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
Bay State Ave 78 ZBA 2015-21 May 06, 2015 PDF icon BayStateAve78.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 05/12/2015 - 3:30pm
Bay State Ave 11 ZBA 2018-101 Oct 03, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 10/31/2018 - 3:52pm
Bay State Ave 11 ZBA 2018-101 Sep 17, 2018 PDF icon 11 Bay State Avenue.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Updated Plans for Oct 3 2018
PDF icon Staff Report 10/10/2018 - 1:22pm
Bay State Ave 80 ZBA2009-07 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Bay State Ave 87 ZBA 2015-57 Sep 02, 2015 PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08/20/2015 - 9:47pm
Beacon 121 ZBA 2019-121 Nov 20, 2019 PDF icon Plans 11/18/2019 - 7:34pm
Beacon 175 ZBA 2015-100 Dec 09, 2015 PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Views
PDF icon Staff Report 12/03/2015 - 4:25pm
Beacon 303 ZBA 2019-121 Nov 20, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 01/15/2020 - 9:03am
Beacon 104 ZBA 2016-78 Dec 07, 2016 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 09/17/2018 - 3:59pm
Beacon 191 ZBA 2015-79 Mar 02, 2016 PDF icon Decision PDF icon I PDF icon Staff Report 09/17/2018 - 4:08pm
Beacon Pl 22 ZBA 2014-48 Jun 18, 2014 PDF icon BeaconPl22.pdf PDF icon Plans 5.19.14
PDF icon Plans 5.30.14
PDF icon Staff Report 06/27/2014 - 11:16am
Beacon Pl 24 ZBA 2014-02 Mar 05, 2014 PDF icon BeaconPl24.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 03/28/2014 - 12:23pm
Beacon Place 12 ZBA 2015-81 Feb 17, 2016 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 09/17/2018 - 4:11pm
Beacon St 369-371 ZBA 2008-61-R1-3/2012 Apr 18, 2012 PDF icon BeaconSt369-371.pdf PDF icon Order of Remand
PDF icon Drainage Report 3-12-12
PDF icon Drainage Report Plans
PDF icon Staff Report 06/12/2013 - 11:15am
Beacon St 221 ZBA2008-10 05/20/2010 - 7:10am

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