Monday, June 24, 2024

These are just some of the municipal meetings and civic events for the coming week. More are on the City of Somerville website.


One rendered version for a project on Broadway in Somerville. (Image: Balance Architects)

Talk about Somernova project

Somernova community meeting, 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday. City councilor J.T. Scott and others convene a meeting to discuss the proposed expansion of the 7.4-acre Somernova campus near Union Square. Rafi Properties is seeking to add higher-density, multistory buildings across four blocks of Somerville Avenue and Tyler Street over the next decade. In exchange for rezoning, the developer would provide funding for five of the city’s community development priorities, including doubling its payments to the Somerville Housing Trust, creating around 6,000 permanent and 6,000 temporary jobs, offering educational opportunities in the public schools, hosting a multigenerational community center and seeding a new social impact fund to support “entrepreneurship and innovation.” Community members are invited to voice their views of the proposal. The meeting takes place at Scott’s business, Somerville CrossFit, at 35 Prospect St., Union Square.

Final community reports for fall

All-ward meetings, 6:30 to 8 p.m. The semi-annual City Hall Community Meetings series concludes with two more meetings to update residents on citywide projects, crime statistics and other community concerns. An all-ward meeting in Spanish takes place Wednesday in the East Somerville Community School Cafeteria, 50 Cross St., with refreshments and informal talk starting at 6 p.m. for in-person attendees. The meeting will be livestreamed on the city’s YouTube page and shared on the city’s Spanish-language Facebook page. An all-ward virtual meeting takes place Thursday on Zoom in English with interpretation into Spanish and Portuguese, as well as other languages by request.

Cannabis proposal in Ball Square

Zoning Board of Appeals, 6 p.m. Wednesday. The board hears an appeal from 620 Broadway LLC, owner of the former Shield gas station site in Ball Square. The developer is questioning details of the variance it got for the property where it plans to build a one-story shop it will lease to Botanica to sell cannabis. The site will include a café and some arts space, but no on-site vehicle parking. Watchable by Zoom videoconferencing.

Housing opportunity queries

Inclusionary housing program virtual office hours, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Learn about below-market-rate housing opportunities from staff of the Inclusionary Housing Program. Their weekly office hours are open to applicants, developers and anyone else with a question about affordable housing. The city recently announced one new income-restricted rental opportunity at 29 Chandler St., near Davis Square, a two-bedroom unit featuring hardwood floors and a shared outdoor patio. Applications for the lottery for that rental unit are due by 2 p.m. Nov. 9. Office hours are held on Zoom.

Development on Broadway amended

A second rendered take on Broadway development. (Image: Highland Development)

Planning Board, 6 p.m. Thursday. Lower Broadway Development LLC seeks approval of a major amendment to its plans for a six-story residential development at 28-44 Broadway, formerly a block of one-story commercial buildings. Blaming “market demands and inability to finance the project as permitted,” the developer seeks to add three units to its project, for a total 84 units. The developer will also add some bicycle parking spaces while adhering to the board’s condition that the project have no more than 21 vehicle parking spaces – reserved mostly for patrons of the ground-floor commercial spaces. The board also hears a proposal from Life Alive to open a location of its health food restaurant chain near the Union Square green line station at 32 Prospect St. Watchable by Zoom videoconferencing.

This post was updated Oct. 27, 2023, to remove the Union Square Neighborhood Council as a named co-host to a Saturday meeting about the Somernova project.