What is the Neighborhood Council?
Somerville's Union Square Neighborhood Council was created to help shape the future of Union Square as an increasingly inclusive and vibrant neighborhood and commercial center built around the aspirations of the people who live and work here. Membership is open to all residents, property owners, business owners, and employees in the Union Square neighborhood, though all are welcome to attend and participate in meetings.
Among the most important of the activities of the Neighborhood Council is the negotiation of a Community Benefits Agreement with developers. A report was approved by the board and published in March, 2018 that explains the priorities of the CBA effort.
Online Discussion Groups
The USNC presently uses Google Groups to communicate. You can read via the web interface and/or sign up for email notifications.
USNC board discussion forum - This forum is for board members to conduct their communication in public view. Only board members may post, but anyone can read and follow along with the discussion.
USNC Public discussion forum - This forum is open to all. Posts are publicly visible. If you want to post, you must join the group; click the blue button that says Apply to join group. All applications will be approved (this step is intended to control spam).
- Results of 2021 Board Election
Results of the election for board members have been announced.
- Farmers Market Re-opens at New Location!
The farmers market opened for the season on Saturday, May 15th on Somerville Ave., between Carlton and Hawkins Streets. SNAP Matches are available for up to $15 per market. See map and more details on the Union Square Main Streets site. Sign up to receive Market newsletters here.
- 2/1 Neighborhood Meeting video
A video recording is now available for the virtual public neighborhood meeting that was held on Monday February 1st for the presentation and discussion of plans for a mid-rise and high-rise commercial development at 64 Webster Avenue and 495 Columbia Street.
- CBA Signed with DLJ Developers for Boynton Yards Project
USNC issued a press release on December 30th to announce the signing of an agreement as to the terms on which USNC will support that development, which will soon be presented to the City Planning Board.
- Neighborhood Meeting - November 30th - video available
There was a virtual meeting on Monday, November 30th for a presentation and discussion about the proposed development at 200 Msgr. McGrath Highway (the Glass Stop site near Target). Use this link to view a video recording for the event (requires registration). Video for the previous presentation, on Wednesday, October 28th, can be viewed via this link. A PDF of the slides used in that earlier presentation (which are quite similar to what was used more recently) is available here.
- Mission, Values, Vision and Goals Videos
Board member David Scott has created two short videos that outline the mission, values, vision and goals of the USNC.
- Landlord & Tenant Protection
Legislation has been introduced in the Massachusetts House and Senate to extend the evictions moratorium and protect both tenants and landlords throughout the remainder of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. [ resource page last updated November 2, 2020 ]
- Boynton Yards Project Presentation
The developers of a project in the Boynton Yards area on the south side of the commuter rail / MBTA tracks have produced a presentation describing what they are intending to build.
- COVID-19 Resources
Please see the COVID-19 information page for links to useful resources to protect yourself and your family during this time of crisis.
- 2020 Election Results
The results of the the recently-conducted 2020 board elections are now available. Congratulations to the winners!
- Neighborhood Meeting on Gateway Center proposal
A presentation of a plan to develop land at the intersection of Somerville Ave. and Medford St. took place on Monday, February 24th. Please see details here.
- CBA Signing Ceremony
The community benefits agreement was signed in a formal ceremony on Monday, December 2. More details can be found in a USNC press release (PDF).
- USMS survey being conducted
Union Square Main Streets is conducting a survey to collect valuable insights from locals. Please consider taking a few minutes to fill out the survey form.
- CBA Ratified
The community benefits agreement negotiated between representatives of USNC and US2 has been ratified by the general membership in the referendum vote that took place between September 23rd -- 28th: 167 total votes -- 161 yes, 2 no, 4 provisional ballots. Thanks to all who have participated in winning Somerville's first CBA!
- D2.1 discussion at Planning Board meeting
A meeting of the Somerville Planning Board held on April 4 featured a presentation of proposed plans for a lab building on the D2 parcel, and public comments were received. More details and a video of the event are here.
- Community Meeting - with US2
The USNC, in collaboration with master developer US2, made a special presentation on March 27th concerning progress on negotiations between these two entities. A video of the event is now available here.
- community center group - A group is being formed to think about and advocate for what we want in the indoor civic space component of the CBA which may become part of negotiations with US2. A brief description of this group, is now available here. Please use the Contact form to indicate your interest in being part of this working group.
- 2019 Board Election Results
Results of the 2019 board election can be seen here.
- US2 & USNC Present before BoA Finance Committee
Both master developer US2 and the Neighborhood Council made a presentation before the Finance Committee of the Board of Aldermen on December 11th, 2018.
- Neighborhood Conversation on Bylaws
A two hour session in which USNC members, board members and Wards 2 and 3 aldermen talked about bylaws proposals, including various ideas for voting methods to be used in upcoming board elections, took place on Saturday, December 1st, 2018. Video for that session is now available.
- Alternative Design Plans
An informal charette to consider possibilities for alternative designs for the D2 site took place in mid-August, 2018. Those plans can be viewered here.
- BEC seeks new members!
The built environment committee is seeking additional members, especially those having experience in design and urban planning. Please see details here.
- US2 D2 Waiver Denied
The MEPA Office has denied US2's request for a Phase I waiver for their project on the D2 parcel.
- D2 DRC meeting audio
A one hour recording of the part of the August 30 meeting of the Design Review Committee at City Hall pertaining to the D2 project is now available.
- 65 Bow Street development
A proposal has been written to describe terms under which development on the property at 65 Bow Street, the present site of Lien's Auto Repair, might be developed by Newmarket Properties, which is interested in purchase of the land for the purpose of constructing a new housing unit.
To be notified about major upcoming events, please sign up for the email newsletter.
USNC and other events pertaining to Union Square can be found on the site calendar.
USNC general meetings are attended by board members and are open to the public. General, committee and working group meetings are listed on the calendar, as well as on the meetings and committees pages, which also contain archives of agendæ and meeting minutes.
Committees & Working Groups
USNC committees address specific neighborhood and council needs. Please join one or more if you’re interested and want to help out!