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 Date Decisions Other Reports Updated datesort descending
Windsor Street 561 PB 2018-15 Oct 04, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon plan set
PDF icon phasing drawings
PDF icon accessibility narrative
PDF icon schedule of uses
PDF icon staff report
PDF icon revised staff report
PDF icon re-revised staff report
12/14/2018 - 9:40am
Chestnut Street 28 ZBA 2018-100 Oct 03, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon parking study
PDF icon drawing set
PDF icon environmental report
PDF icon updated parking memo
PDF icon staff report
PDF icon revised report
12/19/2018 - 11:28am
Fitchburg Street 28 ZBA 2018-99 Oct 03, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon drawing set
PDF icon parking study
PDF icon environmental report
PDF icon sample schematic elevations - later application
PDF icon updated parking memo
PDF icon staff report
PDF icon revised report
12/19/2018 - 11:34am
Highland Avenue 144 ZBA 2018-97 Aug 22, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 6-29-18
PDF icon Plan Set 11-07-18
PDF icon Staff Report 12/19/2018 - 11:52am
Windsor Rd 38-40 ZBA 2018-133 Nov 28, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set
PDF icon Updated plans for Dec 12 2018
PDF icon Windsor Rd 38 - 40 - Final Plan set for Dec 12 2018
PDF icon Staff Report 12/19/2018 - 11:59am
Hudson St 150 ZBA 2018-71 Aug 08, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 5-4-18
PDF icon Plan Set updated 8-28-18
12/19/2018 - 12:05pm
Quincy Street 12 ZBA 2018-90 Aug 08, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Deck Plan 2-2-18
PDF icon Plot Plan 5-14-18
PDF icon Deck Plan 11-16-18
PDF icon Plot Plan 11-28-18
PDF icon Staff Report 8-8-18
PDF icon Updated Staff Report 9-5-18
PDF icon 2nd Updated Staff Report 12-12-18
12/19/2018 - 12:09pm
Murdock Street 50-54 ZBA 2018-19 Nov 28, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 12-29-17
PDF icon Accessibility Letter 12-26-17
PDF icon Drainage Report 12-19-17
PDF icon Plan Set 7-17-18
PDF icon Plan Set 9-7-18
PDF icon Plan Set 11-8-18
PDF icon Setback Calculations 11-27-18
PDF icon Plan Set 12-04-18
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Updated Staff Report 11-28-18
PDF icon 2nd Updated Staff Report 12-12-18
12/19/2018 - 1:00pm
Windsor Road 5 ZBA 2018-114 Oct 03, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 8-14-18
PDF icon Plot Plan 4-17-18
PDF icon Staff Report 12/26/2018 - 11:10am
Montgomery Avenue 7 ZBA2015-98-R1-1018 Dec 12, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon cover letter
PDF icon site plan (BP)
PDF icon constructed photos
PDF icon violation
PDF icon MontgomeryAve7_Revision-StaffReport-121218.pdf 12/26/2018 - 11:12am
Earle Street - revision 2 PB2018-04-R1-1018 Dec 13, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon previous decision
PDF icon site plan
PDF icon drawing set
PDF icon civil & landscape
PDF icon shadow analysis
PDF icon LEED scorecard
PDF icon transportation access
PDF icon mobility management
PDF icon project narrative
PDF icon staff report 12/26/2018 - 11:13am
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
Mossland St 15 ZBA 2018-124 Nov 07, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set
PDF icon Updated Plans November 2018
PDF icon Updated Plans for Dec 12 2018
PDF icon Stamped Plot Plan for Dec 12, 2018
PDF icon Staff Report 12/26/2018 - 1:40pm
Oak St 43-45 ZBA 2016-89-R1-(11/14) Dec 12, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Staff Report 12/26/2018 - 1:47pm
Columbus Avenue 40 ZBA 2018-147 Jan 09, 2019 PDF icon Plans 10-17-18 01/02/2019 - 1:51pm

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