Somerville Zoning Ordinance

All Articles (Large File)


Article 1 – Introductory Provisions

Article 2 – Glossary & Overview
__Standards & Measurements
Article 3 – Residential Districts
__3.1 – Neighborhood Residential
__3.2 – Urban Residential
Article 4 – Mid-Rise Districts 
__4.1 – Mid-Rise 3
__4.2 – Mid-Rise 4
__4.3 – Mid-Rise 5
__4.4 – Mid-Rise 6
Article 5 – High-Rise Districts
Article 6 – Commercial Districts 
__6.1 – Fabrication
__6.2 – Commercial Core
__6.3 – Commercial Industry
__6.4 – Commercial Business
Article 7 – Special Districts
Article 8 – Overlay Districts
Article 9 – Use Provisions
Article 10 – Development Standards
Article 11 – Parking & Mobility
Article 12 – Development Benefits
Article 13 – Public Realm
Article 14 – Nonconformance
Article 15 – Administration

For more information please visit the Planning & Zoning Division
at Somerville City Hall, 93 Highland Avenue

Latest Public Hearings and Meetings

12/12/2019 – Adoption
03/17/2020 – Joint Hearing canceled
03/31/2020 – Land Use Committee meeting (
Presentation)

Change Log

02/25/2020 – Amendments to correct procedural requirements, unintended conflicts between regulations, numerical errors, or inadvertent omissions.
03/12/2020 – Amendments to extend the validity time frame of previously issued permits, clarify how lot coverage is calculated, correct the threshold for employment linkage, and streamline the language concerning landscape buffers.

Per §15.6.2, The Director of Planning & Zoning may update figures and photos; correct scriveners errors, table and figure numbers, the capitalization of defined words, and cross references; and add or correct street names or districts labels for maps without City Council approval.

11/21/2019 – Amendments (Video)
– Proposed Amendments List
– Article 12: Section 3 Buyouts and Payments
– Errata List

11/19/2019 – PB Recommendation, Amendments (Presentation, Video)
– Letter from the Somerville Planning Board
– Proposed Amendments List

10/29/2019 – Ongoing Discussion (PresentationVideo)
10/22/2019 – Ongoing Discussion (PresentationVideo)
10/01/2019 – City Council Feedback (Video)
09/19/2019 – Joint Hearing, Land Use Committee & Planning Board (Presentation; Video
05/19/2019 – 
Affordable Housing
04/30/2019 – Parking
04/22/2019 – Open Space
04/02/2019 – NR, UR, Nonconformance
03/19/2019 – Open Space
03/12/2019 – Open Space, Tree Protection, Zoning Overhaul
01/15/2019 – v3 Update
12/04/2018 – Proposed Open Space Amendment
10/16/2018 – Proposed New SZO v3 Overview
05/23/2018 – NR District & Parking
05/15/2018 – NR District
02/13/2018 – Proposed New SZO v2 Overview
01/31/2018 – SZO v2 Document Review

Amended v4 Submittal (AKA Version 5)

All Articles (Large File)
Article 1 – Introductory Provisions
Article 2 – Glossary & Overview
Article 3 – Residential Districts
Article 4 – Mid-Rise Districts 
Article 5 – High-Rise Districts
Article 6 – Commercial Districts 
Article 7 – Special Districts
Article 8 – Overlay Districts
Article 9 – Use Provisions
Article 10 – Development Standards
Article 11 – Parking & Mobility
Article 12 – Development Benefits
Article 13 – Public Realm
Article 14 – Nonconformance
Article 15 – Administration

August 2019 v4 Submittal

Official Somerville Zoning Atlas

All Articles (Large File)
Article 1 – Introductory Provisions
Article 2 – Glossary & Overview 
Article 3 – Residential Districts
Article 4 – Mid-Rise Districts 
Article 5 – High-Rise Districts
Article 6 – Commercial Districts 
Article 7 – Special Districts
Article 8 – Overlay Districts
Article 9 – Use Provisions
Article 10 – Development Standards
Article 11 – Parking & Mobility
Article 12 – Development Benefits
Article 13 – Public Realm
Article 14 – Nonconformance
Article 15 – Administration

Draft Ordinance v3, January 2019

Zoning Atlas (out of date)
Pedestrian Streets Atlas  (out of date)
Transit Areas Atlas (out of date)
Article 1 – Introductory Provisions (out of date)
Article 2 – Overview & Guide  (out of date)
Article 3 – Residential Districts (out of date)
Article 4 – Mid-Rise Districts (out of date)
Article 5 – High-Rise Districts (out of date)
Article 6 – Commercial Districts (out of date)
Article 7 – Special Districts (out of date)
Article 8 – Overlay Districts (out of date)
Article 9 – Use Provisions (out of date)
Article 10 – Development Standards (out of date)
Article 11 – Parking & Mobility (out of date)
Article 12 – Development Benefits (out of date)
Article 13 – Public Realm (out of date)
Article 14 – Nonconformance (out of date)
Article 15 – Administration (out of date)
Article 16 – Definitions  (out of date)

Draft Ordinance v2, January 2018

Zoning Atlas 02/14/2018 (out of date)
Pedestrian Streets Atlas  01/09/2018 (out of date)
Transit Areas Atlas 01/09/2018 (out of date)
Article 1 – Introductory Provisions 01/09/2018 (out of date)
Article 2 – Overview & Guide 01/09/2018 (out of date)
Article 3 – Residential Districts 01/09/2018 (out of date)
Article 4 – Mid-Rise Districts 01/09/2018 (out of date)
Article 5 – High-Rise Districts 01/09/2018 (out of date)
Article 6 – Commercial Districts 02/01/2018 (out of date)
Article 7 – Special Districts 01/09/2018 (out of date)
Article 8 – Overlay Districts 01/09/2018 (out of date)
Article 9 – Use Provisions 01/09/2018 (out of date)
Article 10 – Site Development 02/01/2018 (out of date)
Article 11 – Parking & Mobility 01/09/2018 (out of date)
Article 12 – Development Benefits 01/09/2018 (out of date)
Article 13 – Public Realm 01/09/2018 (out of date)
Article 14 – Nonconformance 01/09/2018 (out of date)
Article 15 – Administration 01/09/2018 (out of date)
Article 16 – Definitions 01/09/2018 (out of date)

2nd Discussion Draft, November 2017

Zoning Atlas 06/21/2017 (out of date)
Article 1 – Introductory Provisions 11/05/2017 (out of date)
Article 2 – Overview & Guide 11/05/2017 (out of date)
Article 3 – Residential Districts 11/05/2017 (out of date)
Article 4 – Mid-Rise Districts 11/05/2017 (out of date)
Article 5 – High-Rise Districts 11/05/2017 (out of date)
Article 6 – Commercial Districts 11/05/2017 (out of date)
Article 7 – Special Districts 11/05/2017 (out of date)
Article 8 – Overlay Districts 11/05/2017 (out of date)
Article 9 – Use Provisions 11/05/2017 (out of date)
Article 10 – Site Development 11/05/2017 (out of date)
Article 11 – Public Realm 11/05/2017 (out of date)
Article 12 – Parking & Mobility 11/05/2017 (out of date)
Article 13 – Development Benefits 11/05/2017 (out of date)
Article 14 – Nonconformance 11/05/2017 (out of date)
Article 15 – Administration 11/05/2017 (out of date)
Article 16 – Definitions 11/05/2017 (out of date)

1st Discussion Draft, June 2017

Article 1 – Introductory Provisions 06/21/2017 (out of date)
Article 2 – Overview & Guide  06/22/2017 (out of date)
Article 3 – Residential Districts 06/21/2017 (out of date)
Article 4 – Mid-Rise Districts 06/21/2017 (out of date)
Article 5 – High-Rise Districts 06/21/2017 (out of date)
Article 6 – Commercial Districts 06/21/2017 (out of date)
Article 9 – Use Provisions 06/21/2017 (out of date)
Article 10 – Site Development 06/21/2017 (out of date)
Article 12 – Parking & Mobility 06/24/2017 (out of date)
Article 13 – Development Benefits 06/21/2017 (out of date)
Article 14 – Nonconformance 06/21/2017 (out of date)
Article 15 – Administration 06/21/2017 (out of date)
Article 16 – Definitions 06/21/2017 (out of date)