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 descending First Hearing Date Decisions Other Reports Updated date
ASQ Block 5B PB 2017-05 Apr 06, 2017 PDF icon ASQ Block 5B (Combined).pdf 08/06/2018 - 11:38am
Assembly Square - Grand Union Boulevard 500 (Block 5B) PB 2017-05 Apr 20, 2017 PDF icon ASQBlock5B-REVISED_Decision-CleanCopy (Combined).pdf PDF icon Index & Executive Summary
PDF icon Application & Waiver Request
PDF icon Open Space & Architectural
PDF icon Shadow Study & LEED Checklist
PDF icon Staff Report 08/06/2018 - 11:50am
Broadway 46 PB 2017-07 May 04, 2017 PDF icon Broadway46.pdf 08/06/2018 - 12:04pm
Broadway 46 PB 2017-07 May 04, 2017 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Floor Plans 4-21-17
PDF icon Schematic Facade Design 3-18-17
PDF icon Plan Set 4-26-17
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon UPDATED Staff Report
08/06/2018 - 11:48am
Somerville Avenue 321 PB 2017-08 May 04, 2017 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Riverdog_Facade_3-30-17 PDF icon Staff Report 08/06/2018 - 12:00pm
Somerville Avenue 335 PB 2017-10 Jun 08, 2017 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Facade Renovations PDF icon Staff Report 08/06/2018 - 11:58am
Broadway 284-288 PB 2017-11 May 18, 2017 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Proposed Facade Renovations PDF icon Staff Report 08/06/2018 - 11:42am
Broadway 70 PB 2017-13 Jun 22, 2017 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 5-4-17
PDF icon Plan Set 6-12-17
PDF icon Plan Set 7-17-17
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Updated Staff Report 7-26-17
08/06/2018 - 12:13pm
Broadway 70 PB 2017-13-R1-11/18 Dec 13, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 10-30-18
PDF icon Accessibility Letter 10-30-18
PDF icon Staff Report 12/26/2018 - 11:14am
Somerville Ave 374 PB 2017-16 and ZBA 2018-11 Oct 19, 2017 PDF icon ZBA Decision
PDF icon PB Decision
PDF icon PB Decision MEMO
PDF icon PB MEMO
PDF icon Code Report
PDF icon Plan Set 6-23-17
PDF icon Perspective Views
PDF icon Aerial Rendering
PDF icon Carlton Street Elevation
PDF icon Plan Set 3-8-18
PDF icon Plan Set 3-27-18
PDF icon Plan Set 5-24-18
PDF icon Zoning Data
PDF icon Variance Staff Report
PDF icon SPSR Staff Report
PDF icon Updated SPSR Staff Report
08/07/2018 - 1:45pm
Mystic Ave 654 PB 2017-18 Aug 17, 2017 PDF icon Decision PDF icon FINAL 654 Mystic Schematic Plans Revised 5. 18 17.pdf PDF icon Mystic Ave 654 -Staff Report - August 17 2017-3.pdf 08/06/2018 - 12:13pm
Broadway 44 PB 2017-19 Nov 30, 2017 PDF icon Plan Set 9-20-17
PDF icon Landscape Plan 9-22-17
PDF icon Summary of Environmental Conditions.pdf
08/07/2018 - 1:23pm
Somerville Avenue 304 PB 2017-20 Dec 14, 2017 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Traffic Study
PDF icon Plan Set 7-31-17
PDF icon Plan Set 9-8-17
PDF icon Renderings 12-21-17
PDF icon Staff Report 08/07/2018 - 8:56am
Union Square CDSP PB 2017-21 Nov 20, 2017 PDF icon CDSP decision PDF icon Revised: USQ CDSP Application
PDF icon Revised: Appendix 1 – Applicant Info
PDF icon Revised: Appendix 3 – Civic Space
PDF icon Appendix 4 – T.I.S. & Mobility
PDF icon Revised: Lot & Block Plans
PDF icon Revised: Thoroughfare Plans
PDF icon Revised: Utility Exhibits
PDF icon Revised: Appendix 2 - Neighborhood Mtg
PDF icon Preliminary Staff Report - prior to testimony
PDF icon mobility management memo
PDF icon Memo in response to 11/20/17 questions
08/07/2018 - 8:58am
Broadway 176-182 PB 2017-22 Jun 21, 2018 PDF icon Plans for June 21 2018 Plng Board
PDF icon Updated Plan Set for 6-21-2018
PDF icon Updated Plan Set for Dec 12 2018
PDF icon Broadway 176-182 - Plans for December 13, 2019 ZBA.pdf
PDF icon Broadway%20176-182%20-%20Plans%20121319%20%28POST%29.pdf
PDF icon Staff Report 12/10/2019 - 3:34pm

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