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.

Street Numbersort descending Case Number First Hearing Date Decisions Other Reports Updated date
Sacramento Street 81 ZBA 2017-25 May 03, 2017 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans and Pictures PDF icon Staff Report 08/06/2018 - 11:43am
School St 81 ZBA2008-11 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
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
Alpine 81-83 ZBA 2018-141 Nov 07, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon ADA
PDF icon Plan Set
PDF icon Shadow Study
PDF icon Updated plans for March 20, 2019
PDF icon Updated Plans for June 5, 2019 ZBA
PDF icon Staff Report 07/02/2019 - 11:15am
Highland Ave 82 ZBA 2014-16 Jun 04, 2014 PDF icon HighlandAve82.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Parking Study
PDF icon Updated Drainage Report
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Staff Report 06.12.2014
06/27/2014 - 11:17am
Pearson Ave 82 ZBA 2012-46 Jul 11, 2012 PDF icon PearsonAve82.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08/02/2012 - 11:58am
Highland Ave 82 ZBA 2014-16-R1(6/2015) Jul 15, 2015 PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 07/07/2015 - 12:24am
Willow Avenue 82 ZBA 2017-30 Oct 18, 2017 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 8-16-17
PDF icon Survey Plan
PDF icon Landscape Plan 10-12-17
PDF icon Plan Set 11-2-17
PDF icon First Floor Plan 11-16-17
PDF icon Staff Report 10-18-17
PDF icon Updated Staff Report 11-8-17
PDF icon Updated Staff Report 11-29-17
08/07/2018 - 1:15pm
Jaques St 83 ZBA 2014-30 May 07, 2014 PDF icon JaquesSt83.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 06/27/2014 - 11:29am
Broadway 83-91 PB 2014-15 Jun 19, 2014 PDF icon Broadway83-91.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08/28/2014 - 9:53am
Franklin St 84 ZBA 2017-50 Jan 31, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Franklin St 84 - Plans for January 31 2018
PDF icon Franklin 84 - Existing Plot Plan.pdf
PDF icon Franklin St 84 - Updated Combined Plan Set for 3-7-2018
PDF icon Franklin St 84 - Updated Plans for April 4 2018
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Staff Report - Updated for 3-7-2018
PDF icon Staff report for April 4 2018
08/03/2018 - 11:30am
Franklin St 84 ZBA 2017-50-R1-08-18 Apr 03, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Memo PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Updated Staff Report for May 1 2019
05/22/2019 - 10:49am
Thurston St 84 ZBA 2016-153 Feb 01, 2017 PDF icon Plans 09/20/2018 - 7:32pm
Washington St 84 & 90 PB 2013-03 Apr 04, 2013 PDF icon WashingtonSt84&90.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 04/11/2013 - 10:10pm
McGrath Hwy 844 PB 2014-10 May 08, 2014 PDF icon McGrathHwy844.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Photo Sims
PDF icon Staff Report 06/27/2014 - 11:27am

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