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 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.

Drew Kane, Alternate

Drew is currently the Senior Land Use Planner with the City of Cambridge Community Development Department. Prior to the City of Cambridge, he spent 15 years as a consultant in architecture and planning firms in Atlanta, New York and Boston. Most recently, he was a Senior Urban Planner and Associate at Utile, Inc., a multi-disciplinary architecture and planning firm in Boston.. 

With a professional focus on the regeneration of urban environments, Drew's areas of expertise includes streetscape and public realm design, master planning and regulatory development with particular interest in waterfronts and industrial districts. 

Drew received a Master of City and Regional Planning from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Bachelor’s of Art in Art History from the University of Georgia.

Reports and Decisions

PLEASE NOTE: Applications made before April 15, 2011 are not included in this listing and can be found by clicking here.

Streetsort descending Number Case Number First Hearing Date Decisions Other Reports Updated date
Allen St 37 ZBA 2016-68 Jul 13, 2016 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans - 37 Allen Street 6-9-2016.pdf PDF icon Staff Report 09/17/2018 - 11:44am
Alpine 13 ZBA 2016-75 Jul 12, 2017 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Updated plans PDF icon Updated staff report 08/06/2018 - 12:12pm
Alpine 81-83 ZBA 2018-141 Nov 07, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon ADA
PDF icon Plan Set
PDF icon Shadow Study
PDF icon Updated plans for March 20, 2019
PDF icon Updated Plans for June 5, 2019 ZBA
PDF icon Staff Report 07/02/2019 - 11:15am
Alpine St 37 ZBA 2013-54 Aug 07, 2013 PDF icon AlpineSt37.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08/19/2013 - 8:55am
Ames St 23 ZBA 2014-114 Jan 07, 2015 PDF icon AmesSt23.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Memo - new code analysis
02/20/2015 - 12:22pm
Ames St 29 ZBA2008-72 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Appleton St 31 ZBA2009-36 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Appleton Street 8-10 ZBA 2017-120 Dec 13, 2017 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 10-11-17 PDF icon Staff Report 08/07/2018 - 8:51am
Arlington St 24 ZBA 2013-49 Aug 07, 2013 PDF icon ArlingtonSt24.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 08/19/2013 - 9:01am
Arlington Street 18-20 ZBA 2016-126 Nov 16, 2016 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 09/17/2018 - 11:59am
Artisan Way 301 PB 2014-28 Sep 04, 2014 PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 09/04/2014 - 5:24pm
Artisan Way (Block 3) 395 PB 2014-04 Feb 06, 2014 PDF icon ArtisanWay395 (Combined).pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 01.30.2014
PDF icon Staff Report 02.13.2014
03/06/2014 - 4:22pm
Ash Avenue 23 ZBA 2019-87 Sep 18, 2019 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 8-27-19 PDF icon Staff Report 09/25/2019 - 2:56pm
Ashland St 23-25 ZBA 2015-24 Jun 24, 2015 PDF icon AshlandSt23-25.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 07/09/2015 - 6:56pm
Ashland St 23-25 ZBA 2014-39 Jun 04, 2014 PDF icon AshlandSt23-25.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 06/27/2014 - 11:22am

Pages

Subscribe to Reports and Decisions