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
Westwood Rd 1 ZBA 2016-04 Aug 17, 2016 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 09/21/2018 - 10:24am
Howe St 1 ZBA 2011-34 May 18, 2011 PDF icon HoweSt1.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 06/06/2011 - 1:09pm
Summer St 1 ZBA2008-43 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Howe 1 ZBA 2016-88 Sep 21, 2016 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Staff Report 09/20/2018 - 10:46am
Assembly Row Block 1 1 PB 2011-14 Oct 05, 2011 PDF icon ASQ Block 1 Combined Decision.pdf PDF icon Architectural Renderings, Plans, Elevations
PDF icon Civil Plans
PDF icon Neighborhood Context
PDF icon DRC 7-28-11
PDF icon DRC 9-8-11
PDF icon Staff Report 06/25/2014 - 2:14pm
McGrath Highway 1 ZBA 2018-138-E1 Mar 25, 2020 PDF icon Decision PDF icon McGrath 1 - Staff Report.pdf 04/07/2020 - 9:26am
Freemont 1 ZBA 2016-35 Jun 08, 2016 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 09/18/2018 - 3:43pm
Village Ter 1 & 2 ZBA 2011-77 Apr 18, 2012 PDF icon VillageTerrace1&2.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon DRC 1-12-12
PDF icon DRC 2-23-12
PDF icon Plans- Revised 7.25.12
PDF icon Plans- Revised 11.20.12
PDF icon Plans- Revised Posted 11.28.12
PDF icon Staff Report 3.2012
PDF icon Staff Report 11.2012
PDF icon Staff Report 11.28.2012
01/03/2013 - 10:05am
Benton Rd 1 & 3 ZBA 2012-101 Jan 09, 2013 PDF icon BentonRd1-3.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 03/29/2013 - 11:05am
College Ave / Highland Ave 1 / 419 ZBA 2011-87 Dec 07, 2011 PDF icon CollegeAve1-HighlandAve419.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 12/16/2011 - 11:29am
Windsor Rd 1-3 ZBA2008-16 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Hayden Ter 1-4 ZBA2007-56-R0908 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Oak St 10 ZBA 2018-10-R1-06-2019 Sep 04, 2019 PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Plans
03/06/2020 - 11:54am
Hersey St 10 ZBA 2014-105 Nov 05, 2014 PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 02/19/2015 - 9:56am
Allen Ct 10 ZBA 2013-12 Aug 21, 2013 PDF icon AllenCt10.pdf PDF icon Plans 8.6.2013
PDF icon Plans 8.14.2013
PDF icon Plans 11.12.2013
PDF icon Landscape Plan
PDF icon Plans 12.17.2013
PDF icon Plans 12.20.2013
PDF icon Staff Report 01/22/2014 - 5:54pm

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