 05, 2014 PDF icon Broadway1234-1236.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 02/23/2015 - 9:26am
Highland Ave 124 ZBA 2018-93 Aug 22, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans July 2018
PDF icon Updated Plans July 2019
PDF icon Traffic/Parking Study 2019
PDF icon Updated Plan Set for 9-18-2019 ZBA
PDF icon Updated Traffic Study for 9-18-2019
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Updated Staff Report
PDF icon Updated Staff Report for Sept 18, 2019
10/01/2019 - 2:52pm
Heath St 124 ZBA 2018-148 Dec 12, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set
PDF icon Updated Plans
PDF icon Plans for 2-20-2019
PDF icon Updated plans for March 6, 2019 ZBA
PDF icon Staff Report 03/12/2019 - 1:36pm
Broadway 1244 ZBA 2018-135 Mar 06, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 10-19-18
PDF icon Plan Set 2-11-19
PDF icon Staff Report 03/12/2019 - 12:05pm
Broadway 125 PB 2013-19 Nov 07, 2013 PDF icon Broadway125.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 11/19/2013 - 10:14am
Lowell Street 125 ZBA 2018-89 Aug 22, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon initial drawing set
PDF icon revised drawing set
PDF icon transportation fact sheet
PDF icon stormwater report
PDF icon staff report
PDF icon revised staff report
PDF icon Planning Board presentation
10/16/2018 - 3:49pm
Broadway 1252 ZBA 2018-38 Jul 12, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set
PDF icon Plan Set - Updated July 2018
PDF icon Plan Set - Updated October 2018
PDF icon Plan Set - Updated for Nov 28 2018
PDF icon Plans for 2-20-2019 ZBA
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Updated Staff Report for 2-20-2019
03/12/2019 - 1:44pm
Pearl Street 126 ZBA 2019-46 Jun 19, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 6-5-19 PDF icon Staff Report 07/24/2019 - 9:16am
Orchard St 126 ZBA2009-12 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Highland Ave 129-129R ZBA 2012-45 Jul 11, 2012 PDF icon HighlandAve129-129R.pdf PDF icon Plans 6-26-12
PDF icon Plans 7-25-12
PDF icon Plans 8-28-12
PDF icon Plans 9-27-12
PDF icon Staff Report 10/26/2012 - 9:07am
Pinckney 13 ZBA 2017-63 Sep 06, 2017 PDF icon Decision PDF icon application
PDF icon sketch layout
PDF icon certificate of occupancy
PDF icon Staff Report 10-4-17 08/07/2018 - 12:13pm
Elmwood St 13 ZBA 2012-73 Sep 19, 2012 PDF icon ElmwoodSt13.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 09.13.12
PDF icon Staff Report 09.27.12
10/26/2012 - 9:11am
Lee St 13 ZBA 2017-78 Sep 06, 2017 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08/06/2018 - 12:23pm
Quincy 13 ZBA 2018-156 Feb 20, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 03/19/2019 - 12:27pm
Dell Street 13 ZBA 2016-141 Jan 18, 2017 PDF icon Decision 08/03/2018 - 11:37am

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