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
Warner St 38 ZBA 2011-72 Oct 19, 2011 PDF icon WarnerSt38 (Denied).pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 12/16/2011 - 11:31am
Hamlet St 25 ZBA 2010-42-R1-9/2011 Oct 19, 2011 PDF icon HamletSt25 (WWOP).pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 12/16/2011 - 11:38am
Murdock St 58 ZBA 2011-71 Oct 19, 2011 PDF icon MurdockSt58.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 12/16/2011 - 11:33am
Linden Ave 16 ZBA 2011-70 Oct 19, 2011 PDF icon LindenAve16.pdf PDF icon Plans 10-11-11
PDF icon DRC 9-29-11
PDF icon Plans 11-16-11
PDF icon Parking Study
PDF icon Plans 1-13-12
PDF icon Plans 5-3-12
PDF icon Plans 5-29-12
PDF icon DRC 5-24-12
PDF icon Staff Report 11-30-11
PDF icon Staff Report 5-31-12
08/02/2012 - 12:24pm
Orchard St 142 ZBA 2011-74 Oct 19, 2011 PDF icon OrchardSt142.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 12/16/2011 - 11:34am
Robinson St 13 ZBA 2011-57 Oct 19, 2011 PDF icon RobinsonSt13.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 12/16/2011 - 11:33am
Highland Ave 373 ZBA 2011-73 Oct 19, 2011 PDF icon HighlandAve373.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 12/16/2011 - 11:32am
Assembly Row Block 4 4 PB 2011-15 Oct 06, 2011 PDF icon ASQ Block 4 Combined Decision.pdf PDF icon Architectural Renderings, Plans and Elevations
PDF icon Civil Plans
PDF icon Open Space Plan
PDF icon DRC 7-28-11
PDF icon DRC 9-8-11
PDF icon Staff Report 06/25/2014 - 4:29pm
Assembly Row Block 1 1 PB 2011-14 Oct 05, 2011 PDF icon ASQ Block 1 Combined Decision.pdf PDF icon Architectural Renderings, Plans, Elevations
PDF icon Civil Plans
PDF icon Neighborhood Context
PDF icon DRC 7-28-11
PDF icon DRC 9-8-11
PDF icon Staff Report 06/25/2014 - 2:14pm
Broadway 1100 ZBA 2011-65 Sep 21, 2011 PDF icon Broadway1100.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 10/12/2011 - 11:48am
Highland Ave 400 ZBA 2011-64 Sep 21, 2011 PDF icon HighlandAve400.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 10/12/2011 - 11:55am
Adrian St 39 ZBA 2011-61 Sep 21, 2011 PDF icon AdrianSt39.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 10/12/2011 - 11:45am
Washington St 149-151 ZBA 2011-69 Sep 21, 2011 PDF icon WashingtonSt149-151.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 12/16/2011 - 11:36am
Newbury St 48 ZBA 2011-67 Sep 21, 2011 PDF icon NewburySt48.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 10/12/2011 - 11:58am
Highland Ave 363 ZBA 2011-66 Sep 21, 2011 PDF icon HighlandAve363 _#2011-66_.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 10/12/2011 - 11:56am

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