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
Ivaloo St 25 ZBA 2019-66 Aug 21, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set PDF icon Staff Memorandum 08/26/2019 - 7:06pm
Dane Street 34-38 ZBA 2017-31-R1-7/19 Aug 21, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 7-18-19
PDF icon Plan Set 8-28-19
PDF icon Plan Set 8-29-19
PDF icon Plan Set 9-10-19
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Updated Staff Report
PDF icon 2nd Updated Staff Report
09/25/2019 - 2:19pm
Washington St 181 PB 2019-14 Aug 08, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set PDF icon Staff Report 08/22/2019 - 9:39pm
Broadway 6 PB 2019-16 Aug 08, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 4-5-19 PDF icon Staff Report 08/13/2019 - 2:10pm
Sanborn Court 9 PB 2019-17 Aug 08, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Seating Plan 4-19-19
PDF icon Plot Plan 6-5-19
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Updated Staff Report
08/23/2019 - 9:32am
Clifton Street 9 ZBA 2019-57 Aug 07, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 7-22-19
PDF icon Plan Set 7-24-19
PDF icon Plan Set 7-30-19
PDF icon Staff Report 08/12/2019 - 4:14pm
Dartmouth Street 17 ZBA 2019-63 Aug 07, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 3-31-19
PDF icon Plot Plan 5-24-19
PDF icon Staff Report 08/12/2019 - 4:14pm
Evergreen Avenue 5B ZBA 2019-70 Aug 07, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 7-19-19 PDF icon Staff Report 08/12/2019 - 4:14pm
Lowell Street 298 ZBA 2019-69 Aug 07, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 7-18-19 PDF icon Staff Report 08/12/2019 - 4:15pm
Pennsylvania Avenue 45-47 ZBA 2019-71 Aug 07, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 7-17-19 PDF icon Staff Report 08/12/2019 - 4:12pm
Somerville Avenue 515 ZBA 2018-122-R1-7/19 Aug 07, 2019 PDF icon Decision
PDF icon Decision Annulment
PDF icon Applicant Memo 7-12-19
PDF icon Civil Plans 7-17-19
PDF icon Accessibility Memo 7-18-19
PDF icon Architectural Plans 7-18-19
PDF icon Plan Set 7-29-19
PDF icon Staff Report 05/13/2020 - 3:57pm
Whitman Street 30-32 ZBA 2019-59 Aug 07, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 7-19-19 PDF icon Staff Report 08/12/2019 - 4:12pm
Bow St 71 ZBA 2019-52 Aug 07, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 09/18/2019 - 4:53pm
Berkeley St 48 ZBA 2019-49 Aug 07, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set PDF icon Staff Report 08/22/2019 - 9:33pm
Summer St 117 ZBA 2017-65 Aug 07, 2019 PDF icon Decision
PDF icon Decision Memo
PDF icon Plan Set
PDF icon Updated Plan Set
PDF icon Staff Report 09/16/2019 - 4:44pm

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