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 Datesort ascending Decisions Other Reports Updated date
Elm St 260 ZBA 2012-42 Jun 20, 2012 PDF icon ElmSt260_WWOP_.pdf PDF icon Site and Locus Plans 08/02/2012 - 11:54am
Boston St 63 ZBA 2012-37 Jun 20, 2012 PDF icon BostonSt63.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Revised Plans 12.4.12
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Staff Report 1.3.13
03/29/2013 - 11:04am
Clyde St 56-61 PB 2008-07-R3-5/2012 Jun 07, 2012 PDF icon ClydeSt56&61_R30512_.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Memo to Planning Board - Site Modifications
PDF icon Staff Report 08/02/2012 - 12:01pm
Hudson St 86 ZBA 2012-39 Jun 06, 2012 PDF icon HudsonSt86.pdf PDF icon Plot & Site Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08/02/2012 - 12:22pm
Boston St 76 ZBA 2012-36 Jun 06, 2012 PDF icon BostonSt76.pdf PDF icon Plot Plan
PDF icon Structural Analysis/Construction Letter
PDF icon Photo 1
PDF icon Photo 3
PDF icon Staff Report 08/02/2012 - 12:02pm
Dover St 99 ZBA 2012-40 Jun 06, 2012 PDF icon DoverSt99 _#2012-40_.pdf PDF icon Plot Plan
PDF icon Proposed Facade
PDF icon Proposed Interior Plan
PDF icon Staff Report 10/26/2012 - 9:15am
Summer St 271 ZBA 2012-41 Jun 06, 2012 PDF icon SummerSt271.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08/02/2012 - 12:19pm
Vinal Ave 17 ZBA 2012-43 May 18, 2012 PDF icon VinalAve17.pdf PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Plans
08/02/2012 - 12:14pm
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
Butler Dr / Temple St 16 / 100 ZBA 2007-03-R5-4/2012 May 16, 2012 PDF icon ButlerDr16-TempleSt100.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Renderings
PDF icon Elevation Changes Description
PDF icon DRC 4-26-12
PDF icon Traffic Impact Study - From Previous Approval
PDF icon Staff Report 06/20/2013 - 11:09am
Holland St 231-233 ZBA 2012-24 May 16, 2012 PDF icon HollandSt231-233_WWOP_.pdf PDF icon Plans 5-11-12
PDF icon Plans 5-31-12
PDF icon Staff Report 5-15-12
PDF icon Staff Report 5-31-12
08/02/2012 - 11:51am
Properzi Way 92 ZBA 2012-34 May 16, 2012 PDF icon ProperziWay92-100.pdf PDF icon Plans 4-17-12
PDF icon Community Concerns & Responses
PDF icon Parking Memorandum
PDF icon Environmental Document #1
PDF icon Environmental Document #2
PDF icon Plans 5-11-12
PDF icon DRC 4-26-12
PDF icon Plans 7-12-12
PDF icon Staff Report 5-10-12
PDF icon Staff Report 7-26-12
08/29/2012 - 12:46pm
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
Mt. Vernon St 8 ZBA 2012-30 May 16, 2012 PDF icon MtVernonSt8.pdf PDF icon Plot & Site Plans PDF icon Staff Report 06/11/2012 - 1:03pm
Willow Ave 187 ZBA 2012-32 May 16, 2012 PDF icon WillowAve187.pdf PDF icon Plot & Site Plans PDF icon Staff Report 06/11/2012 - 1:04pm

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