OSPCD: Planning, Zoning & Preservation

City of Somerville FY22 Budget

Mission Statement

The OSPCD Planning, Zoning, & Preservation division coordinates the long-range comprehensive growth for the city while protecting the unique built character and history of Somerville. We manage outreach and public engagement projects for infill and redevelopment plans from SomerVision through neighborhood planning to zoning, and we maintain the Somerville Zoning Ordinance to administer development review so proposals meet the City’s goals of sustainability, diversity, opportunity, connectivity, and community.

Personal Services Changes

Personal Services are projected up 30% for FY22.

The FY22 budget proposes a new Deputy Director position with a portfolio focusing on land use, zoning language, and regulatory issues.

The Director of Planning & Zoning position has been reclassified for FY22.

Changes in salaries are due to negotiated collective bargaining agreements and merit increases based on annual performance reviews.

Ordinary Maintenance Changes

Ordinary Maintenance costs are projected up 39% for FY22.

This is due to a $75,000 increase in Professional & Technical Services.

FY22 Goals & Measures of Progress

GOAL 1: Ensure that the Somerville Zoning Ordinance clearly establishes the City’s expectation for development and reflects the vision and goals of SomerVision, Climate Forward, and Vision Zero.

  • Continue close collaboration with the City Council, especially through the Land Use Committee, to refine the ordinance by incorporating amendments and new concepts that support the City’s goals.
  • Work with the Ward Councilors to establish additional zoning map amendments as needed to implement neighborhood planning efforts and SomerVision goals.

GOAL 2: Maintain and enhance the City’s transparent, streamlined, fair, efficient, and effective permit review process.

  • Implement a user-friendly online system for proposals requiring Board Review with a transparent interface for City Staff and viewing capabilities for the public to follow where a project is in the workflow.
  • Continue review and permitting of large multi-building master plan projects – such as Boynton Yards, Middlesex Avenue, and McGrath Highway sites - to ensure continued growth opportunities for the City.
  • Support all Boards and Commissions under division purview with timely scheduling of meetings and delivery of review materials, preparation of agendas and meeting minutes, and staff reports and decisions.

GOAL 3: Develop neighborhood plans based on community consensus that inform zoning and provide predictable outcomes through the “Somerville by Design” process.

  • Complete Brickbottom Vision Plan and Assembly Square Plan
  • Undertake a planning initiative for the Union East area to coordinate the Union Square Neighborhood Plan, the plans by Mass DOT for grounding McGrath Highway, and the BrickBottom Vision Plan
  • Develop a Station Area Plan for Ball Square in preparation for the forthcoming Green Line station
  • Prepare a Lower Broadway Infill Study to include improved multi-modal mobility connections to Assembly Square and the Sullivan Square MBTA Station.

GOAL 4: Celebrate, promote, and protect the important history and historic elements of Somerville.

  • Provide support to the Somerville Historic Preservation Commission for Local Historic Districts and Demolition Review proposals.
  • Administer the CPA-funded Historic District Homeowner Small Grant Fund.
  • Organize, arrange, and manage educational preservation activities, awards, and celebrations of historic events, and outreach projects.

FY22 Budget

Personnel Listing