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 Numbersort descending Case Number First Hearing Date Decisions Other Reports Updated date
Alpine 13 ZBA 2016-75 Jul 12, 2017 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Updated plans PDF icon Updated staff report 08/06/2018 - 12:12pm
Rush St 13 ZBA2008-58 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
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
Dell St 13 ZBA 2016-141 Jan 18, 2017 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 09/18/2018 - 1:37pm
Clyde St 13 ZBA 2012-49 Jul 11, 2012 PDF icon ClydeSt13_WWOP_.pdf PDF icon Plans 6-26-12 10/26/2012 - 9:10am
Roberts St 13 ZBA 2015-04 Jun 24, 2015 PDF icon RobertsSt13.pdf PDF icon Plans 11.25.2014
PDF icon Plans 08.27.2015
PDF icon Staff Report 07.18.2015
PDF icon Staff Report 09.10.2015
09/30/2015 - 1:58pm
Broadway 130 PB 2011-02-R1 (1/2012) Feb 02, 2012 PDF icon Broadway130_R1-2012_.pdf PDF icon Pictures PDF icon Staff Report 02/06/2012 - 4:38pm
Broadway 130 PB 2012-03 Mar 15, 2012 PDF icon Broadway130.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08/02/2012 - 12:03pm
Broadway 130 PB 2018-05 Apr 05, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Fat Hen graphic 1-24-18
PDF icon Perfect Dental graphic 1-24-18
PDF icon Staff Report 10/17/2018 - 8:57am
Walnut 130 ZBA 2018-39 Apr 18, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Appeal Docs for 5-2-18 PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Staff Report - Updated for May 16 2018
08/03/2018 - 11:17am
Walnut 130 ZBA 2017-70 Oct 04, 2017 PDF icon Decision (WWOP) PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Landscaping plans
PDF icon Proposed Plants
PDF icon Walnut St 130 - Updated Plans Oct 2017 Combined.pdf
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Staff Report - Updated
08/03/2018 - 11:35am
Broadway 130 PB 2018-05 Apr 05, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Fat Hen Graphics
PDF icon Perfect Dental Graphics
PDF icon Staff Report 08/03/2018 - 11:29am
Orchard Street 131 ZBA 2017-48 Aug 02, 2017 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 6-19-17
PDF icon Plan Set 7-10-17
PDF icon Plan Set 8-9-17
PDF icon Staff Report 08/06/2018 - 12:14pm
Willow Ave 131 (135) ZBA2004-05-R0208 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Heath Street 132-134 ZBA 2018-60 Jun 06, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 4-10-18 PDF icon Staff Report 08/02/2018 - 6:34pm

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