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:
- 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
Reports & Decisions
Notes for Applicants
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.
Josh Safdie, Clerk
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.
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.
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 & Decisions
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 date|
|Highland Road||87||ZBA 2015-69||Sep 16, 2015||Plans||Staff Report||09/16/2015 - 11:16am|
|Highland Rd||87||ZBA #2015-69||Sep 16, 2015||HighlandRd87.pdf||Planning Staff Report||09/30/2015 - 1:51pm|
|Broadway||872||CZC20-000086||Mar 23, 2021||UDC Recommendation||04/21/2021 - 2:47pm|
|Beacon St||88||ZBA2007-65||05/20/2010 - 7:10am|
|Line Street||88||ZBA 2017-73||Oct 18, 2017||Decision||
Plan Set 7-20-17
Compiled Plan Set 10-12-17
3D Sun Study 10-12-17
|Staff Report||08/07/2018 - 12:14pm|
|Jaques St||88||ZBA 2015-64||Sep 16, 2015||JaquesSt88.pdf||Plans||Staff Report||11/03/2015 - 3:28pm|
|Marshall Street||88||ZBA 2019-03||Mar 06, 2019||Decision||
|Staff Report||03/12/2019 - 12:01pm|
|Josephine||88||ZBA 2015-93||Feb 17, 2016||Decision||Staff Report||09/20/2018 - 12:15pm|
|Dover||88||ZBA 2015-82||Dec 09, 2015||
Updated Plans 12/9/2015
Updated Staff Report
|12/04/2015 - 1:38pm|
|Irving Street||88||ZBA 2017-56||Aug 02, 2017||Decision||
Plan Set 5-23-17
Plan Set 7-19-17
Plan Set 7-24-17
|Staff Report||08/06/2018 - 12:15pm|
|Winslow Ave||88||ZBA 2016-82||Sep 07, 2016||Decision||Plans||Staff Report||09/21/2018 - 10:27am|
|Pearl St||88||ZBA 2012-11||Feb 29, 2012||PearlSt88.pdf||Plans||Staff Report||03/07/2012 - 11:23am|
|Dover St||88||ZBA 2015-82-E1-2-2018||Apr 04, 2018||Decision||Staff Report||08/03/2018 - 11:32am|
|Electric||88-90||ZBA 2016-104||Oct 05, 2016||Decision||Plans||Staff Report||09/18/2018 - 3:21pm|
|Line Street and Cooney Street||88-90 and 18||ZBA 2017-73-R1-3/19||Apr 17, 2019||Decision||Basement Plan 3-13-19||Staff Report||05/22/2019 - 10:50am|