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 Numbersort ascending First Hearing Date Decisions Other Reports Updated date
Broadway 161 PB 2014-08 Mar 06, 2014 PDF icon Broadway161 (WWOP).pdf 08/29/2014 - 1:20pm
Canal St 300 PB 2014-07 Mar 20, 2014 PDF icon CanalSt300 (Combined).pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 03/28/2014 - 12:19pm
Medford St 61 PB 2014-06 Mar 06, 2014 PDF icon MedfordSt61.pdf PDF icon Site Plan
PDF icon Electrical Power Plan
PDF icon Staff Report 03/17/2014 - 11:01am
Artisan Way (Block 3) 395 PB 2014-04 Feb 06, 2014 PDF icon ArtisanWay395 (Combined).pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 01.30.2014
PDF icon Staff Report 02.13.2014
03/06/2014 - 4:22pm
Broadway 337-341 PB 2014-03 Feb 20, 2014 PDF icon Broadway337-341.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Updated Plan
PDF icon Staff Report 02.13.2014
PDF icon Staff Report 03.06.2014
03/19/2014 - 8:56am
Washington St 197 & 205 PB 2014-02 Feb 20, 2014 PDF icon WashingtonSt197&205.pdf PDF icon Plan PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Memo
03/12/2014 - 2:31pm
Washington St 181 & 197 PB 2014-01 Feb 19, 2014 PDF icon WashingtonSt181&197.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Traffic Assessment
PDF icon Stormwater Report
PDF icon Plans 1.31.14
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Memo
03/12/2014 - 2:31pm
Somerville Avenue 314-316 PB 2014- PDF icon SomervilleAve314-316.pdf PDF icon Staff Report 11/24/2014 - 3:38pm
Somerville Ave 230 PB 2013-23 Feb 06, 2014 PDF icon SomervilleAve230.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 03/17/2014 - 11:00am
Assembly Row Block 3 3 PB 2013-22 Jan 16, 2014 PDF icon AssembllyRow598 (Combined).pdf PDF icon Plans 1.13.2014
PDF icon Plans 1.30.2014
PDF icon Staff Report 1.09.2014
PDF icon Staff Report 1.30.2014
06/25/2014 - 4:32pm
Union Sq 38 PB 2013-20 Nov 07, 2013 PDF icon UnionSq38.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 11/19/2013 - 10:15am
Broadway 125 PB 2013-19 Nov 07, 2013 PDF icon Broadway125.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 11/19/2013 - 10:14am
McGrath Hwy & Cross St East 779 & 240 PB 2013-18 Nov 07, 2013 PDF icon McGrathHwy779.pdf PDF icon Plans/Narrative PDF icon Staff Report 01/06/2015 - 2:17pm
Medford St 9 & 39 PB 2013-17 Nov 07, 2013 PDF icon MedfordSt9&39.pdf PDF icon Plans 10.8.13
PDF icon Traffic Analysis
PDF icon Drainage Report
PDF icon Plans 10.31.13
PDF icon Plans 11.19.13
PDF icon Staff Report 10.31.13
PDF icon Staff Report 11.14.13
PDF icon Memo 11.21.13
11/27/2013 - 9:49am
Broadway 182 PB 2013-16-E1(11/2015) Dec 10, 2015 PDF icon Staff Report 12/07/2015 - 11:13am

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