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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

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

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.

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.

Updated date:
Description:
Case Number:
P&Z 22-068
Updated date: 10/06/2022 - 10:42am
Decision:
Reports:
Name:
Berkeley Street
Number:
36
Post date: 10/06/2022 - 10:40am
Updated date:
Description:
Case Number:
P&Z 21-134
Updated date: 10/05/2022 - 14:23pm
Decision:
Reports:
Name:
Washington St
Number:
10
Post date: 08/05/2022 - 16:46pm
Updated date:
Description:
Case Number:
P&Z 21-132
Updated date: 10/03/2022 - 16:04pm
Decision:
Name:
Oak St
Number:
10
Post date: 09/02/2022 - 09:56am
Updated date:
Description:
Case Number:
P&Z 21-104
Updated date: 08/31/2022 - 08:31am
Decision:
Reports:
Name:
Central St.
Number:
141
Post date: 08/24/2022 - 15:23pm
Updated date:
Description:
Case Number:
P&Z 22-101
Updated date: 08/30/2022 - 07:48am
Decision:
Reports:
Name:
Assembly Row
Number:
325-375
Post date: 08/30/2022 - 07:45am

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