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Donate to Somerville Media Fund, Affordable Housing at 299 Broadway, and More!


Artists Reflect on Immigration and Community Building

Mayor Emeritus and Former City Communications Director Call for Public Access Station to Be Allowed to Stay in City-Owned Firehouse



Donate to Somerville Media Fund for #GivingTuesday (Wed., Etc.)
Just a quick note (since this roundup is being published toward the end of the unofficial nonprofit holiday Giving Tuesday) to say that although the Somerville Media Fund will be doing its next semi-annual fundraiser throughout December, Somerville residents are encouraged to make a donation to our city’s very own community journalism foundation now. All contributions to the Fund currently benefit the two media nonprofits that serve Somerville with professionally-produced news coverage of local issues of the day, the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism (home of the Somerville Wire!) and the Somerville Media Center. Please click here to donate:

[12/1/22 NOTE: The Zoning Board of Appeals has postponed this discussion until its 12/14/22 meeting.]
Affordable Housing at Winter Hill Star Market
The long-vacant property at 299 Broadway, formerly the Winter Hill Star Market, will take a significant step toward becoming a new housing complex this week.

Mark Development LLC, Beacon Communities Services LLC, and RISE Together LLC will make their case for a Comprehensive Permit under M.G.L. Chapter 40B, the state law that encourages affordable housing by allowing developers to circumvent some local rules.

“The Applicants had previously considered the development of the site through the standard subdivision and Site Plan Approval process. However, following several months of site analysis and the goals and priorities for the site and the neighborhood, the Applicants and the City determined that applying for a Comprehensive Permit through the M.G.L. chapter 40B approval process would more appropriately address the unique conditions of the site and facilitate the pursuit of the community’s goals for the site, including a significantly higher amount of affordable housing, and site and civic space design that responds to neighborhood needs,” according to the city’s planning staff.

The newly revised proposal would create two six-story buildings with 288 residential units, of which 132 would be affordable units, plus two new civic spaces, 293 bicycle parking spaces, and no motor vehicle parking spaces. The applicants are requesting waivers from various city ordinances and zoning requirements, including building massing and setbacks, screening requirements, and on-street parking.

The Zoning Board of Appeals is the sole decision-making authority for Chapter 40B Comprehensive Permits. The developers will meet with the ZBA at 6 p.m. Wednesday. The virtual meeting is watchable by video conferencing. 

Discuss substance misuse prevention
The City of Somerville’s Prevention Services Division, in partnership with Everett, Arlington, Lexington, and the Cambridge Health Alliance, recently received a grant from the state’s Bureau of Substance Addiction Services for regional youth substance misuse prevention work.

The grant is aimed at preventing youth from initiating their first substance misuse. Over the last year, the partnership of municipal agencies worked with the Institute for Community Health to gather and analyze information from key stakeholders in each community. This data will aid in the needs assessment process as the communities plan for strategic intervention.

A review of the data and discussion on substance misuse prevention will take place on Thursday, Dec. 1 from 6-7:30 p.m. Registration is required:

Get Help with U.S. Citizenship
Somerville Citizenship Day will take place this Saturday, Dec. 3 from 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at St. Anthony Parish, 12 Properzi Way, Somerville.

Staff from Project Citizenship will be available to offer free legal help for Green Card holders looking to apply for U.S. citizenship. The event is sponsored by Project Citizenship and SomerViva, the City’s immigrant affairs office. Appointments are required. Call 617-694-5949 or visit the event’s website to register.

English-speaking volunteers are needed for this event. Positions range from application assistance, interpretation, child care, check-in, and application quality control.

For more information, please reach out to

Photo credit: “Somerville Construction, Fall 2022.” Photo by Jason Pramas. Copyright 2022 Jason Pramas.

This article is syndicated by the Somerville Wire municipal news service of the Somerville News Garden project of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism.

All Somerville Wire articles may be republished by community news outlets free of charge with permission and by larger commercial news outlets for a fee. Republication requests and all other inquiries should be directed to Somerville Wire articles are also syndicated by BINJ’s MassWire state news service at


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Linda Pinkow is a reporter for the Somerville Wire. She is also a development consultant for the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism.

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