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.

Streetsort descending Number Case Number First Hearing Date Decisions Other Reports Updated date
Bow St 11 ZBA2008-18 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Bow Street 75 ZBA 2015-02 Jan 02, 2015 PDF icon BowSt75 (WWOP).pdf 02/23/2015 - 9:22am
Bow Street 23A ZBA #2015-66 Sep 16, 2015 PDF icon BowSt23A.pdf PDF icon Planning Staff Report 09/30/2015 - 1:47pm
Bowers Ave 7-9 ZBA2008-68 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Boynton Yards - 1 Earle Street Building 1 ZBA2018-20 & PB2018-03 Apr 05, 2018 PDF icon Variance Decision
PDF icon SPSR Decision
PDF icon site plan
PDF icon building plans
PDF icon building elevations
PDF icon traffic impact study
PDF icon renderings
PDF icon soil/environmental report
PDF icon site photos
PDF icon sewer calculations
PDF icon context map
PDF icon shadow analysis
PDF icon physical model photos
PDF icon stormwater report
PDF icon narrative
PDF icon Presentation: May 3rd Planning Board
PDF icon Variance Staff Report
PDF icon Preliminary SPSR Staff Report
PDF icon 180426_Boynton yards_PB revisions (2).pdf
PDF icon Final SPSR Staff Report
08/03/2018 - 11:23am
Boynton Yards - 2 Earle Street Building 2 ZBA2018-21 & PB2018-04 Apr 04, 2018 PDF icon Variance Decision
PDF icon SPSR Decision
PDF icon soil/environmental report
PDF icon site plan
PDF icon building elevations
PDF icon building plans
PDF icon site photos
PDF icon traffic impact study
PDF icon renderings
PDF icon sewer calculations
PDF icon context map
PDF icon shadow analysis
PDF icon physical model photos
PDF icon stormwater report
PDF icon narrative
PDF icon Variance Staff Report
PDF icon Preliminary SPSR Staff Report
PDF icon Final SPSR Staff Report
08/03/2018 - 11:23am
Bradley 14 ZBA 2017-68 Sep 06, 2017 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Bradley St 14 - Final Combined Plans & 3D Renderings.pdf
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Bradley 14 - Staff Report - Updated.pdf
08/06/2018 - 12:14pm
Brastow 15 ZBA 2016-70 Aug 03, 2016 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Staff Report 09/17/2018 - 5:41pm
Brastow Ave 50 ZBA 2011-18 Apr 20, 2011 PDF icon BrastowAve50.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon PB Report
PDF icon Plans
10/12/2011 - 12:04pm
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
Broadway 105 PB2018-11 Jun 21, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon plan set PDF icon Staff Report 08/02/2018 - 6:31pm
Broadway 46 PB 2017-07 May 04, 2017 PDF icon Broadway46.pdf 08/06/2018 - 12:04pm
Broadway 112 PB 2016-11 Sep 22, 2016 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 09/18/2018 - 10:59am
Broadway 118-120 PB2016-16 Oct 06, 2016 PDF icon Decision PDF icon drawing set PDF icon Staff Report 08/07/2018 - 8:51am
Broadway 1108 ZBA 2014-78 Oct 01, 2014 PDF icon Broadway1108 (WWOP).pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Memo - new code analysis
05/12/2015 - 12:39pm

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