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 descending
Evergreen Avenue 5B ZBA 2019-70 Aug 07, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 7-19-19 PDF icon Staff Report 08/12/2019 - 4:14pm
Lowell Street 298 ZBA 2019-69 Aug 07, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 7-18-19 PDF icon Staff Report 08/12/2019 - 4:15pm
Ward Street 29 ZBA 2019-42 Jun 05, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Architectural Plan 2-20-19
PDF icon Accessibility Letter 2-22-19
PDF icon Site Plan 6-25-19
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Updated Staff Report
08/12/2019 - 4:15pm
Oak Street 7 ZBA 2019-01 Jul 17, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 1-2-19
PDF icon Accessibility Letter 1-2-19
PDF icon Sustainability
PDF icon Plan Set 3-13-19
PDF icon Plan Set 5-24-19
PDF icon Plan Set 7-29-18
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Updated Staff Report
08/12/2019 - 4:16pm
Hudson Street 156 ZBA 2019-36 Jun 05, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 5-9-19
PDF icon Shadow Studies 6-10-19
PDF icon Plan Set 6-17-19
PDF icon Plan Set 7-18-19
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Updated Staff Report
PDF icon 2nd Updated Staff Report
08/12/2019 - 4:16pm
Broadway 6 PB 2019-16 Aug 08, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 4-5-19 PDF icon Staff Report 08/13/2019 - 2:10pm
Rossmore Street 11 ZBA 2019-41 Jul 17, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 4-17-19
PDF icon Plan Set 6-27-19
PDF icon Landscape Plan 8-7-19
PDF icon Plan Set 8-7-19
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Updated Staff Report
08/22/2019 - 4:47pm
Berkeley St 48 ZBA 2019-49 Aug 07, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set PDF icon Staff Report 08/22/2019 - 9:33pm
Broadway 114-120 PB 2019-13 May 16, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set
PDF icon Updated Plan Set for 8-8-2019
PDF icon Staff Report 08/22/2019 - 9:34pm
Summer St 241 ZBA 2019-18 Jun 05, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set PDF icon Staff Report 08/22/2019 - 9:35pm
Washington St 181 PB 2019-14 Aug 08, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set PDF icon Staff Report 08/22/2019 - 9:39pm
Sanborn Court 9 PB 2019-17 Aug 08, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Seating Plan 4-19-19
PDF icon Plot Plan 6-5-19
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Updated Staff Report
08/23/2019 - 9:32am
Ivaloo St 25 ZBA 2019-66 Aug 21, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set PDF icon Staff Memorandum 08/26/2019 - 7:06pm
Bailey Rd 65 ZBA 2019-27 Jun 05, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Updated for August 2019
08/26/2019 - 7:32pm
Henderson St 42 ZBA 2018-189 Jul 17, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set
PDF icon Updated Plan Set for August 21, 2019
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Updated Staff Report
08/26/2019 - 7:35pm

Pages

Subscribe to Reports and Decisions