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.

Josh Safdie, Clerk

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.

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.

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 ascending
Hancock St 109 ZBA 2012-22 Apr 18, 2012 PDF icon HancockSt109.pdf PDF icon Plot & Site Plans PDF icon Staff Report 06/11/2012 - 1:01pm
Bow St 30 ZBA 2012-28 May 02, 2012 PDF icon BowSt30.pdf PDF icon Site & Plot Plans PDF icon Staff Report 06/11/2012 - 12:59pm
Holland St 11-15 ZBA 2012-12 Feb 29, 2012 PDF icon HollandSt11-15 _Amended_.pdf PDF icon Plans 2-23-12
PDF icon Plans 5-8-12
PDF icon Staff Report 2-23-12
PDF icon Staff Report 5-10-12
06/07/2012 - 9:07am
Endicott Ave 22 ZBA 2012-21 Apr 04, 2012 PDF icon EndicottAve22.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 05/25/2012 - 9:04am
Church St 11 ZBA 2012-18 Apr 04, 2012 PDF icon ChurchSt11.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Parking Memorandum
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
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
Broadway 280 PB 2012-04 Apr 05, 2012 PDF icon Broadway280PB.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 05/25/2012 - 9:01am
Broadway 280 ZBA 2012-25 Apr 18, 2012 PDF icon Broadway280ZBA.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 05/25/2012 - 9:01am
Cedar St / Alpine St 143-145 / 5 ZBA 2012-02 Feb 01, 2012 PDF icon CedarSt143-145.pdf PDF icon Plans 1-13-12 - Part 1
PDF icon Plans 1-13-12 - Part 2
PDF icon Drainage Report
PDF icon Traffic Memorandum
PDF icon Transaction Screen Assessment
PDF icon Traffic Memorandum Supplement
PDF icon DRC 1-12-12
PDF icon DRC 1-26-12
PDF icon Plans 2-13-12
PDF icon Plans 2-23-12
PDF icon Staff Report 05/25/2012 - 9:01am
Highland Ave 114 ZBA 2011-86 Apr 04, 2012 PDF icon HighlandAve114.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Photo Simulations
PDF icon Staff Report 05/25/2012 - 9:00am
Washington St 331 PB 2012-02 May 03, 2012 PDF icon WashingtonSt331.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 05/25/2012 - 8:58am
Cedar St 181 ZBA 2012-05 Feb 29, 2012 PDF icon CedarSt181.pdf PDF icon Plans 12-29-11
PDF icon DRC 1-26-12
PDF icon DRC 2-23-12
PDF icon Plans 3-26-12
PDF icon Parking Memorandum
PDF icon Supplemental Parking Memorandum
PDF icon DRC 3-22-12
05/25/2012 - 8:57am
Benton Rd 1 PB 2010-60-R1-4-2012 May 17, 2012 PDF icon BentonRd1-decision _2_.pdf PDF icon Decision on Motion for Summary Judgment
PDF icon Plans
05/25/2012 - 8:57am
Dickinson 12 ZBA 2012-32 May 16, 2012 PDF icon DickinsonSt12.pdf PDF icon Plot & Site Plans PDF icon Staff Report 05/25/2012 - 8:51am

Pages

Subscribe to Reports and Decisions