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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
256-260 Elm Street Narrative , Zoning Compliance Table , UDC Recommendation , Tree Plan , TIS , TAP , MMP , Sun Study , Sustainability Documents , Site Plan , Signage Plan , Shadow Study , Rooftop Mechanical , Renderings , Plot Plan , Plat Plan , Neighborhood Meeting 1 Report , Neighborhood Meeting 2 Report , Lighting Plan , LEED Scorecard , Building Sections , Building Plans , Building Elevation , Area Calculations , Mobility CRM , OSE CRM P&Z 21-039 01/27/2023 - 11:40am Staff Memo Elm Street 256-260 01/27/2023 - 10:51am
270 Elm Street Narrative , UDC Recommendation , Site Plan , Sustainability Documents , Site Furnishings Plan , Plot Plan , Lighting Plan , Layout Plan , Landscape Plan , Neighborhood Meeting 1 Report , Neighborhood Meeting 2 Report , Design Review Report , Conceptual Grading & Drainage Plan , Civic Space Zoning Table , Civic Space Study , Civic Space Signage Regulation Plans , Civic Space Signage Plans , Illustrative Site Plan P&Z 21-042 01/27/2023 - 11:44am Staff Memo Elm Street 270 01/27/2023 - 11:27am
200 McGrath Hwy Application P&Z 22-097 01/13/2023 - 9:29am Jan 19 Staff Memo McGrath Hwy 200 12/13/2022 - 12:53pm
231 Morrison Ave Hardship Variance Narrative , Additional Hardship Variance Narrative , Land Title Survey , Pergola Drawing , Photos of Constructed Pergola , Reference Materials for ZBA , Letter to ZBA on History of Japanese Wisteria , Hardship Variance Argument

 

    P&Z 22-143 12/20/2022 - 1:46pm Decision Staff Memo Morrison Ave 231 11/28/2022 - 4:00pm
    292-294 Beacon Street Narrative P&Z 22-167 12/19/2022 - 2:55pm Decision Staff Memo Beacon Street 292-294 12/06/2022 - 9:55am
    74 Derby Street Hardship Variance Narrative , Land Title Survey , Plans , Existing Condition Plans , Model Renderings , Photos of Existing Conditions 1 , Photos of Existing Conditions 2 , Existing Conditions Exhibit

    Owners Michael and Andrea Keenan

    P&Z 21-193 12/20/2022 - 1:47pm Decision Staff Memo Derby Street 74 11/10/2022 - 12:12pm
    620 Broadway Narrative P&Z 22-138 12/19/2022 - 2:55pm Decision Staff Memo Broadway 620 11/21/2022 - 2:51pm
    299 Broadway Comprehensive Permit Narrative 11/8/22 , Submission Forms 11/8/22 , Mobility Package 11/8/22 , Mobility Appendices 11/8/22 , Sustainability & Environment Package 11/8/22 , Site Plans - Site-Wide 11/8/22 , Lot 1/Building A Plans 11/8/22 , Lot 1/Sewall Park Plans 11/8/22 , Lot 2/Building B Plans 11/8/22 , Lot 2/Civic Plaza Plans 11/8/22 , Lot 3 Plans 11/8/22 , Lot 4 Plans 11/8/22 , Shadow Study 11/8/22 , Waiver List 11/8/22 , Waiver List 12/8/22 , Green Score Package 12/7/22 , Site Plans - Site Wide 1/12/23 , Lot 2/Civic Plaza Plans 1/12/23 , Waiver List 1/12/23 , Lot 1/Sewall Park Plans 1/12/23 , Mobility Package 1/12/23 , PB Recommendation 1/12/23 , Waiver List 1/19/23 , Lot 1/Building A Plans 1/12/23 , Lot 1/Building A Plans 1/26/23 , Lot 2/Building B Plans 1/12/23 , MMP Decision 1/26/23 P&Z 22-092 01/27/2023 - 12:57pm Staff Memo 11/22/22 , Supplemental Staff Memo 12/9/22 , Staff Memo 1/27/23 , Draft Conditions of Approval Broadway 299 11/22/2022 - 3:28pm
    42-44 Hamilton Rd Narrative , Site & Floor Plans , Neighborhood Meeting Report , Plan Set , Accessibility Exhibit P&Z 22-111 12/29/2022 - 11:08am Staff Memo , Supplemental Staff Memo Hamilton Rd 42-44 11/10/2022 - 2:01pm
    2, 8, & 29 Harding Street (k/n/a 99 South Street) Narrative , Plans , Meeting Reports , Landscape & Green Score Plans , Sustainability Documents , Transportation Documents , Transportation Access Plan , Environmental Impact Documents , Existing Tree Removal Plan , Revised Meeting Report , Revised Ground Floor Plan P&Z 22-007 11/22/2022 - 1:53pm Decision Staff Memo , Supplemental Staff Memo Harding Street 2, 8, & 29 10/13/2022 - 6:56pm
    153 South Street Narrative , Draft Lotting Plan , Subdivision Plan of Land , Subdivision Plan of Land for Registered Land P&Z 22-108 11/22/2022 - 1:56pm Decision Staff Memo South Street 153 10/13/2022 - 6:39pm
    153 South Street Narrative , Plans , Meeting Reports P&Z 22-008 11/22/2022 - 1:54pm Decision Staff Memo , Supplemental Staff Memo South Street 153 10/13/2022 - 6:45pm
    36 Berkeley Street Hardship Variance Narrative , Plot Plan , Plan Set P&Z 22-068 10/27/2022 - 3:18pm Decision Staff Memo Berkeley Street 36 10/06/2022 - 10:40am
    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 10/05/2022 - 2:23pm Decision Staff Memo Washington St 10 08/05/2022 - 4:46pm
    141 Central St. Plans , Project Narrative , Neighborhood Meeting Report P&Z 21-104 08/31/2022 - 8:31am Staff Memo Central St. 141 08/24/2022 - 3:23pm
    10 Oak Street Narrative , Site Photos P&Z 21-132 11/23/2022 - 9:29am Decision Staff Memo , Supplemental Staff Memo Oak St 10 09/02/2022 - 9:56am
    394 McGrath Hwy Plans , TAP , Sustainability Letter Stage 1 , Sustainability CRM , Affordable Housing Acknowledgement , UDC Recommendation , Neighborhood Mtg 1 , Neighborhood Meeting 2 , Updated Plan Set , Final Plan Set P&Z 21-122 10/28/2022 - 10:42am Decision Staff Memo , Supplemental Staff Memo , Supplemental Staff Memo 2 , Supplemental Staff Memo 3 McGrath Hwy 394 09/01/2022 - 6:31pm
    325-375 Assembly Row (Assembly Line Park) Fire Feature Plans , Bocce Area Plans P&Z 22-101 08/30/2022 - 7:48am Decision Staff Memo Assembly Row 325-375 08/30/2022 - 7:45am
    59 Bow Street Plans , Narrative , TAP , UDC Recommendation , Neighborhood Mtg 1 , Neighborhood Mtg 2 , Shadow Study , Updated Unit and Landscaping Drawings P&Z 21-017 01/26/2023 - 10:18pm Staff Memo , Bow St 59 - Staff Memo (Supplemental).pdf Bow St 59 01/13/2023 - 12:15am
    50 Webster St Subdivision Plan Set P&Z 22-067 08/05/2022 - 6:59pm Staff Memo Webster St 50 08/05/2022 - 6:57pm
    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 - 6:46pm
    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 10/13/2022 - 9:56am Decision Staff Memo , Supplemental Staff Memo Webster St 50 08/05/2022 - 4:01pm
    120-132 Middlesex Ave Narrative P&Z 21-146 08/05/2022 - 6:21pm Staff Memo Middlesex Ave 120-132 08/05/2022 - 6:20pm
    9-11 Aldersey St Plans P&Z - 22-090 12/06/2022 - 10:10am Plan Revision Staff Memo Aldersey 9-11 08/05/2022 - 6:54pm
    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 10/13/2022 - 9:57am Decision Staff Memo , Supplemental Staff Memo Webster St 50 08/05/2022 - 3:47pm
    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 - 1:29pm Decision Staff Memo Beacon St 205 08/05/2022 - 3:05pm
    515 Somerville Ave Plan Revision - Lighting P&Z 22-069 08/05/2022 - 5:43pm Decision Staff Memo Somerville Ave 515 08/05/2022 - 5:41pm
    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 - 1:30pm Decision Staff Memo , Supplemental Staff Memo Sycamore Street 14 08/05/2022 - 3:19pm
    337 Broadway Narrative , Sign Plan P&Z 22-053 08/05/2022 - 5:51pm Decision Broadway 337 08/05/2022 - 5:49pm
    378 Highland Ave Drawings P&Z 22-063 08/05/2022 - 2:58pm Decision Highland Ave 378 08/05/2022 - 2:56pm
    771 McGrath Hwy Plans - NE SW , Plans - NW , Plans - SE PB 2014-31 R1/0502 12/12/2022 - 11:31am Decision , Plan Revision 1 , Plan Revision 2 , Plan Revision 3 Staff Memo McGrath Highway 771 08/05/2022 - 2:33pm
    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 10/04/2022 - 1:34pm Decision , Decision - Corrective Memo Staff Memo , Supplemental Staff Memo , Supplemental Staff Memo #2 , Updated Staff Memo , Supplemental Staff Memo #3 Medford Street 16 & 20 08/05/2022 - 6:22pm
    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 - 1:32pm 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 - 1:55pm Decision Staff Memo Assembly Row 350 06/01/2022 - 1:16pm
    518-524 Somerville Ave Narrative , Floor Plans & Perspectives , Transportation Access Plan , Transportation Impact Study , Neighborhood Meeting Report P&Z 21-063 08/05/2022 - 2:16pm Decision Staff Memo Somerville Ave 518-524 06/01/2022 - 1:41pm
    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 - 2:54pm Decision Staff Memo 304 Somerville Ave 05/11/2022 - 5:02pm
    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 - 5:02pm
    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 - 5:02pm
    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 - 2:11pm Decision Staff Memo , Revised Staff Memo Assembly Row 350 05/11/2022 - 5:02pm
    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 - 5:02pm
    263 Washington St P&Z 22-044 06/01/2022 - 4:29pm ZBA Decision (Original) Staff Memo Washington St 263 05/11/2022 - 5:02pm
    292-294 Beacon Street Site Plan (Revised)

    Extension of a previously-approved hardship variance (ZBA 2018-118)

    P&Z 22-047 11/17/2022 - 6:14pm Decision Staff Memo Beacon St 292-294 11/17/2022 - 5:20pm
    15 McGrath Hwy Extension Request , Recorded Decision P&Z 22-039 06/01/2022 - 4:11pm Decision McGrath 35 Staff Memo (Combined)_0.pdf McGrath Hwy 15 06/01/2022 - 4:09pm
    26 Clyde St #2 Narrative , Plans , Supplemental Plan Set P&Z 22-038 08/05/2022 - 2:14pm Decision 26 Clyde St - Staff Memo.pdf Clyde St 26 05/11/2022 - 5:02pm
    77 Bow St Narrative , Sign Drawing , Sign Plan P&Z 22-042 08/05/2022 - 5:48pm Decision Bow St 77 08/05/2022 - 5:44pm
    50 Webster St Thoroughfare Site Plan , Updated Transportation Access Plan , Updated TAP (9/14/22) , Response Presentation P&Z 22-073 10/13/2022 - 9:58am Decision Staff Memo , Supplemental Staff Memo Webster St 50 08/05/2022 - 3:57pm
    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 - 5:02pm
    34 Third Ave Lot Merger Plan P&Z 22-002 08/05/2022 - 5:59pm Decision Third Ave 34 08/05/2022 - 5:57pm

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