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 Board of Aldermen 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.

Streetsort descending Number Case Number First Hearing Date Decisions Other Reports Updated date
Whipple Street 8 ZBA 2017-96 Oct 18, 2017 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 10-30-17 PDF icon Staff Report 08/07/2018 - 12:54pm
Whitman St 50-52 ZBA 2013-90 Jan 22, 2014 PDF icon WhitmanSt50-52 REVISED.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Parking Study
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Staff Report 3.27.14
PDF icon Staff Report 5.1.14
PDF icon Staff Report 5.15.14
PDF icon Staff Report 5.29.14
07/29/2014 - 8:52am
Whitman St 23 ZBA2008-44 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Whitman St 47 ZBA2007-43 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Whitman Street 30-32 ZBA 2019-59 Aug 07, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 7-19-19 PDF icon Staff Report 08/12/2019 - 4:12pm
William St 27 ZBA 2015-35 Jul 15, 2015 PDF icon WilliamSt27.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 07/28/2015 - 10:27am
Williams Ct 1 ZBA 2017-82 Nov 08, 2017 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans - for Nov 8, 2017
PDF icon Plot Plan
PDF icon Updated Plans for Nov. 29 2017
PDF icon Staff Report for Nov 8, 2017
PDF icon Updated Staff Report for Nov 29, 2017
08/07/2018 - 1:16pm
Willow Ave 187 ZBA 2012-32 May 16, 2012 PDF icon WillowAve187.pdf PDF icon Plot & Site Plans PDF icon Staff Report 06/11/2012 - 1:04pm
Willow Ave 131 (135) ZBA2004-05-R0208 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Willow Ave 259-261 ZBA 2015-41 Jul 15, 2015 PDF icon WillowAve259-261.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 07/28/2015 - 10:27am
Willow Ave 200 ZBA 2013-80 Dec 11, 2013 PDF icon WillowAve200.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Updated Staff Report
03/17/2014 - 11:09am
Willow Ave 221 ZBA 2012-64 Aug 15, 2012 PDF icon WillowAve221.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08/29/2012 - 12:43pm
Willow Ave 153 ZBA 2014-17 Apr 16, 2014 PDF icon WillowAve153.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 04/28/2014 - 11:04am
Willow Ave 221 ZBA 2012-82 Oct 17, 2012 PDF icon WillowAve221_#2012-82_.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 10/26/2012 - 9:08am
Willow Ave 26-28 ZBA 2013-31 May 15, 2013 PDF icon WillowAve26-28.pdf PDF icon Plans 09/16/2013 - 11:39am


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