About the Zoning Board of Appeals

The Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) as a quasi-judicial body charged under the provisions of Chapter 40A of the Massachusetts General Laws. The ZBA is the Special Permit Granting Authority for:

  • Variances
  • Special Permit Applications, including Special Permits with Design Review and Special Permits with Site Plan Review
  • Appeals by aggrieved parties of administrative or enforcement decisions
  • Comprehensive Permit Petitions (MGL Chapter 40B)

 

  • Notes for Applicants

  • Board Members

  • Reports & Decisions

Development Review Standards:

  • Please be advised that, per the standards set out in Article 15 of the Somerville Zoning Ordinance, a development review application is not complete until all required community and Design Review meetings have been held, all necessary information has been submitted, and all fees have been paid. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed, will not be publicly noticed, and will not be scheduled for a public hearing.
  • Planning staff will work with applicants to discuss meeting dates and review application materials.
  • Applications for large projects may require a longer review period and evaluation by multiple City departments before being deemed complete and scheduled for a public hearing.
  • Planning staff reserves the right to ask for additional information or to change meeting dates.
  • The list of anticipated public meeting dates for this Board can be found here.

Orsola Susan Fontano, Chair

Orsola Susan Fontano is a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals and also volunteers with the Elections Department, the Council of Aging, and the Art's Council. Some of her past affiliations include the Historic Preservation Commission, member of the award-winning Somerville All-American City delegation, and founding president of East Somerville Main Streets. She is self-employed, operating Up, Up & Away balloons since 1981 and managing her sister business Nefertiti Hair Salon since 1977.

Danielle Fillis Evans, Clerk

Danielle Fillis Evans holds a master’s degree in Urban and Environmental policy and planning from Tufts University and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and has served on the ZBA since 2008. She has worked as a planner in several municipalities in Massachusetts and currently manages the Community Preservation Act program for the City of Medford.

Elaine Severino

Elaine Severino is a former educator and small business owner. She spent 5 years serving on the Zoning Task Force Committee that rewrote the previous Somerville Zoning laws and has served in the Zoning Board of Appeals for over 15 years. She is also a member of the Somerville Garden Club and dedicated to helping create better green spaces in Somerville.

Josh Safdie

Josh Safdie, AIA, NCARB, is a Principal at KMA, an architecture and consulting practice. He serves as the co-chair of the Access Committee for the Boston Society of Architects and has received awards from the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board and the Boston Preservation Alliance for projects merging preservation and accessibility. He is also an Associate Professor at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and a contributor to Architecture Boston magazine.

Anne Brockelman

Anne Brockelman, AIA, LEED AP BD+C is an architect with two decades of experience in the design profession. She is an Associate Principal and Director of Sustainable Design at Perry Dean Rogers Partners Architects (PDR), a full-service architectural firm specializing in cultural and institutional projects, with a focus on higher education. Her diverse experience includes all project phases from planning, programming through construction, and various project types such as campus and facilities master plans, libraries, and academic buildings. Ms. Brockelman graduated from Wesleyan University with a B.A. in Art History and Studio Art, and holds a Master of Architecture from Harvard University's Graduate School of Design.

Katherine Garavalgia, Alternate

 

Reports and Decisions

PLEASE NOTE: Applications made before April 15, 2011 are not included in this listing and can be found by clicking here.

Street Number Case Number First Hearing Date Decisions Other Reports Updated datesort descending
Warner St 38 ZBA 2011-72 Oct 19, 2011 PDF icon WarnerSt38 (Denied).pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 12/16/2011 - 11:31am
Highland Ave 373 ZBA 2011-73 Oct 19, 2011 PDF icon HighlandAve373.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 12/16/2011 - 11:32am
Robinson St 13 ZBA 2011-57 Oct 19, 2011 PDF icon RobinsonSt13.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 12/16/2011 - 11:33am
Murdock St 58 ZBA 2011-71 Oct 19, 2011 PDF icon MurdockSt58.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 12/16/2011 - 11:33am
Orchard St 142 ZBA 2011-74 Oct 19, 2011 PDF icon OrchardSt142.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 12/16/2011 - 11:34am
Washington St 149-151 ZBA 2011-69 Sep 21, 2011 PDF icon WashingtonSt149-151.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 12/16/2011 - 11:36am
Sargent Ave 11 ZBA 2011-55 Aug 03, 2011 PDF icon SargentAve11.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Updated Plans 10-27-11
PDF icon Staff Report 12/16/2011 - 11:38am
Hamlet St 25 ZBA 2010-42-R1-9/2011 Oct 19, 2011 PDF icon HamletSt25 (WWOP).pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 12/16/2011 - 11:38am
Wallace St 68 ZBA 2011-75 Nov 02, 2011 PDF icon WallaceSt68.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 12/16/2011 - 11:39am
Chetwynd Rd 21 ZBA 2011-76 Nov 02, 2011 PDF icon ChetwyndRd21.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 12/16/2011 - 11:39am
Foley St 74 & 100 PB 2011-17 Nov 03, 2011 PDF icon FoleySt74&100.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 12/16/2011 - 11:40am
Josephine Ave 110 ZBA 2011-68 Sep 21, 2011 PDF icon JosephineAve110.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 12/16/2011 - 11:42am
Summer St 343, 345, 349, & 351 ZBA 2011-54 Aug 24, 2011 PDF icon SummerSt343.pdf PDF icon Plans 6-24-11
PDF icon Traffic Impact Assessment
PDF icon Construction Management Plan
PDF icon ASTM Screen 3-20-02
PDF icon Prelim Site Assessment 4-19-02
PDF icon Subsurface Exploration 9-23-02
PDF icon ASTM Screen 7-26-07
PDF icon Phase 1 Environ. Assessment 6-30-09
PDF icon Phase 1 Environ. Assessment 7-13-09
PDF icon Subsurface Investigation 7-15-10
PDF icon Staff Report - 8/19/11
PDF icon Environmental Consultant Peer Review Report 8/19/11
PDF icon Staff Report - 9/1/11
PDF icon Drainage Report 2/2011
PDF icon Memo to ZBA re Revised Plans 9-30-11
PDF icon Revised Plans 9-30-11
PDF icon Revised Plans 11-18-11
PDF icon Staff Report 12-1-11
PDF icon ZBA Memo 12-5-11
PDF icon DRC 11-22-11
01/04/2012 - 11:09am
Highland Ave 230 & 236 ZBA 2011-92 Jan 04, 2012 PDF icon HighlandAve230&236.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 01/25/2012 - 9:02am
Elm St 234 ZBA 2011-93 Jan 04, 2012 PDF icon ElmSt234.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Parking Memorandum
PDF icon Parking Memorandum Addendum
PDF icon Staff Report 01/25/2012 - 9:03am

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