Location: Somerville, MA

Preservation Planner

Department: Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development (OSPCD)

Hours: Full Time. Mon-Wed 8:30-4:30; Thurs 8:30-7:30; Fri 8:30-12:30

Salary: $76,500 annual plus benefits

The Preservation Planner responsibilities include professional and technical work in planning, including community planning, zoning by-law compliance, historic preservation, site plan review, and long-range planning. Coordination with economic development, housing, transportation and infrastructure for the community is also necessary.

Essential Functions
The essential functions or duties listed below are intended only as illustrations of the various type of work that may be performed. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the position.

  • Serves as staff to the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) and other Special Permit Granting Authorities
  • Reviews projects and provides staff recommendations, via Staff Reports, to the HPC, Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA), and/or the Planning Board (PB) Provides assistance to the public regarding proposed changes to historic properties that require board reviews
  • Attends, participates in, and provides comments at the monthly evening meetings of the HPC, and others as needed
  • Actively works with the Community Preservation Act Manager on the Local Historic District Property Owner Preservation Fund in reviewing applications, coordinating with the HPC, and verifying on-going compliance with the grant requirements
  • Participates in efforts to increase awareness and improve the regulatory process for review of historic preservation projects
  • Researches and analyzes data – particularly historic property information and the Somerville Zoning Ordinance (SZO)
  • Creates master plan updates, participates in neighborhood plans, and may assist with urban design alternatives Collaborates on presentations for various city, regional, state and federal agencies
  • Provides information to public regarding City ordinances, state laws, and regulations


Education and Experience
Bachelor’s Degree in planning or related field and one to three (1-3) years’ experience in historic preservation required; or any equivalent combination of education, training and experience which provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the essential functions of the job. Master’s degree in Planning or Historic Preservation preferred.

Knowledge, Abilities and Skill
Knowledge: Knowledge of planning, historic preservation, conservation, economic development, transportation, and infrastructure is required.

Abilities: Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing with state and federal agencies, city officials, supervisors, architects, contractors, developers, owners, and the general public.

Skill: Excellent writing ability, analytical observations, and skill in facilitating and public presentations is required. Language skills in Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian–Creole and/or Nepali preferred but not required.

Work Environment
The work environment involves everyday discomforts typical of offices, with occasional exposure to outside elements. Noise or physical surroundings may be distracting, but conditions are generally not unpleasant. Employee may be required to work beyond normal business hours in response to attend evening meetings or complete work assignments. When in the field or attending meetings, the environment can be at construction sites and outdoors and subject to uneven terrain and inclement weather.

Physical and Mental Requirements
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the position’s essential functions.

Physical Skills
Minimal physical demands are required to perform the work. Work effort principally involves sitting to perform work tasks, with intermittent periods of stooping, walking, and standing. Work requires some agility such as moving in or about construction sites or over rough terrain. There may also be some occasional lifting of objects such as office equipment or photocopy paper (up to 30lbs.). When in the field, more physical skill may be required to accomplish the duties required.

Motor Skills
Duties are largely mental rather than physical, but the job may occasionally require minimal motor skills for activities such as moving objects, operating a telephone, personal computer and/or most other office equipment including word processing, filing and sorting of papers.

Visual Skills
Visual demands require constantly reading documents for general understanding and analytical purposes

Application Procedure:

Job open until filled. Send your resume and cover letter to:
City Hall Personnel Office
93 Highland Avenue
Somerville MA 02143
Fax: 617-666-4426
TTY: 1-866-808-4851