Proposed Citywide zoning overhaul, Tues. Feb 13, 6 PM


As you may know, the Mayor has proposed a comprehensive overhaul to the City's zoning code. This is a super big deal, as zoning determines what can be built in Somerville. The new code is significantly different from the one we have now.

For an introduction & overview of the new proposed zoning code, come to a joint meeting of the Board of Aldermen & the Planning Board Tues., Feb. 13, 6 PM in the Aldermen's Chambers at City Hall.  The City Planning Dept. will introduce the proposal, and highlight the differences between this (new and improved!) version and the version the administration proposed in 2015.

To see the proposed zoning code and map, learn more about the proposal and the process, or submit comments if you wish, there is a dedicated website with lots of information; go to

The Board of Aldermen spent a lot of time in 2015 discussing and deliberating on the first version.  Residents submitted hundreds of comments, many of which were extremely helpful and had a significant impact on my thinking about that earlier version.  Ultimately, we allowed that first version to die after the 90-day deliberation period, because it had many, serious flaws.  Since then, the Planning Dept. has worked hard to address those problems and concerns, and they’ve worked with the Board of Aldermen to prepare the current proposal.

I am still learning about this revised version, so I can’t say what amendments I will seek or whether I will support it yet.  There is more discussing and learning ahead.  I welcome your feedback. 

I am considering organizing a meeting or two in Ward 5 in the next month or so for interested people to learn about and look at the new zoning map and code together.  This would probably be a Sunday afternoon and/or weekday evening meeting with a member of the City Planning Dept. present to answer questions and help us understand what’s in the new proposed zoning and what it means for our Ward 5 neighborhoods.  If you would be interested in attending such a meeting, please let me know.

Also, mark your calendars: the Public Hearing on the new proposed zoning will be exactly a month after the introductory meeting, Tuesday, March 13, 6 PM in the Aldermen’s Chambers, City Hall.


Mark Niedergang

Ward 5 Alderman


[email protected]

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