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.

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

  • Reports & Decisions

  • Frank Valdez

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.

  • Deborah Fennick

Deborah Fennick, AIA, LEED AP, is an architect a 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.

  • 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.

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 Number Case Number First Hearing Datesort ascending Decisions Other Reports Updated date
McGrath Highway 845 PB2017-27-EXT1 Mar 26, 2020 PDF icon Decision 04/07/2020 - 9:29am
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
Oak St 10 ZBA 2018-19-R-1-6-2019 Mar 25, 2020 PDF icon Oak St 10 - Staff Report Revised.pdf 03/25/2020 - 3:55pm
Dane St 54 ZBA 2018-85-R1-03-20 Mar 19, 2020 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Materials PDF icon Staff Report 04/07/2020 - 9:26am
Somerville Ave 453 ZBA #2019-114-R1 12/19 Mar 11, 2020 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Updated Drawings
PDF icon 4.30.2020 Updated Drawings
PDF icon 453 Sumerville Ave Set _06_01_20 (POST).pdf
PDF icon June 10 Drawings
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Views
PDF icon Updated Staff Report
PDF icon May 6 Staff Report
PDF icon June 10 Staff Report
08/28/2020 - 10:01am
Eastman Rd 21 DRA2020-0011 Mar 11, 2020 PDF icon Plans 07/08/2020 - 2:11pm
Hawkins St 3 DRA 2020-0018 Mar 11, 2020 PDF icon Hawkins 3 - Variance Application.pdf 03/25/2020 - 9:05am
Somerville Ave 515 AA2020-0001 Feb 26, 2020 PDF icon Staff Report 02/20/2020 - 3:16pm
Mossland St 15 ZBA 2018-124-R1 Feb 05, 2020 PDF icon Plan Set PDF icon Staff Report 01/31/2020 - 1:29am
Beacon St 175 DRA#2020-0016 Jan 22, 2020 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans 02/18/2020 - 11:44am
Somerville Avenue 337 ZBA 2019-26 Dec 19, 2019 PDF icon 19069_377 Somerville Ave_ZBA Submission_102219_stamped.pdf PDF icon SomervilleAve337Unit2-StaffReport_121219.pdf 12/10/2019 - 12:36pm
Jacques Street 87 ZBA 2019-82 Dec 12, 2019 PDF icon SomervilleAve337Unit2-StaffReport_121219.pdf 12/06/2019 - 8:48am
Medford St 345 ZBA 2019-108 Dec 11, 2019 PDF icon Plans PDF icon Medford St 345 - Staff Report (POST).pdf 12/10/2019 - 9:53am
Highland Avenue 20 ZBA 2019-118 Dec 11, 2019 PDF icon Plan Set 10-3-19 PDF icon Highland Ave 20 - Staff Report (POST).pdf 12/10/2019 - 9:22am
Jaques Street 87 ZBA 2019-82 Dec 11, 2019 PDF icon Updated Plan Set PDF icon Updated Staff Report 12/06/2019 - 12:51pm

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