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)
  • Members

  • Reports & Decisions

  • Orsola Susan Fontano, Chair

Orsola Susan Fontano is currently the chair of the Zoning Board of Appeals as Chair. She 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.

  • Richard Rossetti, Clerk

Richard Rossetti has served on the Zoning Board of Appeals for over 14 years and is the Distribution Manager for the Spaulding Brick Company. He has also held a position with the Somerville Dreams For Youth Foundation and served 8 years on the Somerville High School Scholarship Foundation. He is a two-time member of the award-winning Somerville All-American City delegation.

  • Danielle Evans

Danielle 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, Alternate

Anne Brockelman, AIA, LEED AP BD+C is an architect with 17 years of experience and the Associate Principal at Perry Dean Rogers Partners Architects and Director of Sustainable Design. She graduated from Wesleyan University with a B.A. in Art History and Studio Art and a Master of Architecture from Harvard University's Graduate School of Design. She also has served as adjunct faculty at the Boston Architectural College since 2001 and received the Certificate in Design Education in 2006.

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
McGrath Highway 1 ZBA 2018-138 Dec 12, 2018 PDF icon Narrative of changes
PDF icon Architectural Plans 9-27-18
PDF icon Civil Plans 9-26-18
11/07/2018 - 12:43pm
Broadway 1244 ZBA 2018-135 Dec 12, 2018 PDF icon Plan Set 10-19-18 11/08/2018 - 2:54pm
Elm Street 36 ZBA 2018-127 Dec 12, 2018 PDF icon Plan Set 9-4-18 11/07/2018 - 3:23pm
Elmwood Street 17 ZBA 2018-125 Dec 12, 2018 PDF icon Plan Set 8-23-18
PDF icon Survey 5-8-18
11/08/2018 - 2:54pm
Morrison Avenue 2 ZBA 2018-146 Dec 12, 2018 PDF icon Plan Set 10-19-18 11/08/2018 - 2:54pm
Tennyson Street 39 ZBA 2018-149 Dec 12, 2018 PDF icon Plan Set 10-19-18 11/08/2018 - 3:52pm
Myrtle 61 ZBA 2018-140 Dec 10, 2018 PDF icon EC-2
PDF icon ADA
PDF icon SP
PDF icon SP app
PDF icon Existing Conditions
10/17/2018 - 10:51am
Roland Street / Inner Belt Rd 56 / 0 & 20 PB 2018-18 Nov 29, 2018 PDF icon Subdivision Plan 10-10-18 11/08/2018 - 3:03pm
Roland Street / Inner Belt Rd 56 / 0 & 20 ZBA 2018-142 & ZBA 2018-143 Nov 28, 2018 PDF icon Proposed Plan Set 10-10-18
PDF icon Phase 1 Env. Report 10-7-17
PDF icon Stormwater Memo 10-10-18
PDF icon Traffic Memo 10-18
11/07/2018 - 10:36am
Prescott Street 57 ZBA 2018-150 Nov 28, 2018 PDF icon Plan Set 10-17-18 11/07/2018 - 12:06pm
Oxford Street 134-136 ZBA 2018-155 Nov 28, 2018 PDF icon Plan Set 10-10-18 11/07/2018 - 12:08pm
Dimick Street 68 ZBA 2018-151 Nov 28, 2018 PDF icon Plan Set 10-24-18
PDF icon Accessibility Narrative 10-25-18
11/07/2018 - 12:11pm
Pearson Avenue 68 ZBA 2018-134 Nov 28, 2018 PDF icon Plan Set 9-10-18 11/07/2018 - 12:14pm
Moreland Street 74 ZBA 2018-128 Nov 28, 2018 PDF icon Plan Set 9-11-18 11/07/2018 - 4:19pm
Spring Hill Terrace 7 ZBA 2018-153 Nov 28, 2018 PDF icon Plan Set 11-7-18
PDF icon Survey 9-25-18
11/08/2018 - 3:50pm


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