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.

Street Numbersort descending Case Number First Hearing Date Decisions Other Reports Updated date
Dane Street 0 ZBA 2016-76 Jul 14, 2016 PDF icon Decision 08/06/2018 - 11:25am
Crown St 0 ZBA 2012-94 Dec 12, 2012 PDF icon CrownSt0.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Memo 1.3.13
03/29/2013 - 11:32am
Skilton 0 ZBA 2016-98 Oct 05, 2016 PDF icon Skilton 0-SPSR Application Set with 3D street views-160729.pdf 09/20/2018 - 7:10pm
Clarendon Hill 00 40B#2020-0001 Jun 10, 2020 PDF icon Jan 22, 2020 ZBA Overview Presentation
PDF icon Original Submission (20.02.10)
Package icon Updated Full Submission (20.06.18)
PDF icon Staff Memo (20.06.19)
PDF icon P&Z 40B Overview (20.06.03)
PDF icon PSUF Memo (20.06.12)
PDF icon OSE Memo (20.06.19)
PDF icon Mobility Memo (20.06.19)
PDF icon PSUF Memo (20.06.25)
PDF icon Engineering Memo (20.06.24)
07/01/2020 - 11:54am
Freemont 1 ZBA 2016-35 Jun 08, 2016 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 09/18/2018 - 3:57pm
Benton Rd 1 PB2009-17 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Howe Street 1 ZBA 2016-88 Feb 15, 2017 PDF icon Decision 08/06/2018 - 11:23am
Munroe St 1 ZBA 2018-88 Sep 17, 2018 PDF icon Decision WWOP PDF icon Plan Set PDF icon Staff Report 09/26/2018 - 1:03pm
Williams Ct 1 ZBA 2017-82 Nov 08, 2017 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans - for Nov 8, 2017
PDF icon Plot Plan
PDF icon Updated Plans for Nov. 29 2017
PDF icon Staff Report for Nov 8, 2017
PDF icon Updated Staff Report for Nov 29, 2017
08/07/2018 - 1:16pm
Westwood Rd 1 ZBA 2012-29 May 02, 2012 PDF icon WestwoodRd1.pdf PDF icon Plot & Site Plans PDF icon Staff Report 06/11/2012 - 1:02pm
Benton Rd 1 PB 2010-60-R1-4-2012 May 17, 2012 PDF icon BentonRd1-decision _2_.pdf PDF icon Decision on Motion for Summary Judgment
PDF icon Plans
05/25/2012 - 8:57am
McGrath Highway 1 ZBA 2016-124 Jan 04, 2017 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 09/20/2018 - 1:44pm
Glenwood Rd 1 ZBA2007-21-R0808 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Davis Square 1 ZBA2005-27-R1108 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
McGrath Highway 1 ZBA 2018-138 Dec 12, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Narrative of changes
PDF icon Architectural Plans 9-27-18
PDF icon Civil Plans 9-26-18
PDF icon Staff Report 03/12/2019 - 12:11pm

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