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 Numbersort descending Case Number First Hearing Date Decisions Other Reports Updated date
Broadway 916 ZBA 2019-122 Nov 20, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set PDF icon Broadway 916 - Staff Report.pdf 01/08/2020 - 4:30pm
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
Union Sq 92 PB 2015-08 Aug 06, 2015 PDF icon UnionSq92.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08/20/2015 - 9:04am
Liberty Ave 92 ZBA2009-43 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Properzi Way 92-100 ZBA 2012-34-R1-5/2014 Jun 18, 2014 PDF icon ProperziWay92-100.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Previously Approved Plans
PDF icon Staff Report 06/27/2014 - 11:19am
Partridge 92-94 ZBA 2015-59 Sep 16, 2015 PDF icon Plans-Scaled Drawings PDF icon Staff Report 09/16/2015 - 11:04am
Partridge Ave 92-94 ZBA #2015-69 Sep 16, 2015 PDF icon PartridgeAve92-94.pdf PDF icon Planning Staff Report 09/30/2015 - 4:10pm
Prospect St 92-96 ZBA 2013-21 Jul 10, 2013 PDF icon ProspectSt92-96.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Traffic Memo
PDF icon Staff Report 08/19/2013 - 9:05am
Hudson St 93 ZBA 2016-18 Mar 16, 2016 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 09/20/2018 - 11:02am
Raymond Avenue 93 ZBA 2018-56 Jun 20, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 5-16-18
PDF icon Plan Set 5-31-18
PDF icon Staff Report 08/02/2018 - 6:32pm
Beacon St 94 ZBA 2014-23 May 07, 2014 PDF icon BeaconSt94.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Photo Sims
PDF icon Staff Report 02/23/2015 - 9:41am
Beacon St 94 ZBA2000-09-R01-08 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Beacon St 94 ZBA 2012-75 Oct 03, 2012 PDF icon BeaconSt94.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Photo Simulations
PDF icon Staff Report 03/21/2013 - 4:58pm
Moreland Street 94 ZBA 2018-09 Feb 14, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 1-11-18 PDF icon Staff Report 08/07/2018 - 8:51am
Beacon St 94 ZBA2009-46 05/20/2010 - 7:10am

Pages

Subscribe to Reports and Decisions