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
  • 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
Webster Ave 10 ZBA 2013-98 Oct 15, 2014 PDF icon WebsterAve10.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Photo Sims
PDF icon Staff Report 02/19/2015 - 10:00am
Webster Ave / Columbia St (Royal Hospitality) 56 520 ZBA2008-65 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Webster St 17 ZBA 2013-76 Nov 20, 2013 PDF icon WebsterSt17.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 11/27/2013 - 9:48am
Wesley Park 22 ZBA 2016-155 Feb 01, 2017 PDF icon Decision 08/06/2018 - 11:18am
Wesley Park 19 ZBA 2018-58 Jun 06, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 5-22-18
PDF icon Plan Set 7-8-18
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Updated Staff Report
08/13/2018 - 9:50am
Wesley Pk 15 ZBA 2015-15 Jun 24, 2015 PDF icon WesleyPark15.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 07/09/2015 - 6:55pm
Wesley Pk 22 ZBA 2016 - 155 Feb 01, 2017 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 09/21/2018 - 10:20am
Wesley Pk 24 ZBA 2014-66 PDF icon WesleyPark24.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Staff Report 08.06.2014
08/19/2014 - 4:04pm
Westminster St 7 ZBA 2016-65 Oct 05, 2016 09/21/2018 - 10:21am
Westminster St 7 ZBA 2012-65 Sep 05, 2012 PDF icon WestminsterSt7.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 10/05/2012 - 10:43am
Weston Ave 15 ZBA 2014-24 May 07, 2014 PDF icon WestonAve15.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Photo Sims
PDF icon Staff Report 08/19/2014 - 3:59pm
Weston Ave 15 ZBA1998-37-R0208 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Weston Ave 15 ZBA2008-35 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Weston Ave 15 ZBA 2011-85 Apr 04, 2012 PDF icon WestonAve15.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Photo Simulations
PDF icon Staff Report 04/24/2012 - 4:34pm
Weston Ave 15 ZBA 2014-43 Jun 18, 2014 PDF icon WestonAve15 #2014-43).pdf PDF icon Photo Sims
PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Updated Plans
PDF icon Updated Photo Sims
PDF icon Updated Staff Report
PDF icon Staff Report 08/19/2014 - 3:58pm


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