Location: Somerville, MA

Senior Planner

Salary: $90,202.68 annual plus benefits

Somerville is a city located in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, just two miles north of Boston. Occupying slightly over 4 square miles, its population of 81,045 (as of the 2020 census), and a myriad of immigrants from all over the world make Somerville the most densely populated community in New England and one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the nation. Rich in both history and culture, the city houses numerous intriguing sites, businesses, and restaurants for every style.

The Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning & Community Development is charged with guiding the continuing rapid growth of the city to make Somerville an even more exceptional place to live, work, play and raise a family by implementing the goals, policies, and actions of the SomerVision comprehensive plan. OSPCD seeks to enhance low and moderate income areas of the City, stimulate economic development, increase job opportunities, create future development opportunities, improve the City’s neighborhoods, expand housing options, preserve and enhance Somerville’s public space and urban forest and improve transportation access, with a focus on Somerville’s long-term economic, environmental, and social quality of life.

The OSPCD Planning, Preservation, & Zoning 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.

This role is a Senior Planner and as such will be a generalist participating in the division’s three work areas of Planning, Preservation, & Zoning. However, this position will be the lead for overseeing zoning applications and caseloads through the Board Review processes. The ideal candidate will have experience with administering land use regulations including form-based codes, in review of zoning cases to determine permits required, writing staff reports and decisions for complex multi-phase development projects, and coordination on zoning amendments and other land use policies or procedures.

Position Description
General duties include:

  • Serves as staff to the Planning Board (PB), Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA), and/or Historic Preservation Commission (HPC)
  • Serves as lead coordinator on various projects, including especially large and complex cases going before the Boards
  • Reviews plans, prepares staff reports, and presents information for cases going before the PB, ZBA, and/or HPC
  • Researches and analyzes data - particularly Somerville Zoning Ordinance (SZO), SomerVision, and historic property information
  • Creates neighborhood plans and/or updates, manages the public process dealing with planning initiatives, and assists with urban design alternatives
  • Collaborates on presentations for various city, regional, state and federal agencies
  • Develops and recommends ordinance, by-law, and rules & regulations amendments
  • Participates in efforts to increase awareness and improve the regulatory process for review of historic preservation projects
  • Provides information to public regarding City ordinances, state laws and regulations
  • Provides professional and technical administrative approval on City processes and performs analyses to support various city policies, in accordance with local and state regulations

Recommended Minimum Qualifications
Education and Experience: Bachelor’s Degree and seven (7) years’ experience; 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 preferred.

How to Apply
A full position description can be found at

To apply, please send a cover letter and your resume to:
City Hall Personnel Office
93 Highland Avenue
Somerville MA 02143
Fax: 617-666-4426
TTY: 1-866-808-4851