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About the Urban Design Commission

The purpose of the Urban Design Commission (UDC) is to provide an applicant with advice or recommendations from peers in the professional design community to inform the selection of a preferred schematic design from a number of options in order to ensure that development protects and enhances the public realm and human scale of the City.

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More specifically, design review is intended to:

  • Maintain, protect and enhance existing buildings of historical and architectural significance,
  • Foster new development that is aesthetically compatible with existing buildings and infrastructure,
  • Encourage and assist building owners to restore and rehabilitate existing buildings in a cost effective, sensitive manner and in such a way as to be compatible with the surrounding neighborhood,
  • Encourage originality and creativity in the design of new buildings and additions, or the remodeling of existing buildings, and
  • Maintain and enhance the appearance of signage, new and existing.
Contact Information
Sarah Lewis
Director of Planning

Monday - Wednesday
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Thursday
8:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Friday
8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Phone Number
Address

93 Highland Ave.
Somerville, MA 02143
United States

Employee Directory

Members

Andrew Arbaugh

Andrew is licensed landscape architect with over twelve years’ experience with a variety of mixed-use, streetscape, campus, multi-family and educational project types. He is a principal at Copley Wolff Design Group and has volunteered with a number of community organizations including East Somerville Main Streets (as both a Board Member and Design Review Committee Member); Friends of Chuckie Harris Park, Friends of the Healey School; and the Somerville Growing Center.

Deborah Fennick

Deborah Fennick, AIA, LEED AP, is an architect with a focus on the public realm and how it contributes to community well-being. She is chair of the Design Review Committee and member of the Zoning Advisory Committee. She is the co-founder and design principal of Fennick McCredie Architecture. She also works with groups such as the YouthBuild Boston, and the Science Club for Girls in Cambridge to encourage the next generation of designers.

Tim Houde

Tim Houde holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Syracuse University and has been practicing in both Illinois and Massachusetts for almost 20 years. He has taught at the B.A.C in Boston, and also served in the Somervision 2040 Climate and Sustainability group. He is an associate at Solomon Cordwell Buenz and leads the design on medium and large scale multi-family and life science projects. He has volunteered at several charities such as Habitat for Humanity and Pine Street Inn, and is a member and regular contributor to many Somerville neighborhood groups.

Cheri Ruane

Cheri Ruane holds a Masters in Landscape Architecture from Harvard University and a Bachelor’s of Science from UMass Amherst. She is Vice President, on the Board of Directors, and the leader of the Design Discipline at Weston & Sampson’s Design Studio in downtown Boston. She serves on the board of the need-blind, non-profit West End House Girls Camp in Parsonsfield, Maine. Cheri is a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects, a living kidney donor, and a mom.

Tim Talun

Tim Talun, AIA is an Associate with Elkus Manfredi Architects who manages and leads the design of large-scale commercial and residential development projects around the Boston region. Tim has also been a member of several committees and working groups in Somerville including the Somervision Steering Committee, Union Square Neighbors, Somerville Bicycle Committee and the Sustainable Neighborhoods Working Group.

Frank Valdes

Frank Valdes holds a Masters in Urban Design and Planning from MIT and a Bachelors’ of Architecture from Cornell University. He is an Associate Principal and partner at DiMella Shaffer and has been practicing architecture for over twenty years, and has served in the Design Review Committee for ten years. He is also involved with Combined Jewish Philanthropies, where he advises non-profit Jewish organizations with navigating their real estate, design, and expansion needs.

Meetings

Urban Design Commission meetings are generally held on the second and fourth Tuesday 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.

Reports & Decisions

Reports and Decisions

PLEASE NOTE: Applications made before April 15, 2011 are not included in this listing and can be found by clicking here.

Title Updated date Other Description Case Number Updated date Decision Reports Name Number Post date
10 Washington St Narrative , Plan Set , MMP , Neighborhood Meeting Report , Design Review Report , Plot Plan , TAP , TIS , Sustainable & Resilient Buildings Questionnaire , LEED Certifiability Documentation , Landscape Plans , Public Realm Site Plan , Green Score P&Z 21-134 08/24/2022 - 13:33pm Staff Memo Washington St 10 08/05/2022 - 16:46pm
10 Oak Street Narrative P&Z 21-132 09/02/2022 - 09:58am Staff Memo Oak St 10 09/02/2022 - 09:56am
141 Central St. Plans , Project Narrative , Neighborhood Meeting Report P&Z 21-104 08/31/2022 - 08:31am Staff Memo Central St. 141 08/24/2022 - 15:23pm
325-375 Assembly Row (Assembly Line Park) Fire Feature Plans , Bocce Area Plans P&Z 22-101 08/30/2022 - 07:48am Decision Staff Memo Assembly Row 325-375 08/30/2022 - 07:45am
P&Z 21-122 Plans , TAP , Sustainability Letter Stage 1 , Sustainability CRM , Affordable Housing Acknowledgement , UDC Recommendation , Neighborhood Mtg 1 , Neighborhood Meeting 2 , Updated Plan Set P&Z 21-122 09/01/2022 - 18:41pm Staff Memo , Supplemental Staff Memo McGrath 394 09/01/2022 - 18:31pm
50 Webster St Subdivision Plan Set P&Z 22-067 08/05/2022 - 18:59pm Staff Memo Webster St 50 08/05/2022 - 18:57pm
50 Webster Ave (62 Prospect St) Civic Space Project Narrative , Civic Space Compliance Narrative , Civic Space Environmental Analysis , Civic Space Appendix , Civic Space UDC Recommendation , UDC Submission Narrative 2021-10-19 , UDC Submission Presentation 2021-10-19 , UDC Submission 2021-11-23 , Civic Space Site Plan , Updated Sidewalk Plan , Updated Transportation Access Plan , Updated TAP (9/14/22) , Response Presentation P&Z 21-166 09/19/2022 - 09:40am Staff Memo , Supplemental Staff Memo Webster St 50 08/05/2022 - 16:01pm
231-249 Elm Street and 6-8 & 12 Grove Street Narrative , Plan Set , Plot Plan , Signage and Lighting Plan , Sustainability Documents , Landscape Plan Set , Lighting Documents , Dark Sky Compliance , Design Review Report , Mobility CRM , MMP , TIS , TAP , Neighborhood Meeting 1 Report , Neighborhood Meeting 2 Report P&Z 21-068 09/22/2022 - 12:45pm Decision Staff Memo , Updated Staff Memo Elm St 231-249 08/05/2022 - 18:46pm
120-132 Middlesex Ave Narrative P&Z 21-146 08/05/2022 - 18:21pm Staff Memo Middlesex Ave 120-132 08/05/2022 - 18:20pm
P&Z - 22-090 Plans P&Z - 22-090 08/05/2022 - 18:56pm Staff Memo Aldersey 9-11 08/05/2022 - 18:54pm
9-11 Aldersey P&Z 22-090 08/05/2022 - 16:28pm Aldersey 9-11 08/05/2022 - 16:27pm
50 Webster St Building Project Narrative , Building Compliance Narrative , Building Environmental Analysis , Building Site Plan , Building Transportation Access Plan , Building Appendix Documents , Building CRM , Building UDC Recommendation , UDC Submission Narrative 2021-10-19 , UDC Submission Presentation 2021-10-19 , UDC Submission 2021-11-23 , Updated Sidewalk Plan , Updated Transportation Access Plan , Screening Plan and CDSP Site Compliance , Updated TAP (9/14/22) , Response Presentation P&Z 21-060 09/19/2022 - 09:43am Staff Memo , Supplemental Staff Memo Webster St 50 08/05/2022 - 15:47pm
205 Beacon Street Hardship Variance Narrative , Plot Plan , Building Massing Renderings , Elevations , Landscape Plan , Hardship Variance Key Plan , Revised Grading Plan , Existing Conditions Photo 1 , Existing Conditions Photo 2 , Copy of Certificate of Zoning Compliance , Copy of Building Permit P&Z 22-027 08/24/2022 - 13:29pm Decision Staff Memo Beacon St 205 08/05/2022 - 15:05pm
14 Sycamore Street Narrative , Plot Plan , Proposed Site Plan , Abutters Petition , Photo of Existing Driveway 1 , Photo of Existing Driveway 2 , Hardship Variance Argument , Easement and Maintenance Agreement with Abutter P&Z 21-176 08/24/2022 - 13:30pm Decision Staff Memo , Supplemental Staff Memo Sycamore Street 14 08/05/2022 - 15:19pm
515 Somerville Ave Plan Revision - Lighting P&Z 22-069 08/05/2022 - 17:43pm Decision Staff Memo Somerville Ave 515 08/05/2022 - 17:41pm
337 Broadway Narrative , Sign Plan P&Z 22-053 08/05/2022 - 17:51pm Decision Broadway 337 08/05/2022 - 17:49pm
378 Highland Ave Drawings P&Z 22-063 08/05/2022 - 14:58pm Decision Highland Ave 378 08/05/2022 - 14:56pm
771 McGrath Hwy Plans - NE SW , Plans - NW , Plans - SE PB 2014-31 R1/0502 08/05/2022 - 14:39pm Decision Staff Memo McGrath Highway 771 08/05/2022 - 14:33pm
16 & 20 Medford St Neighborhood Meeting Report , Plan Set , Certified Plot Plan , Mobility Management Plan , Transportation Access Plan , Transportation Impact Study , LEED Affidavit , Sustainable & Resilient Buildings Questionnaire , Affordable Housing Acknowledgment , Revised Plan Set , Narrative , Design Review Report , Letter to Planning Board , Traffic Response Letter , Updated Plan Set P&Z 21-057 08/31/2022 - 21:02pm Site Plan Approval Staff Memo , Supplemental Staff Memo , Supplemental Staff Memo #2 , Updated Staff Memo , Supplemental Staff Memo #3 Medford Street 16 & 20 08/05/2022 - 18:22pm
151 Linwood Ave Hardship Variance Narrative , Plan Set , Hardship Variance Key Sheet , Plot Plan , Elevations , Floor Plans , Renderings , Proposed Green Score , Turning Study P&Z 21-153 08/24/2022 - 13:32pm Decision Staff Memo Linwood Ave 151 06/01/2022 - 11:37am
450 McGrath Hwy Sign Plans , Narrative

434 McGrath Leasehold LLC

P&Z 22-061 06/01/2022 - 12:48pm Decision McGrath Hwy 450 06/01/2022 - 12:41pm
162 Broadway Narrative , Sign Plans P&Z 22-072 06/01/2022 - 12:58pm Decision Broadway 162 06/01/2022 - 12:55pm
Assembly PUD-PMP Amendment P&Z 22-064 08/05/2022 - 13:55pm Decision Staff Memo Assembly Row 350 06/01/2022 - 13:16pm
518-524 Somerville Ave Narrative , Floor Plans & Perspectives , Transportation Access Plan , Transportation Impact Study , Neighborhood Meeting Report P&Z 21-063 08/05/2022 - 14:16pm Decision Staff Memo Somerville Ave 518-524 06/01/2022 - 13:41pm
304 Somerville Ave Narrative , Drawings , Floor Plans , Distance to Schools , Transportation Access Plan , Transportation Impact Study , Neighborhood Meeting Report P&Z 21-087 08/05/2022 - 14:54pm Decision Staff Memo 304 Somerville Ave 05/11/2022 - 17:02pm
35 McGrath Hwy Staff Memo (with attachments) , Plot Plan , HV Narrative (Driveway in Frontage Area) , HV Narrative (Front Setback) , HV Narrative (Parallel to Front Lot Line) , Exhibit A , Exhibit B P&Z 21-156 08/03/2022 - 11:54am Corrected Decision Staff Memo (with attachments) McGrath Hwy 35 05/11/2022 - 17:02pm
595 Broadway Extension Request Narrative , Explanation of Delay P&Z 22-018 06/01/2022 - 12:51pm ZBA Decision , Permit Extension Decision Staff Memo Broadway 595 05/11/2022 - 17:02pm
350 Assembly Row Executive Summary , Application Forms , Zoning Narrative , Utility Narrative , Stormwater Narrative , Appendix B , Appendix C , Appendix D - LEED , Appendix E - MMP , Appendix F - TAP , Appendix G , Final MMP , UDC Recommendation , Neighborhood Meeting 1 , Neighborhood Meeting 2 , PUD Amendment , Appendix A - Civil Drawings (Plans) , Appendix A - Architectural Drawings (Plans) P&Z 21-137 08/05/2022 - 14:11pm Decision Staff Memo , Revised Staff Memo Assembly Row 350 05/11/2022 - 17:02pm
292 Beacon St BeaconSt292-294_RequestLetter.pdf P&Z 22-047 06/10/2022 - 10:31am BeaconSt292_OriginalApproval.pdf BeaconSt292-294_HVextension_050422_0.pdf Beacon St 292 05/11/2022 - 17:02pm
263 Washington St P&Z 22-044 06/01/2022 - 16:29pm ZBA Decision (Original) Staff Memo Washington St 263 05/11/2022 - 17:02pm
15 McGrath Hwy Extension Request , Recorded Decision P&Z 22-039 06/01/2022 - 16:11pm Decision McGrath 35 Staff Memo (Combined)_0.pdf McGrath Hwy 15 06/01/2022 - 16:09pm
26 Clyde St #2 Narrative , Plans , Supplemental Plan Set P&Z 22-038 08/05/2022 - 14:14pm Decision 26 Clyde St - Staff Memo.pdf Clyde St 26 05/11/2022 - 17:02pm
77 Bow St Narrative , Sign Drawing , Sign Plan P&Z 22-042 08/05/2022 - 17:48pm Decision Bow St 77 08/05/2022 - 17:44pm
50 Webster St Thoroughfare Site Plan , Updated Transportation Access Plan , Updated TAP (9/14/22) , Response Presentation P&Z 22-073 09/19/2022 - 09:44am Staff Memo , Supplemental Staff Memo Webster St 50 08/05/2022 - 15:57pm
33 South Street 33 South - Project Narrative.pdf , 2022.03-04 - 33 South Street.pdf , 33 South St Somerville - Survey.pdf P&Z 22-030 06/10/2022 - 10:31am 33 South Street Minor SPA Decision 20220321 - Stamped.pdf South Street 33 05/11/2022 - 17:02pm
34 Third Ave Lot Merger Plan P&Z 22-002 08/05/2022 - 17:59pm Decision Third Ave 34 08/05/2022 - 17:57pm
31 Tufts St Narrative , Plot Plan P&Z 22-033 08/05/2022 - 14:51pm Decision , Decision - Scriveners Error Memo Tufts St 31 08/05/2022 - 14:48pm
14 McGrath Hwy Narrative for Cert of Zoning Compliance.pdf , ATI - Plot Plan.pdf , ATI - Dimensional Table.pdf , ATI- Signage Drawing.pdf , Drawing with structural stamp.pdf P&Z 22-019 06/10/2022 - 10:31am 14 McGrath Hwy Minor SPA Decision - 2022 03 10 Stamped.pdf McGrath Hwy 14 05/11/2022 - 17:02pm
235 Elm St 236 Elm_Narrative_WITH NOTES_02232022.pdf , 236 ELM ST_SIGN PLANS_0307.pdf , 236 ELM ST_SIGN ELEVATION_0307.pdf P&Z 22-020 06/10/2022 - 10:31am 236 Elm Street minor SPA Decision - 2022 03 09 Stamped.pdf Elm St 236 05/11/2022 - 17:02pm
26 Clyde St #2 Narrative_3.pdf , Plans_4.pdf , Supplemental.pdf P&Z 22-010 06/10/2022 - 10:31am Staff Memo_2.pdf Clyde St 26 05/11/2022 - 17:02pm
600 Windsor Place 2021.11.19_600 Windsor Application_Narrative.pdf , 2021.11.19_600 Windsor_App_PlanSet.pdf , RevFigure 2.11_600Windsor-Prelim Platting Plan.pdf , RevFigure 3.1_600Windsor-Existing Conditions_Stamped_Plot_Plan.pdf , 600 Windsor Place - MMP Final Approval.pdf , 2021.11.19_600 Windsor_AppendixB_Mobility and Transportation.pdf , 2021.11.19_600 Windsor_AppendixA_ShadowStudies.pdf , 2021.11.19_600 Windsor_AppendixC_CivicSpaceStudy.pdf , HSH_600 Windsor_TAP_20220204_Final.pdf , 2022.02.25_600 Windsor_Supplemental Graphics.pdf P&Z 21-059 06/10/2022 - 10:31am 600 Windsor Pl Decision_Memo_ScrivenersError_20220401.pdf , WindsorPl600_Decision_Corrected_20220407_Stamped.pdf 600 Windsor PL MPSP Staff Report 2022 02 10.pdf , 600 Windsor Pl MPSP Supplemental Staff Memo.pdf Windsor Place 600 05/11/2022 - 17:02pm
15 McGrath Hwy Application , TIS , TAP , MMP , Response to Feb 3 PB Comments P&Z 21-062 06/01/2022 - 14:39pm Decision UDC Recommendation , Staff Memo McGrath Hwy 15 05/11/2022 - 17:02pm
636 Mystic Ave Mystic Ave 636 - Narrative.pdf , Mystic Ave 636 - NM Report.pdf P&Z 20-025 06/10/2022 - 10:31am Mystic Ave 636 - Decision (stamped).pdf Mystic Ave 636 - Staff Memo.pdf Mystic Avenue 636 05/11/2022 - 17:02pm
495 Columbia Street P&Z 21-009 04/20/2022 - 13:50pm Columbia Street 495 04/20/2022 - 10:51am
495 Columbia Street Boynton%20Gateway_SPA_compiled_11-15-21.pdf , Boynton Gateway_SPA_Updated Plans Compiled 1-7-21 (1).pdf , Boynton Gateway Sustainability Package_Revised 10-08-21.pdf , Columbia 495 - UDC Recommendation 2021 11 01 .pdf , 495 Columbia-Green Score_Revisions.pdf , TIS - Boynton Gateway 2021-05-21.pdf , HSH_Boynton Gateway TAP 2021-06-02.pdf , MMP - Boynton Gateway February 2021.pdf , 2022-0120%20Boynton%20Gateway_Planning%20Board%20Presentation.pdf P&Z 21-009 06/10/2022 - 10:31am 495 Columbia Street (P&Z 21-009) Decision 2022 02 09 - Stamped.pdf 495 Columbia Staff Memo 2022 01 14 (1).pdf , 495 Columbia Supplemental Staff Memo 2022 01 26.pdf Columbia Street 495 05/11/2022 - 17:02pm
Medford St 494 Plans , Updated Plans P&Z 21-180 08/05/2022 - 18:18pm Decision UDC Recommendation Medford St 494 05/11/2022 - 17:02pm
599 Somerville Ave Narrative.PDF , Narrative Site Diagrams.pdf , Site Plan.pdf , Plans_3.pdf , Landscape Plans.pdf , Neighborhood Meeting Report.PDF , 599 Somerville Ave - UDC Recommendation .pdf , 11_MMP_1.PDF , HSH_599 Somerville Ave TIS FINAL_20211029.pdf , HSH_599 Somerville Ave TAP_20211101_STAMPED.pdf P&Z 20-031 06/10/2022 - 10:31am 599 Somerville Ave Decision 2022 02 03 Stamped.pdf 599 Somerville Ave Staff Report (SPA) 2021 12 15.pdf , 599 Somerville Ave Supplemental Staff Report 2022 01 19.pdf Somerville Ave 599 05/11/2022 - 17:02pm
28-44 Broadway Narrative , Plans , Landscape Plans , UDC Response Letter , Mobility Documents , Sustainability Documents , Updated Plans (March 7) , Updated Plans (March 31) , Neighborhood Meeting Reports , May 9 Neighborhood Meeting Report , Updated Plans (June 2) P&Z 21-029 08/05/2022 - 14:56pm Decision Staff Memo , Supplemental Staff Memo (March 11) , Supplemental Staff Memo (May 26) , Supplemental Staff Memo (June 13) Broadway 28-44 05/11/2022 - 17:02pm
153 South Street Amendment Memo , Master Plan Special Permit Application P&Z 21-097 09/13/2022 - 15:23pm Decision Staff Memo South Street 153 05/11/2022 - 17:02pm
27 Houghton Street Narrative_2.pdf , Plans and Drawings.pdf , Plot Plan_0.pdf , Shadow Study_0.pdf , Neighborhood Meeting Report_1.pdf P&Z 21-149 06/10/2022 - 10:31am PZ 21-149_27 Houghton St_Staff Memo.pdf Houghton Street 27 05/11/2022 - 17:02pm

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