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Somerville looks to overhaul zoning laws

Somerville residents have an opportunity to offer their say on proposed changes to the city’s zoning rules.

On Tuesday, Oct. 30, the Board of Aldermen’s Committee on Land Use and the Planning Board are holding a joint public hearing on a proposed zoning ordinance. Developed over the last year, the new ordinance would take the place of the city’s existing zoning ordinance, which was adopted in 1990.

The hearing will be held at 6 p.m. in the East Somerville Community School auditorium, 50 Cross St.

Zoning ordinances regulate how land can be used in a community. The city’s Planning Department has said the initiative, the first wholesale revamping of the city’s zoning rules, is aimed at preserving the city’s “traditional residential housing while steering investment to enhance our squares and corridors and transform underutilized areas into vibrant, walkable neighborhoods.”


The plan draws from more than 100 of the goals, policies, and action statements in SomerVision, the city’s comprehensive long-term plan adopted in 2012.

The city’s planning staff introduced the proposed ordinance to aldermen and the Planning Board at a joint meeting on Oct. 16.

Copies of the ordinance and related maps are available at www.somervillezoning.com.

John Laidler can be reached at laidler@globe.com.