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.

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
South Street 101-153 MPSP2020-002 Sep 03, 2020 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Application
PDF icon Appendix
PDF icon 20.09.03 Planning Board Presentation
PDF icon 20.09.17 Planning Board Presentation
PDF icon 20200828 Staff Memo
PDF icon 20201009 Staff Memo
04/07/2021 - 3:18pm
Elm St 240 CZC20-000073 Apr 15, 2021 PDF icon Drawings
PDF icon Transportation Impact Study
PDF icon Transportation Access Plan
PDF icon Narrative
PDF icon Staff Memo 04/09/2021 - 4:14pm
Hawkins Street 3 CZC20-000060 Feb 17, 2021 PDF icon UDC Recommendation PDF icon Landscape Plans
PDF icon Sustainability Narrative
PDF icon Narrative
PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Revised Plans
PDF icon Staff Memo (Feb 03) 04/13/2021 - 1:57pm
Fremont Street 0 CZC20-0006 Apr 15, 2021 PDF icon Special Permit 04/20/2021 - 4:22pm
Elm St 255 CZC20-000085 Apr 15, 2021 PDF icon Narrative and Drawings
PDF icon Transportation Impact Statement
PDF icon Transportation Impact Statement Appendix
PDF icon Transportation Access Plan
PDF icon Updated Drawings
PDF icon Staff Memo 04/21/2021 - 2:45pm
Broadway 872 CZC20-000086 Mar 23, 2021 PDF icon UDC Recommendation 04/21/2021 - 2:47pm
Powder House Blvd 255 CZC21-000032 Apr 28, 2021 PDF icon Narrative and Drawings PDF icon Staff Memo 04/22/2021 - 10:15am
Middlesex Ave 120 MP#2020-0003 Nov 04, 2020 PDF icon Decision (Hardship Variance)
PDF icon Decision (Stamped Hardship Variance)
PDF icon MMP Approval
PDF icon MPSP Application Appendix
PDF icon MPSP Application
PDF icon Hardship Variance Application
PDF icon Staff Memo (MPSP)
PDF icon Staff Memo (Hardship Variance)
04/26/2021 - 8:43am
Eastman Rd 21 DRA2020-0011 Mar 11, 2020 PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Updated Drawings April 2021
04/26/2021 - 11:02am
Somerville Ave 379 CZC20-000104 Apr 08, 2021 PDF icon UDC Recommendation PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Transportation Access Plan
PDF icon Sustainability Narrative
PDF icon Passive House Certification
PDF icon Stormwater Management Report
PDF icon Staff Memo 04/27/2021 - 3:00pm
Union Square 71-72 CZC2020-00039 Apr 01, 2021 PDF icon Minor Site Plan Approval
PDF icon Site Plan Approval and Special Permit
PDF icon Narrative
PDF icon Transportation Access Plan
PDF icon Transportation Impact Study
PDF icon Drawings
PDF icon Meeting Reports
PDF icon Staff Memo
PDF icon Supplemental Staff Memo
04/29/2021 - 7:08pm
Central St 51 ZBA 2017-36-R1-02/21 Apr 14, 2021 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Narrative PDF icon Staff Memo 04/29/2021 - 7:10pm

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