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

  • Meetings

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
  • Rob Buchanan, Clerk
  • Jahan Habib
  • Erin Geno
  • Debbie Howitt Easton, Alternate
  • Russell Pildes, Alternate

Michael Capuano (Chair)

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.

Rob Buchanan (Clerk)

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.

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.

Erin Geno

Since moving to Somerville in 2009 Erin Geno has been active in the community as a citizen participant in zoning overhaul, SomerVision 2040, and as member of the Somerville Garden Club. A multi-modal commuter, avid gardener, and sustainability advocate Erin works in the local biotech sector. She has held positions as a bench scientist and is currently a Senior Analyst in Research Informatics at a Cambridge start-up.

Debbie Howitt Easton

Debbie has been a resident of Somerville since 2002.  She is a long-time practicing attorney and currently Assistant General Counsel to Ameresco, a cleantech integrator and renewable energy asset developer, owner, and operator with a portfolio that includes energy efficiency, infrastructure upgrades, asset sustainability, and renewable energy solutions.  Prior to moving in-house with Ameresco, Debbie spent most of her career in private practice where her focus was on commercial real estate.

Russell Pildes

Russell Pildes has been a resident of Somerville since moving to the region from the Midwest in 2017. He is a geographer and professional transportation planner, with special focus on evaluating the differential economic and environmental impacts of development on nearby communities. He has primarily worked in the public sector, including as a planner and  policy analyst for the US Department of Transportation. He currently serves as a transportation policy advisor for NESCAUM, an association of the air resource agencies of eight Northeast states. Pildes earned his master's degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Michigan.


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 Number Case Numbersort descending First Hearing Date Decisions Other Reports Updated date
Broadway 620 P&Z 21-140 Dec 15, 2021 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Narrative and Plans PDF icon Staff Memo 01/03/2022 - 11:26am
Columbia Street 495 P&Z 21-141 Oct 26, 2021 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Lot Consolidation Plan 10/29/2021 - 12:12pm
Middlesex Ave 120-132 P&Z 21-146 Nov 03, 2021 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Extension Request Letter PDF icon Staff Memo 11/22/2021 - 9:23am
Houghton Street 27 P&Z 21-149 Dec 15, 2021 PDF icon Narrative
PDF icon Plans & Drawings
PDF icon Plot Plan
PDF icon Shadow Study
PDF icon Neighborhood Meeting Report
PDF icon Staff Memo 12/09/2021 - 6:02pm
McGrath Highway 13-15 & 17-21 P&Z 21-150 Oct 06, 2021 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Lot Consolidation Plan 10/19/2021 - 12:16pm
Linwood Ave 151 P&Z 21-153 Jun 01, 2022 PDF icon Hardship Variance Narrative
PDF icon Plan Set
PDF icon Hardship Variance Key Sheet
PDF icon Plot Plan
PDF icon Elevations
PDF icon Floor Plans
PDF icon Renderings
PDF icon Proposed Green Score
PDF icon Turning Study
05/31/2022 - 2:21pm
Elm Street 257 P&Z 21-155 Nov 08, 2021 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans 11/22/2021 - 10:49am
McGrath Hwy 35 P&Z 21-156 May 18, 2022 PDF icon Corrected Decision PDF icon HV Drawings
PDF icon Plot Plan
PDF icon HV Narrative (Driveway in Frontage Area)
PDF icon HV Narrative (Front Setback)
PDF icon HV Narrative (Parallel to Front Lot Line)
PDF icon Exhibit A
PDF icon Exhibit B
PDF icon Staff Memo (with attachments) 06/16/2022 - 2:31pm
Elm Street 257 P&Z 21-167 Nov 08, 2021 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans 11/22/2021 - 10:47am
Medford St 494 P&Z 21-180 Jan 06, 2022 PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Updated Plans
PDF icon UDC Recommendation 02/22/2022 - 9:33am
Clyde St 26 P&Z 22-010 Mar 02, 2022 PDF icon Narrative
PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Supplemental Narrative
PDF icon Staff Memo 02/25/2022 - 11:10am
Broadway 595 P&Z 22-018 May 18, 2022 PDF icon ZBA Decision
PDF icon Permit Extension Decision
PDF icon Extension Request Narrative
PDF icon Explanation of Delay
PDF icon Staff Memo 05/27/2022 - 10:24am
McGrath Hwy 14 P&Z 22-019 Mar 10, 2022 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Narrative
PDF icon Plot Plan
PDF icon Dimensional Compliance Table
PDF icon Drawings
PDF icon Drawings with Stamp
03/10/2022 - 11:55am
Elm St 236 P&Z 22-020 Mar 09, 2022 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Narrative
PDF icon Sign Plans
PDF icon Sign Elevations
03/09/2022 - 11:14am
South Street 33 P&Z 22-030 Mar 21, 2022 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Narrative
PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Plot Plan
03/24/2022 - 10:44am


Subscribe to Reports and Decisions

Planning Board meetings are generally held on the first and third Thursday of each month.

Please see published legal notifications and online agendas at somervillema.gov/events. Agendas are published at least forty-eight (48) hours in advance of the meeting. The meeting dates below are tentative: meetings will only be held if there are items of business on the agenda to be addressed at the meeting, and meetings may be rescheduled or cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.