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 development manager at WS Development, where her work focuses on repositioning and revitalizing large-scale centers to respond to the changing needs of mixed-use and retail hubs. Prior to joining WS Development, Amelia led expansion projects at Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) and spent four years as a project manager for the Cities team at BuroHappold Engineering working on sustainability, urban planning, and economic development initiatives. 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
Tyler St 8 ZBA 2011-80 Nov 16, 2011 PDF icon TylerSt8.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 12/02/2011 - 12:19pm
Tyler St / Park St 10 / 28 ZBA 2012-26 May 02, 2012 PDF icon TylerSt10-ParkSt28.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Parking Study
PDF icon Traffic Impact Assessment
PDF icon Parking Memorandum 5-10-12
PDF icon Staff Report 05/25/2012 - 8:48am
Tyler St / Park St 14 / 30 ZBA 2015-117 Mar 16, 2016 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 09/20/2018 - 7:34pm
Union Sq 15 PB 2011-13 Sep 15, 2011 PDF icon UnionSq15.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 10/12/2011 - 12:02pm
Union Sq 73-75 PB 2014-11 May 08, 2014 PDF icon UnionSq73-76.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 06/27/2014 - 11:26am
Union Sq 92 PB 2015-08 Aug 06, 2015 PDF icon UnionSq92.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08/20/2015 - 9:04am
Union Sq 73-75 PB 2012-06 Apr 05, 2012 PDF icon UnionSq73-75.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Updated Staff Report
04/24/2012 - 4:35pm
Union Sq 31-33 PB 2015-09 Aug 06, 2015 PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08.2015
PDF icon Staff Report 09.2015
09/03/2015 - 1:27pm
Union Sq 2 PB 2016-07 Jun 08, 2016 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Union Sq 2 - Partners Urgent Care - Updated Staff Report.pdf 09/21/2018 - 10:06am
Union Sq 38 PB 2013-20 Nov 07, 2013 PDF icon UnionSq38.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 11/19/2013 - 10:15am
Union Square CDSP PB 2017-21 Nov 20, 2017 PDF icon CDSP decision PDF icon Revised: USQ CDSP Application
PDF icon Revised: Appendix 1 – Applicant Info
PDF icon Revised: Appendix 3 – Civic Space
PDF icon Appendix 4 – T.I.S. & Mobility
PDF icon Revised: Lot & Block Plans
PDF icon Revised: Thoroughfare Plans
PDF icon Revised: Utility Exhibits
PDF icon Revised: Appendix 2 - Neighborhood Mtg
PDF icon Preliminary Staff Report - prior to testimony
PDF icon mobility management memo
PDF icon Memo in response to 11/20/17 questions
08/07/2018 - 8:58am
Union Square 71 DRA2020-0038 Jun 10, 2020 PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Context Elevations
PDF icon Plot Plan
PDF icon Variance Narrative
06/02/2020 - 12:38pm
Upland Rd 26-28 ZBA 2018-43 Jun 06, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans for June 6 2018 ZBA
PDF icon Plot Plan
PDF icon Staff Report for 6-6-2018 08/03/2018 - 11:15am
Upland Road 56-58 ZBA 2019-32 May 01, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 12-19-18
PDF icon Plan Set 4-10-19
PDF icon Sketch 4-26-19
PDF icon Plan Set 4-29-19
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Updated Staff Report
05/23/2019 - 12:07pm
Vernon St 60 ZBA 2019-38 Jun 19, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set - Initial Submission
PDF icon Updated Plan Set for June 19, 2019 ZBA
PDF icon Staff Report 07/08/2019 - 9:08am

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