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
College Ave / Highland Ave 1 / 419 ZBA 2011-87 Dec 07, 2011 PDF icon CollegeAve1-HighlandAve419.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 12/16/2011 - 11:29am
Broadway 272 ZBA 2010-29-R1 (11/2011) Dec 07, 2011 PDF icon Broadway272 _R11-11_.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 12/16/2011 - 11:30am
Edmands 21 ZBA 2011-88 Dec 07, 2011 PDF icon EdmandsSt21.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 12/16/2011 - 11:30am
Central St 173 ZBA 2011-84 Nov 30, 2011 PDF icon CentralSt173.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 12/16/2011 - 11:27am
Park St 44 ZBA 2011-83 Nov 30, 2011 PDF icon ParkSt44.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 12/16/2011 - 11:26am
Mystic Valley Pkwy 485 ZBA 2011-79 Nov 30, 2011 PDF icon MysticValleyPkwy485.pdf PDF icon Plans 9-16-11 - Arch. & Structural
PDF icon Plans 9-16-11 - Civil & Landscape
PDF icon Traffic Study
PDF icon Stormwater Report
PDF icon DRC 10-27-11
PDF icon Plans 11-18-11 - Arch. & Structural
PDF icon Plans 11-18-11 - Civil & Landscape
PDF icon Response to Neighborhood Petition
PDF icon DRAFT HPC Minutes 12-13-2011
PDF icon Pervious Area Letter from Nitsch Engineering
PDF icon Staff Report 11-23-11
PDF icon Staff Report 12-29-11
PDF icon Nitsch Response to Neighbor's Drainage Issue
PDF icon DCI Memo re 23-25 Irvington Road
PDF icon Copley Wolff Design Group - Tree Report
PDF icon Engineering Dept. Comments re Drainage
PDF icon Staff Report 1-12-12
06/11/2012 - 1:02pm
Somerville Ave 379 PB 2011-19 Nov 17, 2011 PDF icon SomervilleAve379.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 12/16/2011 - 11:29am
Broadway 1180 ZBA 2005-32-R1-10/2011 Nov 16, 2011 PDF icon Broadway1180 (R-10-2011).pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Parking Impact Assessment Memorandum
PDF icon Staff Report 12/02/2011 - 12:20pm
Rogers Ave 40 ZBA 2011-82 Nov 16, 2011 PDF icon RogersAve40.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 12/02/2011 - 12:20pm
Tyler St 8 ZBA 2011-80 Nov 16, 2011 PDF icon TylerSt8.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 12/02/2011 - 12:19pm
Foley St 74 & 100 PB 2011-17 Nov 03, 2011 PDF icon FoleySt74&100.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 12/16/2011 - 11:40am
Chetwynd Rd 21 ZBA 2011-76 Nov 02, 2011 PDF icon ChetwyndRd21.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 12/16/2011 - 11:39am
Wallace St 68 ZBA 2011-75 Nov 02, 2011 PDF icon WallaceSt68.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 12/16/2011 - 11:39am
Summer St 143 ZBA 2011-78 Nov 02, 2011 PDF icon SummerSt143 _WWOP_.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 12/16/2011 - 11:28am
Assembly Row Block 3 3 PB 2011-16 Oct 20, 2011 PDF icon ASQ Block 3 C St Combined Decision.pdf PDF icon Architectural Renderings, Plans, Elevations
PDF icon Civil Plans
PDF icon Open Space Plan
PDF icon LEED Checklist
PDF icon DRC 9-8-11
PDF icon DRC 9-29-11
PDF icon Staff Report 06/25/2014 - 4:28pm

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