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
Washington St 331 PB 2012-02 May 03, 2012 PDF icon WashingtonSt331.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 05/25/2012 - 8:58am
Washington St 263 ZBA 2017-40 Oct 04, 2017 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Washington St 263 - Final Plans.pdf PDF icon Washington St 263 - Staff Report.pdf 08/06/2018 - 12:29pm
Washington St 197 PB 2015-11 Oct 22, 2015 PDF icon WashingtonSt197 (WWOP).pdf PDF icon Plan
PDF icon Transportation Memo
PDF icon Staff Report 11/02/2015 - 12:58pm
Washington St 181 & 197 PB 2014-01 Feb 19, 2014 PDF icon WashingtonSt181&197.pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Traffic Assessment
PDF icon Stormwater Report
PDF icon Plans 1.31.14
PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Memo
03/12/2014 - 2:31pm
Washington St 90 ZBA 2013-41 Aug 21, 2013 PDF icon WashingtonSt90(Stamped).pdf PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Stormwater Management Report
PDF icon Traffic Impact and Assessment Report
PDF icon Traffic Impact and Assessment Report Appendices
PDF icon Parking Memo
PDF icon Renderings
PDF icon Traffic Report updated
PDF icon Plans 9-18-2013
PDF icon Parking Memo-updated
PDF icon Updated Plans
PDF icon Staff Report 8-29-2013
PDF icon Staff Report 9-26-2013
PDF icon Alternative Parking Design
PDF icon Plans
07/29/2014 - 8:50am
Washington St 265 ZBA 2018-04 Jul 18, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set - January 2018
PDF icon Updated plans for July 18 2018
PDF icon Updated Plans for August 8, 2018
PDF icon Staff Report 08/22/2018 - 5:41pm
Washington St 255 PB 2012-20 Nov 29, 2012 PDF icon WashingtonSt255.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 01/03/2013 - 10:09am
Washington St 30 ZBA2009-59 05/20/2010 - 7:10am
Washington St 84 & 90 PB 2013-03 Apr 04, 2013 PDF icon WashingtonSt84&90.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 04/11/2013 - 10:10pm
Washington St 149-151 ZBA 2011-69 Sep 21, 2011 PDF icon WashingtonSt149-151.pdf PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 12/16/2011 - 11:36am
Washington St 181 & 197 PB 2013-08 Jun 20, 2013 PDF icon WashingtonSt181&197 PB2013-08.pdf PDF icon Existing Site Conditions Plan
PDF icon Plot, Site, & Landscape Plans
PDF icon Plans
PDF icon Elevations
PDF icon Shadow Studies
PDF icon Perspectives & Views 7.3.13
PDF icon Roof Plans 7.3.13
PDF icon Site Phasing
PDF icon Drainage Report
PDF icon Traffic & Parking Assessment 4.2013
PDF icon Staff Report 6.13.13
PDF icon Staff Report 7.3.13
PDF icon Traffic Supplemental Memo 7.17.13
PDF icon Plans 7.18.13
07/23/2013 - 5:45pm
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
Washington St 197 & 205 PB 2014-02 Feb 20, 2014 PDF icon WashingtonSt197&205.pdf PDF icon Plan PDF icon Staff Report
PDF icon Memo
03/12/2014 - 2:31pm
Washington St 197 PB 2015-12 Dec 10, 2015 PDF icon Plan
PDF icon Attachments
PDF icon Transportation Memo
PDF icon Staff Report 12/04/2015 - 12:17pm
Washington St 181 & 197 PB 2013-11 Jun 20, 2013 PDF icon WashingtonSt181&197 _#2013-11__WWOP_.pdf PDF icon Site Plan PDF icon Staff Report 08/01/2013 - 9:13am

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