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
Temple St 48 ZBA 2012-72 Sep 19, 2012 PDF icon TempleSt48.pdf PDF icon Plot & Site plans
PDF icon Existing & Proposed plans
PDF icon Staff Report 10/05/2012 - 10:41am
Temple Street 15 PB 2018-20 Feb 07, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Staff Report 10-16-18 PDF icon Staff Report 03/11/2019 - 2:30pm
Tennyson Street 39 ZBA 2018-149 May 15, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 10-19-18
PDF icon Plan Set 4-29-19
PDF icon Plan Set 4-30-19
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Updated Staff Report
07/02/2019 - 11:14am
Tennyson Street 14 ZBA 2016-117 Nov 16, 2016 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 09/20/2018 - 7:29pm
Third Ave 44-48 ZBA2010-01 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Third Ave 21 ZBA 2011-39 Jun 08, 2011 PDF icon ThirdAve21.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Traffic Memorandum
PDF icon Level 1 Environmental Site Assessment
PDF icon Staff Report 06/21/2011 - 10:17am
Thorndike St 17 ZBA 2019-67 Sep 04, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set
PDF icon Existing Front & Side Elevations
PDF icon Staff Report 09/18/2019 - 4:52pm
Thorndike St 41 ZBA 2018-81 Aug 08, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans for August 8, 2018 ZBA
PDF icon Thorndike St 41 - Plans for Aug 22, 2018 ZBA
PDF icon Staff Report 11/14/2018 - 12:54pm
Thurston 7 ZBA 2015-55 Aug 27, 2015 PDF icon Staff Report 08/26/2015 - 4:35pm
Thurston 7 ZBA 2015-55 Sep 02, 2015 PDF icon Thurston St, 7 Staff Report.doc.pdf 08/26/2015 - 4:33pm
Thurston St 52 ZBA2008-62 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Thurston St 103 ZBA2007-64 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Thurston St 84 ZBA 2016-153 Feb 01, 2017 PDF icon Plans 09/20/2018 - 7:32pm
Thurston St 79 ZBA 2015-42 Aug 05, 2015 PDF icon ThurstonSt79.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08/20/2015 - 9:01am
Tower Ct 5 ZBA 2012-44 Jun 20, 2012 PDF icon TowerCt5.pdf PDF icon DRC 12-8-11
PDF icon DRC 1-26-12
PDF icon DRC 3-22-12
PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Staff Report 08/02/2012 - 12:19pm

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