Union Square Planning
Public Hearing and Comment Period on Union Square Development: 11/20 & 11/30
The next round of public input on Union Square development will be a two-part public hearing at two Planning Board meetings on Nov. 20 and 30. After multiple years of public process to develop the Union Square Neighborhood Plan as well as Union Square Zoning, the community has set forth the parameters of Union Square development. In keeping with this guidance, this fall at two public meetings, the Master Developer, US2, presented their preliminary plans for the seven master development blocks and a new neighborhood park. Now their final proposed plan, the Union Square Coordinated Development Plan, is before the Planning Board, which will hold a two-part public hearing on the plan on Monday, Nov. 20, and Thursday, Nov. 30.
The purpose of the hearing will be to receive public comments on the Plan, which, once approved, is the formal mechanism that will allow the general plans to proceed. More public input opportunities on specific plan elements will follow over time. Before individual buildings, streets, or parks within the plan may proceed, each must undergo design and site plan review, which, for each, includes an additional Planning Board public hearing and two additional neighborhood meetings.
All interested persons are invited to attend and/or comment at the upcoming hearing. At the opening hearing, US2 will formally present their Plan to the Board and the community. Spoken testimony will then be taken at this meeting as well as at the next Planning Board meeting on Nov. 30. Written testimony will also be accepted at a minimum through Nov. 30.
Meeting dates and More Information:
- Public Hearing of the Planning Board, Monday, Nov. 20, 6 p.m. in the Argenziano School Cafeteria, 290 Washington St.
- Public Hearing of the Planning Board, Thursday, Nov. 30, 6 p.m. at City Hall, 93 Highland Ave.
- Written comments: Interested persons may provide comments to the Planning Board at the hearing or by also by mail to OSPCD, Planning Division, 93 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA 02143; by fax to 617-625-0722; or by email to [email protected].
- Staff reports, plans and Board decisions for this project, when completed, will be posted online at Somervillema.gov/unionsquareplanning.
- Submittals may be viewed in-person in the Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development, located on the third floor of City Hall, 93 Highland Ave., during regular business hours.
- For more information: Email [email protected]
Union Square Zoning Proposal
Process & Funding
Coordinated Development Special Permit Application
- Coordinated Development Special Permit Decision
- Coordinated Development Special Permit Application (Revised)
- Appendix 1 - Applicant Info (Revised)
- Appendix 2 - Neighborhood Meeting Materials (Revised)
- Appendix-3 - Civic Space (Revised)
- Appendix 4 - TIS & Mobility Management (Revised)
- Utility Exhibits - 24x36 (Revised)
- Thoroughfare Plans - 24x36 (Revised)
- Lot & Block Plans (Revised)
- Applicant Presentation from 11/20/17 Planning Board Meeting
- Mobility Management Plan - Final Decision
- Updated Mobility Management Plan - Approval Letter
Union Square Zoning Proposal
Union Square Zoning Proposal 2017
- June, 9, 2017 - Union Square Zoning Final and Signed
- June, 9, 2017 - Union Square Covenant Final and Signed
- June, 9, 2017 - Covenant Under Final USOD Zoning
- June 6, 2017 - Union Square Zoning Draft
- June 6, 2017 - Union Square Covenant Draft
- June 6, 2017 - Memo on Zoning Part 1
- June 6, 2017 - Memo on Zoning Part 2
- June 6, 2017 - Information on Sizes of City Parks
- June 6, 2017 - Phasing Information
- June 6, 2017 - Height Chart
- May 31, 2017 - Updated US2 Development Covenant
- May 31, 2017 - Union Square Zoning Draft BOA and Staff Edits
- May 30, 2017 - Union Square Zoning Draft BOA and Staff Edits
- May 30, 2017 - Land Use Committee Video
- May 25, 2017 - Union Square MLDA, Commercial & Residential Phasing Tools
- May 25, 2017 - Union Square Zoning Draft BOA and Staff Edits
- May 25, 2017 - Land Use Committee Video
- May 17, 2017 - Land Use Committee Video
- May 9, 2017 - Land Use Committee Video
- May 2, 2017 - Master Land Disposition Agreement (MLDA) Executed
- May 2, 2017 - US2 Land Use Committee Meeting Presentation
- May 2, 2017 - Land Use Committee Video
- April 12, 2017 - Union Square Meeting Presentation
- USQ Overlay Planning Board Draft
- Shadow Study Full File
- Shadow Study Handout
- US2 Development Covenant
- US2 Covenant Presentation
- April 3, 2017 - Planning Division Memo
- March. 7, 2017 - Union Square Meeting Presentation
- Feb. 2, 2017 - Union Square Meeting Presentation
- Jan. 24, 2017 - Union Square Meeting Presentation
- Jan. 17, 2017 - Union Square Meeting Presentation
Union Square Zoning Proposal 2016
- Proposed Union Square Zoning Amendment (current as for Feb. 14, 2017)
- Proposed Union Square Zoning Overlay Map (current as for Feb. 14, 2017)
- Proposed Union Square Underlying Zoning Map Changes (current as for Feb. 14, 2017)
- Proposed Union Square Zoning Amendment (previous version)
- Proposed Union Square Underlying Zoning Map Changes (previous version)
- Proposed Union Square Zoning Overlay Map (previous version)
- Staff memo on the Union Square Zoning
- Presentation to Board of Aldermen on Oct. 25, 2016 - Open Space & Mixed Use Ratio
- Presentation to Board of Aldermen on Nov. 1, 2016
- Presentation to Board of Aldermen on Nov. 1, 2016 by Carson Bise
- Presentation to the Board of Aldermen on Nov. 29, 2016
- Union Square Meeting Presentation on Dec. 13, 2016
- Union Square Meeting Presentation on Dec. 13, 2016 with Supplemental Materials
- Planning Board Recommendation Letter
- Planning Board Draft Amendment
- Planning Board Amendment Comparison
Union Square 2015
Check out the neighborhood planning process at Somerville by Design.
Process & Funding
The redevelopment of Union Square aims to realize the vision of the Somerville community to bring jobs, open space, affordable and market rate housing, to Somerville as well as the needed commercial tax revenue that will help shift taxes from residents to businesses, and Mayor Curtatone's admistration and the Board of Aldermen are working to achieve this ambitious community goal. In 2012, the Board of Alderman adopted the Union Square Revitalization Plan. Once it was approved by the State, it gave the City the ability to acquire the 7 parcels identified in the plan to allow for future development. To date, the Somerville Redevelopment Authority (SRA) has acquired the parcel identified as D2 to help spur transit-oriented development. The Union Square Green Line station will be built on a portion of D2.
In December 2013, the City released a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to identify the most qualified development partner for Union Square. The developer chosen is the preferred developer of the 7 parcels identified in the Union Square Revitalization Plan. At the same time, a Civic Advisory Committee was established to advise the City on strategic planning decisions and development in the Union Square area over the next two years. There were 9 responses to the RFP. With help from the CAC, the list was shortlisted to 4 teams. In the summer/fall of 2014, City Staff, CAC members, SRA members, and Alderman toured featured projects of the remaining 4 development teams.
In 2014, in consideration from recommendations from the CAC and the City, the Somerville Redevelopment Authority selected Union Square Station (US2) to be the master developer for Union Square. With funding available from US2, the Planning and Zoning division of the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development started a neighborhood plan using the Somerville by Design methodology in December of the same year. After a lengthy public process, the Planning Board adopted the Union Square Neighborhood Plan on May 5, 2016.
Throughout the planning process, the public requested a conversation about a benefits agreement with US2. In the summer of 2015, the City teamed up with LOCUS: Responsible Real Estate Developers and Investors to help facilitate this discussion with the City, CAC, community members, and US2. The public was invited to participate in this innovative public benefits process. There’s more information available in our FAQs document.
Public Hearing on the Union Square Master Land Disposition Agreement (MLDA) 3/8
The Somerville Redevelopment Authority (SRA) invited the public to comment on the Master Land Disposition Agreement (MLDA) with Union Square Station Associates (US2) at a special SRA meeting and public hearing held on Wednesday, March 8, 2017, at 5:30 p.m.
The MLDA between the Somerville Redevelopment Authority and Union Square Master Developer US2 was submitted to the SRA for review at their meeting on February 16, 2017. The SRA heard comments at the March 8th meeting, and comments were also accepted via email. Comments were submitted via email by 3 p.m. on Wednesday March 8, 2017.
The meeting was held at Somerville City Hall, in the Aldermanic Chambers, 2nd Floor, 93 Highland Avenue. To view the MLDA, please click the following link: Master Land Disposition Agreement (MLDA).
Please see the linked PDF for responses to questions submitted prior to the February 23rd SRA Special Meeting.
Extended Public Comment Period
In addition to postponing the MLDA vote, the SRA extended the public comment period to April 14, 2017. All email comments were submitted via email to Emily Hedeman at [email protected] by 12:30 p.m. on Friday April 14, 2017. The SRA continued its discussion of the MLDA at the SRA meeting on April 27th, 2017. Please see meeting link for more information.
For more information, please contact Emily Hedeman at [email protected] or (617) 625-6600 x2546.
March 2017 Union Square Zoning Amendment Submittal and US2 Covenant
Please see the linked PDF for the executed MLDA.
Prospect St., Webster Ave., in Union Square to Become Two-Way Streets for Vehicles, Bicycles Starting in Summer 2017This summer, Union Square will see a significant, permanent traffic pattern change. Beginning in late July (official date is to be determined based on final construction schedules), both Prospect St. and Webster Ave. will be converted to accommodate two-way vehicle and bicycle traffic.