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 Date Decisions Other Reports Updated datesort ascending
Beacon Street 115 ZBA 2018-159 Jan 23, 2019 PDF icon Plan Set - Initial Submission 12/12/2018 - 1:01pm
Beacon Street 111 ZBA 2018-158 Jan 23, 2019 PDF icon Plan Set - Initial Submission 12/12/2018 - 12:07pm
Montgomery Avenue 7 ZBA2015-98-R1-1018 Dec 12, 2018 PDF icon cover letter
PDF icon site plan (BP)
PDF icon constructed photos
PDF icon violation
PDF icon MontgomeryAve7_Revision-StaffReport-121218.pdf 12/12/2018 - 12:04pm
Roland Street / Inner Belt Rd 56 / 0 & 20 PB 2018-18 Nov 29, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Subdivision Plan 10-10-18 PDF icon Staff Report 12/12/2018 - 11:13am
Alewife Brook Pkwy 395 ZBA 2018-40 Nov 07, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set
PDF icon Plans for November 28, 2018
PDF icon Updated Plans for November 28, 2018
PDF icon Staff Report 12/12/2018 - 10:22am
Gilman St 27 ZBA 2018-112 Aug 03, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plans PDF icon Staff Report 12/12/2018 - 10:21am
Spring Hill Terrace 7 ZBA 2018-153 Nov 28, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 11-7-18
PDF icon Survey 9-25-18
PDF icon Staff Report 12/12/2018 - 10:20am
Oxford Street 134-136 ZBA 2018-155 Nov 28, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon Plan Set 10-10-18 PDF icon Staff Report 12/12/2018 - 10:18am
Mystic Ave 654 ZBA 2018-167 Dec 12, 2018 PDF icon Plan Set approved for building permit PDF icon Staff Report 12/11/2018 - 8:17pm
Windsor Street 561 PB 2018-15 Oct 04, 2018 PDF icon Decision PDF icon plan set
PDF icon phasing drawings
PDF icon accessibility narrative
PDF icon schedule of uses
PDF icon staff report
PDF icon revised staff report
PDF icon re-revised staff report
12/11/2018 - 10:30am
College Ave 118-124 ZBA 2018-166 Dec 12, 2018 PDF icon Staff Report 12/10/2018 - 6:37pm
Heath St 124 ZBA 2018-148 Dec 12, 2018 PDF icon Plan Set
PDF icon Updated Plans
12/10/2018 - 5:30pm
Mossland St 15 ZBA 2018-124 Nov 07, 2018 PDF icon Plan Set
PDF icon Updated Plans November 2018
PDF icon Updated Plans for Dec 12 2018
PDF icon Stamped Plot Plan for Dec 12, 2018
PDF icon Staff Report 12/10/2018 - 5:05pm
Broadway 70 PB 2017-13-R1-11/18 Dec 13, 2018 PDF icon Plan Set 10-30-18
PDF icon Accessibility Letter 10-30-18
PDF icon Staff Report 12/10/2018 - 10:00am
Earle Street - revision 2 PB2018-04-R1-1018 Dec 13, 2018 PDF icon previous decision
PDF icon site plan
PDF icon drawing set
PDF icon civil & landscape
PDF icon shadow analysis
PDF icon LEED scorecard
PDF icon transportation access
PDF icon mobility management
PDF icon project narrative
PDF icon staff report 12/10/2018 - 9:05am

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