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 Number First Hearing Datesort ascending Decisions Other Reports Updated date
Knowlton Street 29 ZBA 2019-09 Mar 20, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set - Initial Submission PDF icon Staff Report 03/26/2019 - 3:12pm
Lake 15 ZBA 2018-152 Mar 20, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Updated Plans for April 17, 2019
PDF icon Staff Report 05/07/2019 - 12:21pm
Powder House Blvd 80 ZBA 2018-82-R1-2-19 Mar 20, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set
PDF icon Updated Plan Set for May 15 2019 ZBA
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Updated Staff Report for May 15 2019
05/23/2019 - 12:05pm
Murdock Street 17-25 ZBA 2016-129-R1-2/19 Mar 20, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set - Initial Submission PDF icon Staff Memo 09/10/2019 - 10:08am
Heath Street 34 ZBA 2018-176 Mar 06, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 10-29-18
PDF icon Plan Set 12-6-18
PDF icon Plan Set 2-14-19
PDF icon Plan Set 4-2-19
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Updated Staff Report
04/25/2019 - 3:23pm
Broadway 1244 ZBA 2018-135 Mar 06, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 10-19-18
PDF icon Plan Set 2-11-19
PDF icon Staff Report 03/12/2019 - 12:05pm
Harrison Street 21 ZBA 2019-04 Mar 06, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 1-3-19 PDF icon Staff Report 03/12/2019 - 12:02pm
Greenville Street 7-9 ZBA 2018-169 Mar 06, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 11-14-18
PDF icon Plan Set 2-6-19
PDF icon Plan Set 3-14-19
PDF icon Staff Report 03/26/2019 - 3:14pm
Marshall Street 88 ZBA 2019-03 Mar 06, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans (12.10.18)
PDF icon Plot Plan
PDF icon Staff Report 03/12/2019 - 12:01pm
Irvington Road 23-25 ZBA 2018-192 Mar 06, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 10-25-18
PDF icon Survey 4-16-18
PDF icon Staff Report 03/12/2019 - 12:26pm
Somerville Ave 346 ZBA 2019-19 Feb 26, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Preliminary Plans
PDF icon Link to Plan Set for Sept 4 & 5 2019
PDF icon Link to Updated Plan Set for 10-2-2019 ZBA
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon REVISED Staff Report
PDF icon Staff Report - Second Revision
PDF icon Staff Report 3rd Revision
01/15/2020 - 9:08am
Oliver St 47 ZBA 2018-194 Feb 20, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set
PDF icon Plan Set for March 6, 2019 ZBA
PDF icon Plan Set for April 17, 2019
PDF icon Updated Plans for June 5, 2019 ZBA
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Updated Staff Report
07/08/2019 - 9:08am
Irving 39 ZBA 2018-178 Feb 20, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set
PDF icon Updated plans for Feb 20 2019
PDF icon Updated Plans for March 6, 2019 ZBA
PDF icon Updated Plans for April 3, 2019 ZBA
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Staff Report - Updated for March 6, 2019
PDF icon Staff Report - Updated for April 3, 2019
04/18/2019 - 9:54am
Quincy 13 ZBA 2018-156 Feb 20, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 03/19/2019 - 12:27pm
Temple Street 15 PB 2018-20 Feb 07, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Staff Report 10-16-18 PDF icon Staff Report 03/11/2019 - 2:30pm

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