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.

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
Prospect St 70 PB 2012-21 Dec 13, 2012 PDF icon ProspectSt70.pdf PDF icon Plans 11-21-12
PDF icon Plans 3-14-2013
PDF icon Traffic Study
PDF icon Plans 4-18-2013
PDF icon Staff Report 03.14.13
PDF icon Staff Report 04.18.13
05/30/2013 - 7:34pm
Washington St 255 PB 2012-20 Nov 29, 2012 PDF icon WashingtonSt255.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 01/03/2013 - 10:09am
Webster Ave 47 PB 2012-19 Nov 08, 2012 PDF icon WebsterAve47.pdf PDF icon Plans 10-22-12
PDF icon Phase I ESA Review
PDF icon Plans 10-26-12
PDF icon Staff Report 01/03/2013 - 10:08am
Broadway 167 PB 2012-17 Sep 20, 2012 PDF icon Broadway167.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 10/05/2012 - 10:41am
Broadway 118-120 PB 2012-15 Aug 23, 2012 PDF icon Broadway118-120.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08/29/2012 - 12:44pm
Assembly Row Block 6 6 PB 2012-14 Aug 02, 2012 PDF icon ASQBlocks6(Combined).pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 06/25/2014 - 4:30pm
Assembly Row Block 5 5 PB 2012-13 Aug 02, 2012 PDF icon ASQBlocks5(Combined).pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 10.02.12 06/25/2014 - 4:30pm
Kensington Ave 6 PB 2012-12 Aug 02, 2012 PDF icon KensingtonAve6.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08/29/2012 - 12:47pm
Broadway 331-333 PB 2012-11 Aug 02, 2012 PDF icon Broadway331-333.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Photo Sims
PDF icon Sheet A-1, revised
PDF icon Staff Report 08/29/2012 - 12:45pm
McGrath Hwy 844 PB 2012-10 Jul 11, 2012 PDF icon McGrathHwy844.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Photo Simulations
PDF icon Staff Report 08/29/2012 - 12:44pm
Broadway 342 PB 2012-09 Jul 11, 2012 PDF icon Broadway342.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08/02/2012 - 12:00pm
Mystic Ave 65/75 PB 2012-08 Apr 19, 2012 PDF icon MysticAve65.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 05/25/2012 - 9:03am
Somerville Ave 230 PB 2012-07 Apr 19, 2012 PDF icon SomervilleAve230 _#2012-07_.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 05/25/2012 - 9:03am
Union Sq 73-75 PB 2012-06 Apr 05, 2012 PDF icon UnionSq73-75.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Updated Staff Report
04/24/2012 - 4:35pm
Broadway 149-153 PB 2012-05 Apr 05, 2012 PDF icon Broadway149-153.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 04/24/2012 - 4:36pm

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